designs for WWW server

Subject: designs for WWW server
From: Mike Beyries <beyries -at- CSISDN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 1994 16:50:35 PDT

Kathy Eyster asked for advice and experiences from those who have
designed WWW home pages and other html documents. I recently put
together (read 'hacked') a few pages for our almost-finished server
and I must say I felt inadequately prepared for what I saw.

Putting html into an existing document (e.g., marketing literature)
is not an artistic endeavor by any means. Those of you who have dealt
with TeX, troff, and other markup languages can appreciate that! But
the markup is not the problem -- its the layout, logical organization,
"chunking", and visual appeal.

I was disappointed to find how hard it was to get a graphic into
an html document. My CorelDRAW sources had to go through at least two
filters and they were really the wrong scale and layout even then!

The graphics I wanted to use had been built for printing on a laser printer
and for display in (generally) a portrait orientation. Well, most screens
are going to be closer to landscape than portrait, and color is an issue
on-screen where it hadn't been for my laser printed hardcopy.

I recommend that you preview your graphics from more than one browser
(e.g., Mosaic and Cello and WinWeb) and using multiple screens (e.g.,
VGA, SVGA, "black and white", etc.). You will see color and resolution
differences, and that's okay, but you don't want to lose information
(e.g., because two colors are not different enough).

Concerning the text on a home page, it feels more like building an index
or detailed table of contents than any other kind of writing. It's tempting
to say that every line/sentence/bullet item there _must_ link to another
document. And keeping track of the links is quite a chore.

I hope to see more information and discussion about this, because it's
clear to this long-time tech writer that hyperlink documents are just
not the same as good ol' paper ...

Mike Beyries (beyries -at- csisdn -dot- com) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Documentation, SQA, Development Support | If I loosen my bridle on the |
Located at Connective Strategies, Inc. | press, I shall not stay in |
Mountain View, California, U.S.A. | power for three months. |
Phone 415-903-8382 (ISDN) or -2589 | -- Napoleon Bonaparte |
Probably *not* CSI's corporate opinion ! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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