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

Howard Harawitz (
Sun, 23 Oct 1994 09:49:45 -0300

> 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.

As a distributor of an HTML editing tool for MS Windows, I get many
inquiries from users about how to create Web pages that have specific
"appearance" features, i.e., centered text, an image surrounded by text,
left and right justification, colored text or background, this or that font,

As more and more new Internet users begin creating WWW pages (and this is,
indeed, what is happening) the demands for these features will continue to
increase. The designers of Netscape have simply, and, IMHO, wisely, acceded
to this demand.

The users who write to me are quite familiar with desk top publishing and
word processing programs that permit them to create documents that have the
APPEARANCE that they want. They, as do most of us, see a very close
relationship between the appearance and the function of text. What they
want to do with their HTML documents, is, not surprisingly, the same thing
that they do with any other documents -- express their intended meaning by
controlling the appearance of their pages.

Because MS Windows (in its various incarnations) is now, and will continue
to be, the viewing/operating system of choice for 10's of millions of
computer users, issues concerning systems which behave differently than it
does, are for an ever increasing number of net surfers, somewhat moot.

In the not too distant future, the majority of WWW users will be operating
over SLIP/PPP connections with PCs running MS Windows.

Is it, therefore, unreasonable to expect that software developers will take
steps to accommodate the needs of all those people?

Mr. Andreessen and the folks who developed Netscape have done that growing
community of users, of which I happen to be a member, a great service by
providing us with a tool that suits our needs. It follows, that we will
continue to support products like this with our wallets.

As a developer of HTML editing software, I certainly plan to incorporate
into future product releases, the new HTML tags supported by browsers like
Netscape, so that users (who, BTW, have already started to inquire about
that) can take full advantage of them.



Howard Harawitz
Brooklyn North Software Works Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada
Distributor of 'HTML Assistant' and 'HTML Assistant Pro' software
FTP the HTML Assistant FAQ: