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RE: Accessing PDFs

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 12:00:08 -0500
Message-Id: <5.2.0.5.0.20021025113603.02aefe00@mail.gwmicro.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 12:08 PM 10/25/2002 -0400, Access Systems wrote:
> > The cost of our product has nothing to do with making is "easy" to 
> develop.
> > The cost goes into the development (easy or not), the product, the sales,
> > the support, and the overhead of producing a product that is 
> distributed to
> > a very small market (comparatively speaking) .
>
>not saying they are linked necessarily and I did not say your software was
>cheap or easy to develop.  BUT the product makes it easy for web
>developers to bypass making web sites accessible by saying "well some
>software can read pdf"

I'm confused at how our (or anyone's) support for a product or feature can 
then be blamed for the rest of the market not doing their part. I also 
don't understand the correlation between our support for PDF files is 
responsible for inaccessible web sites. Can you provide an example? We are 
providing features for our customers, as well as features to attract new 
customers. Are you saying that if a developer decides to be lazy because of 
a feature that we have added, we are then responsible for that developer's 
laziness?

> > >   your Window's Eyes costs more than the average computer does,
> > >and then you have to continually upgrade to newer and newer operating
> > >systems, which usually require a hardware upgrade to use.
> >
> > Isn't that the case for any software on any system?
>
>No

I disagree. I believe that any operating system is going to require 
upgrading, and conversely, any piece of software (designed to do 
complicated tasks such as hooking the OS like screen readers do) will 
require upgrading. They go hand in hand when you are talking about software 
designed to run at such a deep level. Even if software was written without 
any need for further enhancements or bug fixes, if the OS it supports 
changes, it will most likely need to change too.

>??? emacspeak is considerably less than yours

Exactly. Yet another choice for consumers. Since emackspeak is a viable 
option, a consumer could could weigh the option of a *nix box with 
emacspeak, or a Windows box with Window-Eyes, or a Windows box with any 
other screen reader, or a Mac with Outspoken. Choices.

> > about being FORCED, talk to the Vocational Rehabilitation agencies who
> > initially purchase the most expensive package, and then assume the client
> > will purchase upgrades on their own.
>
>not all Voc Rehabs, but your right in some sense that the Voc Rehab
>agencies will frequently buy something (anything) and then fail to support
>it.   the consumer must be an educated consumer and insist on what they
>can use and maintain, but that is another whole thread

Can't argue with you there. <grin>

> > Competition upgrades might much
> > cheaper, but then that would involve the cost of purchasing another full
> > copy of another screen reader. You're saying that we are at fault here?
>
>no not blaming you, you are doing your job and by all accounts doing it
>well, BUT you are only solving the problem for a limited number of people
>and then trying to say that "pdf" IS accessible, no it is only accessible
>to a limited number of people who have your software, with the latest
>upgrades, and who knows how long that will be until Adobe (or M$) changes
>it again.

We may just have to agree to disagree here. I believe that if access is 
available for a product, then by definition, that makes the product 
accessible. You mentioned earlier about how, to you, a building with steps 
in the front and an accessible door in the rear is not accessible. I 
disagree. Mostly because I would require that accessible door in the rear. 
In my own opinion, having access to some degree is better than having no 
access at all. A visually impaired friend of mine said something to me the 
other day that really helped nail this point down for me. He said, "As a 
consumer, I have a hard time listening to people say that every piece of 
software for every operating system must be made accessible when I can't 
even go home and program my own VCR. I'll take what access I can get any day."

> > >maybe if M$ paid you directly and included Window Eyes in ALL versions of
> > >their operating systems, or like Adobe make the reader avaliable free for
> > >download (for non disabled anyway)
> >
> > So to save money, you suggest that we partner with a company who you refer
> > to with dollar signs?
>
>no wasn't suggesting it, BUT if it were included in the basic OS then it
>would at least not require some people to have to buy seperate software to
>support pdf documents, at least within the M$ OS

But that may in turn force the price of the OS up. The cost has to be made 
up somewhere. Obviously Microsoft has more money that they know what to do 
with, but imagine the OS manufacturer being someone else whose pockets 
weren't as deep.

> > >And it is hardly fair to FORCE people to buy only your software to be able
> > >to use the internet, it may be good software but shouldn't the consumer
> > >have the choice to make that decision, rather than an exclusive agreement
> > >between sellers to lock in a user.
> >
> > Again, I'm not sure where you are getting the information that we're
> > forcing anyone to do anything. And I'm also not clear on what you mean 
> when
>
>well if you say "pdf is accessible" you are encouraging web developers to
>think that pdf is an accessible format, WHEN IT IS NOT

Again, we'll agree to disagree.

> > you say, "an exclusive agreement between sellers to lock in a user." Can
> > you expound on that?
>
>read your licensing agreement that allows you to see the sorce codes

I'm assuming that you are teetering on the edge of claiming Window-Eyes (or 
any screen reader) should be open sourced? No one has ever said that we 
weren't in the market to make money; that's why there's a price tag on 
Window-Eyes. What would be the point of our company (or any company 
determined to find a meaningful compromise between making a difference and 
being profitable) be if all of our trade secrets where available to the 
public? How would we pay the gas bill?

