Re: The value of navigability (related to META...) (Nick Arnett)
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 1994 01:30:39 +0200
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From: (Nick Arnett)
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Subject: Re: The value of navigability (related to META...)
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At 12:25 AM 6/8/94 +0200, Brian Behlendorf wrote:

>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.

Okay, okay, I'm guilty of hyperbole.  I don't advocate ignoring publishers
-- I am one of those people who is a professional at it, after all.  I've
been a publisher and worked for others for years.  Decades, even.

I advocate ignoring the pressure that I hear from publishers to place a
priority on features that will make documents attractive rather than
emphasizing development of those that make an internetwork of documents
navigable.  My pre-emptive argument was based on the very fact that
publishers have good ideas about how to present information, because an
emphasis on presentation, rather than navigability, would be a major

Perhaps a parallel will help.  When Hollywood people and computer people
join forces to create multimedia CD-ROMs, they tend to argue about the
budget for programming v. the budget for audiovisual production.  The
Hollywood people sneer at the audiovisual production values of typical
multimedia titles; the programmers sneer at the lack of interactivity and
UIs of Hollywood's productions.  In an ideal world, you do both very well,
but the usual result is that the budget goes through the roof, so you have
to set priorities.

Many different approaches will succeed; old models will persist for many
years.  But the overall trend on the net will be toward navigability and
away from luring people with attractiveness.  Elsewhere, in magazines, TV,
etc., the old paradigms will be in place for a long, long time.

Is WIT really workable?  I want technology that doesn't get in the way of a
good argument.  ;-)  Actually, though, I'm working on something similar.
Sort of.


Multimedia Computing Corp.
Campbell, California
"We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity." -- Pogo