[Olpc-open] Getting paper out of schools.
tompotts at itsosbroadband.co.uk
Sun Sep 14 18:18:25 EDT 2008
On Sunday 14 September 2008 19:06, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 7:34 AM, Tom Potts
> <tompotts at itsosbroadband.co.uk> wrote:
> > On Sunday 14 September 2008 07:33, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> >> On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 11:19 AM, Carol Lerche <cafl at msbit.com> wrote:
> >> > This fixation on pdf includes olpc of course.
> >> This turns out not to be the case. The OLPC XO has a screen rotate
> >> function specifically to support reading portrait-mode documents
> >> full-screen.
> >> However, PDFs can be formatted to any page size or shape. I have
> >> created landscape-mode documentation for products of large
> >> corporations. It is true that most companies are lazy and hidebound
> >> about such things, but it isn't Adobe's doing.
> > But it is! - as you say you can set any size and shape - but (as far as I
> > know) not free flowing like you can with HTML.
> Sure you can. This is PostScript, a full-power programming language.
> You can do anything computable.
No you cant though - when it comes out as PDF its encapsulated postscript -
you've already set the paper size or bounding box. The user cant re-format
the document by squeezing the sides in as they can in html - the best you can
manage with PDF is to zoom in and out and/or make use of two sets of
scrollbars to move about the document on screen. Or jump in and out of
With a free flowing HTML document in FireFox you have the capability of
scaling text and/or images.
I worked on accessibility for a while and PDF is a nighmare to make accessible
- a increasing requirement of many government sites here in the UK. You can
check an HTML document for accessibility automatically with ease but PDF's
need a manual check!
We found the best approach was to get people to write the accessible (HTML)
document first as its almost a one way trip with PDF. We could then generate
a PDF from the HTML - but we didn't as it was found unnecessary.
Document creation rates went up about 6 time * as people were free to
concentrate on the content and not the format. There were no more people
huddling about terminals trying to find out why when you typed one extra
letter everything shifted here there an everywhere.
*not that thats necessarily a good thing!
> Just make your document all one long page. Or multiple pages of
> different lengths with hyperlinks.
> I admit that you have to learn how to use your tools. Adobe doesn't
> make this obvious, and PDF writers in page-oriented apps make it even
> less obvious.
> Here are some HTML-to-PDF conversion tools that preserve page layout
> in the Web manner, and don't convert to fixed length pages.
> Google shows lots more. Some of these sites offer free online trials.
> You upload some HTML files, and they e-mail you the PDF.
> To do this in Open Office,
> * Switch from Print Layout to Web Layout. (View menu).
> * Set a custom page size long enough for your content. You can go back
> and adjust this if you find your pages are too long for your settings.
> But remember, people don't like scrolling overlong Web pages.
> * Create content, inserting page breaks as needed.
> * Create Web-style navigation links. Remember to provide
> Back/Previous, Next, and Home links everywhere. (Insert>Hyperlink).
> * Export to PDF.
> > The area of the screen I wish to view something in is not fixed. PDF does
> > not suit my screen. I can make my screen suit PDF - but that is an
> > inefficient way of working?
> > Tom
> >> > On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 11:07 AM, Tom Potts
> >> > <tompotts at itsosbroadband.co.uk>
> >> >
> >> > wrote:
> >> >> Wendy,
> >> >> The hardest thing about getting paper out of schools is most of the
> >> >> software
> >> >> they use is 'paper' based. Office, PDF's etc are all 'paper based' -
> >> >> say A4
> >> >> which is exactly the wrong way to fit on your computer screen so you
> >> >> have to
> >> >> print it!
> >> >> Until people can be taught not to use 'paper' based formats things
> >> >> will always
> >> >> be printed - a bit of a vicious circle.
> >> >> The answer is of course is html
> >> >> a few ramblings at this link here
> >> >> http://www.100297.itsosbroadband.co.uk/Paperless/The_Paperless_Office
> >> >>.ht ml
> >> >>
> >> >> Tom
> >> >>
> >> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> >
> >> > --
> >> > Americans always do the right thing, after trying everything else. --
> >> > Winston Churchill
> >> >
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