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

Subject: Re: HTML v. Acrobat (was Electronic File Transfer)
From: soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 10:18:34 -0600

In <01I1YZS9LBPQ000TWD -at- CORE -dot- Corp -dot- JCI -dot- Com>, on 03/05/96 at 07:08 AM,
Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com said:

> 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 firewall).

Yes, but in this case, we're talking about loading files locally, or at
most, across a LAN. I'd venture to say, this problem would not appear in
this case.

>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.

And when content is important, you can't leave it to chance that some
person's propritary-format reader will fit their screen the same way it
fit the screen it was designed on, or else leave some information hidden.

Since the original poster didn't specify whether content or style was more
important, this is a moot argument anyway.

>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.

A good point, but there IS still an HTML 2.0 standard, and very nearly was
HTML 3.0 (which most browsers should handle quite well anyway.

>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.

Actually, Arlen, I can't agree with you more on this point - the likes of
Netscape, while looking out for their own interests, have made a shambles
of it for everyone else.

>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.

Unless fixed formatting is used, it will reflow the entire document to fit
whatever size and aspect ratio the browser is set at.

>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.

Depends on what kind of "tools" you want. I can pick up a fully
object-oriented HTML designer that not only generates HTML output, but IPC
output at the same time (.IPC files are then compiled into OS/2 .INF and
HLP files), for free.

Your friend and mine,
"Maybe all I need, besides my pills and surgery,
is a new metaphor for... reality." -- Queensryche

Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Next Level
Productions, or anyone else of sound mind from this planet or

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