Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat
From: Stan Brown <stbrown -at- NACS -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 21:51:26 -0500

Benjamin Milstead <guilden -at- IQUEST -dot- NET> quoted someone:

>That doesn't make much sense. It's rather like saying you've lost audience
>because you've put your graphics in a format that can only be read by a
>helper application.

and then commented:

>Yes, this is precisely my point.

Just to expand on this a bit. Someone (Arlen Walker?) implied that
this was a non-issue because Adope viewers can easily be downloaded.
But "can be" does not translate to "will be".

Many users are concerned about viruses, and rightly or wrongly resist
adding any nonessential application to their computers. Or simply
installing _any_ application seems like a bigger deal to them than
to some of us "Net-heads." And we should not condemn them: these days
it's not at all uncommon for an existing application to stop working
when a new one is installed, because they use incompatible versions of
the same library, or because the new application mistakenly overwrites
a newer version with an older one.

Many users in companies have been told in no uncertain terms not to
download _any_ software from the net.

It's easy to dismiss readers' reluctance to download new software just
to read your pages. But that reluctance can be very real, and perhaps
not as irrational as it may seem to passionate advocates of the latest
Nifty-Keen-O Document Format.

Even for users who are willing to experiment (when all they really
want to do is read the damn document), Arlen's idea of providing a
link for downloading is not adequate. Either the writer must provide a
separate link for software that works on each platform, or every user
is expected to navigate through a series of Web pages from some
company's generic home page.

I submit that it is arrogance on the part of a writer to demand this
of a reader.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cleveland, Ohio USA +1 216 371-0043
email: stbrown -at- nacs -dot- net Web:
Can't find FAQ lists? See my Web page for instructions, or email me.

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