I don't believe it should matter which browser you do your initial testing in, but you should ALWAYS TEST it in other browsers.
Personally, I also design using NN7 first, and it has always (with one exception) worked in IE first time.
I used to design using IE, and found that all versions of NN had serious problems showing the page. Running through a validation helped remove most of the errors, however, I rarely have a problem with validation when designing using NN7. If I had designed around NN7 first, I could have saved hours - it would have stopped repeated mistakes of code I thought was valid, but in fact, was not.
The tests I usually do include:
1) NN7 (designed around)
2) IE6 (hardly ever had a problem if works in NN7)
5) NN4 (very rarely check - and only to make sure that text appears and links are clickable - if the page looks bad it does not matter as long as it functions)
txbakers -- although you don't say so, I get the impression from your attitude that you are an IE user. Why do I get this impression? Because you're less worried about cross-browser compatibility, and you described Netscape and Opera as "fringe" browsers.
As a Netscape user, I've had it up to here with lazy people that write sloppy code. Because of that, I want to make sure that as many people as possible are able to view my site. It doesn't take long for me to test in all of those browsers -- Everytime I redesign, I test once. Most of my pages are the same, so I'll generally only test the first page.
The only reason I test in older browsers is to make sure that my site sucessfully degrades gracefully.
Although I'm certain that you'll disagree, I always stand by this statement (that I've mentioned previouslly on this forum):
Every site in the world displays correctly in Netscape 7.1.
|Because you're less worried about cross-browser compatibility, and you described Netscape and Opera as "fringe" browsers. |
stats so far for this month from just one of my sites:
MS Internet Explorer 91.1 %
Netscape No 1719 3.3 %
Opera No 1117 2.1 %
i'm going to worry about that 91.1% first and fore most. the others are gravy. i've also got 0.1% WebTV. i've seen what MSN TV browsers do to web pages. should i change everything around just to accommodate that 0.1%? kinda reminds me of the cheeseburger-pepsi skit on SNL.
but i do see this degenerating into another browser crusade again. bottom line --it doesn't matter what browser you build and initially test your pages in. you write good code and/or know the limitations of what HTML and CSS can/will do --your page will display gracefully across all browsers.
Let's get one fallacy out of the way. Optimizing a page for Mozilla or Opera does not mean it will mysteriously break in IE. In fact, most of the time it doesn't. It is just that IE is far more lenient with bad markup then the other browsers. While that aspect may be good for the end user -- which is debatable -- it is a negative on the designer's end.
Farix ... isn't IE optimized for the WYSIWYG MS Fontpage editor ... which itself generates sloppy code which only IE can display correctly? I've tended to think it was a play by MS to strengthen IE's standing. Then the WYSIWYG crowd will begin to only write for IE browser.
|Why do I get this impression? Because you're less worried about cross-browser compatibility, and you described Netscape and Opera as "fringe" browsers. |
If you look at the stats you will see that Netscape, Opera, and the rest are fringe browsers. Just because you use one of the alternatives does not make it a standard product.
Don't assume that I am less worried about cross-browser compatibility, just becuase you are fanatical about it.
What browser I use is irrelevant to the discussion. What 97% of my paying customers use, is.
And the 3% that use alternative browsers are very happy. And the people who can't use my program because of browser compatibility go elsewhere. Maybe to you. I really don't care.
What is really so difficult about designing your site to work properly in Mozilla or Opera? If you do that, then it WILL work properly in IE. Why make it sound as if you're having to do more work? You're not; you're still only designing for ONE browser, and it works in 2. So where is this a waste of your time? Or neglecting the majority of your market?
|What do people actually mean when they say that they "design for IE"? |
What is it that they do (or do not do) that makes them say that they designed especially for IE.
With IE representing more than 97% of my visitors browser of choice it's just not worth coding for the others.
|With IE representing more than 97% of my visitors browser of choice it's just not worth coding for the others. |
What DaScribbler is saying is that if you code "for" Opera or Mozilla, it takes virtually the same amount of time that it takes to code for IE with the added benefit that you reach more people. The only reason it would take longer is if you write bad code.
|What DaScribbler is saying is that if you code "for" Opera or Mozilla, it takes virtually the same amount of time that it takes to code for IE with the added benefit that you reach more people. The only reason it would take longer is if you write bad code. |
Makes sense. I guess i do what i do (using iframes to hide my code) because it just drives me crazy when people steal my code.
