Subject: Re: MSIE "Smart Tags" -- what's the real deal?
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 20:33:23 +0900

>>>>> "Ian" == Ian Lance Taylor <> writes:

    Ian> I never said that I wanted control over the presentation.  I
    Ian> understand the difference between content and presentation.

You are correct; I apologize.  The (intended) analogy to presentation
("stylesheets") was in no way marked as an analogy, and constitutes a
misrepresentation of your position.

    Ian> I think that links are unambiguously part of the content.
    Ian> The presence of a link is content.  Whether a link is
    Ian> underlined and blue is presentation.

"Clearly marked FUD": let's try to muddy the waters.  A cross
reference is content; if they remove or alter one you have put into
your document, they are violating the "contract".  However, whether it
is represented as a footnoted URL or a clickable hyperlink is
presentation, IMO.  Whether browser-generated index and glossary
entries (eg, glosses Japanese web pages with English
translations) are presented in the same face as author-designed
hyperlinks is presentation.

These are not "contract violations."  IMO.  Having only seen verbal
descriptions (and a satire) of Smart Tags[tm], I tentatively conclude
they are a natural extension of generated glossaries.  Am I missing

    Ian> Consumers may of course speak against smart tags, and get it
    Ian> removed, as they spoke against the dancing paper clip.  But
    Ian> history shows that it may take several troubling years.

If a consumer can't find his way through
to disable the feature, he doesn't dislike it very much.

(BTW, as of last year, the Japanese were still suffering with their
talking dolphin.  I asked my wife and she said she thinks it's mostly
cute and it rarely gets in the way, so she doesn't want it turned
off.  Useful?  No way!  "Cute.")

    Ian> But I do feel that they have a moral responsibility to take
    Ian> extra care given their position of power.  I don't think
    Ian> corporations live in a moral vacuum.

I don't think they do, either.  _But neither do consumers._   Who's
the bigger sinner, a Microsoft who defaults their browser to
WithSmartTags, or a consumer who can't be bothered to learn how to
turn it off?

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