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

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 08:47:29 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Jesper Tverskov'" <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>, <tina@greytower.net>
Message-ID: <008301c473d8$03692890$6601a8c0@bosshog>

Jesper Tverskov wrote:

  It is always nice to point to guidelines, but it is often better to 
  provide solid arguments and analysis of your own. Guidelines could be 
  wrong or misinterpreted, or the case does not apply.

Jesper, I have read your argument and heard your opinion, but where
exactly is the data from which the analysis comes from?  Do you have
user group studies, opinion polls or any quantitive data which supports
your opinion?  Have you considered that perhaps it is you who is
misinterpreting the Guidelines?

Meanwhile Tina Holmboe wrote:

  Bottom line: link to the file. The UA and the user will decide how to
  deal with the result. It isn't our choice - we have no idea how it
  must be dealth with on the client side.

Jesper, with all due respect, I think you are trying to prove that this
guideline is wrong, because *you* think it is.  But as Tina so
succinctly points out it should be the USER'S choice, not ours.  Forcing
a behaviour upon the end user, no matter how well meaning, is (and I
clearly state, In My Opinion) contrary to the spirit of universal
accessibility... How dare we presume that we know better?  You may have
a personal preference for a specific behaviour (in this discussion how
to handle the download of PDF files), but that is your preference.  Why
do you presume that it is or should be the preference of others?  Maybe
I *Like* having PDFs open in my browser window... that forcing the save
or open dialogue is annoying, cumbersome or in some way difficult for me
to handle.  Can you say with 100% certainty that this scenario will
NEVER happen?

No, we should simply provide the resource in as an accessible fashion as
possible, and stop trying to force specific *BEHAVIOURS* upon the end
user.  That is what User Preferences are there for, whether it's from
within the Acrobat Reader, the browser, or any other user agent.  To
attempt to over-ride these user preferences to me shows a lack of
respect to the specific end user, no matter how well meaning the driver
of change.  As web developers, we MUST stop trying to be User Agent
designers as well... It's not our jobs!  Instead, we should work from
the perspective that the end user has configured their machine and
software to work best for *them* (whether that's true or not), and we
simply provide the information as accessibly as possible.  

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America) 
Received on Tuesday, 27 July 2004 08:48:55 UTC

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