HTML+ discussion doc and Marc's comments

Thomas R. Bruce (
Tue, 2 Nov 1993 12:36:00 -0500 (EST)


If Marc and team are expressing reservations about the sheer size of
the spec and its implementation, imagine my feelings on the subject as
a solo developer.

A spec of this complexity guarantees one of two things:
that there will be diversity of browsers, with great unevenness of
capabilities among them, or that there will be no diversity of
browsers. Browser development under HTML as it is _now_ is just this
side of economically unfeasible for all except nationally-funded
operations like NCSA, and I think they may be finding it a bit of a
stretch also.

Browser development under HTML+ as it stands would be effectively
restricted to NCSA if anyone wanted it done in less than a year by
noncommercial developers -- longer if I'm reading Marc's estimate of
cross-platform development time correctly -- and to those others who
could attract the necessary funding. That's not a pretty prospect in
the dreary Nineties.

Now, there are obviously those for whom a single Web browser would be
a good thing -- mostly information providers such as ORA who are
constrained to provide technical support for access to their goods;
it's easier to support one cross-platform product than a diverse
population of them.

Obviously I've got some strong and frankly ambivalent feelings about
the matter. I've got some time and effort in this, and it would be
wrenching to say the least if I came to view the next logical step in
the development of Cello as permanently out of reach. It may also be
that I've just been answering too much support mail lately; I start to
see every communication as meaning, "We want the MOON and we want it
NOW and what's the MATTER with YOU?". But a bit of realism wouldn't
hurt, and I think Marc's put his finger on it well.


|  Thomas R. Bruce                  |
|  Research Associate                                         |
|  Cornell Law School                     Voice: 607-255-1221 |
|  Myron Taylor Hall                        FAX: 607-255-7193 |
|  Ithaca, NY 14853                                           |