Re: Structure v. pages (was Re: HTML+)

Ryan Bernard (rbernard@was.waii.com)
Thu, 15 Sep 1994 12:19:19 -0500


Date: Thu, 15 Sep 1994 12:19:19 -0500
From: Ryan Bernard <rbernard@was.waii.com>
Message-Id: <199409151719.AA15855@wasfs1>
To: rkoman@ora.com
Subject: Re: Structure v. pages (was Re: HTML+)
Cc: www-html@www0.cern.ch

> From rkoman@ora.com Thu Sep 15 11:48:16 1994
> 
> From the creator's standpoint, HTML is a relatively marginal
> improvement over typesetting coding. It's easier but not intuitive. Whereas
> desktop publishing was a revolutionary change in the means of
> production--collapsing creation and production into a single, intuitive,
> previewable, WYSIWYG experience. I think that what designers and other
> visual people will expect is tools in the same ballpark.
> 

Perhaps someone has already done what I propose below -- but if they haven't
it shouldn't be hard:

Why not just take the Mosaic code and add editing capabilities to it?  Mosaic
is a tool designed to take raw data in HTML format and display it on-screen
as a WYSIWYG document.  

Why not just extend that by adding the capability to edit and "tag paragraphs" 
and insert graphics ala MS Word, FrameMaker, et. al.  so that as the user
edits the Mosaic display the results are stored back in the source HTML format?

With this arrangement, you would have WYSIWYG (which is what Mosaic gives you 
anyway), you have easy HTML construction, and you eliminate the testing 
step because you see things exactly the way that Mosaic (or other HTML
browsers) will interpret them.

As an aside, I think that companies like Microsoft and Frame ought to give us
a break and let us read/write <by default> directly to (compressed) MIF, HTML, 
etc. without these extra conversion steps or special SaveAs options, thus
bypassing their proprietary file storage formats. Somebody needs to give us 
open desktop publishing!  But that is a side issue.
 
Likewise, I think ease-of-use is really a separate issue from whether or not 
HTML should be extended.  I still stick by my feeling that communication 
improvements will eventually accommodate the people who want to do 
sophisticated design, if only through the ability to upload highly pictorial 
layouts as straight gif, jpeg, etc. without the hassle of slow transmission 
time.


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