[scribus] New for 1.6.0 - Tagged PDF to improve accessibility of PDFs?
christoph-schaefer at gmx.de
Sat Sep 14 06:03:21 UTC 2013
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 12. September 2013 um 09:11 Uhr
> Von: "Matthias Schmitt" <freak002 at mmp.lu>
> An: "Scribus User Mailing List" <scribus at lists.scribus.net>
> Betreff: Re: [scribus] New for 1.6.0 - Tagged PDF to improve accessibility of PDFs?
> On 11.09.2013, at 20:23, Alexandre Prokoudine <alexandre.prokoudine at gmail.com> wrote:
> > http://wiki.scribus.net/canvas/1.5.x_Roadmap
> There is one feature that I am missing on this list: Tagged PDF. I know that everybody has his personal priorities and feature requests, but I think this one is particular important.
> Beside other features tagged PDFs improve the accessibility of PDF documents especially for visual disabled users. Public organisations request more and more, that the documents delivered by graphic artists and advertising agencies are not only delivered in printed form, but also as accessible PDFs, which can be offered on websites for download. Inaccessible PDFs present therefore a form of discrimination of handicapped people.
> Especially public organisations are bound by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Here an extract:
> Article 21
> Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
> States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, including by:
> (a) Providing information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities in a timely manner and without additional cost;
> (c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities;
> This convention was signed by more than 150 countries. In the last years more than a hundred countries have converted the UN Convention into local law.
> So what has this to do with Scribus? Very simple … as Scribus cannot create tagged PDFs the program cannot be used to generate documents for public organisations. Of course it is possible to convert a non tagged PDF into a tagged PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro, but this is a lot of manual work and a real PITA.
> So may be this feature should be considered for the Roadmap.
Tagged PDF is definitely on the radar, but unless someone with the appropriate skills to implement it steps up it won't become part of 1.5/1.6. It's simply too much work, and we need to implement a lot of other text features first.
As to your assertion that "the program cannot be used to generate documents for public organisations", I have to object. The primary purpose of Scribus is to create print-ready PDFs, including all the bells and whistles that may be required in particular printing workflows. Scribus 1.5/1.6 already provides additional PDF output targets for printing, namely PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-4, which is a huge improvement.
There are also secondary uses of Scribus, especially PDF presentations and PDF forms, none of which can reasonably be supported by Tagged PDF. In 1.5/1.6 we also support 3D annotations, i.e., embedding of 3D files from CAD or modelling software in PDFs, and this is also solely a visual thing.
Tagged PDF makes sense for continuous text, but for documents of that type you would rather use a word processor or a typesetting software. As soon as visually complex documents enter the picture, it's almost impossible to get it right. Just think about headlines being placed in separate frames or ads in a magazine. How do you resolve the issue of semantic relations? As you wrote, this is a PITA, and it is like that because a DTP program is primarily being used to create *visually* pleasing results in print. Demanding that Scribus *must* export PDFs accessible to people with visual disablities is thus a bit like insisting on making driving licenses available to blind people or making audio files "accessible" to deaf persons.
So, until a UN Convention requires print products, from posters to magazines, and presentations to be published in Braille, I don't think there's a reason to lose any sleep about the lack of Tagged PDF support right now. It would be nice to have, but it's not a priority.
Out of curiosity: Does a UN (or European) convention require software products to simulate colour blindness? I'm asking because very few, if any, proprietary products do, but Scribus does. There are many more people out there who are suffering from colour blindness than those whose visual disability requires Tagged PDF.
More information about the scribus