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

Iain Wilkie Logan (iainlogan@enterprise.net)
Tue, 16 Sep 1997 21:52:37 +0100 (BST)


Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 21:52:37 +0100 (BST)
From: Iain Wilkie Logan <iainlogan@enterprise.net>
To: Jordan Reiter <jreiter@mail.slc.edu>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
In-Reply-To: <l03110700b043ad5f2d8c@[192.168.1.117]>
Message-ID: <Marcel-1.26-0916205237-f7fkrWe@iainlogan.enterprise.net>
Subject: Re: HTML4.0 draft: comments re: inclusion of frames (fwd)

On Tue 16 Sep, Jordan Reiter wrote:
> You felt an urge to reveal at 10:50 AM -0500 on 1997-09-15:

> > This might go some way towards focussing the thought processes of those who
> > create vendor extensions, the principal objective of providing guidelines
> > being to ensure that extensions they produce degrade gracefully, and are as
> > far as possible made proof against the sort of havoc that it is possible to
> > wreak with some of the existing ones - FONT FACE and MARQUEE being shining
> > examples.
> 
> I don't think the FONT FACE thing was any more blindingly horendous than
> the FONT SIZE or FONT COLOR thingamajig--same basic concept, right?
> MARQUEE, however, has no defense whatsoever.

The FACE attribute is far worse than the COLOR or SIZE attributes - it
implies that everybody has the font in question - too much like a closed
system - not everybody uses Windoze you know!

SIZE I do use, but only in the relative (+-number) sense. I'm gradually
converting over to BIG and SMALL.

For example, if I did put 'FACE="WingDings"' [1] into all my FONT tags, I
could be sure of annoying anyone using a Windows PC, who'd be forced to
'view source' to get my message!

If I surrounded a whole page with MARQUEE [1] tags I could really foul up IE for
its users - which I guess is what you mean!

What we're getting to here is what I believe to be a fundamental conflict
between 'open' and 'closed' systems [2] which needs to be addressed. The Web
is an 'open' system, but NS and MS want to 'close' it up for their own
commercial ends, which is why vendor tags ought to be 'open' as far as
possible - which they can be if they degrade gracefully, and don't deny
access to information.

In summary, the worst that a 'closed system' tag can do is to deny access to
information to those not using the relevant OS or browser(s). On the other
hand, those who do not use those 'closed' systems can misuse these tags to
create havoc for those who do. Both of these are *bad* things - though in my
more anarchic moods I sometimes wonder whether I shouldn't apply 'bad' in
its Rhythm and Blues sense to the latter! 

Maybe you'd profit by a visit to:

<http://server.berkeley.edu/~cdaveb/anybrowser.html>

... and follow some of the links while you're at it.

I much appreciate your quick response.

All the best,

Iain

[1] OK I'll stick my neck out and post a ZIP archive (48k) which will
demonstrate what I mean at my website. It's not perfect yet, but will serve
to illustrate some of the problems:

<http://homepages.enterprise.net/iainlogan/Zip/brwars.zip>

Please respect my copyright in this thing. Links into the main magazine
won't work.

[2] If anyone has made a study of this conflict in the context of the web,
or can direct me towards one, I'd welcome the chance to know more.

-- 

Iain Logan, Langholm, Dumfriesshire - Chartered Transport Consultant
<http://homepages.enterprise.net/iainlogan/>
<mailto:iainlogan@enterprise.net>