Re: Anti-HTML Rant
Thu, 12 Mar 1998 04:58:45 -0800 (PST) wrote:

>Which is why I use Netscape,

Ditto, at least while I'm at work.

> I use animated GIFs,

But why? I've yet to see more than a couple of animated GIFs that are
worth downloading. Most of them take an age to download and then sit
there wasting my CPU time. I use Netscape for research while I'm
compiling drivers, and the last thing I want is to waste 95% of my
available CPU cycles on some pointless 'ain't this cute' animated

>as well as only java that is usable on all major browsers (ALHPABrowser,
>in the words of its lead programmer to me: "gracefully ignores java", which is
>fine for a dumb terminal network environment.

Except when you hit a web site which refuses to work if you don't run
Java, but gives you a 'helpful' little 'click here to download Internet
Explorer' button.

>However, I will remind you that most business on the web is done in a graphical

And my web-browsing is under (cough, spit, ack) Windows 95/98 over a 256k
link with a stonkingly fast 2D/3D graphics accelerator. But that doesn't
mean that I want to waste 90% of the time downloading pointless images. I
actually use the Net for finding information; and I want to find that
information as fast as possible, not sit back and watch the scenery go
by. Not to mention that I'm one of the people who do actually *buy*
things over the Web, rather than just window-shop.

>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.

No, you have the analogy completely backwards. Netscape with Java, Shockwave
and all the other cack is the Yugo; my browser with all that disabled is the
Ferrari. If I want some information I hit full throttle and blast through the
Web to it, getting annoyed when some stupid 'neat graphics, huh?' site forces
me to slow down.

This, I think, is where Gibson's cyberpunk went hideously wrong. The future
console cowboys won't be using slow, CPU-consuming 3D VR interfaces; they'll
be reserved for the normal folks, and the hackers will be using command line
interfaces so they can stay close to the machine.

>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?

Depending on where I am, I read my mail with vi, pine, Netscape, Internet
Explorer, Privtool, Microsoft Outlook (cough, split, ack), elm, /bin/mail
or 'more /usr/spool/mqueue/df*'. I much prefer pine because it's fast and
simple; I'm just too stubborn to waste my time with pointless fancy graphics
when I'm looking for information.

>Commerce on the net comes from selling unique products to many people.
>Ascii is a
>horrendous sales medium.

Why? I want a copy of Adobe Premiere; what do I need other than price
and availability?

I mean, seriously, what do I gain from spending five minutes downloading
some huge animated presentation when I just want to find the cheapest
supplier and hand over my credit card number? Particularly when Netscape
will probably tell me that I don't have the right plug-in, make me waste
ten minutes downloading that, then after installing tell me that I have
to reboot my machine!