Re: Structured text v. page descriptions (was Netscape, HTML, and Designers)

Mark Connolly (
Sat, 22 Oct 1994 13:51:36 -0500 (Nick Arnett) concluded his post with:
>We're starting to see major customers adopting *both*. Sun, for example,
>is setting SGML and Acrobat as its standard documentation formats.
>I could go on about this for a while, but I'd rather suggest that if the
>designers of HTML abandon principles of structured text, they'll ruin it by
>creating a standard that has the worst of both worlds.

>I'll also point out that we're serving Acrobat documents over the Web
>*now*, so this isn't a pipe dream. Check out <URL:>.

I checked it out. It does seem to work well, though Acrobat said a couple
of the pdf documents I accessed through you server were "damaged" and
couldn't be opened. Not sure what the prblem was.

Adobe's belated decision to make multiple platform Acrobat Readers freely
distibutable may finally make their pdf documents truly portable.

While I can create hypertext links that work _within_ an Acrobat document,
though, I can't, at this time, create links to other documents/resources on
the Web. I suppose I'd like to see someone come up with a browser that
could handle both HTML _and_ pdf documents internally, rather than using a
helper application (Acrobat), and could deal with links in those pdf docs
to other WWW resources. That would certainly go a long way towards giving
us pesky graphic designers what we've been noisily clamouring for.

>I think designers who want a high level of control should stick with
>Acrobat, Common Ground and their ilk, rather than putting pressure on the
>HTML designers to break its paradigm. By way of disclosing a conflict of
>interest, I don't want to leave out the fact that our engine is built into
>Acrobat and is going into Common Ground.

I agree. I think that with Acrobat, even in a stand-alone form, we're
looking at a useful way of deflecting the pressure away from HTML in the
short, and even long, term. If Mosaic Corp. could pre-configure NetScape to
use Acrobat as a helper application (so people wouldn't have to do it
themselves), and add a pointer to Acrobat somewhere in their on-line
documentation, that would be even better.


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Mark Connolly
Connolly Design Inc., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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