Re: Indented <MENU>s

marca@eit.COM (Marc Andreessen)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 10:51:10 --100
Message-id: <199402181955.TAA03012@threejane>
Reply-To: marca@eit.COM
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From: marca@eit.COM (Marc Andreessen)
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Indented <MENU>s 
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Tony Sanders writes:
> > What can you do about it?  Probably nothing.  Isn't that cheery news?
> > I think so.  In fact, it has been a constant source of delight for me
> > over the past year to get to continually tell hordes (literally) of
> > people who want to -- strap yourselves in, here it comes -- control
> > what their documents look like in ways that would be trivial in TeX,
> > Microsoft Word, and every other common text processing environment:
> > "Sorry, you're screwed."
> Then why don't you just implement one of the many style sheet
> proposals that are on the table.  This would pretty much solve the
> problem if done correctly.

So then I get to tell people, "Well, you get to learn *this* language
to write your document, and then you get to learn *that* language for
actually making your document look like you want it to."  Oh, they'll
love that.

Marc's viewpoint: style sheets are an artificial construct inflicted
on us because of the whole non-presentation philosophy we've been
using (more or less, but enough to keep this particular set of
problems alive), which I argue is wholly inappropriate for document
delivery front-ends and is crippling our system.  Why not strip out a
level of complexity (and user headeaches) by having our front ends
simply handle a layout format suitable from the ground up for
front-end display of documents?  Publishers can still use SGML out the
wazoo on the back end if they want; if they don't and all they want is
documents that look the way they want them to look, we don't inflict
it on them.

(Actually, "why don't I just implement..." is a moot point right now,
as I'm not in the client business anymore.  But anyway.)