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

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 21:20:56 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200407232020.i6NKKui01722@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> In my opinion, we should always opt for solutions giving users
> legitimate options rather than "one solution serves all".

This is under the user's control for the IE / Acrobat Reader combination.
One or both of them can set an option that enables or disables embedding
of applications.  Note, though, that embedding is over 10 years old
as a Windows HCI concept - that's what the E in OLE means.

> 
> As David has pointed out, many users would like to save an application
> file for later consumption. They might be in a library, they might be in

They can context menu download (right click) it, or let Acrobat open
and then save the file.

> Using a modem, why wait several minutes for a very big pdf to load, just
> to save it, if you can save it right away, and read it fast offline?

Good web servers support incremental loading of PDFs, although I admit
that I tend to use tricks (e.g. list all fonts) to force the whole file
to download, for more responsive navigation.  You can always hit the
back button and retry with the context menu if you get an unexpected PDF
(except where people prevent direct access for cosmetic, IPR, or
market research reasons).

> 
> In my opinion a pdf file, considering how big they often are, should

PDF files needn't be big, although it is true that most authoring tools
make them big.  A PDF at HTML quality should be smaller than the HTML
plus images.

> never just open inside a users browser. Both usability and accessibility
> would say that the user should have a choice: do you want to open it or

They do.

> do you want to save it for later consumption?
> 
> At the moment, the choice of open in the open/save dialog opens the
> application in a new window. But that is as far as I know an operating
> system problem. The dialog could probably have three options: 1) Open
> inside the browser, 2) Open in own window, 3) Save the file.

Once you get to a dialogue box, you have largely defeated the point of
embedding, which is to produce a seamless user interface.
Received on Friday, 23 July 2004 19:09:29 UTC

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