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Re: PDF in WCAG 2

From: david poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:42:40 -0400
Message-ID: <012d01c48613$f2fc2d10$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, "Phill Jenkins" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I beg to differ with the statement that the wcag is about the content and
not the file format or perhaps , they should be.  We are about accessibility
here.  You can throw out statement s like one or more groups all you like,
but It is still impossible for some people to read pdf files and though an
altless image on the web might not be accessible at least that portion of it
or what it is replaced with in the alt would be if it had one, the page its
self is accessible.  It's convertible into something useable, it's
renderable in just about any at used today and no one need be left out due
to either a lack of bandwidth, gizmos or platform choice.

Johnnie Apple Seed

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Phill Jenkins" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 12:30 PM
Subject: RE: PDF in WCAG 2


>...However, I challenge anyone (Joe, Jesper,
>anybody else) to disprove the following:
>
>Providing content exclusively in PDF means "one or more groups will find
>it impossible to access information in the document."
>
>Go ahead, make my day.

It's not "impossible", all I have to do is provide one or more groups some
assistive technology that supports the PDF format and insure the PDF
content follow the guidelines for making the content complaint.  But if I
provide them content in HTML that includes an image file that doesn't
include the alt text, then it is impossible to get that information to the
individual.  The WCAG priorities are about the content, not the file
format.

It's the "content accessibility guidelines", not "file format choice
guidelines".  Choosing HTML does not prevent one from including images
without alt text.  Choosing PDF does not prevent one from including images
without alt text.  The format choice may be a concern to some, but once we
get past that (which is where I'm at) it is still whether the content is
compliant with the guidelines - regardless of file format chosen.

This could easily be a discussion about SVG, SMIL, or MATHML, or FLASH,
ASCII Text, or XHTML 2, or whichever format you choose.  WCAG 2.0 is
attempting to apply to all or any of them, with specific techniques
document to provide specific file format guidance.

John, I do not agree with your statement:

"The WAI, WCAG, etc. is concerned about making *HTML based content*
universally accessible.  Period."

although that is a misconception of some, it's concerned with much more
than *HTML based content*.  WCAG 2.0 specifically says:

"... version 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0. It has the same aim: to explain how
to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities ... It attempts
to apply guidelines to a wider range of technologies and to ... The design
principles in this document represent broad concepts that apply to all
Web-based content. They are not specific to HTML, XML, or any other
technology. This approach was taken so that the design principles could be
applied to a variety of situations and technologies, including those that
do not yet exist. "

Regards,
Phill Jenkins
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2004 17:42:17 UTC

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