Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 08:58:00 -0600

BTW, if you're using Netscape, try turning off image loading
altogether (Options --> Autoload images). Web site design
conventions (if they are followed) provide text only alternatives.
Or just click on "Stop". Images can be manually loaded if needed.

You missed the point. The imagemaps were the *only* navigation. They *had*
to be downloaded in order to do anything at all at the site. I agree, it's
a function of bad design, not HTML. But so are most of the objections to
Acrobat that I've seen.

Both have design constraints. Both can be butchered. But it seems to me
that HTML is butchered far more often than Acrobat (that, however, could be
a result of skewed data; it could be that I get subjected to bad HTML and
good Acrobat for some unknown reason). My theory is that Acrobat is
generally used by people who know what they're doing and care about the
outcome. While there are plenty of people like that who use HTML as well,
ISTM that the percentage of idiots using HTML is far higher.

Now, that's not the fault of HTML, but it *is* one reason I prefer to read
PDF docs. (Actually, Apple had a format that I thought was better than
Acrobat, but they have dropped it in favor of Acrobat's more established

This is precisely my point. "Both/And" is absolutely the way to go.

Interesting how this discussion has changed from "You should only use HTML"
to "Use Netscape instead of Acrobat."

Here's the deal. If you can show me that wasting _just_ the 3 Mbytes
of RAM used by Acrobat is a good idea, then you have a much better
chance of convincing me to run Adobe Acrobat instead of Netscape 2.0.

I've never argued Acrobat over NetScape. That would be like saying I prefer
a Phillips screwdriver to a prybar. They have separate jobs to do. I hold
no brief for either Acrobat or Netscape (though I *will* say that Acrobat
has proven itself far more stable than Netscape on my system, but that
could just be a local phenomenon). My reaction was to the HTML bigots who
insisted that you should never use PDF and should always use HTML. That
position is unreasonable.

Whether you want to use Acrobat as a PDF helper or settle for the Amber
plug-in doesn't make a bit of difference. (I'm lucky enough that the extra
3 MB of RAM doesn't make any difference to me.) What matters is that PDF
doesn't get automatically tossed on the scrap heap when for some tasks it's
the superior tool.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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