Re: A Modest Proposal

Paul Ramsey (
Wed, 25 Jan 1995 19:18:11 +0100

> or more flexibly by simply having the browser assign a set of applications
> to a set of filename extensions, similar to the MS Windows File Manager.

The point is that none of the other formats come close to being appropriate
for use on the Web. The main points of HTML are

1. Hypertext
You can't do hypertext in postscript

2. Small data sizes (except for images which you can choose not to load)
There is no concept of "load the text of the postscript but
not the images".

3. Markup
There is no information describing the meaning of any
text in postscript. Using markup information can present in
special ways for different people including being spoken
for blind people using different volumes and tones depending
on the "font".

4. Widespread availability
Its easy to get the basic WWW browser and you don't need to
have 16M of memory to run it. Sure maybe I can't watch the
movies or play the sounds without extra software but so far
these things haven't even been really integrated into anything
because the bandwidth isn't there (click here to hear Socks

I'm not for putting everything including the kitchen sink into HTML but I
think it is reasonable to plug a few of the big holes. The bottom line is
that the WWW is not an invention that is good because some engineers found the
most logical process for describing a worldwide network of information. It
is simply something that worked that everyone understands and everyone has
access to. I'd rather not screw this up by encouraging that people start
authoring using proprietary formats like postscript or MS Word.

paul r.