Re: The Final Word on Browsers and the Future
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 13:31:46 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 13:31:46 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: RE: The Final Word on Browsers and the Future

>Well, like the Mississippi, I'd like to meander a little more -- if you   
>don't mind, I'd like to expound on your scenario :

Well, apart from having missed the point, your scenarios are slightly

>Scenario 3 (based on number one) :
> -- however Nova guy happily picks up the U2 CD, pays for it, walks out,   
>and pops this new CD into his car -- [...]

For starters, who here believes a Nova with a CD player? ;)

>Scenario 4 (based on your number two) :
>These two individuals driving to a web page -- Vette guy gets tired of   
>listening to his scratchy record, so he turns on his 286 computer, and   
>waits 15 minutes for Mosaic to start --

No, he doesn't; on a system like this, he's almost certainly using Lynx,
which, even on a 286, starts up *faster* than Netscape on a Pentium.

>                                         he connects to the Internet   
>through his 2800 modem and begins surfing -- he just read in a magazine   
>that U2 had a brand new web site promoting their new tour and new release   
> -- he enters the web address to find a page filled with only text, when   
>the ad in the magazine promised music videos, clips from their songs,   

And a page filled with text is exactly what he was expecting; he *is*
using Lynx, after all.  In fact, he's not the least bit interested in
the advertised video or audio clips; he's just looking for their tour
schedule, to see if any of their appearances will be close enough for
him to attend.  As it happens, the tour will bring U2 right to Vette
guy's home town; unfortunately, U2's web site designer was more
interested in flash-`n-glitz than useability, so Vette guy finds an
unnavigable mess and leaves in disgust.  Oops -- one ticket sale lost.

>      Meanwhile, Nova guy gets home, powers up his Pentium, and opens   
>MSIE 3.0 and goes to the U2 web site, where a background music track   
>plays as soon as he gets to the page,

Waking up his wife, who was sleeping in the next room.

>                                      OBJECT embedding provides a scroll   
>of text detailing information on U2's tour and list of cities,

Driving him batty, because it's scrolling just slightly faster than he
can read comfortably.

>                                                               pictures   
>from the tour flash across the screen,

As if the scrolling text wasn't distracting enough.

>                                       he clicks on links to wav and midi   
>files of the songs from the group, as well as real time audio and video   
>from the band and their music videos.

All nice and flashy, and of course the Nova guy has a good time.  On the
other hand, he doesn't decide to buy any concert tickets; he couldn't,
really, as all his spare cash has been sucked into the throw-away-your-
cutting-edge treadmill.  U2's web site designer went to a lot of
trouble to attract Nova guy, thinking that his high-end Pentium meant
more chance of a ticket sale, when it turns out that he should have
been trying to attract Vette guy instead -- which was the point you
missed in the last letter.

>  Also, accessing this quicker through his 28.8 modem -- Vette guy gets   
>only basic text information -- now you'll probably argue back that it's   
>the designer's fault for designing with all these tags and gadgets -- but   
>the other part of the story is that Vette guy pages through the magazine,   
>and goes to more and more sites, where his experience is limited because   
>he made the choice not to upgrade.

No, because the authors of those sites made the choice to exclude him.

>The point of all this, and forgive me for meandering, is that there comes   
>a time when certain technologies of the past must be left behind [...]

And the point of all this is that sometimes some technologies *can't* be
left behind.  Libraries and schools and corporate intranets can't afford
to jump and scramble to upgrade to the very latest hardware and software
every time you decide to use the latest way-kewl browser-excluding tag
that comes down the pike.  And HTML was originally designed so that
they wouldn't have to.

>                                            [...] Would you rather access   
>the Internet through a 28.8 or a 2800 baud connection?   Wouldn't ISDN or   
>a DS-3 even be better?

Sure it would.  Are you gonna buy it for me?  Otherwise, I can't afford it.

>And it all comes back to standards -- I don't see any positive changes   
>being made to convince Microsoft and Netscape to accept standards --   
>BELIEVE ME, I do not want to see them make the standards -- this group   
>should be making the standards -- but when is something going to change?   

When you put your foot down and tell the "big guys" that you're more
interested in standards compliance than the latest flash-`n-glitz.