Re: Anti-HTML Rant

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 21:13:49 -0500 wrote:

> Actually, I'd just like to add that in the last few months I've come to the
> conclusion that the majority of commercial Web sites are cack produced by
> people who care more about flash graphics than assisting their customers, and
> who don't even realise how much money they're losing in the process.

Such is the process of natural selection on the web. Sites that don't get traffic,
don't succeed. Unfortunately, most marketing people who fund website development
have blinders on, seeing websites as just another type of print advertising, or
even worse, tv advertising. They throughly fail to see it as an integrated part of
their technical and customer support system, their sales demonstration and
sales/distribution system. Those companies which do recognise this make money.
THose that don't, die.

Rather than gagging, look at it as a chance to study a new ecology, see what life
forms work, what forms don't work, etc.

> For example, I just followed a link to a web-site for a film magazine; only
> to reach a page saying 'Sorry, but your browser doesn't meet our requirements,
> click here to download Internet Explorer'.

Yes, tying your site to a closed standard is the curse of death. Unfortunately,
too many web authors prefer to go for th glitz to make quick sales (especially if
they aren't paid by the amount of traffic the site generates), and web tools are
not presently under a standard. Entirely too many people have learned the
VHS/Betamax lesson by this point, at least on the software side. Now nobody can
agree on a standard. Makes a libertarian long for a monopoly, almost.

> Now I don't want Internet Explorer, I don't care what *their* requirements
> are. They are the ones who are supposed to be selling *me* something, but
> they block me out of their site so that they can include some dumb Java
> animated graphics. Do they have a clue?

Which is why I use Netscape, I use animated GIFs, and complex form structures, and
CGI, as well as only java that is usable on all major browsers (ALHPABrowser, btw,
in the words of its lead programmer to me: "gracefully ignores java", which is
fine for a dumb terminal network environment.

> Another example: a couple of days ago I was searching the Web for a place
> to buy a copy of Adobe Premiere; according to the Adobe site, a $750 product.
> I went to a site that I've bought from before, to check out their prices. I
> clicked on the button, but it didn't work because they've replaced their old
> CGI scripts with Javascript, and I have all that cack disabled because of
> the security holes.
> They lost a $750 order by trying to force their customers to do what the
> company want them to do, rather than catering to all of us.

sucks to be them.

> Another example: the numerous web sites where people have decided that
> HTML text is too low-tech and use images for all their buttons (or worse,
> all their content!) with no ALT tags. I don't even have image download
> enabled because it's too damn slow on many sites... again, I go elsewhere
> to a site that's not so pretty but chooses to help me.

Even on my personal site, which, I admit, I don't use many alt tags on images, I
always offer a text navigation bar at the bottom of the page.

However, I will remind you that most business on the web is done in a graphical
environment. Those of you who are still stuck in ascii-land are WAY behind the
curve, sorry to say. Now, it has its place, but still, you shouldn't be driving
your Yugo on the Autobahn at 45 mph and expect me to slow down my Passat, Volvo,
SAAB, BMW, or even a Ferrari, down for you. ('Gene, what the hell are you driving
over in Russia???)

> No wonder Internet commerce is not the cash cow people expected...

Why, because all those cobol programmers reading their email in vi, browsing with
lynx, etc on their 3151 unix terminals, who make $100,000 plus a year and need to
shop from the computer are too stubborn to get with the technological curve?
Commerce on the net comes from selling unique products to many people. Ascii is a
horrendous sales medium.

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?