Re: Netscape & New HTML

Alex.Hopmann@resnova.com
Sun, 23 Oct 1994 15:23:46 -0500


From: Alex.Hopmann@resnova.com
Message-Id: <199410241640.JAA09683@nic.cerf.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 15:23:46 -0500
To: www-html@www0.cern.ch
Subject: Re: Netscape & New HTML

In article of 5:42 AM 10/21/94, Kee Hinckley <nazgul@wraith.utop writes:

>Funny you should mention that.  I was just talking to a potential
>client today who had a major problem that he felt made it very
>difficult to present his data online.
This I think brings up an important point, one which (I suspect) will 
provoke much disagreement, but which I feel fairly strongly: We are the 
vendor of commercial WWW solutions. Our customers are publishers, 
advertisers, etc. Our products have allowed users to send email with fonts, 
styles (Italic, underline), colored text for several years now, and our 
customers are going to expect the same things from HTML. Frankly I dread the 
thought of trying to explain to a novice user who is trying to put up their 
own page or two, or even just send HTML MIME e-mail, that "Well you see, 
this is a structured text document, not a xxx, you can't do that". End users 
don't want to deal with data types, etc, they want to send "My document" to 
someone, create it with the same interface they are used to (Which for us 
translates to something like Microsoft Word), and have some hope that the 
person on the other end will see it in similar form.

Now, for instance I think it is totally reasonable to have some of these 
extra commands ignored if the receiving program doesn't implement them. So 
just because my document says <font name="helvetica" size=10> doesn't mean 
it will show up that way. But people have actually gotten used to that (It 
happens when sending word processing documents all the time).

The above said, I believe that people on the net WILL begin using <font> 
HTML elements, whether I want to or not. I also believe that my customers 
will want to use <font> HTML elements. I also believe that the power of 
ignoring element types you don't understand is extremely powerful: We can 
add a bunch of complexity that simple-low-end viewers can safely ignore. My 
greatest fear is 6 different "standards" for <font> HTML elements (And other 
such disputed issues). So I think it is absolutelly crucial that we come up 
with some sort of standard for these things.

Alex Hopmann
ResNova Software, Inc.