[Oberon] Re (2): suggestions for documentation.

peter at easthope.ca peter at easthope.ca
Thu Apr 3 03:03:52 CEST 2014

From:	Chris Burrows <chris at cfbsoftware.com>
Date:	Thu, 3 Apr 2014 08:03:50 +1030
> No offense taken - I should have made myself more clear. 

And I was deliberately provocative.  This topic is worth 
some attention.

> I meant browsing on
> a machine (as in reading one page after another) as you do with an eBook. I
> didn't mean browsing as using an Internet Browser. 

I've read documents using a Web browser and using a PDF reader. 
In fact I carry an XO laptop when travelling, primarily for 
reading.  Many points can be argued but two are obvious.  

Provided an html respects the principle of browser 
responsibility for presentation, navigation in it is more 
efficient than navigation in a PDF.  A several-hundred page 
PDF is really a pain to navigate.  If hypertext is used 
properly in the html, navigation is almost as convenient 
as in a paper book.  Some aspects are better than in a paper 

Secondly, and again assuming browser responsibility for 
presentation, HTML text is wrapped and illustrations are 
positioned to fit the display available.  For example, a 
well composed HTML can be read on a laptop and also on a 
hand-held.  Not all hand-helds can display PDF.  Where a 
PDF can be displayed, the user will probably find 
ordinary reading intolerable. 

> Also, I should have said
> browsing AND printing. I also had the PDF copy printed and bound by my local
> Officeworks store so I could read it as a book without using a computer.

Really, a contemporary Web document should be output universal. 
There is even allowance for output accessible to a blind person.  
Certainly a well constructed HTML should be printable.  Output 
universality is discussed at length in http://www.w3.org/.

From:	"Douglas G. Danforth" <danforth at greenwoodfarm.com>
Date:	Wed, 2 Apr 2014 15:08:32 -0700
> Tell that to arXiv ...

Prior to HTML5, W3 markup couldn't compete with TeX in 
making a complex document; a document containing maths, 
illustations and text.  Two or three decades worth of 
nice TeX related software accessories can help to create 
diagrams, graphs and other illustrations.  And Knuth  
thought of mathematical notation from the beginning.
Outside of maths and physics, several propietary softwares 
compose documents.  For these softwares, PDF is the old 
standby output format.  Certainly these matters haven't 
eluded the W3.

> ... or Science Mag or any of the other 
> major scientific journals that present their articles in PDF format.

Yes, amazing inertias can be found in the corporate sector.

Regards,            ... Peter E.

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Tel +1 360 639 0202  http://carnot.yi.org/  New address Bcc: peter at easthope. ca

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