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RE: complexity

From: Jewett, Jim J <jim.jewett@eds.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 12:19:49 -0400
Message-ID: <B8CDFB11BB44D411B8E600508BDF076C1E96D482@USAHM010.amer.corp.eds.com>
To: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, olafBuddenhagen@web.de
Cc: www-html@w3.org


>On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 olafBuddenhagen@web.de wrote:
>> Because one of the core features of the WWW has been
>> the low entry cost -- which in turn is the only possiblilty
>> to ensure real plattform independence.

Ian Hickson:

> Not for the past half-decade at least.

It depends on what you want to do.  Even before Netscape and IE,
Mosaic worked much better on art sites -- but lynx worked fine
on sites with text content.

There are many sites today which are useless without the right
plugins -- but there are also sites that still work fine as text.

These sites are themselves valuable enough that people are willing
to write browsers for new environments, and add additional support
incrementally.

>> MSIE supports one plattform, Opera four plus one or so, 
>> Mozilla a few more, but what about all the others?

> What others? As far as I know, there isn't a single platform that
> doesn't run either Opera or Mozilla (and I'm including platforms 
> such as Symbian or Windows CE).

Palm OS without a wireless connection.

There were attempts to port an older Mozilla, but the requirements
for memory and connectivity basically sunk it.

There are now some commercial browsers backed by the device makers
(NetFront), but as best I can tell, the most popular readers are
still AvantGo (also commercial), iSilo, and Plucker.

All three have had "nicer presentation" on their wishlist for years,
but I haven't seen anything beyond heuristics and presentational
HTML from any of them -- because CSS doesn't really give guidance
on how to scale down.  (Either to a partial implementation or to
a smaller screen.  It acknowledges the possibility, but it doesn't
really say which parts are important or which parts go together ...
and figuring that out takes longer than it seems to be worth.)

>> Not every browser aims to be an "application plattform".

> Any browser that doesn't aim to be an application platform
> would find itself severely locked out of large parts of the Web.

Opera (and even Mozilla) already are.

The rest of the web is still useful enough to be worth supporting.

-jJ
Received on Tuesday, 20 April 2004 12:20:57 GMT

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