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Re: Microsoft ammunition (fwd)

Jim Choate wrote:
> Forwarded message:
> > Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 16:11:50 -0600
> > From: Toto <[email protected]>
> > Subject: Microsoft ammunition
> >  But, if you're tired of the repetition, here's a
> >  reason you should sit through another sermon:
> >  RandomNoise's Coda. Coda lets you design entire
> >  Web pages in Java rather than use a mixture of
> >  HTML content, tags, and Java applets.
> >
> >  A Java-based Web page removes the distinction
> >  between application and data. It presents data
> >  just as an HTML page would, but every element on
> >  the screen has the potential to be an interactive
> >  part of a sophisticated application.
> Mix this with the distributed processing model of Plan 9 and you may just
> have tomorrows computer environment.

I very much hope not. We designed HTML with very specific
goals in mind, above all that the source be declarative and
machine readable. That is why HTML can be edited by the 
recipient, fed into a voice synth or index by Alta-Vista.

The Java based web pages will be opaque, just like postscript.
Try to cut and paste from ghostview to emacs. 

Merging the distinction between applet and code will give
lots of techno-geeks a nice orgasm but its the style of 
computing the Web has replaced. 

I have yet to see a single Java applet that has the slightest
functional utility. I like Java as a language, particularly 
because it has killed C++ stone dead just as everyone thought 
it had taken over the world. I don't see that anyone has done
anything with mobile code that is of interest however. If all
you want is a better user interface add some more tags into
HTML, implement Dave Raggets '94 draft perhaps.

I think the idea of using Java to move an applet from the 
client to a server is very exciting but thats not in the
Sun/Oracle game plan. 

The hypertext community had been beating the coda type model
for decades before the Web. I was skeptical then and I'm more
skeptical now. 

I turned Javascript, Active-X and Java off about 9 months back 
because I had little confidence in their security. I soon
realised I was much happier when the page did not dance about
in front of my eyes. I very rarely come to a site I can't access 
without them. If I could turn off animated Gifs as well I would 
be even happier.

I think the future of computing is much more likely to lie in
returning to simple but powerfull ideas. Presentation types,
parallel languages and genuine process oriented object systems
interest me much more.