Hey! Where are the Graphics?

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The common wisdom tells us that graphics are the communications medium of the future, and the Web is the future. So, how come there are very few graphics throughout these pages and only one graphic on the title page (the Web Standards Project banner)? Three main reasons:

1. "I believe in content."

I'm not opposed to graphics when they complement the material, as in the Java trigonometry examples, but I don't want what Wired magazine's Jargon Watch (issues 4.09 and 4.11) calls:

Dancing Baloney
Gratuitous animated GIFs and other Web special effects that are used to impress clients.
Cornea Gumbo
A visually noisy, overdesigned, Photoshopped mess.

2. "Know your limits."

Frankly, I'm no artist. I can either
  1. spend hours doing my own artwork, which still won't look very good, or
  2. grab the same clip art that everyone else in this sector of the galaxy is using for their Web pages.

I choose not to spend my time on original art, and, like Jeffrey Glover, I'm not eager to use graphics designed by others. Even if I did, there's no guarantee that I could place them on the screen in a tasteful and artistic manner.

3. "A picture is worth a thousand words, but the thousand words take less time to download."

Not everyone is connected to the Internet via a high-speed T1 line. Some of us plain ol' folks have 14.4 or 28.8K modems. I don't want to burden people with 100K of art when a little bit of work to find "les mots justes"1 can give the same information in a few hundred bytes.

Don't get me wrong!

I'm not opposed to graphics. In the hands of someone who understands how to do graphics well the results can be wonderful. I've put the banner for the Web Standards Project on the title page because I think their project is important enough to devote an extra 5K of download time to it.

Certain commercial sites, such as Hewlett-Packard and Epson use graphics very effectively to support their content.

This particular site, though, was designed for content without the assistance of a real artist. You'll just have to settle for this deathless prose with some colorful effects produced by a few cleverly placed HTML statements in a table, relieving the boredom of pure text on white background.

And, of course, there is the obligatory picture of myself for those who simply must know what I look like.

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1"les mots justes" - French for "the right words." Yes. I am a language snob.