HTML WG Obsolete? (was Netscape imagemaps, frames, and EMBED)

Brandon Plewe (PLEWE@plewe.cit.buffalo.edu)
Fri, 21 Jul 1995 4:16:22 -0400 (EDT)


Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 4:16:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brandon Plewe <PLEWE@plewe.cit.buffalo.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <950721041622.57@plewe.cit.buffalo.edu>
Subject: HTML WG Obsolete? (was Netscape imagemaps, frames, and EMBED)

Nick Gibbins concluded:
>My (rather irreverent) question is this: what role does the HTML WG
>play, when the features they propose are actively ignored by the major
>companies in favour of similar but inferior features?

I have the same concern after looking at the new Microsoft, Eolas, and Netscape
browsers.  I think it boils down to the fact that people don't care about
rational structure as much as they do about immediate results.  It is useless
to tell people, "don't use this lesser solution--we'll have a really good
solution one of these days."
  
I have spent years trying to explain to novices the value of
structure-encoding as opposed to presentation-encoding, and the truth of the
matter is: other than a few very advanced applications, most people out there
just don't care.

If the HTML standard wants to win out in the end, there is only one answer:
we have to ***show*** everybody the virtues of TrueHTML, not just explain them.
There *must* be a top-notch browser that is truly committed to the HTML
standard (not this proposal-submission-a-week-before-release crap that Netscape
tries to pass off as "committed", or Eolas' change-a-letter-in-the-tag-and-
patent-it).  Somebody needs to support 100% of HTML 3.0, even as fluid as it is,
to compete directly with Netscape, Microsoft, and Eolas.

Our current testbed browsers just won't cut it: emacs-w3 will never have enough
of a market share to make a dent (no offense to Bill-I'm sure he realizes this),
and Arena is far behind on the standard, only supporting about half of it,
besides the fact that it is only available on X.  If W3C doesn't have the
resources to do full development, a commercial group needs to.  As long as it's
W3C vs. All Commercial Browsers, the latter will win easily.

The HTML 3.0 standard is wonderful, but since it isn't around yet (and not for
a while at least), I too have had to reluctantly join the Netscape ranks.  I'd
predict that in six months, either W3C and the HTML and HTTP standards will
be in the drivers seat of a clean, powerful, platform/browser-independent
WWW, or they will be obsolete and irrelevant, and the WWW will be a fractured
mess of proprietary trash in which everyone needs 10 separate browsers even to
see half the content of the Web.

Well, enough spouting.  Let's hope the good guys win :-)

Brandon Plewe
University at Buffalo

P.S.: my votes: 
EMBED-Y (I think this will be much easier to use and understand)
Frames-Y (It's presentation, but that's ok--it's not a document anymore)
   -using multiple <BODY> elements is much better, though, if <BODY> could
	take similar attributes as Netscape's <FRAME>.  Then get rid of <banner>
MAP imagemaps-N (never was a good idea)
FIG imagemaps-Y (backwards compatible, much better for text browsers)