Re: Whitespace

Kenneth Chang (
Thu, 13 Jan 94 09:47:31 CST

The fundamental paradox of this issue is
* Document authors want to specify the appearance of their documents.
* Users want to configure their browsers.

This results in strange contradictions, such as in MacMosaic, where for
each heading tag, you can specify the font and font size (control by user),
but _not_ the font style (because the developers thought this should be
controlled by the document author through <B> and <I>).

At some point, WWW developers need to come to some sort of consensus about
which of these two is more important.

If you want glossy, good graphic design, you _can't_ allow the user to
arbitrarily change page size, font, font size, font style, etc. This would
require a full-blown PDF, MultiMaster fonts (or the equivalent) and a
pretty good WYSIWIG authoring environment.

If you want a system where a document can be rendered reasonably across not
only a range of different platforms, but different _configurations_ of a
given browser, then document authors have to accept limited layout tools
and trust the browser to do the presentation.

What people are doing now is designing documents that look good in one
browser and fairly crappy elsewhere, and that's not a good solution...

--ken chang
NCSA Publications

Paul Wain writes:
>Marc wrote:
>@ > I think people want to be able to transmit the same sort of
>@ > documents over networks that they read on paper. Documents
>@ > rendered by Mosaic are such a leap forward over the old
>@ > flat ASCII titles with images as separate titles that our
>@ > collective appetite has been whetted; it's not posters
>@ > people want to deliver, it's glossy magazine articles with
>@ > sound and video attachments. It's anything that you can
>@ > do on a CD ROM.
>@ Amen.
>I feel inclined to agree with Marc here.
>Judging by the (high quality) of work that some people here at Brunel,
>and notably the Computer Science department's students, HTML (along
>with Mosaic and Lynx (You never can thank NCSA and the Lynx developers
>too much)) is being used more and more as a multi-media authoring