> > >And if I read 508 correctly it would not comply with 508 nor W3C if it is
> > >a single proprietary system  that must be purchased for accessibility to
> > >be achieved.
> >
> > But it's not a single system. In its own right, Window-Eyes is one 
> product.
> > But it is an item in a group of products called screen readers. Consumers
> > have the CHOICE to decide which screen reader best fits their needs, and
> > their budgets.
>
>again that is true, but if you constantly say that pdf documents are
>accessible (and even with your software not all are accessible) than web
>developers will (incorrectly) assume that pdf formats are ok to use.  That
>is the complaint, not that your company has done anything wrong, except
>maybe advertise that pdf is accessible,

Aside from the definition of accessible, I agree. It is an understatement 
to say that education is the most important key.

>just my thoughts, not anybody's official oppinion

I concur. Just having a nice little discussion.

>Bob
>
> >
> > >Bob
> >
> > Thanks again, Bob.
> >
> > > >
> > >> >>It seems to me that, whether we like PDFs or not is irrelevant to
> > >> the >>fact that people now have access to them.
> > >> >
> > >> >NO! only a select few who have lots of $$$$$ have limited access to 
> them,
> > >> >what about the rest of the world?
> > >>Again, you want cheaper access, but what about the cost of development?
> > >> >Bob
> > >>Thanks, Bob.
> > >> >>Aaron
> > >> >>At 03:04 PM 10/25/2002 +0100, Jon Hanna wrote:
> > >> >> >The idea though is to move forwards, moving has little virtue in 
> itself.
> > >> >> >
> > >> >> >PDFs have moved forwards, but still lag behind HTML even before
> > >> you >> consider
> > >> >> >accessibility issues.
> > >> >> >
> > >> >> >The inaccessible PDFs at least have a certain honesty. PDFs modus
> > >> operandi
> > >> >> >still seems predicated on the assumption that the only thing 
> someone
> > >> might
> > >> >> >want to do with them is to print them on paper. They are poor for
> > >> anyone to
> > >> >> >read online, no matter what physical abilities they may or may not
> > >> possess.
> > >> >> >The "Portable" in their name is only in comparison to trying to 
> roll
> > >> up a
> > >> >> >print out and stick it down a telephone.
> > >> >> >
> > >> >> > > -----Original Message-----
> > >> >> > > From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> > >> >> > > Behalf Of Aaron Smith
> > >> >> > > Sent: 25 October 2002 14:05
> > >> >> > > To: David Poehlman; kestrell; Access Systems
> > >> >> > > Cc: RUST Randal; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> > >> >> > > Subject: Re: Accessing PDFs
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > So, in other words, we should never embrace new technology
> > >> because older
> > >> >> > > technology already exists? In my opinion, that's a stifling 
> point
> > >> of >> view
> > >> >> > > that will never assist in advancing the accessibility market.
> > >> >> > > That line of
> > >> >> > > thinking is part of the reason that accessibility isn't more
> > >> mainstream.
> > >> >> > > If, instead of pushing the envelope, we sit back and say, "The
> > >> heck with
> > >> >> > > it. I'll just use what I already have," then we might as well
> > >> give up.
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > What's the point of moving from Windows 9X to XP, IE 5 to IE 6,
> > >> >> > > Office 2000
> > >> >> > > to Office XP? Because the latter products have more/better
> > >> accessibility
> > >> >> > > built in, as well as more general features. Same thing with PDFs.
> > >> >> > > Originally, there were not accessible at all. Now they are
> > >> accessible.
> > >> >> > > Maybe not 100% of them 100% of the time, but to say, "It's not
> > >> >> > > perfect, so
> > >> >> > > let's not use it" violates the whole direction of
> > >> accessibility >> advocacy.
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > At 12:21 PM 10/24/2002 -0400, David Poehlman wrote:
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > >the problem with this logic is that it totally misses the 
> mark when
> > >> >> > > >those documents can just as well be much more accessible by
> > >> not >> being in
> > >> >> > > >pdf.
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >----- Original Message -----
> > >> >> > > >From: "Aaron Smith" <aaron@gwmicro.com>
> > >> >> > > >To: "kestrell" <aeryadne@theworld.com>; "Access Systems"
> > >> >> > > ><accessys@smart.net>
> > >> >> > > >Cc: "RUST Randal" <RRust@COVANSYS.com>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> > >> >> > > >Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 9:02 AM
> > >> >> > > >Subject: Re: Accessing PDFs
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >The point is that we had to start somewhere. I know for a fact
> > >> that the
> > >> >> > > >IRS
> > >> >> > > >are working on accessible PDFs, as are other government
> > >> agencies. The
> > >> >> > > >more
> > >> >> > > >we spread the information that there is a way to make PDFs
> > >> accessible,
> > >> >> > > >the
> > >> >> > > >better the chances that those practices will become mainstream.
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >At 07:29 AM 10/24/2002 -0400, kestrell wrote:
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > > >It is also worth noting where the quote accessible unquote 
> pdf
> > >> docs
> > >> >> > > >are:
> > >> >> > > > >Of course the screen reader manuals are accessible, because
> > >> any >> company
> > >> >> > > > >who produced a pdf doc that had any relation to screen
> > >> readers >> and did
> > >> >> > > >not
> > >> >> > > > >assure it was accessible would be crazy, though there are 
> a lot of
> > >> >> > > >crazy
> > >> >> > > > >company decisions out there. Places to check for accessible
> > >> pdf docs
> > >> >> > > >would
