Re: HTML vs Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs Acrobat
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 11:11:03 -0700

There's lots of interesting things to discuss in here I'm under severe
deadlines, so will just make short comments on selected topics for now.

>Right now it's heavily weighted towards Netscape, but my gut feeling is
>that Netscape and IE will gradually settle toward a parity with each
>other in the market over the near future. In the long run it could be

I assume "it" is the market? In any case, parity will only exist in so
much as Microsoft can develop a browser that works on multiple platforms.
It is far from clear that Microsoft has developed any worthwhile browser
that works on something other than Win95.

Netscape currently runs on Mac, Win95, Win3.1, and multiple flavors of
UNIX (including Linux for PC). There are also rumors that they are working
on OS/2 (big in Europe) and VAX. The name of the game is not features (which
MS may actually win) but platform independence (where Netscape wins big).

>HTML 3.0 is coming, but when it does all of its features may not be
>supported by all of the browsers, so you'll want to avoid those features
>which cause trouble for your audience.

You mean HTML 3.2, I think. HTML 3.0 is defunct. And none of the HTML 3.2
features are supported outside of experimental browsers.

The major downside of HTML 3.2 is that it is not downwardly (sidewaysly?)
compatible with N-HTML or HTML 2.0. That is, HTML 3.2 _requires_ 3.2
developers to insert a line that reads (basically) "I am only going to
use HTML 3.2 for this file".

Thus, the HTML 3.2 notes explicitely state that it's up to the developers
(Netscape and Microsoft) to build a browser that works with both HTML 3.2
_and_ their own HTML dialects. That's a heck of a lot of work. How much
return will they get?

See the notes on HTML 3.2.

>Yes, here we continue to disagree. I see another reason to move their
>market toward plug-ins and away from helpers. If I have helper apps, I can
>use *any* browser and get the same benefit. If I have Netscape plug-ins,
>then I can only use Netscape or Netscape-compatible browsers.

If necessary, let us then agree to disagree. In the meantime, plug-ins
are being used to customize and beef-up browsers - not just as a marketing
plot. It gets back to groupware theory (which I obviously did not develop).
The idea is to have a 'stovepipe' or umbrella application from which all
the others are run.

>Sound familiar? It should. It's the same strategy MS used in the desktop

Yea, and it worked too.


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

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

Blodo Poa Maximus

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