Re: Whitespace

Bob Stayton (
Thu, 13 Jan 94 10:11:06 PST

> From: Paul "S." Wain <>
> I think that to now turn around and say, "No HTML should only be used to
> design text based documents" is, well to say the least, it will
> certainly slam the breaks on the rapid advance of the Web.

I didn't mean to imply that *WWW* should not support
multimedia. It does so now. But it does so by sending
different content types and spawning external viewers
specialized for that content-type, not by directly
supporting all content-types in the HTML syntax. HTML
provides pointers to the other data types, but doesn't
actually contain the data.

I believe page layout languages are a different
content-type from SGML-based languages like HTML. Page
layout includes precise typography, multiple columns, mixed
text and graphics frames, rotated text, spot and process
color, and lots of other stuff that is tough to do in a
platform-independent fashion. And since HTML is
an SGML application, there is no way in SGML to
express those formatting features. It requires
another language. Like PDF.

@ Acrobat isn't free and/or ubiquitous,

I should have said Acrobat-compatible. I believe someone
will write a free PDF viewer, similar to ghostscript.

@ and Acrobat doesn't provide network-wide hypermedia.

Since PDF documents handle hyperlinks, I could see Adobe
adding URLs to the spec and someone merging a WWW viewer
with a PDF viewer by making it work with URLs. A PDF
document with URLs that link to other media viewers *could*
provide fully formatted multimedia like a CDROM.