Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3

Chris Tilbury (C.J.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk)
Tue, 18 Jul 1995 19:50:31 BST


From: "Chris Tilbury" <C.J.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk>
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
Date:          Tue, 18 Jul 1995 19:50:31 BST
Subject:       Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3
Message-Id: <206F4B36E2@forest.estate.warwick.ac.uk>

On 18 Jul 95 at 10:44, rcolman@synsis.com wrote:

> Wow, are you guys out of touch with reality or what!

The short answer?

No.

The long one?

No. Rather, we're very much in touch with it.

Rather than try and attempt to turn HTML into presentational markup, 
something which would fail miserably no matter how many 

<Helvetica10PointItalicUnderlineAlignedWithTheTopofTheLastImageAndWithGreenPolkaDots>

elements you attempt to add, we're plugging stylesheets.

Unlike <center>, <blink>, <font>, and all the amusing little 
presentational markup extensions which Netscape Corporation have 
added, stylesheets allow browser writers to come up with the most 
wonderfully sophisticated formatting capabilities, and allow authors 
to exploit those formatting capabilities on a per-platform/per-browser 
basis, whilst simultaneously allowing users of other browsers to 
access those pages without loosing any of the information content.

For an example, compare the most wonderfully Netscape enhanced page 
to a well produced PDF or Postscript document - it pales in 
comparison.

Even Netscape appreciate this - they've already indicated their 
intent to add PDF Reader technology[1], to incorporate Suns Java[2] 
language, and add Macromedia Director Playback[3] capabilities to 
their browsers. All of these are far more effective ways of improving 
both the quality and visual richness of 'Web pages than adding any 
number of pretty but ultimately disappointing bogus HTML elements, 
and can be done without bastardising the HTML language.

> In case you hadn't noticed, Netscape is running on almost 5 million
> desktops with a 60% market share. 

(Can anyone please provide a source for these figures? I'd be 
 interested in investigating them. Either a URL or a reference to a 
 publication is fine)

> Most of the Web page designers that I work with, and I work with 
> many, include Netscape extensions without thinking twice about it.

Most of the lemmings I've ever seen mindlessly throw themselves from 
clifftops. Whether I see twenty of them or twenty million of them
won't affect my complete lack of desire to replicate them, either.

> In this case, the tail is definitely waving the dog. Those who
> ignore dominant market share in an increasingly commercial WWW are
> bound to be swept right off the playing field.

No, we'll just leave you to your <CENTER><BLINK>KooL!</BLINK><CENTER>
Netscape "Enhanced" world, and get on with the serious business of 
constructing useful, powerful and accessible open standards for 
everyone, that make the Netscape Extensions look like the crude 
little hacks they are.

References:

[1] <URL:http://home.netscape.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease20.1.html>
	(it looks like this press release has disappeared from their 
     server, as it happens, although the reference is still there.)
[2] <URL:http://home.netscape.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease25.html>
[3] <URL:http://home.netscape.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease28.html>

Regards,



Chris

--
Chris Tilbury, Estates Office, University of Warwick, UK, CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 1203 523523 x2665                   Fax: +44 1203 524444
MIME mail welcomed      mailto:Chris.Tilbury@estate.warwick.ac.uk