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publisher-browser negotiation

From: Mark Steinberger <msteinb1@nycap.rr.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 17:06:08 -0500
Message-ID: <34CA65CF.7B3A3110@nycap.rr.com>
To: www-talk@w3.org
I'm not sure this is going to the right list: The question involves html
and style, among other things.

I'm an electronic publisher (of two math journals). My concern is with
the variability of display features of various monitors:

Example1: I put up some wallpaper that I thought looked great on my home
page. I then discovered it looked terrible on monitors set to 256
colors. Unfortunately, it seems most academic machines (on various
platforms) are set to 256 colors.

Example 2: Some screen displays look good on color monitors but become
totally unreadable on grayscale or black and white monitors. It turns
out, for instance, that the Berkeley Math Department has 120 black and
white monitors, and another batch of grayscale ones.

As a publisher, I really prefer not pitching to the lowest level users.
But I also want to include people. Artistic standards are important.

It seems to me that some kind of extension of html or of style sheet
specifications is needed here, to be able to offer alternatives to the
browser. Hopefully, the browsers will be able to query their
environment (especially important for someone who logs in on different
machines), and determine
what kind of color display is there. The browser should then be able to
implement options provided in the style sheet or html file.

In this way, the browser could be offered a choice of wallpaper or of
colors, and be able to implement it on the fly. (E.g., for wallpaper,
two different gifs could be automatically shipped with the document, and
the browser could then choose which one to display without loss of

Does this make sense?

Is there any chance such a scheme could be implemented?

And if this is the wrong forum for the question, which one is


Mark Steinberger                 http://nyjm.albany.edu:8000/~mark
Editor in Chief, New York Journal of Mathematics
Received on Saturday, 24 January 1998 17:09:08 UTC

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