You have to be very careful with statistics. Very.
For example, if you have 96% of page views being IE users, then I suggest you have a problem with your site. There is more than a 4% market share of alternative browsers. People assume that their statistics are correct but it may not be the case.
For example, I visit your home page (for simplicity sake) you get one page view. I use Netscape and it just does not display correctly. I hit the back button. 1 visitor, 1 page view.
My friend uses IE and also goes to your site. He views 24 pages and then after he has found everything he came for he leaves, satisfied. 1 visitor, 24 page views.
4% using Netscape
96% using Internet Explorer
50% using Netscape
50% using Internet Explorer
So before quoting your statistics, please remember that if your site does not function in another browser, you cannot use the statistic of that browser in terms of page views, but you MUST count the percentage of VISITORS using browsers. Many statistic packages count page views and as seen above, the figures can be out by a lot.
I have decided not to buy a product from a supplier recently because their site does not work in Netscape. I found a site that does work, it is a fantastic site, and I will be ordering from them soon. A £27000 sale they'll have this week, just for supporting Netscape.
My sales shot up after changing/tweaking my site to be validated code and Netscape compliant. You can shoot up by 5 or 6 times the number of alternative browser users. Think about this too:
A Netscape user goes to 2 of your competitors but cannot get the information they want or place an order. Then, they come to you and they order. They may pay more, but they are happy that it has worked. If every alternative browser user does this, you orders will not increase by 10% (if that's the real stat) but will increase by 30%. And if it really was just 4%, surely a 12% increase in sales overnight would be almost unheard of for most businesses.
In the UK from January, you can be taken to court for the Disability Discrimination Act if your site does not comply. The disabled person may HAVE to use Netscape 4. If it is not functional in Netscape 4, you are leaving yourself open to a lawsuit. By optimising or writing code only for Internet Explorer, you really are leaving yourself open for serious complaints when the law becomes applicable. This has already happened in Australia and court cases by web designers have been lost because of their narrow-mindedness. Not everyone is the same as you or I and because of the nature of the web we should be catering for everyone, or at least as many as possible.
Very good points, PCInk!
All I can say (without repeating exactly what you said) is "ditto"!
Except for the part about Netscape 4. There's nothing forcing anyone to use Netscape 4! If that's the type of browser they are forced to use, Firebird works just as well! Let's not take it too far by saying that NN4 always has to be supported.NN4, IE4, and the likes of them are legacy browsers. There's nothing "usable" about them. So, saying that a person with disabilities HAS to use NN4, that's simply a claim without substance.
With IE representing more than 97% of my visitors browser of choice it's just not worth coding for the others.
What makes you think that iframes don't work in Netscape and other non-IE browsers? Iframes have been supported by Netscape since version 6.0, which was released over 3 years ago.
Note: I said function is Netscape 4. I mean all text is displayed and all links are clickable/selectable. Items such as img alt attributes should go without saying. If you cannot acheive that, there is usually something wrong with the validation of the html page. But you'd be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't!) at the number of sites that do not display anything in NS4.
Agreed... functionality, but not necessarily look the same.
I'm also amazed at the number of sites that DO display seamlessly in Netscape 4... I'm talking about the BIG sites, like Yahoo!, MSN, Ebay, Amazon, Netscape etc. For the average internet user that only visits such sites, Netscape 4 still appears (to them) as a perfectly fine browser.
Btw, I'm not sure if this is deliberate, but the text on microsoft.com is tiny in Netscape 4 and IE 3.
Well, those big sites that render fine in NN4 are also really old! They haven't changed much since NN4's days...
> tiny text on M$.com
...that's because NN4 and IE3 is rendering the page wrong.
|You have to be very careful with statistics. Very. |
actually PCInk ... i am. i can also browse page logs like these and see exactly what browser is being reported:
126.96.36.199.dial.bluewin.ch - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
d188.8.131.52.nwcc.cc.ms.us - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts)
- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
sud-1-82-67-112-14.fbx.proxad.net - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; FREE; FunWebProducts)
p508D74F9.dip.t-dialin.net - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
since this has digressed into another "browser evangelical session", y`all seem to have overlooked a couple of facts: yes --"we" can load up any browser we want and tout it's virtues over another. but what does corporate america for the most part use? windows and IE. what do "mom and pop" middle america use? they use "the internet". they probably couldn't even tell you what "browser" they're actually using. sorry all you netscape v4.7x snobs and you opera v7.2x elitists --THAT is my target audience.
and for the record --i'm not an IE snob. i happen to have NN v4.7x, v4.8x, IE v4, v5.01, v5.5, v6.0x, mozilla v1.4 & v1.6, and a couple versions of opera floating around to test/tweak/chase quirks with. and if i could manage my bookmarks in mozilla the way i can in IE, i'd probably use that on a daily basis ...
