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.  Please tell me the URL of the palm accessible
content without referring me to a propietary and dangerous application.
00.06.19.mo | nytimes.com 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.
NYTimes.com recently took a step that breaks the Web. Previously, I
used a Palm Pilot Web browser to fetch and read the NTimes.com cover
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
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
[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. 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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