|Browsers: I cant see what U can see.|
Opera, Modzilla, K-Meleon, IE, Netscape, browsers, compatibility
After several recent and unexplainable problems with IE I decided to venture out and try new browsers.
Netscape was never in contention, because it market share shrinks rather than grows and because it affiliated with AOL, which makes it not only my natural enemy. (I believe that AOL is like Microsoft in some of its actions and technology)
I found 3 great browsers:
All all free, superfast and as it turns out growing in popularity by exponential rates. So why hadnt I hear of them before? Well, simply put they are the workhorses of veteran net surfers and techies. They are also a threat to IE supremacy. Especially when they range in being 15-454% faster on any given day, no matter what net traffic is like.
There is only one problem. Most of us continue to build in favor of IE, almost forcing surfers to use OUR choices, rather than their own.
This led me to find the "all browsers" movement, which advocates that sites be built with more than one browser in mind, so that a user may choose whom he spends his money on or gets his freeware downloads from when he chooses a browser. And it makes sense. Why would I box my clients and their surfers into using Microsoft projects so I can do links without underlines or some other archiac feature that I "assume" can only be seen in IE, when in fact many browsers other than Netscape can handle IE features and surpass them without the file size or slowed net speed?
Opera users track, contact and plead with small and superlarge sites to revise sites so that they can continue using their favorite browser without sacrificing any feature that other users w/ other browsers may enjoy. Novel idea eh?
An internet with equal access and equal playing field for developers. imagine that....
Have you read the w3c's stuff on inter-browser compatibility? Someone'll undoubtedly link to it for you; I'm too lazy to give you anything more specific than w3c.org.
I've been trying to design for all browsers ever since i started designing, admittedly not that long ago. It's not easy.
I don't have access to older versions of IE, so i can't tell how it's working. (How do other people deal with this? Keep an extra PC lying around with antiquated but common browsers on it?) I have access to both Macs and PCs, but I don't have authorization to install every single browser I want to test on my PC at work. They tell me don't worry about it, most of our users use IE, but then I got into our site logs and found out that we have a whole load of people on older computers and a bunch of really oddball browsers making up something like 30% of our traffic. So I've learned an important lesson about the information i get from those in charge...
I have Mozilla and IE and I cannot understand why people use IE, because I am so heavily addicted to tabbed browsing. (This is tab 6 of 7 currently, which is fairly sparse for me.) I'm absolutely wild for Safari-- everything looks beautiful in it even when it's broken.
So, I'm glad you're trying as well to be friendly to people besides IE users; I was just on a corporate website that was illegible with Mozilla and that was the first time I'd fired up IE for anything but testing in two weeks.
It's so frustrating, though, when you have everything working and then you find out it doesn't look right on the boss' pet browser. IE for AOL will drive me to drink. NOTHING works on AOL's version of IE. Nothing. AUGH.
I'm even trying to be friendly to Lynx users. :-D We'll see how that works out.
Every time a webmaster comes over to the side of inter-browser compatibility, the world of the internet becomes a better place. :)
Some links on the general subject that you may find interesting:
[devedge.netscape.com ] - Browser Detection and Cross Browser Support
[devedge.netscape.com ] - Case Study in a Successful Standards-Based Migration
I always test my site on the following browsers (and more or less in this order):
The only thing I can't test it on is MSIE 4.0. I dread to think how bad my site looks in that.
I use Netscape 7.1 all the time. If I come to a site that blocks me because I use Netscape, or a site that isn't functional in Netscape then I always hit the back button on my browser and leave! ^_^
|Netscape was never in contention, because it market share shrinks rather than grows |
I think it's important to emphasize that this is only true about Netscape 4.x browsers, not the more recent ones based on the Gecko engine (which is essentially the same browser as Mozilla).
in any case Netscape's popularity is waning. Even as new versions come out the only significant users are those that are surfing with services like AOL. I have bought 2 new computers in two years. Neither came with Netscape. 3 years ago i bought a laptop and that one did. Funny how just a few years makes manufacturers say, "aah, its not worth it."
i dont build back to extremely old versions of IE. i think thats both anal and a bit oddball. afterall, if you are running a 15 year old machine, two things are probably true: you are not surfing a lot and the process is so laborous that you rarely engage.
BUT, i find that if i make something that looks good in Modzilla, Opera, K-Meleon then IE is pretty safe. If i want I can go back and add *tricks* for IE users, but i am to the point that I am about to go back and take off all references to *best viewed in* and replace them with *viewable in all browsers / no plug-ins necessary* --
thats right. i dont use flash anymore either. let me ask you this: how the hell do you expect a visually impaired surfer to use your flash product? ahh..never gave that thought did you? well, just so you know, they cant. however html allows special browsers and of course alt tags to aid handicapped users.
its all about usability, inclusiveness and providing room for small software manufacturers.
|I have bought 2 new computers in two years. Neither came with Netscape. 3 years ago i bought a laptop and that one did. Funny how just a few years makes manufacturers say, "aah, its not worth it." |
A few years ago, Microsoft threatened PC manufacturers that if they continued to install Netscape on their computers, they would loose their licence for being able to install Windows. So, they didn't really have much of a choice.
|BUT, i find that if i make something that looks good in Modzilla, Opera, K-Meleon then IE is pretty safe. |
You do realise that Netscape 6.0+, Mozilla, K-Meleon, Firebird, Galeon, Beonex, Camino, MacAOL 8.0, CompuServe 7.0 and many othere's that I've missed off all use the same Gecko rendering engine, don't you? All pages will look the same in the latest versions of all these browsers.
|If i want I can go back and add *tricks* for IE users |
Actually, there is very little you can do in IE that you can't do in Netscape/Mozilla. I usually go back and add *tricks* for users of Netscape/Mozilla & Opera, such as fixed positioning. I've noticed that you haven't mentioned Konqueror and Safari.
Please, it's Mozilla. I know it's quite confusing because you get "Mozilla Mods", but there is no D in Mozilla.