Re: Inlined image format

David C. Martin (
Tue, 25 Jan 1994 12:29:01 PST

Would you (Jon) stop trying to defend the design limitations of Mosaic
and simply recommend GIF to people who have the choice?

I agree with John Ellson that the browsers should be capable of acting
as MIME compliant applications and be able to make use of external
viewers; in addition, I agree that Mosaic should generalize the ability
of an external application displaying w/in the boundaries of Mosaic.

These are not X-centric positions, nor are the UNIX centric. These are
design choices and should be respected as such. Software developers who
hide behind the apparent limitations of their chosen platform are as
short-sighted as those that denigrate those very same platforms for
their inherent limitations.

Finally, it is up to the author to determine how and why content should
be displayed and interacted. It is up to the software designer to
provide the authors of the world the tools and functionality that they
require to convey their ideas.


BTW: "It is the X Window System," RWS would like to remind everyone,
"not X-Windows."
Jon E. Mittelhauser writes:

At 02:45 PM 1/25/94 EST, wrote:
>> From: (Jon E. Mittelhauser)
>> The advantage to using Gifs, however, is that the document will be viewable
>> in all browsers that support inlined images. If you add a new format, the
>> document will only be viewble by a very limited set of people...
>> At least in terms of Mosaic, we have currently only agreed to support gifs
>> and xbms on all three platforms...
>Perhaps I'm missing something, but why does the capability of the
>browser affect the viewability of a document? Why do all the browsers
>have to have the same capabilities?

Because they are viewing the document in the browser? They don't
*have* to have the same capabilities but most document authors want
to know a minimum set that all will support. I (as an HTML author)
know that if I create a document using inlined gifs that any browsers
which support inlined images (e.g. GUI browsers) will display the
document as I intend. The same cannot be said forany arbitrary

>If a browser is extended to view TIFFs inline why can't I indicate
>that in the .mailcap? If the browser is not capable of viewing inline
>then the .mailcap can direct the image to an external viewer.

You are being extremely X-centric here. Most of the world isn't running

Also, inlined images and external images have a very different use in
practice. If I find a document that has 10 inlined images that are
links to other pages or files and they are launched into 10 external
windows how in the world do I know which is which?!?


Jon E. Mittelhauser (
Research Programmer, NCSA                          (NCSA Mosaic for MS Windows)
More info <a href="">here</a>