I Find Karma (
Sat, 26 Apr 97 20:10:52 PDT

In response to:
> We sincerely hope Netscape will realize the benefit XML
> will be to the intranet market on which it is focusing its efforts. It
> has been obvious for quite some time that HTML needs to evolve (that's
> why there's a new revision every six months); XML gives everyone, both
> vendors and users, a standard for marking up the elements and attributes
> of their Web documents, in a way that is vendor neutral. Embracing XML
> gives Netscape a chance to show that it really does know how to make a
> competitive browser, and other competitive client applications.

joebar asked:
> Is this info regarding Netscape up-to-date? The "web is ruined" message
> sort of implied that it is.

Nope. Late breaking news (as of April 1997) from the rumor mill as I've
heard it is that they've reversed their position on XML. While they
have not made a decision to endorse, support, or implement it, they have
officially and publicly decided to "consider it seriously". They are
actively examining it from a technical and business perspective.

Gosh, Netscape is filled with morons. Did anyone besides Duck read that
Rolling Stone interview with Marc Andreeeeeessssseeen? The guy comes
across as an arrogant putz, which is the same impression he gave from
his GQ interview.

Arrogant, I don't mind -- heck, half the people on FoRK are arrogant.
But a putz? In the grand tradition of accidental empires, MarcA has
backed his way into a position for which he was totally and completely

Anyway, back to Netscape and XML... according to the source...
> Their preliminary finding is that technical issues will not determine
> if, and to what extent, they implement it. In other words, they see no
> technical barriers to implementation. They will base their decision on
> their estimate of the added value to their "40,000,000 user" installed
> base.

40,000,000 users. Ha.

Also, the source says...
> The factors that precipitated their turn-around were multiple contacts
> with individuals on the W3C ERB who they characterize as persuasive
> while waging a "quiet little war". And, most importantly, the new (on
> their part) realization that XML is intended to live alongside HTML,
> not to replace it.

back to joebar...
> And speaking of that message, can anyone explain to me what the
> "smarmy <LAYER> tag" is, and what makes it smarmy, and what (if
> anything) it has to do with XML?

Since Netscape has no long-term strategy (as embracing XML would give
them), they keep adding stupid extensions to HTML. One asenine new tag
is the LAYER tag, which is yet another tag Netscape has added to HTML to
do formatting of style (like BLINK and FRAME before it) -- this should
not be part of HTML. HTML is a markup language, not a formatting style.
That's why Siegel says he's departing from Netscape and going to be good
now... for formatting styles, he's embracing Cascading Style Sheets,
which were specifically designed to give formatting cues.

Here, go to

and be horrified.

> Netscape Navigator 4.0 introduces functionality that allows you to
> define precisely-positioned, overlapping layers of transparent or solid
> content in a web page. With a little JavaScript code, you can move
> layers, hide them, and change the order in which they overlap. In a
> nutshell, with layers, you can use HTML and JavaScript to create dynamic
> animations on a web page.

Netscape thinks it's in their best interest to keep adding
browser-specific tags that designers will use.

Browser-specific tags are like masturbating with a cheese grater -
slightly amusing but mostly painful.

Painful to Web designers, painful to Web users, painful to everyone.

XML lets you add new tags in a disciplined (read: not browser specific)
way. And Style Sheets let you make formatting decisions. Adding to
HTML is not the right answer. It's not even close.

> The <LAYER> tag starts a layer, and the </LAYER> ends the layer. All
> the content between the opening and closing layer tag can be treated
> as a single item of content that can be moved and altered in various
> ways. For example, you could have many overlapping layers that can be
> dynamically peeled away to reveal the layer underneath.

Ugh. Major ugliness.

> Using JavaScript, you can dynamically change whether a layer is
> visible or not, which means you can hide a layer and make it reappear
> again if you want.
> Layers have a stacking order that determine which layer appears on top
> of another for overlapping layers. You can specify the "stacking
> order" (z order) of layers as relative to each other (Layer A is
> immediately below Layer B) or you can specify numerical z orders (the
> z value of Layer A is 1, the z order of Layer B is 2.)

Tell me ANYONE thinks this is a good idea.

> Layers can be transparent or solid. If a layer is transparent, the
> content of underlying layers shows through it. You can specify
> background images and background colors for layers just as you do for
> the body of an HTML document. If you set the background image or
> color, however, the layer will not be transparent, and it will obscure
> any layers that lie below it.
> Layers can be nested inside layers, so you can have a layer containing
> a layer containing a layer and so on.
> You can define layers that have explicit positions, and you can define
> layers whose position follows the natural flow of the page. A layer
> that is explicitly positioned is known as a positioned, or
> out-of-flow, layer, while a layer that follows the natural flow of the
> page is known as an inflow layer. In the Beta 1 release, inflow layers
> are not supported. However, in later releases, the <ILAYER> tag will
> be introduced for inflow layers.

Like BLINK and FRAMES before it, LAYER makes you want to reach out and
strangle someone. Bad design should make you physically ill. And this,
my friend, is bad design.


While you struggle with that computer, I'm naked, clueless, and feeling
-- Ratbert