[LINK] format irony

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Mar 12 09:49:22 AEDT 2007

On 11/03/2007, at 3:33 PM, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
>  Unimpressive that our 'Guidelines for Commonwealth Information Published
>  in Electronic Formats' <www.agimo.gov.au/information/publishing/formats>
>  is available from agimo as a large (or larger) PDF file only.

I did a quick scan to see whether the manner of publication of the 
guidelines was inconsistent with its own recommendations.

But it doesn't appear that the 'Guidelines ... on Electronic Formats' 
actually talk about appropriate choices among file-formats!

For example the string 'RFT' isn't found (except within 'portfolio'). 
And the segment on PDF on p.40 fails to address the key questions of 
text-visibility for search, for voice-synthesis, and for 
copy-and-paste.  (Lawyers, committed as they are to adversarial 
approaches, are still getting away with sending the other side 'PDF 
files' that are merely low-grade image-scans).

An update (or just addenda) to the '99 Guidelines would be a valuable 
lead from AGIMO to other agencies, but also to the private sector.

At 8:36 +1100 12/3/07, Avi Miller wrote:
>Those guidelines were developed 7 years ago. Its not surprising (to 
>me) that its only available in PDF format. 7 years ago, AGIMO didn't 
>exist (and I suspect neither did NOIE -- I'm sure we were still 
>working with OASITO in 2000). What is unimpressive is that they 
>haven't been updated since, though.

What is currently AGIMO has existed continuously for at least 12 and 
probably 15 years, as OGIT (Office for Govt IT, early '90s-'98), OGO 
(Office for Govt Online, '98-'99), then NOIE (c. '99-'05).

Here's a trip down memory-lane:

>Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 14:39:16 +1100
>To: link
>From: Roger Clarke <Roger.Clarke at anu.edu.au>
>Subject: Re: Government reorganistaion and email addreses
>tonyb at netinfo.com.au (Tony Barry) wrote to link:
>>I'm getting some interesting new bounces from link postings.
>>>550 ian.barndt at ogit.gov.au,alistair.tegart at ogit.gov.au... Host unknown
>>>(Name server: ogit.gov.au: host not found)
>>>550 Jeremy.Gregson at das.gov.au... Host unknown (Name server: das.gov.au:
>>>host not found)
>>Looks like host names may be getting changed to align with the 
>Is it too much to expect that pointers would be put in place for a 
>moderate period of time, for both email and web?  Even Telstra and 
>Australia Post provide such services ...
>The great irony is, of course, that OGIT is now the Office for 
>Government Online (OGO, rhymes with 'Oh, no!');  which, prima facie, 
>would seem to have frontline responsibility for ensuring the 
>discoverability of Clth agencies.
>(No, http://www.ogo.gov.au/ isn't working yet, and it's not findable 
>at their new home in http://www.dca.gov.au/ or 
>http://www.dcita.gov.au/ - which, to be fair to that department's 
>webmaster, are aliased to one another.  But http://www.ogit.gov.au/ 
>does still work, and announces the name-change).
>Are Australian Archives (or Ausinfo?) exercising their prima facie 
>backend responsibilities and taking steps to ensure that interim 
>arrangements are put in place?

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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