Re HTML vs Acrobat

Subject: Re HTML vs Acrobat
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 16:39:53 -0700

Here's an attempt at a fair summary of my and Arlen's discussion. The idea is
to drive towards areas of agreement. Thus.... I _think_ that Arlen and I both
agree that:

o PDF and HTML have their strong and weak points.

- HTML is better for documents that change rapidly

- PDF is better for page layout or for read-only documents

o HTML is composed of many dialects. This is of more-or-less concern
to each of us.

- Arlen is more concerned, because he feels Microsoft and Netscape
will mangle the language beyond recognition as a standard.
(The glass is half-empty and getting worse).

- I am less concerned, because I feel Microsoft and Netscape have
_already_ mangled the language beyond recognition as a standard.
(So why worry about it? The glass is half-full.)

o The version of HTML to convert documents to is the version of HTML
people are mostly likely to use in their browser to reach your page.

[Arlen, do you agree that this is either HTML 2.0 or N-HTML 1.1?]

o It's easier to convert existing documents to PDF

- PDF distillers are fairly stable across platforms.

- DTP --> HTML converters are finicky. I feel they're getting closer
to acceptable, Arlen does not, but we may be looking at different
filters (I'm looking at rtftohtml 3.0 alpha3).

o One big advantage of HTML is in creating an HTML page on the fly
from a database.

- Arlen thinks something like this will occur eventually for PDF.
However, this is difficult - so fortunately it will be ready by
the time we need to get around to it.

- I maintain it's inherently easier to create pages on the fly from
a database with ASCII (HTML) then binary (PDF). See also Web page
creation from a file server.

Arlen and I continue to _disagree_ over the payoffs of using plug-ins.

o Arlen maintains that there is no significant difference between using
Acrobat-plus-plugins and Netscape-plus-plugins.

o I maintain that there would be no motivation for Netscape to move from
Netscape 1.1 Helpers to Netscape 2.0 Plug-ins unless RAM was a significant
difference.

[Technical Detail: Acrobat invokes a separate application for many
plug-ins - each of which uses up more RAM - while Netscape plug-ins
are built into Netscape - using up no additional RAM.]

I'm not sure why Arlen and I haven't reached basic agreement on the last
issue, as we're actually pretty close on the other items.

>> I yield the topic to Arlen Walker... Hi Arlen!

>No more for me, thanks. I'm driving! :{>}

Seems more like a dance to me... but who's leading? ;)

Your turn.



David (The Unbiased) Blyth
Technical Writer & Web Site Designer
Qualcomm

The usual disclaimers apply - QUALCOMM isn't that crazy.

Blodo Poa Maximus
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