[LINK] format irony

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Mar 12 16:43:16 AEDT 2007

At 09:49 AM 12/03/2007, Roger writes:

>> ... 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!

Hmm. Also, regards AGIMO being consistent with their own recommendations:

Section 3.2.2:

Q: Will your Internet audience need plug ins to experience your web site?

A: Provide direct links to the sites where the specific plug ins are
   available; for a non-technical audience, provide installation
   instructions as well.

Neither of which make an appearance on the current AGIMO website.  

Overall, versions in html, rtf or just a mailed hard copy would be fine.

> 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..
> 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.

Yes, Roger, Avi and Marghanita, seems we all agree, it isn't good enough.

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 

(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 

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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