Re: WWW/Mosaic widget

Bill Smith (
Thu, 29 Sep 1994 10:05:22 -0400

Micha Reisel said...
>Bill, what you are wishing for is a preference file which is seperate from
>the browser.
>That way a subscriber to your publication can use the preference settings
>*you* prefer for your publication. Now, that begs the question: why would
>you want to do that?
>The whole idea behind WWW and the browsers is that the reader should be
>allowed to use *their own* preference. You could start every home page with
>an URL showing what you feel is best for the publication, but what is the

I agree that content is primary
I also agree that readers should be able to use their own preferences.
(It's essential for making documents accessible to folks with low vision
problems, among other things.)
But as I understand it, there is no convenient way at the moment
for the reader to know what MY preferences were when I designed the
document ... and easily switch to those for just my document.
It's just possible the reader might like the effect I achieved.

Yes, I could have a url that would display a list of the styles I
had used .. .but as I understand it the user would have to manually
adapt his/her styles to match -- a very laborious process ... and
equally laborious to undo after reading my document.

Why would the reader want to use my preferences? One example
of many I could cite...
Lets say I write a series of headlines
to a particular count so each will nicely fill
one line on the screen. If my reader doesn't know what font and size
I used when I wrote the headline ... he/she may end up with an
ugly display that splits the head over two very uneven lines ...
and throws off the view of what else can be taken in at a glance
without scrolling the display.

For the work I'm doing at the moment,
I really don't need to be able to mimic
a multi-column newspaper page display ... but I'd like to give
the reader the option of seeing a very close approximation of
what I saw as I composed the document.


Bill Smith --
Faculty, School of Journalism, Northeastern U., Boston