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Re: fiat mode on regarding WWW and documentation

On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Christoph Lameter wrote:

> The web-browser does not have complete control about what kind of
> decompressors are installed if any. Ok the term I used is probably not
> very good. My precision of expression is really lacking ... .
> May I would better have said:
> This is a non-customary extension to the functionality available in common
> web-browsers on non-Linux platforms.

I agree with you on a lot of points but this isn't among them.  People who
use platforms that don't support the gzip algorith are just going to have to
choke on it.  If I need to read Debian docs on a system I administrate from
a Mac or Windows box, I'll telnet to the Debian box and read them like a

Maybe there should be some content-type negotiation between browsers and
servers, but as far as I know this kind of thing doesn't exist and would
require major coding on both ends.  Until and unless it does there is no
real solution.

Microsoft is unlikely to support the gzip algorithm soon; I'm sure they'd
rather ram the Microsoft Compression Protocol(tm) down our throats, or some
other monstrosity they get around to dreaming up.  Microsoft believes in no
protocols but in-house, proprietary ones.  Netscape, fighting for their
lives against IE, is starting to become the enemy.  We can't influence
these giants except by providing good examples.

And no one pays closer attention to RFCs and other open standards than Unix
people, and Linux people in particular.  There's only so much we can do to
combat the "Not Created Here" mentality (which, ironically, also afflicts
the GNU project to some degree, albeit with different effects).

I think the docs should be served to the browser gzipped, and damn the

G. Branden Robinson                 |  The first thing the communists do when
Purdue University                   |  they take over a country is to outlaw
branden@purdue.edu                  |  cockfighting.
http://www.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |  -- Oklahoma State Senator John Monks

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