HTML v. Acrobat (was Electronic File Transfer)

Subject: HTML v. Acrobat (was Electronic File Transfer)
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 07:08:00 -0600

If I'm among the 85% or so Joe Windows User, I'm
still running stock 640x480x16 VGA, and I'm going to be mighty miffed
if you created your document to fit your full 1280x1024 21"
workstation display, and I can't view it properly because Acrobat
doesn't allow automatic reformatting to the viewer's size and shape.

And how miffed will you be when the graphic that shows you exactly how to
use your blurfl fails to load? This is a frequent problem with the web. I'd
say as much as 15% of the graphics people put on their pages fail to load
for one reason or another (probably due to long response time brought on by
bad server performance or a bottleneck at the receiving end, such as the

When format and layout is important, you can't leave it to chance that some
person's web browser will get the entire page, or that even if they do the
result will usable. Besides, whose standards are you going to embrace for
your page design? Netscape's? Microsoft's? Mosaic's? I can set up a page
that will look entirely different on each one of these browsers. The only
was to achieve consistency is to write to the lowest common denominator of
the three, then test with all three (there's probably others as well, but I
haven't experimented to locate the differences with them). Perhaps HTML
will be unified at some point, but with both MS and Netscape involved, I
doubt it. I think between the two of them they'll kill a promising new
standard for communication in their efforts to block the other one from
getting market share.

In Acrobat, the page can be viewed at whatever magnification you desire, so
your screen size is not an issue; the penalty you pay will simply be that
you won't get the entire page on screen at once. So what? Your web browser
wouldn't, do any better. I don't see a disadvantage that applies to Acrobat
that doesn't also apply to your browser, except cost of production. It's
possible to produce web pages without buying tools; the equivalent isn't
true of Acrobat. Can we now see a show of hands of how many people intend
to port documents to the web without buying tools? Uh-huh. I thought so.

Have fun,

arlen -dot- p -dot- walker -at- jci -dot- com
In God we trust, all others must supply data

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