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

 
AAPL
$106.98
Apple Inc.
-0.36
MSFT
$46.05
Microsoft Corpora
-0.57
GOOG
$550.31
Google Inc.
+0.98

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.0.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VMware Fusion 7.0.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
OneNote 15.3.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.4 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.0.0 beta 3 - Powerf...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
TextWrangler 4.5.11 - Free general purpo...
TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more
NeoFinder 6.6 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Chromium 38.0.2125.111 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.11 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!! Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a... | Read more »
Haunt the House: Terrortown (Games)
Haunt the House: Terrortown 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 66.6% OFF! SPECIAL SPOOKY HALLOWEEN LAUNCH PRICE! 66.6% OFF! ...What was that sound? Is somebody there? | Read more »
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED SHOOTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Shoot everything that moves in this fun, if flawed, twin-stick shooter.   | Read more »
Naailde the Witch Review
Naailde the Witch Review By Amy Solomon on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PITCH-PERFECT STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Marvelous storytelling, narration, and moving illustrations make this storybook... | Read more »
1st & Goal Review
1st & Goal Review By Andrew Fisher on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FOR THE D&D LOVING QBUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad 1st & Goal is a board gamer’s football game, a football fan’s board game, and... | Read more »
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] French one-man studio Pated has unveiled Seashine, “a poetic journey into the abyss.” Players take on the role of a jellyfish strugglin | Read more »
Agents of Storm: Tips, Tricks, and Strat...
Calling all agents: Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review! Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never... | Read more »
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Producti...
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Productivity Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Base Busters Review
Base Busters Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FUN BUT RESTRICTED MIXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Regains Momentum As Windows Stutters An...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to March 2014, shows Apple performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2%...
New smartphone releases and an increased emphasis on emerging markets drove global smartphone shipments above 300 million units for the second consecutive quarter, according to preliminary data from... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2014 15-inch M...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more
Save up to $180 off MSRP with an Apple refurb...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.