Re: HTML Streaming

Steven Champeon (
Mon, 08 Sep 1997 10:04:57 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 10:04:57 -0400
From: Steven Champeon <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: HTML Streaming

At 08:06 AM 9/8/97 -0400, graced us with:
> (Dave Salovesh) wrote:
> >As part of the HTTP request a browser could announce its current
> >settings, and then there would be no guessing or errors.  This also has
> >the advantages of working equally well on any document and requiring no
> >effort or special tools for authors.

MSIE used to do that. I don't know if it still does.

> This would be very inefficient. The isp/server would need to have a copy 
> every user's browser and operating system. It would then need to set each 
> copy to the settings of the user. It would then load the page and create a 
> preview for each preferences or have a copy on hand. You would have to delay
> the upload of the HTML file to the user or he/she would get the HTML file 
> before the preview. You would need a pretty fast processor or the delay
> be signifiant. You may still have compression problems. If the user makes
> changes to the operating system or the browser while the file was being 
> download it would not work and you would need to upload another file. The 
> agent would also need to send updates on its os and browser preferences.
> files would probably be useless after a single change and you might have 
> copyright and privacy problems. All this to smooth out what is just a couple
> seconds of load time?

Albert, when was the last time you had a page load that took longer than
reinstalling your operating system? This whole thing has gotten kind of
silly. And what do you mean the server would have to have a copy of
every browser? Here I was, thinking you had a useful idea, like:

HTTP-User-Agent-screenres: 640x480;depth=8bit

but what it sounds like is that you want to *screenshot* every page when the 
request comes in on the server's end, (making sure to match the OS/browser
combination) and send back the graphic? 

I think I speak for the whole of www-html here when I ask, 

"Are you on crack?!?"

There is something known as "diminishing returns", Albert. HTML files are 
generally small enough, and processors fast enough, that to add to the HTML
file in order to speed display time is counter-productive. Mechanisms
exist which allow most everything you've suggested, and where they don't
exist, it is because the suggested mechanism is silly. Like this "preview"
idea - with all due respect, please stop thinking of the Web as Microsoft
Word. It's bad enough that Microsoft already thinks that way...


Steven Champeon                  | It is very dark. You are | likely to be eaten by a grue.      |           - Zork