pdfreaders campaign

Martijn Brekhof m.brekhof at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 18:45:35 CEST 2011

On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM, Sam Geeraerts <samgee at fsfe.org> wrote:

> Martijn Brekhof wrote:
>> Ik zou het woord "onvrij" vervangen door "niet vrij". Onvrij wordt bij mij
>> weten in NL nauwelijks gebruikt.
> Personally, I always say "niet-vrij" (see also Dutch language guideline 6.I
> [1]). I considered "onvrij", but for some reason it always makes me think of
> doublespeak. And I think "niet-vrij" just says "the opposite of free (as in
> freedom)" more clearly. It still sounds kind of awkward, but that's Dutch
> for ya.

> Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine: a translation to Dutch should be,
> well, Dutch. The text's vocabulary is good, but "PDF reader" sticks out like
> a sore thumb. Wikipedia has a category "PDF-lezer" [2], a term that is
> simple, obvious and covers the load. "PDF-weergever" is more accurate, as it
> can hardly be confused with a person or a text-to-speech tool, but it sounds
> more forced.

> Apart from these details, I think that the letter is certainly usable, but
> I agree with others here that the style could do with some improvement. The
> rather literal translation is a bit forced and it sounds harsher than the
> English text to me. As spa8blauw says, it makes sense to put the emphasis
> more on how to make things better than to point a finger.

Are you talkin about the original or the revised version?

> I think most people aren't aware that there is something else than Adobe
> Reader (many aren't even aware that they're using a dedicated program to
> open PDF files). A lot of government websites are probably made or
> maintained by a technical person (at least the structural part including the
> PDF notice), but we can't assume we're always talking to a computer
> literate. Sometimes the direct contact person is "the content guy", who just
> forwards it to the maintaining web developer. If he cares enough to click
> that button in his mail client, that is. Or perhaps the website is
> maintained by that colleague who said he read a computer magazine once. So I
> think the first thing to make clear is that there is more than one program
> to open these files and that that choice is beneficial for everyone.

I agree but I think we should not deviate too much from the original
campaign which clearly states that it is about open standards.

> Secondly, we want to explain the advantages and importance of free
> software, because that's what we care about. Following that by subtly
> pointing out that linking straight to Adobe Reader is not a great idea (e.g.
> rephrasing "it's free advertising, making you Adobe's puppet"). Ideally,
> we'd steer them to realizing that they've been horribly wrong all this time,
> without actually telling them in so many words. It works best if they
> convince themselves [3].

That was the main problem I had with the original version (beside the
translation ;) ) and I tried to improve that in the revised version.
However, I did not want to change the original motivation of the campaign
which is to promote open standards.

> Third point: if we're to suggest that they put a link to pdfreaders.orgthen they need to be confident that it's not going to be a dead link in a
> few months time. When dealing with questions from website visitors, a link
> to good ol' Adobe seems like a safer bet than one to a campaign website from
> a organization you never heard of, which on top of that faces users with a
> choice.

I agree that that is a problem and we ourselves are the solution to that.
Besides making sure the website will stay alive there is another problem of
keeping the information on the website up-to-date.
That is, linking to pdf-readers that really exist and are (still) open.

@matthias: how is this currently organized?

> Then, we thank them for their attention and effort and we offer support
> regarding the issue.
> Now all we need is a masterfully skilled writer to pour all this into a few
> short fluent paragraphs. :)
Don't underestimate the power of many.

> [1] http://woordenlijst.org/**leidraad/6/3/#r6i<http://woordenlijst.org/leidraad/6/3/#r6i>
> [2] http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Categorie:PDF-lezer<http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorie:PDF-lezer>
> [3] Just to be clear: I'm not sitting in a high desk chair stroking a white
> cat here. :)
> mvg,
> Sam Geeraerts
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