HTML v Acrobat

Subject: HTML v Acrobat
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 07:09:00 -0600

Have you ever tried to read something
that you have to scroll both horizontally and vertically through?

About half the web pages I've visited lately have required horizontal as
well as vertical scrolling to view the information on the page. None of the
Acrobat documents I use regularly require horizontal scrolling.

The "why" of the above fact I expect is that the Acrobat documents were
deisgned by a professional, while the web pages were designed by people who
only *thought* they were professionals. Notice I'm not claiming that *all*
web pages will require horizontal scrolling. You're the one claiming Acrobat
documents require horizontal scrolling. I'm saying it's a design question,
purely and simply. It's quite possible to design a readable Acrobat document
that will not require horizontal scrolling *unless the user increases
magnification* at which point we can take our cue from you and blame the
user. (After all, if it's fair to blame the user for changes to a browser's
setting which make a document unviewable without scrolling, it's equally
fair to blame the user for doing it in Acrobat.)

Put your doucments into SGML and then you can pour 'em out again at
any later date into the most useful format for a particular delivery
medium, paper, HTML, yes even Acrobat, and with the right tools this
can be done -on the fly- as the reader requests or displays
documents.

Since the discussion was about HTML and Acrobat, not SGML, this comment is
irrelevant, however unsurprising the descent into ad hominem it prefaces may
have been.

My whole point on this thread has been that the decision is task-specific,
that neither platform is superior to the other in all cases, that both have
their good points (and their faults!) that neither is unrelievedly bad.

BTW, for those user-control freaks out there: By controlling the size of the
page, Acrobat gives the reader complete control over the size of the graphic
being displayed, something HTML doesn't do. A long banner or large graphic
can always go offscreen on the web. In Acrobat you can shrink it down so as
to be completely visible in the window.

BTW, much has been made of the large screens designers use, as opposed to
the smaller screens the users use. In my case, I have a 16" screen at work
and a 15" rectangular (Color Pivot, to be precise) at home. Neither of these
monitors is larger than any of the ones possessed by my audience (who
typically uses 17" monitors, some with the resolutions set to 1024x768, far
higher than my own).

Have fun,
Arlen

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

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


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