This isn't really a "browser evangelical session" but more looking at a design point of view.
We are not arguing over which is the best browser to use, but which is the best to use for designing a site. The best (IMHO) is the strictest browser, thus forcing you into standard compliant code.
The strictest of the three most popular would generally be regarded as Opera followed by Netscape followed by Internet Explorer.
The stricter the code you write, the more likely people can view it (no matter what browser). Unfortunately, Internet Explorer is TOO forgiving, which is good for amateur sites because they are easy to make (and good for those people who save MS Word documents as HTML!), but bad for professional designers who may find it harder to spot non-compliant code and even basic coding errors.
I find it easiest to design using a browser that highlights the problems, either that or use a validation program.
BergtheRed, the logs you have just shown is exactly what I stated earlier - they are page views. Using the example given, the log would have one of my NS7 page views and 24 of my friends IE page views.
We are not stating that you should have a site that works with NS/Opera but not with IE. This is not what is being stated. What we are stating is if you test in a browser that highlights all the errors it can be better for you. For example, Internet Explorer may be a bit lax on a particular rule, let's say it is missing </table> tag for example. You may find that Microsoft close this loophole in their browser and suddenly sites that worked perfectly in IE, no longer appear correct.
This is not aimed squarly at you, but surely you can understand why we all want standard-compliant code, can't you? We are simply stating that it is easier to use a stricter browser to achieve that goal - mistakes are visible a long time before you perform a validation check.
I think what's being said about the fallacy of logging which browsers are visiting your site is being mis-understood by some people.
If your site doesn't work well with Mozilla or Opera, you never will see much traffic from those browsers, because those browsers will not return to your site. After all, who wants to visit a site that appears Broken. If your site did play well with others, then you'd see others more often.
IE is the defacto standard. There is no right or wrong way to render (it's just opinion), but since IE controls over 95% of the market, it sure is the ONLY browser to spend any time on.
|IE is the defacto standard. There is no right or wrong way to render (it's just opinion) |
I'd be perfectly willing to accept this statement if it weren't for the fact that MS claims to support the standards set out by the W3C. Yet they invent their own standard. People trap themselves into this IMO quirky, inferior standard and then refuse to leave when a viable alternative is available.
Why do people blame the non-IE browser? Either they don't know any better, or they think other browsers should conform to IE's "standards" just because it's the "defacto standard."
I wouldn't have a problem with this whole thing if it weren't for the fact that it hinders the rest of us. How can you not be in favor of a single unified standard that lets you code without worrying about browser quirks.
I'm all in favor of "innovations", even new tags and properties in browsers. It's one of the things that helps the web grow. But I don't think a browser maker has any business adding that sort of stuff if they don't even meet the baseline.
>> since IE controls over 95% of the market, it sure is the ONLY browser to spend any time on. <<
Aaaarrrggghhhhhh! How many times has this got to be repeated? If you write valid, well-formed code then it will work in ANY browser.
Why write something that just about works in the current version of IE and neglect everything else? That makes no sense.
|IE is the defacto standard. There is no right or wrong way to render (it's just opinion) |
Since when is IE the standard? Only people who buy into MS marketing hype accept this.
It would be interesting to learn if the WYSIWYG designers tend to favor IE first, thus setting the stage for exclusion of other browsers because it is "extra work" as opposed to designers who write their pages, thus keeping themselves in adherence to the standards set by W3C and viewable by all with no "extra work". I don't think it's any secret that the WYSIWYG editors tend to favor IE ... after all, they are the "defacto standard" ... at least I just learned they are.
It's truly amazing! Why would you settle for 95% (though many stats agree that IE has no more than 80% market share) of the users, when you can have 100%?
