Re: Frames Are Improving

F. E. Potts (
Sat, 24 Aug 1996 20:14:35 -0600

Date: Sat, 24 Aug 1996 20:14:35 -0600
From: (F. E. Potts)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: RE: Frames Are Improving

At 02:23 PM 8/24/96 -0600, F. E. Potts wrote:
> > But I don't see M$ doing any better, and of course at this time
> > they are basically restricted to the tourist market.  Certainly
> > they are not coming up with anything I would be able to run --
> > unless I bought a Windoz box.  And that ain't likely.

On Sat, 24 Aug 1996 16:45:57 -0600, Paul Prescod replied:
> I think that they are about as "restricted" by the "tourist market"
> (by which F.E.Potts means Windows users) as Coca Cola is by the "pop
> drinkers market." I think that Microsoft dominating the Windows
> platform and leaving the others to Netscape is the best of all
> possible outcomes for the Web.

Well, I did say <em>to</em>, not <em>by</em>, and there is a
difference. :-)

My concern is a simple one: I do not wish this contest, this grab for
market share, to balkanize the web into proprietary segments where UAs
are deliberately designed to resolve valid HTML markup in different
ways so that one has to make a conscious decision to write for either
one market segment or the other, but not both. This way (proprietary)
is, of course, a tradition with M$, though Netscape (which would like
to be the "Microsoft" of the net), is not much better.

What I would like to see is a third choice, a UA that resolves whatever
the current HTML level is (we are currently at 3.2), uses style sheets
(and frames :-), has provisions for math, and is designed to be secure
(i.e., no Java, Javascript, ActiveX, cookies, etc.).  I also would like
to see it validate the markup, rejecting bad code, even though that
does violate the long-held principle of being strict in what you serve,
but lenient in what you receive.

As to Paul's desire, "I think that Microsoft dominating the Windows
platform and leaving the others to Netscape is the best of all possible
outcomes for the Web", all I can say is that Microsoft is new to the
web, and comes amongst us with the mindset of a conqueror, rather than
abiding by the long-standing "rough consensus" and cooperation that has
made the web what it is.  A web that Microsoft controlled would be a
sorry place indeed, and one where the concept of giving to the web as
you take from it would be long lost.

As Chuck Musciano put it long ago:

	I believe that you shouldn't take from
	the net if you aren't giving to the
	net.  What are *you* serving to the rest
	of the world?

These are truly words to live by, though of course those I refer to as
"tourists" wouldn't have a clue as to what they mean.  They come on the
net expecting everything to be given to them, but are totally unwilling
to reciprocate in kind.  Look at AOL, CIS, MSN -- those are the
tourists, and M$ will (to Paul's delight) have them all.  

My all this this makes me feel old and grumpy.  I apologize for the