Re: The value of navigability (related to META...)

Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 1994 00:27:42 +0200
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From: Brian Behlendorf <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: The value of navigability (related to META...)
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On Tue, 7 Jun 1994, Nick Arnett wrote:
> >        Certainly people who focus solely on one aspect of the Web are
> >missing out and shouldn't be left to themselves to decide what's good
> >for the end user. Web development requires input from many different
> >perspectives.
> Agreed!  My worry is that big publishers, whose money gives them clout,
> will steer this technology in the wrong direction.  In retrospect, saying
> to ignore them was misplaced hyperbole.  Just don't them set direction
> alone; many will see the new paradigm as a huge threat to their future.
> Those who don't are likely to use the same values that have made them
> successful in the past, which will be a mistake.

Most likely (well, even more than "most likely", as far as I've seen)
big publishers will devise proprietary ways to deliver their product
if they become frustrated with the level of (non)-development that 
takes place in the public arena.  Publishers are waking up now (at least
here they are :) that the AOL model is dead, that open systems and 
open technology are the most efficient way to go, and that there is
a professional-quality product (Mosaic) based on this openness.  
However, the "moving-target" quality of HTML development has been
frustrating those who want to know that the money they spend on
HTML authoring environments won't be wasted in two years when "the
next big thing" comes out.  I even felt some of this myself when 
the suggestion was brought up at the workshop on HTML+ at WWW94 that
current conformant HTML documents might not be conformant under 
subsequent versions of HTML.  It's hard enough as it is convincing 
people here to use <HTML> and <HEAD> in every document, when the
only good reason I can give is "so that we can be conformant for
future developments".  

So I guess I'm saying, completely ignoring the publishers is not a good idea,
as believe it or not the publishers might have some good ideas as well about
how to present information.  Some of them are even professionals at it.  I'm
looking forward to the standardization of HTML 2.0 and 3.0, as well as
compliant browsers and authoring environments, because I hope it'll allow the
creative-non-techie types to do everything they want to do, and allow me (the
semi-creative- but-more-techie-type) to make everything we do fits in with
the easy-to-navigate machine-paseable-semantics paradigm of ideal online
publishing.  Coz right now we're nowhere near that. 

Anyways, yeah, looks like if we want to continue this thread we should
move it somewhere else.  I could start a www-philosophy mailing list,
I suppose, but why not take it to WIT?  (