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Re: Acrobat PDF & Accessibility

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 07:59:08 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200112210759.fBL7x8222431@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> PDF, as I understand it, is a specification controlled by Adobe. Microsoft

It's an open specification controlled by Adobe, which means that there is
a reference implementation that actually fairly closely follows the
specification.  HTML is an open specification controlled by a company
called W3C, but with no valid reference implementations.  Both companies
design in secret.  Adobe attempts to protect the integrity of third
party PDF implementations, whereas W3C allows all sorts of broken 
and incomplete imlementations.

In theory Adobe might switch to the Microsoft position of imposing
a confidentiality constraint on the specification and even then
publishing a conusing specification (this constraint is on the
MSDN version of the specification), whereas it is very unlikely that
W3C would do that, but that's the only real difference that I see.

> I frequently find that changes in file specifications of proprietary
> applications are modified without public notice and companies that attempt
> to support these published specifications are frustrated in their attempts
> to support the file specs.

Neither currently true of PDF.

> I believe that access to PDF is provided by converting the PDF into
> something else, like HTML. This may be explicit, as in the conversion filter

PDF is a final form document.  One should convert the revisable form
document to HTML, not the final form document.

> persons with print disabilities. Will PDF ever present semantically rich
> documents  to persons with disabilities? There is an activity in the W3C

Probably not, for the same reason that HTML and XML won't; the market is
not interested in the effort of doing that.
Received on Friday, 21 December 2001 02:59:14 GMT

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