> > >> >> > > > >be government web sites, such as the IRS web site, or
> > >> materials >> online
> > >> >> > > >at
> > >> >> > > > >university libraries, or just about any eBook sold in the pdf
> > >> format.
> > >> >> > > >The
> > >> >> > > > >rate of inaccessibility just sky-rocketed to about eighty 
> percent
> > >> >> > > >there.
> > >> >> > > > >
> > >> >> > > > >kestrell
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >--
> > >> >> > > >To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
> > >> >> > > >past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
> > >> >> > > >information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
> > >> >> > > >problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.
> > >> >> > > >
> > >> >> > > >Aaron Smith
> > >> >> > > >GW Micro
> > >> >> > > >Phone: 260/489-3671
> > >> >> > > >Fax: 260/489-2608
> > >> >> > > >WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
> > >> >> > > >FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
> > >> >> > > >Technical Support & Web Development
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > --
> > >> >> > > To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
> > >> >> > > past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
> > >> >> > > information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
> > >> >> > > problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > > Aaron Smith
> > >> >> > > GW Micro
> > >> >> > > Phone: 260/489-3671
> > >> >> > > Fax: 260/489-2608
> > >> >> > > WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
> > >> >> > > FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
> > >> >> > > Technical Support & Web Development
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >> > >
> > >> >>--
> > >> >>To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
> > >> >>past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
> > >> >>information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
> > >> >>problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.
> > >> >>Aaron Smith
> > >> >>GW Micro
> > >> >>Phone: 260/489-3671
> > >> >>Fax: 260/489-2608
> > >> >>WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
> > >> >>FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
> > >> >>Technical Support & Web Development
> > >> >
> > >> >   ASCII Ribbon > Campaign                        accessBob
> > >> >    NO HTML/PDF/RTF in > 
> e-mail                   accessys@smartnospam.net
> > >> >    NO MSWord docs in e-mail                    Access Systems, > 
> engineers
> > >> >    NO attachments in e-mail,  *LINUX powered*   access is a civil
> > >> right >
> > >> 
> *#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#
> > >> >THIS message and any attachments are CONFIDENTIAL and may be
> > >> >privileged.  They are intended ONLY for the individual or entity named
> > >> >above. If you are not the intended recipient, Please notify the 
> sender as
> > >> >soon as possible. Please DO NOT READ, COPY, USE, or DISCLOSE this
> > >> >communication to others and DELETE it from your computer 
> systems.  Thanks
> > >> >
> > >>--
> > >>To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
> > >>past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
> > >>information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
> > >>problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.
> > >>Aaron Smith
> > >>GW Micro
> > >>Phone: 260/489-3671
> > >>Fax: 260/489-2608
> > >>WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
> > >>FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
> > >>Technical Support & Web Development
> > >
> > >   ASCII Ribbon
> > > Campaign                        accessBob
> > >    NO HTML/PDF/RTF in
> > > e-mail                   accessys@smartnospam.net
> > >    NO MSWord docs in e-mail                    Access Systems,
> > > engineers
> > >    NO attachments in e-mail,  *LINUX powered*   access is a civil right
> > > 
> *#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#
> > >THIS message and any attachments are CONFIDENTIAL and may be
> > >privileged.  They are intended ONLY for the individual or entity named
> > >above. If you are not the intended recipient, Please notify the sender as
> > >soon as possible. Please DO NOT READ, COPY, USE, or DISCLOSE this
> > >communication to others and DELETE it from your computer systems.  Thanks
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
> > past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
> > information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
> > problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.
> >
> > Aaron Smith
> > GW Micro
> > Phone: 260/489-3671
> > Fax: 260/489-2608
> > WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
> > FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
> > Technical Support & Web Development
> >
> >
>
>    ASCII Ribbon 
> Campaign                        accessBob
>     NO HTML/PDF/RTF in 
> e-mail                   accessys@smartnospam.net
>     NO MSWord docs in e-mail                    Access Systems, 
> engineers
>     NO attachments in e-mail,  *LINUX powered*   access is a civil right
>*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#
>THIS message and any attachments are CONFIDENTIAL and may be
>privileged.  They are intended ONLY for the individual or entity named
>above. If you are not the intended recipient, Please notify the sender as
>soon as possible. Please DO NOT READ, COPY, USE, or DISCLOSE this
>communication to others and DELETE it from your computer systems.  Thanks

--
To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.

Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 260/489-3671
Fax: 260/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Friday, 25 October 2002 13:00:13 GMT

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