Re: Web Page Appearance

Subject: Re: Web Page Appearance
From: "Kristine J. Olberg" <kjolberg -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 22:16:52 -0600

> From: Shmuel Ben-Artzi <sba -at- netmedia -dot- net -dot- il>
> Kris,
> At the risk of walking the tightrope of going off-topic on this one
> put the bat down, Eric!), I want to carry this one step further. What you
> say has merit, Kris, but I feel that it sidesteps one of the major issues
> involved.

You're probably right that this is getting off-topic, so this will be my
last post.

> So do we, the end users, satisfy ourselves with the
> pace of the standards groups. Or do we embrace the efforts of the more
> entrepreneurial of the developers to expand the standards beyond the
> currently accepted limits and to, in effect, establish new de fatco
> standards. The question is not whether the developers make a few extra
> bucks by so doing (Capitalism 101), but whether the best interests of the
> users are concurrently being served.

I hear you, Schmuel. Personally, I don't want to get in the way of progress
of any kind, but it makes it really difficult to develop a site that serves
users. I am creating a site that does some transaction processing and gives
my users a mechanism for uploading health care claims files. I have to
develop to a lower common denominator and yet make something that's usable.
It's a real challenge. We're using Java to create an application that will
run on any platform. This application "wraps" some HTML tagging around the
claim data and spits out an HTML file the user opens in a browser.
Contained in that HTML file is a form with a "Submit" button the user
clicks to send the entire file to a process running on the server.

What's challenging is that this has to work in any environment; hence, the
Java application. My other problem is that FTP currently does not support
SSL, so we had to figure out a way to encrypt the claims data (highly
sensitive information) without licensing encryption software. We got around
this one by sending it using HTTPS to the server as an HTML file.

But the real problem is that, because of the lack of standards, we have a
process that's a real mish-mash for our users. And it's my task to figure
out how we're going to train/educate our users to get through it all.

> If the current tiny, halting beginnings of a trend toward
> and open standards becomes more and more a reality, then this question
> become increasingly easier to answer. And if not, then we consumers will
> have to make some choices. Life's tough.

Yes. I can't wait 'til things settle down into, as you say,
"cross-platform/OS and open standards."

kjolberg -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
kolberg -at- actamed -dot- com

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