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Re: Creating an accessible Table of Contents

From: Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 17:30:55 +0100
Cc: Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>, Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>, Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
Message-Id: <F7C49D71-BDD6-4CE5-AE03-096E29BB3FD4@druemmer.com>
To: accessys@smart.net, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Bob,

a few facts to complement the picture:

- while PDF was invented by Adobe in 1993, as of July 2008 it has become an ISO standard, and is developed further under the control of ISO

- in 2001, a mechanism was introduced into the PDF format syntax, called tagged PDF, that makes it possible to semantically tag PDF content in a manner very similar to how you would use tags for HTML content; in some areas the PDF standard tags are even richer, as for example you could specifically tag a footnote (a concept unknown to HTML, at least in this specificity), in most areas though they are pretty much the same, you have tags for headings, lists, paragraphs, tables, images etc. You can also have links and form fields in essentially the same way as in HTML. And you can have tags for various types of review comments and markup annotations, another concept which does not exist in HTML in this manner.

- based on this tagging mechanism in the PDF format, an ISO standard has been developed - usually referred to as PDF/UA and numbered as ISO 14289-1 - that defines accessible PDF, in a conceptually similar way as WCAG defines acessible web content; you are of course free to claim PDF has been **corrupted** into being accessible, but you will have to face the fact that a lot of widely recognized accessibility experts would disagree with you, and instead of trying  to ban PDF decided to take the necessary steps to make it as accessible as HTML content

- both HTML and PDF in the past have been used - and continue to be used - in very unfortunate ways

- PDF is the most widely used final form document exchange format, and HTML is not a final form document format  or an exchange format, and ODF etc. are not final form; so what alternative do you envision when it comes to exchanging documents in their final form?

- support for accessible PDF is not so bad anymore, as an example just look at how well the free NVDA screenreader deals with accessible PDF


Am 1 Mar 2013 um 16:29 schrieb accessys@smart.net:

> my yelling then would be directly at adobe for making an inaccessible format and not fully supporting access on all operating systems
> remember pdf is "Portable document format" so that printers and customers could send proofs to and from printers for turning into hard copy documents. not the other way round. pdf has been used in a manner it was not designed for as an "easy out" for putting documents onto the web. so I have little pity for those trying to force users into adapting to a form that was never designed to be used in the manner it has been corrupted into.
> Bob
Received on Friday, 1 March 2013 16:31:29 UTC

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