Re: My Friday-Before-Labor-Day Diatribe [Was: Frame document structure]

Ian Graham (ianweb@smaug.java.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 30 Aug 1996 13:46:56 -0400 (EDT)


From: ianweb@smaug.java.utoronto.ca (Ian Graham)
Message-Id: <199608301746.NAA20376@smaug.java.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: My Friday-Before-Labor-Day Diatribe [Was: Frame document structure]
To: murray@spyglass.com (Murray Altheim)
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 13:46:56 -0400 (EDT)
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <v02110108ae4cbcbeb6d2@[140.186.34.50]> from "Murray Altheim" at Aug 30, 96 11:08:32 am

> Walter Ian Kaye <boo@best.com> writes:
> >At 2:37p +0300 08/29/96, Stephanos Piperoglou wrote:
> >>On Sat, 28 Aug 1976, Walter Ian Kaye wrote:
> >>
> >>> I'll have to re-read that proposal, but it didn't look like it supported
> >>> multi-document framesets.
> >>
> >>Good. This will ease navigation and make things a lot less confusing.
> >
> >It depends on the particular application. For my Walter's Web page, frames
> >are purely a presentational device for a single page. HOWEVER, for my Osax
> >Reference page, multiple documents are a REQUIREMENT. Why? Well, you see,
............
> 
> <deep breath>
> 
 (pre-labor day weekend commentary -- well written, as always)
............
> 
> The Web is a victim of the same obsession with appearance that erodes the
> value we place on true content. An order of magnitude greater effort has
> been spent on getting the "look" right, rather than concerning ourselves
> with the structure of online knowledge and information. It's as if our
> browsers and documents were busy getting breast implants and liposuction,
> rather than concentrating on improving their content, personality, utility,
> wisdom.
>
> How can we expect the Web to function as a repository of human knowledge,
> our future libraries (rather than simply another advertising landscape), if
> an online encyclopedia looks the same structurally as Babes on the Web?

I heartily agree -- the focus on appearance over substance is unfortunate,
and diverts debate from far more important, structural issues.  I say more 
important because structure is the key to both flexible appearance and
flexible use of document information comment. In the former case, truly 
robust presentation control (on devices ranging from PDAs to high resolution 
monitors to braille readers) hinges on an underlying, well-defined, properly 
employed structural markup of the underlying document, upon which presentation 
control can be layered using stylesheets. How many times has this been pointed
out?

> 
> Rather than spending so much energy on trying to make our screens jump,
> spin and bark, lets all demand greater tools, a greater concentration on
> document quality, integrity and longevity, and markup languages to support
> it.
> Murray
>      Murray Altheim, Program Manager

.. jump, spin and bark?  Well, why *did* Apple call their product "CyberDog?"

Have a good weekend,

Ian
--
Ian Graham ................................................ ian.graham@utoronto.ca
Information Commons                                              Tel: 416-978-4548
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