Thanks for the sanity check

Christopher Lane zzyzlane at
Mon Sep 13 03:04:03 BST 1999

David Megginson's comment
| OK, let's run a quick sanity check on IBM's top-level Web page
( |

Thanks, David, for the reality check!
IBM's whole corporate intranet is a richness of embarrassment. They use
these crusty old, web-type forms, "templates" that design all pages to
look nearly alike.  But they also have a great lot of so-called
"standards" that we writers at the lower levels are supposed to observe.
And one of those, believe it or not, is to "as much as possible get
ready to be in compliance with the up-and-coming XML standard"!  Well,
I'm one that didn't need to be convinced about that, anyway.  But I've
noticed that a huge number of the intranet pages do not conform even to
their most basic published "standards."  To give one trivial example,
all web pages are supposed to "display some content" within no longer
than 10 seconds on a 28.8 modem!  When I'm on the intranet at work, I'm
on a 100MB LAN than runs out to a SONET-based web, and even at 7 in the
morning, the IBM corporate intranet pages don't display within anything
approaching 10 seconds.

We recently were directed to go to a training session that supposedly
the president of the company was wild about, and wanted everyone in the
company to attend. One of the trainers made the following statement,
reviewing the topology of the typical corporate intranet: "The firewall
is the place where they screen out viruses, and things like that"!

I chalk it up to fear, and old time conservatism.  They are really
scared about being left behind like they were with the PC debacle. So,
they give a lot of visibility to things like the IBM Alphaworks
Java-based XML parser. But putting into actual practice is another

Christopher Lane
E-mail at home: zzyzlane at
E-mail at work: clane2 at

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