Re: Suggestion/Comment

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From: Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (reagle@MIT.EDU)
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 13:31:17 PDT

At 10:48 6/19/00 -0400, The N.Y. Times on the Web wrote:
>Please try going to
>and click on the appropriate link.
>We hope we have corrected the problem.

No, this makes it worse. [1] Please tell me the URL of the palm accessible
content without referring me to a propietary and dangerous application.

[1] | pillory


   A recent story on your site addressed Congressional concern regarding
   the merger of AOL and Time Warner; Senators were focussing on "a
   provision that allows consumers to choose Internet providers not
   affiliated with America Online Time Warner and still get high-speed,
   or broadband, services over cable modems." [A] The central issue
   before the Senate was the importance and benefit of content being
   independent of the means by which one obtains it.

   Not surprisingly, this independence is one of the reasons the Web has
   been so successful. In Weaving the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, the
   inventor of the Web, wrote of his motivation for enabling
   international researchers at CERN to collaborate and access each
   others' information, "... I realized that the diversity of different
   computer systems and networks could be a rich resource -- something to
   be represented, not a problem to be eradicated." [B] Once the Web
   began to spread, this motivation led to the formation of the World
   Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C was tasked with ensuring that the
   Web did not fragment, that while it would be extensible and flexible,
   there would be one Web, not a Microsoft Web, a Netscape Web, an
   American Web, and/nor a European Web. recently took a step that breaks the Web. Previously, I
   used a Palm Pilot Web browser to fetch and read the cover
   stories at:

   At the beginning of June 2000 I noticed you stopped updating that
   page, then the link was broken, and today it is merely an alternative
   copy of your main site. When I asked what happened to the site, I was

     Please try going to and
     click on the appropriate link. We hope we have corrected the

   This does not correct the problem, it worsens it. Avantgo couples Web
   content to its application by hiding content behind a proprietary
   transport mechanism called a conduit. Your site is no longer on the
   Web -- if it is, then tell me its location. It's now part of the
   Avantgo Web and this is simply not necessary. The free
   Sitescooper application uses standard HTTP, HTML and other free
   tools to fetch and translate content in a way that is accessible to
   small Web devices. The commercial iSilo application does the same!
   So I encourage you to use the same Web the rest of us use. Please let
   me know when you do, because I enjoyed reading NYTimes on the Web with
   my Palm.

   [A] Eric Schmitt. AOL-Time Warner Pledge Questioned by Senate Panel.
   March 1, 2000, Wednesday, Late Edition - Final. Section C; Page
   2; Column 1.
   [B] Tim Berners-Lee, et al. [31]Weaving the Web : The Original Design
   and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by its Inventor, p 15.

Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E
MIT LCS Research Engineer at the World Wide Web Consortium.

* This email is from an independent academic account and does
not necessarily represent the views of any of my affiliations.

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