Re: producing good HTML (was: Re: Frame -> HTML)

Subject: Re: producing good HTML (was: Re: Frame -> HTML)
From: Arlen P Walker <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 16:44 -0500

>Not only not earth shattering, that was how it was supposed to be. The
>original idea was that the browser would give the user control over how
>information appeared. Web page creators have been fighting back against this
>idea ever since.

The history here isn't quite right. The web was first conceived as a method for
sharing scientific data, period. Any attempts to share images or do any sort of
art came later. And the fact that they came later is irrelevant; the Internet
itself is being used in ways it was never intended to be used in the beginning;
this does not mean these uses should immediately cease. Things change; life
happens.

As for the designer/viewer battle, I stand right square in the middle on this
one. As a professional, I must admit to having certain specialized knowledge
about information presentation which I can bring to the table to justify my
exorbitant salary (yes, that's sarcasm). As such, I demand to be allowed to use
that expertise to improve the flow of information.

OTOH, I know that all the surveys, studies and tests we have ever done really
only give statistical truth; that is, truth which is true only in a majority of
cases, or at a majority of times, and truths for which there are exceptions. So
exceptional readers who prefer (or can handle) long text lines, small fonts,
and the like exist, and I acknowledge that fact. And the fact they exist means
I should somehow accomodate them. (If I don't, I may as well go back to print
layouts.)

So I want to be able to lay out pages, and allow my layout to be altered by the
user in small ways without destroying it completely. The phase is "liquid
design," meaning the layout, like a liquid, will flow to fill whatever
container it is poured into.

CSS, when implemented, will allow this, giving me the opportunity to present
several "recommended" views while alwasy allowing the user to "roll her own,"
as the saying goes.

But that depends on CSS being supported, something I grow more and more
pessimistic over the prospects of seeing in my lifetime.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
----------------------------------------------
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
----------------------------------------------
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.





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