TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:The Editor’s Viewpoint

The Editor’s Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

It’s a Flat World Out On The Web

This month I wanted to talk about two things - the World Wide Web, and OpenDoc. While mulling it over, I ran across a Usenet posting by Mark Hanrek of The Information Workshop, and decided to let him have at it. Here’s his guest editorial. We welcome your comments at editorial@xplain.com - Ed stb

And Now Here’s Mark

Every time I communicate about the aspects of the WWW standard that are deeply flawed, I look for existing examples of things done right to prove my point. And every time, OpenDoc comes up.

It will be great if the OpenDoc work is having any influence at all on those who are in control of the Web page standard, because the current WWW path is really quite unfortunate for us all.

I realize that the Web page standard started life as an ad-hoc thing that turned out to be useful, it caught on, and then spread. But now that the rest of the world has grabbed onto it, there really needs to be the courage to stop and set things straight, and to do it properly.

The Fatal Flaw

The Web page people seem to have their heads in a ‘computer printout’ and ‘linear list’ space. The term ‘inline graphics’ is revealing. I get the feeling they thought it was cool to leave out the specification for the absolute position of objects on a page. They ‘leave it up to the interpretation of the particular browser’. On the Macintosh alone, one gets three completely different interpretations using Netscape, Mosaic, and MacWeb respectively.

That’s bad. This is a fatal flaw. And unfortunately, one we will have to live with somehow.

This is the reason no one can create a WYSIWYG HTML editor on the Mac, even though there are umpteen tools on the Mac one can use to author one in short order, such as HyperCard, SuperCard, Prograph, ClarisWorks HTML XTND, class libraries used with Symantec and MetroWerks environments, and eventually, OpenDoc.

Attempting to author an editor puts one in the position of having to take a stand on which is the right way to display things. A support mess. Lots of dissatisfied people. Why bother!

As a result, everyone relents, and has little choice but to rally around one browser (Netscape). This kills competition, and, well, lots of other essential elements.

What’s Happening Here

Web pages are for display, and must be interactive, regardless of what anyone says. If anyone were to go out and design a cross-platform standard for the display of interactive multi-media, and do it in a manner that stood on the shoulders of what we have already learned, addressed itself to the unknown needs of the future, and accommodated the commercial realities that motivated it in the first place......they would be designing and creating something like OpenDoc, not HTML.

When one takes the HTML standard, and performs a comparison against OpenDoc, well, it’s quite shocking. HTML starts us back at the beginning of computer time.

So much wasted energy... So many professionals using their slick WYSIWYG editors on their GUI workstations, struggling with the equivalent of editing Postscript directly to try and get results that look halfway decent after surviving the non-deterministic ‘interpretations’ of Netscape, Mosaic, and other Web browsers.

[shaking head] What a sad mess. I am embarrassed to be associated with it. And powerless of influence it. If you try to tell them anything, then ‘you just don’t understand’. I can’t help but feel the SGML people have their vise grip on things ’cuz it’ll be their last hurrah. :)

You’re dang right I’m bummed. But there is hope. With OpenDoc illuminating a more appropriate way, perhaps life will take one of its funny twists and turns sometime in the near future.

Go Team!

Thankfully, OpenDoc exists, and is one of the most inspired, well-conceived, accommodating, courageous, and honestly handled American technology developments I have ever witnessed in my twenty three years of computer design and engineering.

I say all of this as a vote of confidence, a show of respect, and as encouragement to the OpenDoc team.

Well done.

- Mark Hanrek, The Information Workshop, hanrek@cts.com
0 The Information Workshop http://www.electriciti.com/~infoman/
SuperCard Home Page http://www.electriciti.com/~supercrd/

Sorry You Missed Woodstock?

Get your early reservation in now for MacHack X (June 22-24) and save yourself some dough. Line up some hacking buddies, and get ready for The Best Hack Contest (sponsored by yours truly) - it’s a great way to be a part of the 10th Annual MacHack experience. e-mail expotech@aol.com, check out http://www.hax.com/HackContest and call Expotech at (313) 882-6942.

“If you stay awake the whole time, it’s only 8 cents per minute!”

- Keith Stattenfield, someone who never sleeps at MacHack

“ they give good prizes... :)”

- Doug McKenna, Mathemaesthetics

Food For Thought

Macintosh: Changing the world, one person at a time! (I wish they’d hurry up!)

- Chris De Salvo, phixus@deltanet.com

Does anyone in the Fed understand the concept of time-delayed feedback loops?

- Jorg ‘jbx’ Brown

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »
Hatoful Boyfriend (Games)
Hatoful Boyfriend 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The hit PC game that everybirdie loves has now migrated to your mobile device! Now you are free to explore the wonders of St... | Read more »
Warp Shift (Games)
Warp Shift 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: [ CHECK YOUR HARDWARE: Warp Shift does NOT run on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G or older devices! It requires at least iOS8... | Read more »
Lifeline: Whiteout (Games)
Lifeline: Whiteout 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Alone in a frozen wasteland with no memory of how he got there, a lost adventurer’s only hope is his last line of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379.99 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.