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RE : The Final Word on Browsers and the Future

From: Jason O'Brien <jaobrien@fttnet.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 96 11:12:00 CDT
To: "'www'" <www-html-request@w3.org>, "'www_list'" <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <3267ACAD@smtpgate.ftt.com>

Murray Altheim, Program Manager
    Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts writes:
>I find it insulting to be constantly told to get a new browser, change   
>window size, change my font settings. Akin to opening a book and being   
>    "This book best read while sitting in a dark coffee shop dressed in
>     mod black clothes, drinking a short cappucino with a sprinkle of
>     dark cocoa, sprig of mint, reading "The Horseman on the Roof" by
>     Jean Giono. You should be interspersing the reading of this book
>     with conversations about Derrida with a dark-eyed, mysterious
>     woman from Borneo, who seems transfixed on the mole on your neck."
>This assumes you are a man who wears black, likes strong coffee and   
>and give a rat's patootie about Derrida. And that you're not blind. And
>that you speak English (or French, if you're reading Giono in the
>original). And that you read books. And that you have lips to drink the
>coffee... [Morning cappucino buzz now wearing off...]

While I must admit this did provide some good humor to my day, you are   
missing the point on this issue -- you've exaggerated this issue --   
deciding not to upgrade, either browsers or equipment to handle the   
browsers, is like saying I'd like to stay with horse-drawn vehicles   
instead of trying out this new thing called a car, or saying I'm going to   
keep using my old rotary phone instead of trying a touchtone phone, or   
even better, getting a cellular phone, or like saying I'm going to only   
watch three network stations instead of upgrading to maybe cable, where I   
can enjoy more programming, or even a satellite system -- technology and   
advancement exist for a reason -- according to your thinking, we   
shouldn't even have an Internet then -- what's wrong with just working on   
my PC?   Why do I need to connect to a network?  This type of thinking   
does not belong in the computer and especially internet industries --   
this industry is one of advancement -- you have to accept that new   
products and technologies will arrive about every six months to a year --   
double speed CD-ROMS no longer handle the task -- now it's 8x and 10x --   
a year ago double speed may have been good enough, but now technology has   
advanced -- only the future minded will move along with this trend, and I   
don't believe it's our responsibility as web designers to stay stuck in   
the past designing for old technologies -- anything before Netscape 2.0   
or MSIE 3.0 is old technology now --

I also have to take issue with the statement by someone else to this   
group that browsers should be mundane -- what is it we are doing here?   
 Am I the only one who has a deep interest and respect for what I'm   
doing?   Calling browsers mundane is simply saying web design and the   
work we do should be mundane.   I certainly don't think that way, and   
neither does the majority of people in the Internet industry -- MSIE 4.0   
is going to integrate much more into the operating system, and the next   
version of Win95 (yet another example of another reason people need to   
upgrade -- Windows 95 offers better features than Windows 3.11) -- will   
undoubtedly act like a browser -- HTML is going to be used for a lot more   
than what we use it for now.

The final point here is that
1) We cannot design for everyone's viewing standards;
2) The only alternative is to design for the future -- not being stuck in   
the past -- our whole culture and lifestyle is one of advancing beyond   
where we have been, to improve upon what came before -- if you don't   
accept that, you don't belong in this industry.
So that is why I will not hesitate, and neither should others, to proudly   
place a label on a web page stating which browser(s) this web page is   
best designed for.   Sooner or later, people will upgrade.   This is not   
a matter of falling down a cliff because someone else said so -- it's the   
simple law of computing -- what is hot, fast, and efficient today will be   
obsolete in a year.

Jason O'Brien
Received on Friday, 18 October 1996 12:14:17 UTC

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