Re: strange rendering of my Web pages using Amaya

   ... I would like to write Web pages in a way that enables them
   to be viewed properly under the widest set of conditions possible,

Yes!  Excellent goal.
is better than most.

I just took a look at the page using GNU Emacs W3 mode, Mosaic with
images turned off, Netscape 4, and Amaya 1.2.  I use Emacs for
serious work, Mosaic for speed, Netscape for seeing what some others
see, and Amaya (and sometimes Arena) to ensure compatibility.

You are right, Amaya is not following the stylesheet as you might
expect for a browser with graphics turned on and no other overriding
stylesheets.  Doubtless, the Amaya people will fix this eventually.

In the meantime, it is best to consider Amaya as just another way your
page will be presented.  After all, writing Web pages is rather like
`herding cats'.  You can suggest to the cats they come for a walk
(mine usually do) but the choice is ultimately their's and they know
it.  Web pages are written in HTML, which is a formatting language
that provides hints towards layout, but leaves choice to the reader.

Plan your presentation so it not only looks good for Netscape and
Amaya, but also looks good to people who efficiently employ one or
other text-primary browser.  Write so your page `hears good' to a
blind person using a speech synthesizer.

This way you reach towards the "widest set of conditions possible".

For example, the `alt' text for the banners at the top of the page
could be reworked.  Most of the rest is OK.  As i said, you are fairly
close to having a decent page.

    ... I have specified using an external style sheet ...

Bear in mind that browsers can overrule an external style sheet.  You
page should look or hear well when the reader uses his own.  For
example, with Emacspeak, a text to speech converter, the browser will
end up using a stylesheet that has parts like this:

     li,dt,dd { pitch: 6; richness: 6; }
       a:link { voice-family: harry; }
    a:visited { voice-family: betty;}
     a:active { voice-family: betty; pitch-range: 8; pitch: 8 }

        <a href="">
           Blind Access to the Net</a>
        <a href="">

as well as:

       <a href="">
          The `Best Viewed With Any Browser' site</a>

You say:

   ... I was looking forward to using Amaya itself for some authoring
   tasks.  However, seeing what I am seeing makes me rather pessimistic
   that such a thing will be possible.

Hmmm.... I think you are looking at Web page design as if it were like
design for a printed page, rather than `herding cats' as I mentioned
above.  That is, unconsciously or consciously, you hope to see what
you plan for.  This is the way email works as well as print on paper.
But HTML composition is different; it consists of providing hints to
various quite different browsers.

I have tried Amaya; it is not that bad for composing; it appears to
generate reasonable HTML.  (It is actually easier and more productive
to write HTML source directly using Emacs HTML Helper mode, but that
is a different issue.)

Best wishes


    Robert J. Chassell 
    Rattlesnake Enterprises

Received on Wednesday, 15 April 1998 09:08:38 UTC