Re: More thoughts

Tom Magliery (mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu)
Thu, 27 Oct 1994 11:39:24 -0600


Message-Id: <aad58ac505021004e994@[141.142.103.218]>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 11:39:24 -0600
To: www-html@www0.cern.ch
From: mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu (Tom Magliery)
Subject: Re: More thoughts

>Reading the discussion here, another thought just occured to me: You guys
>are all really good HTML "coders". Showing our products at trade shows, I
>have talked to alot of people who want to create HTML without being
>"coders". This means that our products are going to allow people to create
>HTML without typing a single <h1>. This also means that naive users are
>going to think that whatever they can do to make their document look right
>on the screen is fine. WYSIWYG. I've seen some discussion here about what
>people should and shouldn't do with various types of formatting, but lets
>just assume for a moment that people creating these documents are not going
>to realize the difference.

I'm not disagreeing about the usefulness of a product that saves the user
from entering tags the hard way, but at some level, the user is going to
have to be able to indicate that some certain groups of characters in the
document are, for example, a "level 1 header", or a "paragraph", and so on.
So much the better if they've got WYSIWYG to boot.

But at the same time, from your point of view as creator of the product,
it's important to adhere to the principle of "accept liberally, generate
conservatively".  What you're doing is generating HTML.  While the user is
happily pecking away at his document, you need to make sure that the HTML
that you're quietly representing it with in the background is always valid.
(Or if it temporarily isn't, somehow let the user know that something's
wrong with what they're attempting to do.)

mag

--
Tom Magliery ** NCSA ** 605 E Springfield ** Champaign IL 61820 ** USA