Re: RE : The Final Word on Browsers and the Future

Abigail (abigail@ny.fnx.com)
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 14:27:11 -0400 (EDT)


Message-Id: <199610181827.OAA00710@melgor.ny.fnx.com>
Subject: Re: RE : The Final Word on Browsers and the Future
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 14:27:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Abigail" <abigail@ny.fnx.com>
In-Reply-To: <3267ACAD@smtpgate.ftt.com> from "Jason O'Brien" at Oct 18, 96 11:12:00 am

You, Jason O'Brien, wrote:
++ 
++ 
++ Murray Altheim, Program Manager
++     Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts writes:
++ >>
++ >I find it insulting to be constantly told to get a new browser, change   
++ my
++ >window size, change my font settings. Akin to opening a book and being   
++ told
++ >
++ >
++ >    "This book best read while sitting in a dark coffee shop dressed in
++ >     mod black clothes, drinking a short cappucino with a sprinkle of
++ >     dark cocoa, sprig of mint, reading "The Horseman on the Roof" by
++ >     Jean Giono. You should be interspersing the reading of this book
++ >     with conversations about Derrida with a dark-eyed, mysterious
++ >     woman from Borneo, who seems transfixed on the mole on your neck."
++ >
++ >This assumes you are a man who wears black, likes strong coffee and   
++ Giono,
++ >and give a rat's patootie about Derrida. And that you're not blind. And
++ >that you speak English (or French, if you're reading Giono in the
++ >original). And that you read books. And that you have lips to drink the
++ >coffee... [Morning cappucino buzz now wearing off...]
++ 
++ <rant>
++ While I must admit this did provide some good humor to my day, you are   
++ missing the point on this issue -- you've exaggerated this issue --   
++ deciding not to upgrade, either browsers or equipment to handle the   
++ browsers, is like saying I'd like to stay with horse-drawn vehicles   
++ instead of trying out this new thing called a car, or saying I'm going to   

Uhm no. We _still_ can use roads for horse-drawn vehicles, just as
for cars. The road works fine for _both_.

++ keep using my old rotary phone instead of trying a touchtone phone, or   
++ even better, getting a cellular phone, or like saying I'm going to only   

Well, did you ever get a letter from your telephone company you should
switch to a cellular phone, because otherwise you can't receive calls
anymore? I don't think so. Sure, some services won't be available
with a rotary phone, but I can still phone all over the world with my
rotaty phone without any difficulty.

++ watch three network stations instead of upgrading to maybe cable, where I   
++ can enjoy more programming, or even a satellite system -- technology and   
++ advancement exist for a reason -- according to your thinking, we   

Wrong. It doesn't matter how I get the TV program. Either by cable, by
satellite or a broadcast network. And it doesn't matter for the broadcast
company either. It doesn't even matter if I have a 6"B&W tv or a 3 yard
wall projection. I will still get the same program.
(Yes, there will be HDTV, which is incompatible. I don't know the situation
 in the USA, but in Europe, the planned transition period is something
 like 15 to 20 _years_. And that is if they ever decide that HDTV will
 be the new standard.)

++ shouldn't even have an Internet then -- what's wrong with just working on   
++ my PC?   Why do I need to connect to a network?  This type of thinking   

Bzzzt. Wrong again. You can connect to the Internet with (almost) any
machine. Be it a 15 year old 1Mb 8MHz 286 or a super dooper NeXT
machine. And 15 years from now, you _still_ can use that 286. The
protocol won't be changed such that you need to upgrade.

++ does not belong in the computer and especially internet industries --   
++ this industry is one of advancement -- you have to accept that new   
++ products and technologies will arrive about every six months to a year --   
++ double speed CD-ROMS no longer handle the task -- now it's 8x and 10x --   
++ a year ago double speed may have been good enough, but now technology has   
++ advanced -- only the future minded will move along with this trend, and I   
++ don't believe it's our responsibility as web designers to stay stuck in   
++ the past designing for old technologies -- anything before Netscape 2.0   
++ or MSIE 3.0 is old technology now --

Ah yes. You buy a new CD of your favourite music group. You want to
play it, but it doesn't fit in your CD-player. You go back to your
music store to complain, and they ask you when you bought your player.
'A year ago?' they laugh. 'Man, you should upgrade.'. Expect a letter
from your ISP next week you will have to upgrade to a 166Mhz Pentium
running Linux if you want to continue having service from them. You
need new tires? First upgrade your car to the newest model. And what's
that? You still have the same wife as six months ago?

After all, new products and technologies appear every other week.

I'm glad most companies want to make a buck or two and consider
they aren't going to make them if they don't give a shit about
their customers.

++ I also have to take issue with the statement by someone else to this   
++ group that browsers should be mundane -- what is it we are doing here?   
++  Am I the only one who has a deep interest and respect for what I'm   
++ doing?   Calling browsers mundane is simply saying web design and the   
++ work we do should be mundane.   I certainly don't think that way, and   
++ neither does the majority of people in the Internet industry -- MSIE 4.0   
++ is going to integrate much more into the operating system, and the next   
++ version of Win95 (yet another example of another reason people need to   
++ upgrade -- Windows 95 offers better features than Windows 3.11) -- will   
++ undoubtedly act like a browser -- HTML is going to be used for a lot more   
++ than what we use it for now.

I don't care what "industrie" says. I don't care about statements
like "but that is what commercial companies want". I want the Web
to be for _everybody_. For the big commercial companies but also
for the little Abigails.

++ The final point here is that
++ 1) We cannot design for everyone's viewing standards;

The whole goal of the Web _is_ to be able to do that.

++ 2) The only alternative is to design for the future -- not being stuck in   

So, you want to keep on redoing your document over and over, each
time foo browser comes with a new release?

++ the past -- our whole culture and lifestyle is one of advancing beyond   
++ where we have been, to improve upon what came before -- if you don't   
++ accept that, you don't belong in this industry.

As I said, I'm not part of this industry. I am Abigail. Not Netscape;
not microsoft; not McDonalds; not Walt Disney.

++ So that is why I will not hesitate, and neither should others, to proudly   
++ place a label on a web page stating which browser(s) this web page is   
++ best designed for.   Sooner or later, people will upgrade.   This is not   
++ a matter of falling down a cliff because someone else said so -- it's the   
++ simple law of computing -- what is hot, fast, and efficient today will be   
++ obsolete in a year.

It just shows that you are clueless in this field. Nothing more, nothing less.


The Web was designed to make an end to all the incompabilities. 
It's a shame that `webpages' are now the most incompatable things
found on the Internet.


Abigail