APPLES Lisa and Mac, Steve Jobs's NeXT computer and HTML, 25 years on

Extract from an email to friends sent July 10, 2014

I do deeply remember back in 1983-1984, the Apple Lisa / Macintosh debacle, especially with NASA, no, they were not impressed after all the investment / infrastructure that they put in place with the Lisa. I imagine a few heads rolled. Hereís the article in Wikipedia. /wiki/Apple_Lisa#Reception

I often wonder if Apple management got a bit shirty with Steve Jobs, with what they must have copped from NASA, with the much cheaper Macintosh coming out a year later, and using different software. Because he left in 1985, then brought out the NeXT computer, which then became the computer used when Tim Berners-Lee developed HTML1 at CERN in Geneva in 1989. A language that not only "wrote" pages, but could also "read back" your queries, providing a simple search mechanism. Click here re HTML's launch in the US in 1991-92 — on another NeXT computer — and how it then "took off".

The thing about the HTML rules that are in its markup language, theyíre completely free to learn, theyíre very, very simple (I think), you donít need to buy Adobe Acrobat to set out the document like you generally do if generating a PDF, you can use Notepad, itís fine and itís free, and importantly, every browser on the market supports all the main markup rules that came out in HTML1 through to HTML5. Twenty-five years later.

Some of the older versions of current browsers (pre 2010) only support the rules up to HTML4 ( which came out in 1997).

HTML5, yes, is discouraging the use of certain "internal" table markup rules, recommending new "external" stylesheet rules instead, due to the limited width in screen space on smartphones.

But the literally billions of web pages, so many electronic documents, out there being picked up by Google, no browser is currently not endeavouring to do the best it can on smartphones with those tables, because some of those documents may be pretty valuable to look at, and may not be, may never be changed.

Interesting. Steve