W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2002

RE: Accessing PDFs

From: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 20:11:32 -0400 (EDT)
To: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0210261954470.5477-100000@smarty.smart.net>

On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Aaron Smith wrote:

I'm reading your message when it appears the internet was attacked and
nothing was going through, now if we can solve that

> 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,
> >
> >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 

no only about your "Claiming" that now pdf is accessible, it isn't and
won't be with existing technology,  for your product to read it it must be
marked up correctly and anyone who hasn't purchased your product can't
read it at all.

> don't understand the correlation between our support for PDF files is 
> responsible for inaccessible web sites. Can you provide an example? We are 

your claim of accessibility gives lazy webdevelopers an "excuse" for not
making their sites accessible,  and no right off the top of my head I
can't think of a site although I have run into tthis many times

> 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?

nope, and I'm not trying to stop your development, I wish you the best of
luck, BUT I think your advertising is somewhat, ??? overstated.

> > > >   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 

upgrading software and hardware upgrades do not always go hand in hand,
nor do upgrades always have to be expensive 

> 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.

again not always 
> >??? 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.

choices but ONLY Window-Eyes on a windoze PC will even partially read pdf,
that is the problem.

> > > about being FORCED, talk to the Vocational Rehabilitation agencies who
> >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
> Can't argue with you there. <grin>
> 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 

remember I said a "NEW" building

> disagree. Mostly because I would require that accessible door in the rear. 

by code (ADAAG) new construction requires access via the front door.

> 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."

heck have the VCR's in the USA are blinking 00:00, but that is another
  I happen to have a somewhat different perspective on accessibility, I
don't accept what I can get. 
 "If you take what they give you, you deserve what you get"

> > > 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 

no, not suggesting it, 

> weren't in the market to make money; that's why there's a price tag on 

again not a problem, you gotta make a living

> 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?

hmmmm, seems Red Hat isn't doing too badly, and IBM has chosen "open

> > > >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.

afraid I don't quite get what you are saying here???  

> >just my thoughts, not anybody's official oppinion
> I concur. Just having a nice little discussion.



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Received on Saturday, 26 October 2002 20:11:26 UTC

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