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Re: clarification please -> PDF/UA

for

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Feb 26, 2015 10:36AM


Hmm. Suppose you were trying to understand what components are needed to build a car radio, and the FCC explained that the "easiest way to use the radio would be follow along with photos of the Ford F-150, making special note of the controls on the Steering wheel as well as the proximity of the radio to the right."

The problem with this approach is that, while the Ford F-Series is the most popular car sold in America ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_automobiles#National_bestsellers),
it doesn't provide an overview of the requirements that every radio has to include, but it sure looks like the FCC is making the statement that the standard is based on this model car, not a specification defined from an International Standard.

Jon, I think that your analogy is a bit off. The technique (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/PDF21.html ) says the following:

In the Description:
"The easiest way to create lists in PDF content is to format them properly using list markup in the authoring tool, for example, Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org Writer. However, if you do not have access to the source file and authoring tool, you can use Acrobat Pro's TouchUp Reading Order tool and the Tags panel. "

In the Word example:
On the Home ribbon, use the lists tools to create or repair lists in Word documents. This is the easiest way to ensure that lists are formatted correctly when they are converted to PDF.

In the Open Office example:
Use the Bullets and Numbering tool to create or repair lists in OpenOffice.org Writer documents. This is the easiest way to ensure that lists are formatted correctly when they are converted to PDF.

I think that if you are explaining how to use a car radio, then saying "the easiest way to turn the radio on is to follow the manufacturer's instructions" and for example, "if you are using a Honda accord do this..." and "if you are using a F-150 do this..." is closer to what is being written in the technique. The technique provides the "easiest" guidance in three different locations, so the intent was to scope the term "easiest" to the applicable section. Perhaps we can make that more clear by saying " On the Home ribbon, use the lists tools to create or repair lists in Word documents. This is the easiest way to ensure that lists are formatted correctly in Word documents before they are converted to PDF." (and do the same for the OO example). Would that help? Do you agree with the statement as is in the description section?

ISO 14289 requires that if you have a numbered list, you MUST use a label tag and identify the numbering attribute. The Working Group basically said that since current authoring software don't do that, they weren't going to require it, even though there was a specification for it. That sure seemed like an endorsement to me.

In late 2011 when the PDF techniques were being reviewed PDF/UA wasn't published, so while you can ask why wasn't this guidance updated it is pretty clear why PDF/UA wasn't referenced in the technique to begin with. WCAG 2.0 wants structures contained within documents to be utilized by assistive technology correctly, and since the assistive technologies do support the structure both ways an author can make a reasonable claim that they meet WCAG with their lists either way. That may change at some point, and we will certainly update the advice if that happens. In the meantime, if you would like to offer language that provides a preferential direction for authors to follow, we'd be happy to review that.

Thanks,
AWK