Re: HTML4.0 draft: comments re: inclusion of frames (fwd)

Jordan Reiter (jreiter@mail.slc.edu)
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 14:48:56 -0500


Message-Id: <l03110701b03df702c981@[192.168.1.117]>
In-Reply-To: <iNCG04uYOBIc089yn@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997 14:48:56 -0500
To: galactus@htmlhelp.com (Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet)
From: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: HTML4.0 draft: comments re: inclusion of frames (fwd)

At 11:59 AM -0500 1997-11-09, Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet wrote:
>In article <l03110701b03cbfe1fc5e@[192.168.1.117]>,
>Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu> wrote:
>> I am sick, sick, *sick* of this holier-than-thou attitude that seems to say
>> that anyone who every made a page that *looked* like something is a peice
>> of crap and is responsible for turning the web into a peice of bloated
>> waste.
>
>The problem is more that the *methods* used to create "good looking"
>websites suck. This, combined with the apparent willingness of most
>authors to use these crappy extensions to get something that looks
>decent in an otherwise boring browser, is what gets out the "holier-than-
>thou" attitude. There *are* good solutions to this, but they're not
>implemented, and 'designers' who feel happy with using the half-baked
>solutions are primarily responsible for keeping the situation as it
>is now.

I would agree with the sentiment that crappy websites are being made every
day.  But this is no different than the hundreds of crappy books, novels,
magazines, newspapers that are being made every day.  The crucial
difference, of course, is readability--generally, typed text *is* readable
by anyone (anyone who *would* buy it, anyway).  Web designers *can* design
completely unreadable pages.  And I would agree that, often, choosing to
define a site's HTML code based on design can lead to a site unreadable or
non-experienceable by many.

Except that it *is* possible to use methods that integrate the seemingly
incompatible newer tags so that *any* browser can have a meaningful trip
through a site.  By combinining alternative layouts, the use of effective
ALT text, etc., it is possible to create a site that provides for a variety
of platforms and browsers.

Browsers, like television screens, are only as boring as the lack of
information inside of them.  It is not the fault of the browsers that a
user's experience is inadequate; it is the designer's, if the designer uses
uninteresting design, confusing layout and navigation, and has platform
specific objects (particularly embedded objects) play an integral part in
the browsing experience.

Designers who depend on businesses for work cannot realisticly ignore their
clients' need for a good-looking site.  The most crucial thing is making a
site that contains the same amount of information (or at least a reasonable
amount) no matter how you view it.  If the business is involved, for
example, in screen printing, then naturally they are going to want to have
images in the page that provide information in the form of a photograph
which shows just what their work may look like; this information can never
be transported to the Lynx platform, or to an aural or braille browser.
This, nonetheless, is information--information that these browser users to
some extent willingly (or at least acknowledgingly) recognize they will be
unable to view.

Generally, "good looking" sites use tables to lay out their information;
generally, although these layouts do not beautifully degrade, they
nonetheless degrade without marring much of the information in the site.

I think that it's about time that we had a standard that recognized and
sought to guide in the use of these "newer" elements--and as

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[                    Jordan Reiter                     ]
[            mailto:jreiter@mail.slc.edu               ]
[       Just smile and nod and say, "Yes, Jordan."     ]
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