Thu, 15 Sep 94 12:14:14 -0700

What I expect from a WWW browser is, that paragraphs are formatted
according to my personal preferences of font, color and window size.
Therefore the _viewer_ must be able to re-format paragraphs on the
fly, and this is a point at which TeX is very bad suited.

I agree completely.

Therefore, if I now adopt a system built on top of TeX with
pre-formatting, one day our mind will change and we will want to have
on-line reformatting.

Correct--except it won't be a change of mind; we already know that's
what we want.

And this functionality will put us at the same stage in development,
where we are today -- only a few years later.

It will delay us by the time needed to hack up a TeX-based system,
which should be a few months, not a few years. Since I estimate that
it will take at least 3 years to implement the system we want, this
will increase the time from about 3 years to perhaps 3.5 years.

So, what do we gain by this extra 1/2-year of work? We gain the
possibility of actually succeeding. If we undertake a 3-year
development program, by the time we have something working, there will
already be a dozen different systems in use. The window of
opportunity will have passed, and we will have no chance of getting
everyone to adopt a single, sensible standard.

Leslie Lamport