Re: Should we skip HTML?

Subject: Re: Should we skip HTML?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 22:11:54 -0500

>I am starting to get Word6 documents from the web as well. I have Acrobat
>Reader installed. My only problem with receiving PDF files is that
>sometimes people don't tell me that's what they're sending. Before you
>send a PDF file to me, please provide a summary, let me know how large it
>is, and ask me if I want to see it. Much of the time I'm not really so
>interested that I want to download the document.
>A while back, STC was putting conference information as PDF files. There
>the "what is the common denominator" question applies. If you want that
>information available to everyone, you had better make it readable on the
>web - in HTML.
You're right, this is a problem, especially with big PDFs. The download
time can be sharply reduced, though, if the webmaster optimizes the PDF,
then puts the PDF on a byteserving server. That way you only need look at
the first couple of pages instead of the whole file. If you don't want it,
you don't take the rest of the pages or save it to disk. And as a bonus,
byteserving makes pages as available as if they were in HTML, albeit much
more slowly.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
Creators of the Clustar Method (TM)
An out-of-the-box methodology for fast task-based documentation
that's easy to port to paper, WinHelp, Acrobat, SGML, and other media.

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