W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2004


From: Jewett, Jim J <jim.jewett@eds.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:59:54 -0500
Message-ID: <B8CDFB11BB44D411B8E600508BDF076C1E96D339@USAHM010.amer.corp.eds.com>
To: "'Mark Birbeck'" <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>, 'Tantek Çelik' <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, "'David Woolley'" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: www-html@w3.org

David Woolley(?):

> I posit that the lack of namespaces was not in small part
> responsible for this success. That is to say, I would guess
> that every namespace added to a language will dramatically
> reduce it's ease of use for authors.

Mark Birbeck:

> [can't prove a negative]

> Is it possible that there is more to the take-up
> of HTML than simply 'ease of authoring'? 

gopher existed first; it didn't go as far.

I had used gopher, but never published in it.  I don't 
think I ever got around to learning the syntax, because 
needing a server was already enough of a barrier to make 
it not worthwhile unless I already had a large project 
in mind.

HTML had a very small barrier to entry.  I could create 
a page or two (and serve them locally or by FTP) as a 
trial run.  

Of course, I could do the same with postscript or LaTeX,
but I couldn't easily use those without tools, nor could
someone else read them without comparable tools.  The
simple (and relatively sparse, for handwritten HTML) code
meant that even a few minutes could produce something 

Being *able* to use complicated constructs is fine.  Being
*forced* to use them (or seeing them in almost every real-
world example) presents a barrier to entry - and therefore 
a barrier to getting the initial critical mass.

Received on Thursday, 26 February 2004 10:00:19 UTC

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