Re: Web Page Appearance

Subject: Re: Web Page Appearance
From: "Kristine J. Olberg" <kjolberg -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 15:36:10 -0600

> From: DocuMania <dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET>
> Date: Saturday, January 18, 1997 12:02 PM

> HTML with difficulty. I assume it's the language used to create Web
pages.
> Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You're correct.

> Regardless, as I browse the Web I've been noticing a consistent pattern:
> flashy graphics and crummy typography. For example, em dashes and curly
> quotes seem to be unavailable. Or are the people creating Web pages
> ignorant of their use? Is this a limitation of HTML, or other?

HTML, for HyperText Markup Language, was not designed (originally) to
support formal publication practices with respect to typography and page
layout. Regardless, many web makers stretch it to the limit to get it to do
even simple document elements such as tables with rules, etc. It does
support characters such as em dashes, but one needs to know the appropriate
"code" for the em dash if coding raw HTML, or one needs to know how to
create the em dash in the software used to generate HTML. If my memory
serves me right, the code is either &em; or &151; -- not exactly user
friendly.

In addition, many who publish on the web are ignorant of common typography.
We should expect that to happen in a medium where everybody can be a
publisher.

Regarding graphics, we're still seeing alot of "newness" in which web
publishers are still fascinated with creating graphics and animations. This
is akin to what happened when television was new: so many programs
consisted of people just talking to the audience. It took the TV industry
awhile to figure out what made good TV. Similarly, the web will settle
down. I've already noticed a trend to smaller and fewer numbers of
graphics. Case in point: www.microsoft.com. The site has become much less
dependent on large, flashy graphics and more dependent on frames and
tables.

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