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Re: Should pdf and doc open alone or inside the browser

From: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 15:51:05 +0100
Message-ID: <1090335065.40fd315970b18@>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> When the web page author needs to link to an application file like pdf
> or doc, how should it open?

I keep changing my mind about what I think is best here. I'm commenting on your
arguments, rather than the original question.

> 1) If a web page author links to a pdf file, the link will open Acrobat
> Reader inside the browser in IE and Mozilla, but in Opera the Open/Save
> dialog opens, which I prefer.

You can still save in IE and Mozilla.

> 3) If search engines like Google should index pdf-files, probably based
> on link text and filename only (?), the pdf file must look like a file
> with the pdf extension that will normally open the application inside
> the browser in IE and Mozilla.

Google doesn't go by filename (though you can filter searches based on file
extension). File extensions on URIs are a bad idea,
though it is of course convenient to make a bit of URI space mirror a directory
full of files. Really they aren't file extensions at all, they just look like
them same.

> 4) In my new article, "The logo should not be a link back to the
> homepage", www.smackthemouse.com/20040719, I use the pdf extension
> (footnote in article), but I rewrite the url server-side and use the
> http header to force the open/save dialog in all the three mentioned
> browsers.

I do similar things so that I *don't* have extensions in the URI. They are
pointless at best.

> What are you doing to make the use of application files, like pdf and
> doc, the most accessible and usable?

Avoiding using them at all, if I can help it.

Jon Hanna
"…if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably not a 
ConceptualWork about a duck." - Mark Baker
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 2004 10:51:07 UTC

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