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Re: Linking to binary URLs

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 12:01:02 +1000 (EST)
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
cc: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981001115031.8741E-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Brian suggested that links to non-HTML resources should go via an 
intermediate HTML page.

Actually, I think that the way that W3C specs point to a collection of 
versions - HTML, zip, tgz, etc, and say what each one is, is sufficient, 
and that we do not need to require further work.

But perhaps there should be a guideline about this:

Guideline: Where a link points to a resource in a 'format which is not a w3c 
recommendation (eg pdf, zip, powerpoint etc - what is the position of 
plain text here?)' then it should be made clear in the text (preferably) 
of, or (else) near the link what kind of a resource is being pointed to. 

example: This document is available in several formats: <A 
href="mydoc.htm">HTML version</A>, <A HREF="mydoc.rtf">Rich Text Format 
(Priamrily for Microsoft Word processors)</A>, <A HREF="mydoc.pdf">PDF- 
Portable Document or Acrobat format, which requires</A> the <A 
HREF="http://www.adobe.com/acrobat/">the acrobat reader, which can be 
downloaded free for many platforms</A>.

Rationale: Browsers must be individually configured to recognise various 
file formats. Although all browsers recognise HTML and plain text, other 
formats may or may not be recognised automatically. In adddition, users 
may not have the required software, or may not be able to run it, and it 
is therefore a waste of their time to download a document in that format.

Thoughts people?

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Wednesday, 30 September 1998 22:26:34 UTC

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