Re[4]: Fuzzy images - Vent

Subject: Re[4]: Fuzzy images - Vent
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 15:51:30 -0400

>> Ugh! John, tell me I'm misunderstanding your point: it sounds
>> to me like you're suggesting we all sink to the level of the
>> "average" writer--i.e., since the "average" writer is content
>> to put out docs with blurry, illegible screenshots and doesn't
> I reject your premise. The average PDF is not blurry and it is
> not illegible and the average user is not producing crap.

Whoa! Maybe we're both putting words in each other's mouths. (No
hostility intended. Sometimes it's tough to tell an impassioned
debate from a flame war.)

I deliberately put "average" in irony quotes. I was responding to
your characterization of the average tech writer as someone who (a)
is satisfied by the quality of a default PDF and (b) hasn't a clue
about how to tweak PDF settings anyhow. The message I got from your
previous post was basically "Most of us are happy with the quality of
default PDFs and most of us would do more harm than good fiddling
with Distiller settings, so let's just use the defaults." And my
reply, underneath the mildly inflammatory language, was trying to say
"Some of us are NOT happy with the defaults and some of us DO know
how to change them, and furthermore, it's not the pointless endeavor
you imply by your '1% better' remark."

> . . . for the most part, the average PDF is clear, legible,
> and totaly acceptable to main-stream users. If it isn't, it is
> not the fault of the PDF.

"Main-stream users." Maybe the problem here is the spectre of The
Average User. Whenever somebody tells me, "it's good enough for the
average user, stop trying to improve it," I tend to rebel.
Mainstream end users have a way of not complaining about bad
usability. They'll read book-length PDFs with fuzzy graphics on their
15" monitors with the refresh rate set to a strobe-like 60hz, without
expecting anything better. Mainstream tech writers may be a little
better about this, but not necessarily. At any rate, if something's
bad I don't care how many people are satisfied with it. I wanna fix

That said, I should concede that Distiller's default settings have
improved a great deal since version 3.0, the version that many of us
grappled with a couple of years ago. Maybe people can get away with
using Distiller's default settings these days. But since we're still
seeing regular "why's my PDF fuzzy?" posts to the list, I suspect the
defaults aren't working for everyone.



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