Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat
From: Benjamin Milstead <guilden -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 09:56:00 EST

>Tim Altom wrote:
>Hang on a moment there, Ben. If you've been keeping an eye on the Web,
>you've noticed a lot more PDF files of late, and for good reason. Acrobat
>Reader will run alongside Netscape, and that's how most people view the
>files. Indeed, Netscape is planning to incorporate a PDF reader into its
>next version, or so the scuttlebutt goes.

>Right now, you hit the page with a standard HTML browser, which downloads a
>page anyway, then you pick the PDF doc you want to view and IT downloads,
>where you can read it with the Reader. It works the same way that looking at
>a JPEG or GIF does; you load a specific viewer for it.

Absolutely. The Amber Reader plug-in will only increase the presence of PDF
files on the Web. Hence I believe choosing Adobe is a reasonable decision.
However, Amber can't use the dozens of other plug-ins that Netscape can--and
I challenge anyone to convince me that a number of these HTML enhancements
won't be as ubiquitous in a year as gifs and jpegs are now. I have to
speculate, too, that the design flexibility of HTML will only increase,
evening out the browser playing field a bit and making the superior design
capabilities of Adobe less attractive, less necessary. As always,
everything is relative to consensus, money, bandwidth increase and how fast
hardware upgrades move.

At the Netscape conference in SF a couple weeks ago, a theme was the
evolution of Netscape as an OS. Given this kind of serious thrust and the
support the company's getting from so many other vendors/developers, and
that Microsoft is into HTML (with its own extensions of course) in a big way
on the Web and for their "integrated" desktop applications and online help
doc, HTML looks like the long-term investment to me (whew!).

In other words, yes, Adobe's going to get bigger, but HTML is going to get
bigger still, IMHO.


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