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Re: report: iOS9 adds "print to PDF"

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 14:11:50 -0500
To: Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
Cc: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFE03996F9.606FE0DD-ON86257E75.00670C61-86257E75.00697480@us.ibm.com>
Well, here we go.

PDF - you need to pinch and squeeze your way through a document. It is a
*dreadful* experience.

The reason we have not seen taken off on the web is a chicken and egg

- No good integration of Math support in authoring tools
- Inconsistent browser support.
- Because of the two above people don't author in MathML they stick an
inaccessible bitmap out for people.


Authoring tools are now starting to integrate MathML authoring support.
Namo Author is one. I am on their technical advisory board. This will make
it easier for teachers to produce digital math.

Many think that alternative text is adequate. It is not. Research has shown
that providing the ability to navigate a digital math equation, with the
keyboard while having the symbols, etc. highlighted and spoken, results in
math comprehension going up across the board by 10-15%. For Attention
deficit and dyslexia, for which the numbers far exceed blind access, this
is essential functionality.

Benetech is working now to create a cloud reader that will take a MathML
equation and allow you to navigate it and have it rendered with multiple
modalities. Hopefully, this can be integrated into Readium. Screen Reader
vendors on Windows, Linux, and Mac are adding more support for MathML.

Let's forget public web pages for a minute. Think about digital books and
online courses that you typically don't run through on the broader web. The
pieces are coming together now. Education would really benefit from a boost
in math comprehension.
All IBM documentation today can be published as EPUB3. Some links:
- http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2014/02/epub-mobile.html

- http://idpf.org/news/ibm_adopts_epub

When you get to Asia Pacific EPUB is the book standard - there is no
Amazon. In South Korea all education material must be published in EPUB
format. The education space in the US is converging on EPUB as well.

On April 2nd I was speaking at Harvard on global accessibility trends and
spoke with the Harvard Vice Provos Bols. There was an ADA Title 3
settlement that day on edX that involved educational content delivered to
Harvard and MIT. Please take a look at section 18 and the reference to

This is not going to take 17 years and frankly things progress much faster
today than they did 17 years ago.


Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:	Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>
To:	Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS
Cc:	Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com>, Bill Kasdorf
            <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Larry
            Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Peter Krautzberger
            <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG
Date:	07/01/2015 01:18 PM
Subject:	Re: report: iOS9 adds "print to PDF"

Maybe it's a problem that PDF works essentially everywhere, whereas EPUB
hardly does? And that PDF could be made to work for people with special
needs? And how many websites are out there that really use MathML (as
opposed to images of formulas with some Alt attached to them). If PDF is
used on let's say an iPad and the PDF is captured at the same 'form factor'
as when it is being displayed on the iPad, I have difficulty seeing why
it's not good enough for 'mobile'.

Maybe there should be more considerations of the combination of  relevance
AND feasibility? How realistic is it that a sizeable number of users will
actually use EPUB3 (including having access to 'real' EPUB3 reading
systems, availability publications in EPUB3, and so forth)? PDF does have
the advantage of being relatively widely available, serving over 95% of
users well enough for all practical purposes. It took PDF over 20 years to
get there. Currently EPUB3 is where PDF was ca. 2 or 3 years into its
existence. How do we deal with the other 17 years it might need to
establish EPUB3 in the same manner?

And: There is one question that really keeps me thinking - and I have yet
to find a good / satisfactory answer: why is there no decent, readily
available web page to EPUB3 converter at all? Especially if/as EPUB3 could
be described as a packaged web page/site… Or am I missing something?  Or is
it too early in the game/am I being too impatient?


On 1 Jul 2015, at 19:49, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com> wrote:

      They should have done save to EPUB3 as it is packaged. As you point
      out, PDF is not the best format for mobile. Also IBook author can
      import EPUB3. From an accessibility perspective it is more than just
      tagged PDF that is important. It is also access to digital math to
      allow for alternative renderings for blind, low vision, attention
      deficit, situational impairments, and dyslexic users.

      Print fidelity is nice but, today, it is about supporting a broader
      range of users and also due to the uptake of mobile devices in
      education inclusive access is much more important.

      Rich Schwerdtfeger

      <graycol.gif>Bill Kasdorf ---07/01/2015 12:13:27 PM---Two comments:
      Yes, it's the structure that's the main issue—and the structure
      expressed in a standar

      From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
      To: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, Larry
      Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <
      Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
      Date: 07/01/2015 12:13 PM
      Subject: RE: report: iOS9 adds "print to PDF"

      Two comments:

      Yes, it's the structure that's the main issue—and the structure
      expressed in a standard way (i.e., HTML5). That's also fundamentally
      important for accessibility. So "Save as HTML + CSS" is way better
      than an alternative "save as X" imo, unless the "X" is EPUB 3, which
      would be optimal.

      The other point is that unless I'm not up-to-date on this (and I may
      not be), I would be cautious about Apple's iBooks Author format
      because at least wrt the use of Author itself, I believe there are
      restrictions on how those files can be distributed and sold (e.g.,
      limited to iBooks). I would love to be informed that that's no longer
      the case.

      --Bill K

      From: Peter Krautzberger [mailto:peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org]
      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 2:59 AM
      To: Larry Masinter; W3C Digital Publishing IG
      Cc: Ivan Herman
      Subject: Re: report: iOS9 adds "print to PDF"

      > Serious question: if it was “Save as HTML + CSS” or “save as X” for
      > any other X, would you be less sad, and why?

      Top of my list would be epub3,  but Apple's iBooks Author format
      would make sense.

      Given the quality of the website-to-epub generators I've encountered,
      that seems like a much harder problem. But even a non-optimal
      solution might provide a better experience than a page-sized PDF on
      small screen. In combination with something like
      readability/pocket/etc or "save selection", the content could even

      > What data would you have in other formats that you don’t have for

      I suppose that comes down to the quality of the files, i.e., whether
      they are "plain old" PDFs (glyphs on a canvas) or pdf/a or even using
      Flash/JS/etc to represent more complex content. Assuming it's just
      glyphs with positions, then it seems to me almost all markup is lost
      whereas HTML/CSS-based formats like epub and iBA can retain parts of
      the original structure.

      Don't get me wrong, I understand why one would ship a PDF generator
      (i.e., for all the usual reasons); but it doesn't stop me from
      wondering if whoever decided that this is a good feature for mobile
      devices also thought: "but really, we need a better way".


      On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 12:42 AM, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
      Serious question: if it was “Save as HTML + CSS” or “save as X” for
      any other X, would you be less sad, and why?

      What data would you have in other formats that you don’t have for

      Seriously. It’s really hard to get down to requirements.

      On 6/27/15, 8:48 AM, "Ivan Herman" <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

      Me too...


      Ivan Herman
      Tel:+31 641044153

      (Written on mobile, sorry for brevity and misspellings...)

      On 27 Jun 2015, at 16:15, Peter Krautzberger <
      peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org> wrote:
            Just something I came across,

            Quote: "It’s particularly useful for webpages, since it keeps
            all the text, and makes it searchable and copyable unlike, say,
            taking a screenshot."

            I admit this makes me somewhat sad :-(

(image/gif attachment: graycol.gif)

Received on Wednesday, 1 July 2015 19:12:26 UTC

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