Re: Web Server & Documents

Subject: Re: Web Server & Documents
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 13:22:24 -0700

Sue G. says... (Hi again!)

<Long part deleted>

>The typical PC hard disk is formatted into sectors of 1K each.

I'm not sure I understand why a PC running DOS/Windows must be used
as the Web server. It seems like any server should be lot more powerful
than that. For example, as of 1996 at least 25% of the servers on
the Net were still UNIX based. In which case:

o You've got massive amounts of disk
o You can create 2 byte files without confusing the FAT

>Again, if the docs are on your web site, it's your problem,
>not your customers'.

Precisely. I may or may not run UNIX, but I'm certainly going
to choose a computer with lots of disk as my server. Hopefully,
I'll find an OS that doesn't get confused with 1/2 Kbyte files.

I can live without the later, but one intent of a server is to
have lots of disk so that your clients don't need it. In fact,
DEC, Sun, HP, Microsoft and other companies are selling cheap
"Network computers" as clients. Network computers have almost
no disk.

Why? Because Internet servers have tons of disk. And DEC, Sun, and
HP sell those too.

>However, I've recently released HTML documents on CD which may be
>left on the CD, copied onto a customer's intranet, or copied onto
>an individual's hard disk.

I'm not sure about this, but releasing docs via CD looks like a
different issue from releasing a document via Web server (see
subject header). The question seems to be how we would put
documents on the net. Not customers.

>I don't know the final resting place of these docs. They may or may
>not make it to the Expersoft Web page.

If a customer want their documents in HTMLhelp, PDF, or 300 HTML files of
1 KByte each, that's probably what they're going to get anyway. We can't
prevent them from doing something rash once the document leaves our hands.
The best we can do is tell them the tradeoffs.

But again, the topic seems to be how TWs should handle this issue. Not
our customers. There's no reason to assume we're stuck with a Microsoft
OS as the server.

>Then I said:
>> Second, if you're delivering the files to your web site for
>> online access, you have that horrendous lag time between
>> the request for a new page and its actual appearance.

>For a discussion of speed, I defer to the experts. See Jakob
>Nielsen's Alertbox column for March 1, 1997 - "The Need for
>Speed" at http://www.useit.com/altertbox/9703a.html

I read the article and it does not address corporate Intranets/Extranets
Intranets are considerably faster than the Internet. That's why people
build them. In addition, the Intranet and Extranet market is growing
guns-a-fire because people get their work done faster over the Net.

Do you agree that Intranets solve the speed problem? If not, why not?
And if so, then why create long HTML files?

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