Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

2020 Report: Tough on poor, remote, and disabled

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-05-31

The Australia 2020 Final Report is not very easy for the poor and vision-impaired folk to get at, so I’ll be providing (non-canonical, non-authoritative) versions to fix the problem.

The other thing affecting usability is the lack of metadata in the documents, which would have been extremely useful for searching and classifying the documents of individual chapters.

  • Size:
    The smaller the file, the easier it is do get at.  This affects those with bandwidth restrictions, either because they are poor, using internet cafes, or in remote areas.  This could have been fixed by producing versions…
    1. Without "decorative" images – 44 of them (in the "low graphic version), with only two being "real", both of which could have been turned into machine-and-blind editable SVG formats (such as the "Proposed Framework for Social Inclusion");
    2. In tighter formats:
      • Compressed (e.g. zipped)
      • ISO standard ODF
      • HTML
      • Plain text
  • Accessible By Vision-Impaired:
    The formats are useless for those who use "braille browsers" (which is pretty much a character-based rather than GUI interface – again HTML and plain text versions, along with SVG formatted graphics, would solve this.

This makes a bit of a mockery of "social inclusivity".

Wouldn’t it have been better to create the simple HTML version first, which would allow on-line viewing (not available now!!!) and smaller downloads, then make the pretty versions?

At least the one chapter I’ve read made a greater effort to include the views of public submissions – unlike the preliminary report which minimized eDemocracy, civil rights charters, and controlling political donations

And, despite most community submission being sent in plain text, you cannot use google to search through the contents of individual submissions!  As noted elsewhere… this makes the site pretty opaque.

I’ll be munging the report into reasonable HTML over the next day or so…. let me know if anyone wants a particular chapter done, and I might do it.


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