Re: The Netscape / Microsoft / Future Quagmire

Peter Flynn (pflynn@curia.ucc.ie)
19 Oct 1996 16:39:24 +0100


Date: 19 Oct 1996 16:39:24 +0100
From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
Subject: RE: The Netscape / Microsoft / Future Quagmire
In-reply-to: <32668A8C@smtpgate.ftt.com> (jaobrien@fttnet.com)
To: jaobrien@fttnet.com
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-id: <199610191539.QAA17324@curia.ucc.ie>

[...]
   for internet growth -- for us web designers, we all have a fascination   
   with the Internet and I find it hard to believe that some abhor the   
   newest developments, new tags, and can't stand it when a badge on a page   
   says "upgrade your browser" -- right now, I recommend and design my pages   

This is because you design your pages with appearance only in mind.
Many of us design pages for _content_, which needs to transcend
appearance if it is to prove durable and persistent. I cannot afford
the luxury (and nor can my clients) of restricting their market to
users of a specific browser.

   said this numerous times to this group -- it is impossible to design your   
   sites to be viewed by every possible browser in every single desktop size   
   configuration in any consistent font or color -- it's impossible right   
   now.

It's equally impossible to do this in other media: some TV ads just
don't cut it on my 4" Sony handheld, and book typography simply
doesn't work in magazines. All we can do is aim for the maximization,
not perfection.

   Unless all you type is text and think this is where the future of   
   the Internet lies, but I find it hard to believe anyone would believe   
   this. 

Unfortunately, I find it equally hard to believe that content-free
pages consisting solely of graphics and animation have sole command of
the future...but we may agree to differ on this, as different clients
have different needs.

   Therefore, the only option is to design for the future -- if you   
   don't believe this, then let's just use txt files to try to type   
   professional looking resumes or more advanced publishing features --   
   computing and the Internet will always advance, always mature, always   
   change, always get better -- as web designers, we must move with that   
   future, or be left behind.

Unfortunately the identical argument can be made in favour of the
singular use of graphic-only pages. The answer of course lies
somewhere between the two, but I cannot send my clients down a blind
alley purely on the basis that it looks cute in MSIE. Business users -
serious buiness users, not the suits in marketing - know this, and are
beginning to realize which way the wind is blowing (probably towards
Microsloth anyway, but that's another matter :-)

///Peter, sitting in the Internet cafe in Barcelona enjoying the
          coffee