[PLUG-TALK] There Oughta' Be A Law

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Tue Mar 1 11:27:09 PST 2011

On Tue, 1 Mar 2011, Paul Heinlein wrote:

> I agree with the premise of your complaint, but I'd add the caveat the the
> test NOT be usability by a certain number of browsers (what about Mozilla
> 2 or lynx 0.65?) but by meeting standards.
> That is, public sites ought to be developed against an explicit standard, 
> e.g., HTML 4.
> Otherwise, the tail (browser) wags the dog.

   I agree, Paul. I will even go so far as to require public-funded web sites
to make data available in non-proprietary formats.

   What prompted my rant was discovering the USGS hydrographic data by states
was accessible only with IE (but Opera does work because I have it
configured to tell servers that it's really IE). But, it gets worse. The
state-wide data files are in Access .mdb wrapped with E$RI's ARC/GIS
software in their latest proprietary format: FileGeoDataBase. There is not
yet any conversion software in the GDAL/OGR suite to handle that format. I
stopped the download of the 434M file when I discovered this.


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