Re: web pages

Subject: Re: web pages
From: Tom Tadfor Little <tlittle -at- LANL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 11:27:56 -0700

Wolf Lahti wrote:

> David Siegel's pages ( are
> very pretty, but he makes them so by ignoring standards and using extensions
> in such a way that many of his design elements are wasted on and unviewable
> by anyone without the latest version of Netscape. He makes no apologies for
> this, coming across with an in-your-face attitude. Siegel's background is
> graphical page deisgn, and his emphasis is, predictably, on design rather
> than content, which is not what the Web is about--not at this stage, at any
> rate.

In my opinion, this is a very harsh criticism. I visited Siegel's pages and
no evidence of an "in-your-face" attitude.

And although we're not likely to resolve the debate on using Netscape extensions
on this list, I think "ignoring standards" is a rather unkind way to describe
someone who designs pages with 80% of his visitors in mind. Netscape has become
a _de facto_ standard for the web. According to the official (read out-of-date,
out-of-touch, ivory-tower) HTML standard, you can't even make a table to put
two columns of text on the screen. I think respect for standards needs to be
tempered with a little realism. One could argue, for example, that software
not be distributed on high-density (1.4M) floppies, because single- and
double-density drives still exist out there. Yet such a policy would do more
than good.

Finally, I disagree with "Siegel's...emphasis is...on design rather than
Most of the suggestions he has on his page relate to making the content as
accessible as possible, and presume that a page's main deliverable is its text.
the comment was only meant to imply that the page is about design methods, I
agree--but that's pretty obvious. If the implication is that his design
recommendations compromise the content, I disagree vigorously.

This is not intended to start a holy war. I just think that at this point in the
evolution of the web, it is unfair to so strongly condemn a web site simply
because it was written with Netscape users in mind.

Tom Tadfor Little tlittle -at- lanl -dot- gov -or- telp -at- Rt66 -dot- com
technical writer/editor Los Alamos National Laboratory

Visit Telperion Productions on the web at

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