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rat haus reality
viewing notes



Best Viewed with Any Browser
The ratitor finds himself attempting to change the river he's somewhere in the midst of crossing. Originally the beginning of this file stated:
this publication library is optimally view-able using netscape's web browser. download-able software versions of Unix, Max OS, or Windows 3.1, 95 or NT are available. all html documents created for rat haus reality have been made while using netscape v1.12 and v2.02 browsers.
But there is so much to recommend the basis of common sense intelligence manifesting in the Best Viewed With Any Browser Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW and Tim Berners-Lee insightful observation :
Anyone who slaps a `this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.
We will continue striving to make rat haus reality offer and present the most effective and agile representations of what is possible to manifest in this nascent form of the coming global electronic world library (should we all live long enough to see it emerge...) .

Cascading Style Sheets

The ratitor continues to write all HTML by hand. At present (summer, '98), this is done in a netscape 4.05 browser which enables experimentation with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a marvelous invention of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) designed to separate HTML style from HTML presentation. Work is commencing to learn CSS, of which so far, practically nothing is actually understood by this one. If your browser is conversant in HTML 4.0 -- which includes support for style sheets -- then you will see the minimalist results of files on ratical (including this one) that already employ bits and pieces of CSS :

Style Sheets provide the intelligent direction for the Web to go in, which will put to rest the awful false-start made with frames. Once "level 1" basics of CSS are groked, HTML copy on the rat haus will begin to be upgraded to incorporate and reflect this most swank extension of where presentation of hyper-text on the web is heading.


rat haus reality

Although these pages were designed to work in text-only as well as graphics-rich web browsers from the outset, there remain a number of antiquated features still lingering here that need to be re-written or deleted altogether, in order to fully embrace the spirit of the Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW. It will take time to upgrade rat haus reality to this state. In the interim, the following notes reflect vestiges of an earlier period of web-world thought and implementation.

optimal browser window width

The choice was made at the outset to create all ratical's HTML content with a specific browser window's width in an attempt to maintain coherence of things like specific widths for an <hr> (horizontal rule) element (e.g. see all section headers in Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure and Preventing Breast Cancer). Given that such attribute definitions as align, noshade, size, & width are deprecated in HTML 4.0, the time is fast approaching when all such made-in-ignorance ratitor-imposed constraints will no longer be necessary. This is one of the benefits of CSS, as described in the 4.0 Spec's definition of "Deprecated" :
A deprecated element or attribute is one that has been outdated by newer constructs. . . . This specification includes examples that illustrate how to avoid using deprecated elements. In most cases these depend on user agent support for style sheets. In general, authors should use style sheets to achieve stylistic and formatting effects rather than HTML presentational attributes. HTML presentational attributes have been deprecated when style sheet alternatives exist (see, for example, [CSS1]).

So during the remaining interim, for optimal viewing set your browser window's width to the following 720 pixel-wide image:

But understand this "measuring stick" is laid out here in a misleading fashion: bring across to your machine the actual image and plant it so the left edge sits squarely on the left edge of your browser window. As you can see if using netscape, the image in-lined in this document is offset from the window's left edge to the right by 8-or-more pixels.

The fonts employed while creating these pages are


downloading gzip'd files

To save disk space, various files on ratical are compressed with gzip, indicated with the filename suffix, ".gz". All of what follows is relevant only if the browser you are using does not "do the right thing" and automagically uncompress the gzip'd file you clicked on, enabling you to view its contents without any further ado. If this default functionality does not occur, you'll need to put a copy gzip on your system if it is not already present, and/or add the mimetype entry in your browser's mimetype file if it does not include a definition for files that have been compressed with gzip (ie, that end in ".gz").

The gzip home page is at and a starting-point description with all the relevant links is at "gzip - Compresses and decompresses files", The gzip compression program is available from GNU (GNU's Not Unix) for free. gzip software is available via anonymous FTP as described in the Mirrors of listing and includes such locations as:

The command line for decompressing a file named "glop.gz" is

Running "gzip -h" lists the complete options available.

For those unfamiliar with the above constructs, the USENET Compression FAQ can help:

fancy HTML

As stated in the Preamble to these viewing notes, we're in the midst of changing the river we're crossing where persentation of HTML content on rat haus reality is concerned. The following paragraph was written in the fall of 1995. It is included to provide the historical context illustrating the thinking that originally motivated the ratitor where attempting to mimic the given source document's original format was concerned, to create its electronic incarnation herein :
People into text-formatting text very quickly run up against the "bare-bones minimum" available inside HTML. Certain articles within rat haus reality have been extended to present themselves beyond what HTML 2.0 is capable of. Someday, when HTML 3.2 is grok-able in every existent web browser (so things like tables and TAB characters are recognized), then the ratitor will dispense with this exTREEMly primitive method of adding dingbats wherever called for, et cetera...
As described above in the rat haus reality specifics section, these notes "reflect vestiges of an earlier period of web-world thought and implementation." Until everything has been upgraded to fully leverage the power of Cascading Style Sheets, the notes concerning these vestiges will remain, a hold-over from a prior time.

In effect "Fancy HTML" means that the pages originally included awkward contrivances to simulate indented paragraphs. They still do include images appearing as bullets separate from unordered bulleted lists and whatever other devices deemed were useful at the time to immitate the original document's format. If you download the specified HTML file onto your own system, you'll also need to grab whatever is additionally indicated as constituting the images required to view this document in its entirety on your local system.


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