Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3

Chris Tilbury (
Tue, 18 Jul 1995 19:50:31 BST

On 18 Jul 95 at 10:44, wrote:

> Wow, are you guys out of touch with reality or what!

The short answer?


The long one?

No. Rather, we're very much in touch with it.

Rather than try and attempt to turn HTML into presentational markup,
something which would fail miserably no matter how many


elements you attempt to add, we're plugging stylesheets.

Unlike <center>, <blink>, <font>, and all the amusing little
presentational markup extensions which Netscape Corporation have
added, stylesheets allow browser writers to come up with the most
wonderfully sophisticated formatting capabilities, and allow authors
to exploit those formatting capabilities on a per-platform/per-browser
basis, whilst simultaneously allowing users of other browsers to
access those pages without loosing any of the information content.

For an example, compare the most wonderfully Netscape enhanced page
to a well produced PDF or Postscript document - it pales in

Even Netscape appreciate this - they've already indicated their
intent to add PDF Reader technology[1], to incorporate Suns Java[2]
language, and add Macromedia Director Playback[3] capabilities to
their browsers. All of these are far more effective ways of improving
both the quality and visual richness of 'Web pages than adding any
number of pretty but ultimately disappointing bogus HTML elements,
and can be done without bastardising the HTML language.

> In case you hadn't noticed, Netscape is running on almost 5 million
> desktops with a 60% market share.

(Can anyone please provide a source for these figures? I'd be
interested in investigating them. Either a URL or a reference to a
publication is fine)

> Most of the Web page designers that I work with, and I work with
> many, include Netscape extensions without thinking twice about it.

Most of the lemmings I've ever seen mindlessly throw themselves from
clifftops. Whether I see twenty of them or twenty million of them
won't affect my complete lack of desire to replicate them, either.

> In this case, the tail is definitely waving the dog. Those who
> ignore dominant market share in an increasingly commercial WWW are
> bound to be swept right off the playing field.

No, we'll just leave you to your <CENTER><BLINK>KooL!</BLINK><CENTER>
Netscape "Enhanced" world, and get on with the serious business of
constructing useful, powerful and accessible open standards for
everyone, that make the Netscape Extensions look like the crude
little hacks they are.


[1] <URL:>
(it looks like this press release has disappeared from their
server, as it happens, although the reference is still there.)
[2] <URL:>
[3] <URL:>



Chris Tilbury, Estates Office, University of Warwick, UK, CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 1203 523523 x2665                   Fax: +44 1203 524444
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