Re: Netscape 4.0 press release at their server

Tom Magliery (mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:27:27 -0500


Message-Id: <v0213050bae8bff192654@[141.142.103.218]>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:27:27 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
From: mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu (Tom Magliery)
Subject: Re: Netscape 4.0 press release at their server
Cc: "Scott E. Preece" <preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>

At 7:58 AM 10/17/96, Scott E. Preece wrote:
>   From: mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu (Tom Magliery)
>|
>| "This page best viewed with" is an ironic step backwards in document
>| interchangeability.  Before The Web, that information was given out using
>| only 4 bytes of data, not 30 or 40.  And it appeared in the document's
>| meta-information -- the filename -- not in the body of the document itself,
>| so it was usually easier to get to.  ".DOC" was (and still is) quite a
>| convenient way to say "This page best viewed with Microsoft Word."
>---
>
>*wrong*  The .doc extension is also commonly used for Framemaker
>documents and for Interleaf documents, at least.

Well, okay, I didn't choose the best example.  I'm a native Mac user
myself, and I didn't realize that .DOC was multiply-used.  My first thought
was to use .WPD.  I guess I shouldn't second-guess myself.

Anyway, my point was supposed to be that it is a Bad Thing to create
documents using *any* type of proprietary system or format.  The irony is
that with the Web -- which finally allows people to stop doing that --
everyone still does it, and they actually expend *more* energy doing so!

>Why, oh why, has our industry (with the notable exception of Apple) been
>unable to figure out how to do typed files?

Maybe it's my own ignorance (remember, I'm a Mac user, so I'm on *your*
side), but what's the difference between storing the information in a
3-character extension + a mapping somewhere in the OS between extensions
and applications, versus a 4-character "creator" field + a similar
OS-internal mapping?

mag

--
.---o  Tom Magliery, Research Programmer                         .---o
`-O-.  NCSA, 605 E. Springfield                  (217) 333-3198  `-O-.
o---'  Champaign, IL 61820          O-        mag@ncsa.uiuc.edu  o---'