Re: Re. Nonstandard HTML

Subject: Re: Re. Nonstandard HTML
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 17:39:24 -0800

On Fri, 19 Apr 1996 13:25:37 -0500, geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA wrote:

> HTML 3.X and various extensions are all very well, because
> they _can_ lead us to more effective design, but what about
> the portion of the audience that can't benefit from these
> extensions? A simple calculation here (feel free to
> substitute accurate numbers): give Netscape 90% of the
> browser market, and assume that there are 1 million regular
> web users. That leaves 100,000 who may be unable to use our
> site at all, or who may miss most of the benefits that led
> us to use the HTML extensions in the first place. In my
> books, it's not a good strategy to ignore an audience of
> this size. If you can guarantee that 100% of your audience
> will use a specific browser, by all means design for that
> browser, but that's a big assumption for most of us.

Geoff,

Good call! What's making things even worse is Microsoft's Internet
Explorer and associate authoring tools... still more proprietary
extensions (I've seen a couple that even f*** up Netscrape) for yet
another browser that web authors ASSume everyone will want to grab at a
moment's notice (the ubiquitous "This page is best viewed with..." and
"Click here to get the latest..." button).

If I was to follow these leads, I'd have 150MB of drive space taken up
by at least half a dozen different browsers and need to load a
different one for every other page I visit. And of course, at least
two of these won't run (or run properly) on my platform of choice: I
can use the latest Netscape installed as 16-bit, with reduced
functionality, in Win-OS/2; good lucking getting MS Internet Explorer
to run on anything but an MS operating system.

Yet these two are now not just competing with each other, but making up
proprietary extensions of their own that the other doesn't support...

Maybe Richard Dimock was right and Acrobat IS the way to go - one major
advantage of Acrobat over HTML is that it IS a standard of sorts, owned
by Adobe and not open to tampering in this way. And now that Adobe is
developing a *truly* cross-platform reader designed specifically for
Web use (Acrobat Amber - www.adobe.com/Amber to check it out, looks
pretty good)...



Your friend and mine,
Matt
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