Re: HTML Streaming

Jordan Reiter (jreiter@mail.slc.edu)
Tue, 02 Sep 1997 16:54:36 -0400


Message-Id: <3.0.1.16.19970902165436.3d17fe7c@mail.slc.edu>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 16:54:36 -0400
To: Albertfine@aol.com
From: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <970901094452_-667551093@emout13.mail.aol.com>
Subject: Re: HTML Streaming

I think one possible solution can be made that sidesteps both Albert Fine's
tag recommendations and the consternation of many in the list who don't
think streaming is worth it.  How about this idea: simple first, complex
last.  I think as long as people have something to look at, they're happy.
Web users are, fortunately, easy to please.  So, if you put all the simpler
sections of the page at the top (ie, paragraphs, which generally load fast)
that people can read first, then they won't mind while the browser loads
the rest of the page while they're reading.

And how, if the sections aren't loaded in their intended order, will
browsers create a correctly formatted version?

CSS-P.

Of course, this won't degrade well--at least as far as visual layout is
concerned.  You couldn't, for example, expect to do columnar layout on a
browser that didn't support CSS-P.  But it would degrade well as far as
content is concerned.

Of course, I myself can see problems in this solution, but I rarely feel
that a page loads slowly because of its format--I've read huge pages before
that *didn't* take that much time.  More importantly, we need to force web
designers to (too bad we can't make any required specs for this!):
  * make well compressed graphics by using less colors (or a higher
    compression)
  * create simpler table layouts with fewer cells (the fewer the cells, the
    faster the download).  Using a standard three column design, you need
  probably a maximum of only 9 cells, which doesn't take long to render.
Right now, most pages load up faster than you can read, especially if there
is a large quantity of text, rather than graphics, on the page, and if the
authors have used width and height tags on sized elements to indicate how
much space they need.