Re: Should we skip HTML?

Subject: Re: Should we skip HTML?
From: Iain Harrison <iharriso -at- SCTCORP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 14:36:49 GMT

Andrew Plato wrote:

Nearly everybody has a web browser on their computer. That is a fact.

I seriously doubt that! Possibly in the USA it may be true, but the
internet has spread less elsewhere, and although most 32-bit Windows
PCs have a web browser, other computers are far less likely to have

Few people have Acrobat readers or the browser plug-ins. The market
penetration for Acrobat readers is quite small. Most users do not
take the
time and frustration to load their Acrobat reader drivers. This is a

I don't dispute that many people don't have an acrobat reader, but
this is freely distributable with .pdf documents, and everyone who
needs it will have it. Installing it is trivially simple: point and
click in a GUI environment.

Very few people have the ability to read HTML help files. They are not
simple HTML as you imply: they require specific addons for one or
other of the two incompatible formats currently on the market.

That is why HTML help is better. Not to mention the fact that PDF
files are enormous when they contain a lot of graphics, while HTML
files can be much smaller and more modular. This is an opinion.

And an inaccurate one at that. PDF files can be huge, or quite small,
depending on what compression settings were used when compiled.

With the new HTML tools like FrontPage,
developing on-line HTML documentation is very easy

Hmmm... FrontPage is neither new nor easy to use.

I don't really like .pdf myself, but it is a useful tool at present. I
would like to see HTML help become a suitable alternative, but the
reality for me is that we aren't at that stage yet.

Iain Harrison

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