Re: Inlined image format

Jon E. Mittelhauser (
Tue, 25 Jan 94 16:06:43 CST

At 04:20 PM 1/25/94 EST, wrote:
>> From: (Jon E. Mittelhauser)
>> At 02:45 PM 1/25/94 EST, wrote:
>> >
>> >Perhaps I'm missing something, but why does the capability of the
>> >browser affect the viewability of a document? Why do all the browsers
>> >have to have the same capabilities?
>> Because they are viewing the document in the browser? They don't
>> *have* to have the same capabilities but most document authors want
>> to know a minimum set that all will support. I (as an HTML author)
>> know that if I create a document using inlined gifs that any browsers
>> which support inlined images (e.g. GUI browsers) will display the
>> document as I intend. The same cannot be said for any arbitrary
>> format...
>As an author, I should be able to assume that the browser can handle
>any format as an inline component. (text, image, sound, movie,
>executable tSipp for local 3D rendering....)

As an ideal, I agree. I was simply commenting about the current reality
which is that the only means of handling inlined formats is by the
browser doing the work...

BTW, thank you for responding to my comments rather than simply
flaming away and ignoring what I wrote...

>The browser should either handle it directly, or hand it off to an
>external viewer. Isn't that an issue that each browser and/or each user
>can deal with independently under the control of .mailcap or similar
>> >If a browser is extended to view TIFFs inline why can't I indicate
>> >that in the .mailcap? If the browser is not capable of viewing inline
>> >then the .mailcap can direct the image to an external viewer.
>> You are being extremely X-centric here. Most of the world isn't running
>> X-windows.
>Am I being X-centric? I certainly didn't mean to be since I also value the
>use of non-X browsers. In what way are MIME types and the .mailcap
>facility specific to X-windows? Isn't something similar used on PCs,
>Macs, Amigas?

Yes, something similar is used. I was simply trying to point out that
we must consider all platforms. I'm probably a little oversensitive
about this... :^)

>> Also, inlined images and external images have a very different use in
>> practice. If I find a document that has 10 inlined images that are
>> links to other pages or files and they are launched into 10 external
>> windows how in the world do I know which is which?!?
>As a proposal couldn't you use the delayed image mechanism of Mosaic?
>i.e. if the image requires an external view (according to .mailcap)
>then the user has to click on an icon to display that image.

Yes, something like this could be used. However, it does still present
a very different feel. If I have inlined images used as buttons, it
would be a real pain to have to load all (10 for example) into external
players to figure out which one takes me to the home page. All I was
trying to point out is that by defining a limited set (e.g. Gifs and
Xbms currently), an author can be guarnteed that the doc will look and
feel exactly as intended.

>My other proposal, which was perhaps X-centric, was that the browser
>just provide an inline window that an external image program would use
>for its display. (But since this is a browser specific proposal that
>doesn't affect document authors, it doesn't matter if it is X-centric.
>Anyway, couldn't the same concept be used in other windowing schemes?)

But it does affect the authors because they will assume that everyone has
the same browser... that's happening everywhere already. They will assume
that the image/etc is inlined and that assumption will be present in
the surrounding text and the layout of the page.

Don't get me wrong (ESP. DCM!!), I *like* the idea of allowing external
programs to display within the window. That is one of the points of
OLE2 in MS Windows. However, it is the future and this discussion started
out as a question of why we don't support TIFFs inlined. All I've done
is suggest the reasons that we currently only support a limited set!


Jon E. Mittelhauser (
Research Programmer, NCSA                          (NCSA Mosaic for MS Windows)
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