Re: HTML Streaming

Albertfine@aol.com
Tue, 26 Aug 1997 22:11:16 -0400 (EDT)


From: Albertfine@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 22:11:16 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <970826220733_991983578@emout19.mail.aol.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
cc: pflynn@imbolc.ucc.ie
Subject: Re: HTML Streaming

Peter Flynn <pflynn@imbolc.ucc.ie> wrote:

>I know it's possible, but the rules of HTML forbid this. It's just
>sloppy behaviour by browsers to cater for sloppy writing by authors
>using sloppy editors written by people who haven't read the fine
>manuals :-)

This "sloppy behavior" makes HTML very easy to write. I think this is one of 
the reasons why the web is so popular. It also allows experienced HTML 
coders to write very lean code.

>I don't see anything in HTML that stops this right now. What did
>you want? You can stream HTML exactly as it stands, and the XTML
>element in HTML Pro enables endless streaming of multiple HTML
>"files".

You can stream a wav file if you wanted to but it would sound pretty bad.
RAM files are designed to be streamed and they sound pretty good. HTML is 
streamed yet it is not designed to be streamed. I want HTML protocols that 
allow them to be streamed.

>Those with long memories will recall that one of Netscape's (Mozilla's
>as-was) first "benefits" over Mosaic was that it claimed to put the
>text on the screen as it arrived, rather than waiting until everything
>was downloaded -- including graphics -- before composing and
>displaying it as Mosaic did.

It is something people care about. It cannot be done by the browser alone. 
Like Real Audio, streaming a file is not a matter of servers or viewers. It 
is really a matter of the file format and sample rate; the HTML analogous
being the organization of tags and the protocols for HTML editors.

>Unfortunately, now that the everyone's using TABLE to align stuff,
>browsers CANNOT display-as-they-go, because they need to receive
>everything in the table before they can work out the widths. Width
>attributes on images help this, but do not entirely solve the
>problem. HTML has all the elements needed to do it (eg COLSPEC) but
>the browsers don't seem to do anything with them.

I think all tags should be reviewed and changed to make them streamable. Of
course, this is a very big step. I think the first step should be the 
organization of tags and review of the some of more experimental and 
proprietary additions to HTML files.

Albert Fine