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Usage of PDF

From: Robert Neff <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 14:36:17 -0400
Message-ID: <01BDD67F.0BE09460.rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
When you run a cost benefit, PDF wins.  The Agencies are under pressure to 
make available documents available online WITH LITTLE OR NO FUNDS.  An 
imaging center can be the most cost effective way.  Simply, OCR/ICR it.  OF 
course OCR/ICR is an additional cost.  Plus these documents probably have a 
requirement to be saved in their original format.  I'd say first priority 
is to post the document up then concentrate on accessibility.  Remember a 
scanned page comes across as an image and cannot be converted to text.  It 
has to go through OCR/ICR before the converters can be used.

Please consider documents at the National Archives -  before they are lost. 
 By the way I am also a genealogist and I am extremely glad that Agencies 
are putting information on the web.  I have spent a bundle of dimes copying 
at the National Archives, Library of Congress  and other places.  I could 
also only go when THEY were open.

The  Bureau of Land Management (BLM), www.glorecords.blm.gov, provides live 
database and image access to more than two million federal land title 
records for the Eastern Public Land States, dating back to 1820.  Here is 
an accessibility issue, they are originally posted the documents in TIFF 
files and you had to purchase a TIFF Viewer.  I was in there complaining to 
the webmaster and asked why they didn't just convert to PDF so I could view 
and print for free.  Never got an answer, but some of the other suggestions 
seem to have been taken.  Now they have posted the information in a text, 
table, TIFF file, and provide a way for you to order it.  This is an 
example of an approach and I bet FUNDING was an issue!  Believe they were 
also scanning at 300 DPI, which did not show well <ugh!>.

Bottom line is, if you have a problem with a web site, then you need to 
e-mail the webmaster!  If they do not respond, then take a different 
action, like calling them or the agency or your congressman!

I have gone off on a tangent some, but I am trying to provide another 
prospective. So you can see what web developers, managers and web masters 
are up against. If strongly urge to write your congressman and ask them to 
give the agencies more money to address this issue!
Received on Wednesday, 2 September 1998 14:35:58 UTC

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