Re[2]: HTML v. Acrobat (was Electronic File Transfer)

Subject: Re[2]: HTML v. Acrobat (was Electronic File Transfer)
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 07:24:00 -0600

Acrobat is great for putting a carbon copy of an 8.5" by 11" page on
a computer screen, but who wants to read _that_? I'm not saying you
couldn't design a document for online distribution first, and then
"compile" it with Acrobat. I'm sure you can. From experience though,
people don't.

You make a good point point; the best tool in the world is no good unless
it is used prerly. Unfortunately, there are *no* documentation delivery
systems in existence that cannot be misused or abused. None of them force
the creator to use them properly.

William Rusher once said "The Titanic sank. What should we do, ban ocean
liners?" Acrobat doesn't require an 8.5 x 11 page, even though many people
use it that way. It's not Acrobat's fault, it's the designer's.

Acrobat isn't perfect. Its lack of support for bookmarks and sticky notes
is something that annoys me greatly. But I'm reluctant to choose HTML over
Acrobat because to do so means that I can no longer be assured that the
layout decisions I labor over will actually be helpful, rather than
harmful.

Adobe is working on a way to read a PDF doc one page at a time over the
net. I wonder if, after MS and Netscape stand panting over the torn and
bleeding corpse of HTML, Adobe's method will be the *only* way of
delivering documentation that gives you some reason to hope that what
you've done ends up being something the user will find readable.

Have fun,
Arlen

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