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Re: PDF and paper

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 14:41:27 +1000 (EST)
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980916141252.12566B-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
WL suggested that webmasters could just tell people to give them the 
electronic version which was used to produce the paper version. Which is 
usually true, although not always.

One such case I recently ran into was a chinese document, which had been 
typeset and printed using some arcane system that could not readily be 
translated, as far as I could discover, and the alternative offered by 
the commissioners, was a PDF document of scanned material. (They are not 
experts. Otherwise they wouldn't pay me to do the job I suppose)

The solution that we used (lacking OCR software for chinese, japanese, 
korean, vietnamese, and a few other languages I have had to convert to 
HTML) was to retype the material from a paper version.

But there seems to be a simpler solution. It is posible using most
browsers to print a web page. It is even usually possible to print it
without the headers that say where it came from. And using CSS2 it will be
possible to provide a full print stylesheet (@media print { print-style })
to ensure that it comes out looking beautiful.

This is the value of PDF - it enables printed material to be reliably 
transferred electronically, then printed at the receiving end. For this 
one purpose it is an excellent medium, and cheaper for most people than 
using RTF, as well as (I believe) less capable of being used to transmit 
viruses. It is not a good substitute for HTML (in my humble opinion), and 
does not seem likely to become one.

my 2c worth (Actually in Australia 2c coins are no longer legal tender. I 
hope that doesn't reflect on the value of my thoughts...)

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Wednesday, 16 September 1998 01:05:30 UTC

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