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Re: Conforming to WCAG 2.0 SC 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways) for pdf files

From: Duff Johnson <duff@duff-johnson.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 11:34:53 -0400
Message-Id: <882C62D8-9D7F-40DB-9411-EDFF5B818147@duff-johnson.com>
To: "Wai Interest Group (w3c-wai-ig@w3.org)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> I think it's partly a matter of what you should do with PDF, rather than what you can do. Let me explain. 
> I can make a PDF part of a process. I can, for example, have a job application process in which I use a PDF as a job application. Should I do this? The same for something like a loan application. Traditionally, you download, write on, and sign a paper document created from a PDF. Because we now have electronic signing capabilities, should we keep using PDF's as part of the loan application process? 

The reason for PDF is not to enable users to print; this is merely one of several interconnected benefits.

The reason to use PDF is (typically) more closely associated with factors such as:

- The need for a finalized document that includes whatever text / other content is applicable to the specific situation.
- The need for a stand-alone (“portable") document that can be emailed, saved, etc, etc. however the user wishes.
- The need for a document that appears precisely the same way to all users.
- The need for a flexible document into which other pages could be inserted, etc. with no loss of integrity to the whole.

…and so on. 

As to signing… what are you “signing”? A document, most likely. What is an electronic document (referring to typical “needs” as above)? It’s a PDF.

Re digital signatures: PDF technology integrates digital signatures… so that users / servers can sign (and re-sign, or revoke, or validate, etc, etc.) all within the PDF technology (and thus, ISO standardized) context.

> If we say that we should not use PDF's as part of processes, then we eliminate that part of the consideration. This allows us to treat them as single web pages, or, documents, if you will.  


There are *trillions* of PDF documents worldwide, in every sector of the economy, being used for all sorts of things, including “processes”, or precursors, or outcomes.

Volume, usage, searches… by any metric, PDF is (a) dominant in its space and (b) is still growing rapidly. 

Maybe better to deal with it rather than wish it away?

Received on Friday, 1 July 2016 15:35:33 UTC

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