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
one

>>
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
fact.
<<

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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