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Re: Some comments about Amaya 0.9a

From: Daniel Veillard <Daniel.Veillard@imag.fr>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 18:36:13 +0100
Message-Id: <199612201736.SAA12405@praslin.inrialpes.fr>
To: Marc.Baudoin@hsc.fr (Marc Baudoin)
Cc: www-amaya@w3.org

  Hi Marc,

>first I have to say I've been using net$crap for two years now and I think
>it's the best browser for an end-user like me (it's easy to use and
>configure and it displays the page as it loads it).  But I'm a UNIX
>freeware integrist too and I've been waiting for a free browser as good as
>net$crap for some time now.  I thought Amaya would be a good choice but I
>wonder now...

  Amaya is primarily an editor, not a browser ! Even if we tried to be as
perfect a possible in showing pages, there are some limits. 

>I've tried to use the Linux version of Amaya 0.9a on my NetBSD box.  First
>I don't understand why I have to install it under /usr/local and why it
>needs so many files.

  You don't need to install it under /usr/local, it's a suggestion, not
a requirement. I compile it and use it in $HOME/Amaya or /usr/Amaya, and
this is not a compile-time option !

>  Typical UNIX programs need the binary, an
>app-defaults file and that's all.  Some others need a few files but people
>can choose where they will be at compile time (but I don't have Amaya
>source files...).

  Personnal opinion, setting up absolute path in an application binary
even if the source code is available, is a design flaw !

  Amaya is not a pure shrink-wrapped application as Netscape is. It is
designed to be an extensible tools. A shrink wrapped application can
be designed as a one binary only file with everything embedded. BTW I
guess you use emacs (or XEmacs), at least it is an exemple of an extensible
tool acceptable as an exemple for a freeware integrist (I still use VI),
but it's not a one file app. 

  Concerning the sources they will be out end of January, I hope you will
join the develoment effort at that time !

>Second, It seems Amaya is highly unconfigurable.  It doesn't seem to have a
>.amayarc file or X resources.  All I found is the thot.ini file (which
>really looks like a windoze file).  Hey, this is UNIX!

  Hey it was designed on Unix, but it's ported to Windows. Anyway, the
configuration syntax shouldn't matter as long as it's configurable.

>  There's no such
>thing as a dialog box to configure it either.

  As a Unix afficionado, I highly prefers a text configuration file
than 10 popdown cascaded menus to setup a configuration parameter. But
Ok it should be here.

>Amaya doesn't understand basic X11 command line arguments such as
>-geometry so I can't set the window size.

  Amaya id a multi-view editor, each view has it's own properties.
You can set-up the geometry for these views in Amaya/amaya/HTML.conf file.
Ok, this has not been integrated into the thot.ini file for now.

>How the scrollbar works is still a mystery for me.

  Ok, it's not perfect, next version will show an improvement.

>Well it seems the Amaya team still has a lot of work to do before Amaya can
>really be used by end-users...  And I'm still stuck with my net$crap.

  Concerning the end-user usability as a browser, I guess that there is
a lot of work, yes, BUT this is not the main objective of the Amaya
development. As said in http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Amaya/User/

"Amaya is intended to be a comprehensive client environment for testing
 and evaluating new proposals for Web standards and formats."

  Of course the Amaya team would be very happy to see Amaya evolve up
to be an end-user application, but this is not the primary target. However
since the code will be distributed, interested people will be abble to
help improving the interface and adding fancy stuff, but this is primarily
a testbed for experimentations on Web standards. 

  I'm also wondering wether an Unix user can really be considered as an
end-user, albeit I have been using (and promoting) Linux for nearly 5 years.
I guess we could continue this debate on fr.comp.os.linux :-)

Daniel

-- 
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Received on Friday, 20 December 1996 18:36:15 UTC

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