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Re: Permitting non-indirect links [HoTMetaL edit URL dialogue!]

From: <lee@sq.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 97 12:15:04 EST
Message-Id: <9701161715.AA18051@sqrex.sq.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@www10.w3.org
Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com> wrote:


> If you consider the HoTMetal URL creation menu verbose then how come
> HoTMetaL is a leader in the field? All I am doing is say store the info
> HoTMetaL creates in its separate boxes as separate attributes until such
> time as you call the file, instead of resolving the complete URL the minute
> you close the attribute menu.

I think there's something interesting to note here.

I gave a paper about the design of HoTMetaL 1.0 at the World Wide Web
conference in Chicago in 1994.  There were authors of two other HTML
editors giving similar papers.  Someone in the audience asked each of us
what support they had for editing URLs, and whether the users actually
needed to understand the complex syntax of URLs.
One said they thought people should just type URLs directly, and
as any programmer can do that, it wasn't an issue.
One said that they wanted to do something but couldn't see how (I may
be oversimlifying here).
And I showed the HoTMetaL Edit URL dialogue that we'd built.

Some people, very familiar with the syntax, couldn't see why you'd
want one.  Others, especially the less technical, were delighted.
The overall effect of HoTMetaL was that we changed the kind of people
who could create web pages -- it wasn't just vi, emacs and notepad users
any more.  Whether that was good or bad for the web :-), it meant that
HoTMetaL spread quickly, and also helped HTML, at a time when a great
many PC users weren't sure if it was http://site/name or HTTP:\\SITE\FILE
or even why there was a difference.

I tell this long anecdote to remind us that similar considerations apply
to XML and XML software.


Received on Thursday, 16 January 1997 12:15:21 UTC

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