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Re: PaperSmart paperless UN meetings use of W3C endorsed formats only drawing fire

From: Heiko Hornung <heix.msg@gmx.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:40:03 -0300
To: semantic-web@w3.org, ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <metadataportals@yahoo.com>
Cc: "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <2585826.P7TTJNSMNu@barney>

I think the focus here is on accessibility. While it is possible to create 
accessible PDF files, the procedure is far from trivial. Regarding MS-Office 
files, the situation seems even more complicated, considering that not everyone 
hast access to MS products and viewing these files in libreoffice, etc. might not 
render everything in a way a screen reader or other assistive technology can 
Maybe producing accessible HTML (if that's the format they'll be using) is 
simpler/cheaper/faster to produce (for the people involved in 
editing/publishing the documents).

Best regards,

On Thursday, June 14, 2012 14:05:09 ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program wrote:
> Dear All
> The upcoming Rio +20 Conference (www.uncsd2012.org) will be utilising
> PaperSmart, see papersmart.un.org to eliminate the use of paper.
> However the conference is not using generally accepted industry standards
> such as DOC or PDF for paperless documents.
> On the webpage http://papersmart.un.org/commitments we find the following
> text
> The ISPS Mission on Accessibility
> We, at the
> Integrated Sustainable PaperSmart Services (ISPS) Secretariat, are
> committed to making our portal as well as information available on it
> accessible. We strongly believe in making information usable for
> ‘everyone,’ especially when digital information becomes the only crucial
> means of accessing information by persons with disabilities. Every effort
> has been made to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG
> 2.0) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards under the
> Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
> ISPS will
> make reasonable efforts to provide or recommend alternatives wherever
> non-compliant, non-W3C formats (Flash, PDF etc.) or multimedia will be
> used.
> When we contacted the Secretariat we were informed very bluntly this is a
> PaperSmart meeting and we do not use ANY Word Office or Adobe PDF formats.
> They did not specify which formats were supported.
> This issue is drawing fire from many civil society areas as restricting open
> access to documents available during this and other UN meetings and not
> endorsing industry standards.
> The real cause for concern is the way the mention of W3C in this context can
> be construed in an unfavorable form.
> The World Wide Web and Semantic Web Technologies specify specific standards
> but in practice internet browsers support a myriad of industry standards.
> It seems that the PaperSmart program of the UN is putting a new spin on how
> we should have access to documents through the internet and it is not being
> well received by many.
> I wonder if the W3C is really aware of this issue and how it may affect the
> image of the W3C .
> Milton Ponson
> GSM: +297 747 8280
> PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
> Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
> Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for
> sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide by creating ICT tools
> for NGOs worldwide and: providing online access to web sites and
> repositories of data and information for sustainable development
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Received on Friday, 15 June 2012 08:24:48 UTC

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