Re: Web browsers for on-line doc viewing

Subject: Re: Web browsers for on-line doc viewing
From: Killer of Trees <lemay -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 1994 16:14:00 EST

At 1:45 PM 12/19/94 -0500, Fred Wersan wrote:
>1. User access to the internet. (slow modems)
>If you plan to deliver on-line doc with the product, #1 doesn't matter.
>It is no different than delivering a .hlp file. The advan-
>tage of using HTML (read with a browser) is that you can create one text file
>that is deliverable to PCs, Macs, and Unix. (you may need to tinker with the
>pathnames for connections, but this can probably be automated.)

I have yet to find a Web browser on the market today that can manage working
gracefully without a network connection at all. Web browsers are designed to
work over networks. They CAN read and navigate local files (I've done this
extensively), but you must still have the network connection in place. MS
Windows browsers are the worst for this; you have to have an entire network
package installed for the browser to even start up. So #1 is an issue;
not so much for speed but for the fact that the connection has to exist.

Even if you managed to hack together something that would work, however,
the licensing considerations are the worst part. Free browsers are only
free for personal use -- that means you cannot distribute them with your
product, and you're stretching it if you tell your customers where to get
a browser. In this respect, although HTML files are cross-platform, you
may have to spend so much money to get a browser for them that the problems
way outweigh the disadvantages.

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