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PDF Association

Mission Statement: To promote Open Standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.
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Talking about electronic documents

We’ve done PDF Day events and technical conferences across Europe, in the US, in Australia, and elsewhere. This Electronic Document Conference is the first PDF Association event that’s open to all technologies pertaining to documents. It’s about explor …

Happy new logo!

2006: The PDF/A Competence Center A new year brings new things, and 2019 is no exception! The “four red blocks” logo was first created for the PDF/A Competence Center in 2006. When that organization became the PDF Association in 2011, the design was ad …

Save-The-Date: PDF Day France, Toulouse, April 4, 2019

PDF Day France will be the first French-speaking event of the PDF Association, organised by our member ORPALIS. It will take place in Toulouse which is the home ground of Airbus and we are very happy that Airbus will present a case study around its usage of PDF in their document management environment!

Electronic Document Conference: Call for Papers

Prospective presenters at the Electronic Document Conference 2019 are invited to submit high-quality original proposals for 25-minute presentations on subjects of interest to developers and technical product managers concerned with electronic document implementations.

Have we passed ‘peak PDF’?

How do we gain insight into how users’ views of documents are shifting? Google Trends is an increasingly interesting source of high-level marketplace data. By aggregating Google’s search data over time, reporting a term’s popularity as compared with all other searches.

PDF/UA Validation: The Matterhorn Protocol

A project of the PDF Association’s PDF/UA Competence Center since May, 2012, the Matterhorn Protocol details an algorithm to determine how a given PDF file fails to conform with PDF/UA, and a means of reliably sharing this information. The PDF Association’s PDF/UA Competence Center plans to release this document in Q1, 2013.

Why we need the Matterhorn Protocol

Accessibility is not a conceptually or technically trivial feature. Those responsible for producing accessible content are committing to consistent authoring techniques, providing alternative text for graphics, ensuring correct structure in tables, checking for the acceptable use of color, and so on.

Validating PDF accessibility features for complete, high-quality usage involves some level of human judgement and is therefore expensive. As such, it’s important that various good-faith validation efforts use a similar basis for assessment. To maximize cost-effectiveness, ideally, such assessments would persist for reference by downstream users.

Without a fully interchangeable model for validating accessibility metadata no cost-effective guarantee of accessibility is possible because the results of a meaningful audit, validation or corrective process cannot be efficiently or reliably shared.

How is the Matterhorn Protocol structured?

The Matterhorn Protocol is implemented using RELAX NG (ISO/IEC 19757-2:2008); said XML to be embedded in the output validated PDF.

Each report should be a distinct iteration. The rules of the road will prohibit implementations from modifying reports written by other implementations or created by other agents; however, removal of complete reports will be permitted.

The core of the Matterhorn Protocol is a table describing PDF/UA Validation Metadata Checkpoints. This table presents the “shall” statements from the file specifications section of PDF/UA, identifying failure conditions for each.

In addition to specifying terms for validation and a means of recording validation results, the Matterhorn Protocol also identifies whether specific tests may be validated by machine or human based on realistic best-practice approaches at the present time. Some checkpoints may always be decided by machine, some usually or probably require human interaction.

What’s not covered

Of course, there are limitations. Worthy of note is the fact that pathological software behavior (such as “flickering” by using a script to cause animation effects via a series of actions) is not addressed.

Perhaps more significantly, the concept of “partial conformance” and the significance of non-conformance are intentionally not addressed in this document. At this point the PDF/UA Competence Center feels that these questions should be up to the implementer.

Come to the next meeting!

The PDF Association’s PDF/UA Competence Center holds its next meeting on January 31 at 1100 ET / 1700 CET at which time we’ll be attempting to complete specifications for the publication of the Matterhorn Protocol. We encourage all interested members of the PDF Association to attend!


Tags: Matterhorn Protocol, Validation
Categories: PDF/UA