When you use IE as your ultimate measuring stick, you limit yourself immensly. It is far easier to develop standards compliant pages, and make minor tweaks for IE, than to develop a page for IE only.
But (and this may offend some, but I stick to my guns) this "IE only" mindset is nothing but laziness. You may try to hide behind vague stats about user preference, but in the end it has nothing to do with that. If you can't make standards compliant Web pages it is because you're too lazy, or too uneducated in what the standards really are.
That IE is so extremely forgiving in its rendering doesn't mean that it can't render standards compliant code. IE can render pages just fine, as long as you realize its limitations. I develop pages for any browser but IE. Still, I think that IE renders my pages best.
IE is not the defacto standard of anything. It's foolish to think that. Someone made a good point earlier about what the stats really tell you - most people using a non-IE browser click their back button to escape from your badly formatted page.
What has happened to the pride of Web development? There used to be a time when people would take pride in their work, a time when people really knew what it meant to be a "Web designer".
Sheesh, even my grandma can make a page look good in IE!
This isn't an argument about 95% vs. 5%, where ever the heck those figures come from. It's more like 95% vs. 99.5%, or in the case of the site I help administrate 73% vs. 99.9%. It's no more difficult or time consuming to build a page that works just as well with Opera and Mozilla is it does with IE. And in the long run, IE will benefit since it has to do less processing to handle markup errors.
As I have already stated, while a more error tolerant browser is arguably better for the end user, it stinks on the design and development side of the equation. You want to use a browser that encourages you to produces less error prone markup.
|Since when is IE the standard? |
|IE is not the defacto standard of anything. |
Look up the word "de facto". IE is the de facto standard. By definition.
|Why write something that just about works in the current version of IE and neglect everything else? |
|If you can't make standards compliant Web pages it is because you're too lazy, or too uneducated in what the standards really are. |
Standards are simply an agreement about how something should be done. That's ALL they are. You can agree or not. There is nothing wrong or right about standards, the agreeing or the disagreeing, the following or the not following.
|What has happened to the pride of Web development? There used to be a time when people would take pride in their work, a time when people really knew what it meant to be a "Web designer". |
Why is it that you seem to believe that people who do not agree with you have no pride in their work? When I was a kid, erector sets were very common and it was a thing of pride to build the best machine with the pieces. I decided I was not going to be limited to that "standard" and mixed in parts I found everywhere - motors, belts, screws, bolts and whatever. I had just as much pride in my "work" as the other kids - I just was not limited by "standards".
A standard is an artifical limit, an arbitrary limitation on creativity. Who cares what the standard is? Just create something that works and meets the requirements.
A "web designer" makes web sites that meet the requirements of the business (or hobby or whatever). That's all a web designer is supposed to do. If the audience is defined as "IE only" by the business (as is often the case for an intranet) then it's not only acceptable for the code to be IE only, it's actually a complete waste of time and resources to make it anything else.
|It's truly amazing! Why would you settle for 95% (though many stats agree that IE has no more than 80% market share) |
Depends on the business requirements.
|this "IE only" mindset is nothing but laziness. |
I assert that the "standards only" mindset is nothing but an attempt to force people into a sameness, a blandness, a pasty white soya drink as tasteless as chalk.
|What makes you think that iframes don't work in Netscape and other non-IE browsers? Iframes have been supported by Netscape since version 6.0, which was released over 3 years ago. |
That's good then, i didn't know that. I stopped downloading NN at about version 4.x because making layers work similarly in IE and NN just became too much work. I just display a non-layer page for NN.
|standard is an artifical limit, an arbitrary limitation on creativity...I assert that the "standards only" mindset is nothing but an attempt to force people into a sameness, a blandness, a pasty white soya drink as tasteless as chalk. |
Actually right now the fact that IE doesn't support standards is what hinders creativity. I could do so much more with my pages if IE supported CSS just at the level of Opera and Mozilla. It would free me from many of the "artificial limitations" set by its sheer stupidity.
In fact I've discarded many really amazing looking designs because I couldn't get them to work in IE. The W3C's recommendations are the last thing that get in the way of my creativity.
|I stopped downloading NN at about version 4.x because making layers work similarly in IE and NN just became too much work. |
And this is the problem. People who design around IE, generally got sick of NN4. But I have seen only a few sites that do not work in NN7. In fact, there are only two that come to mind - an online bank and a bad webdesigner. The first claims something about security and the second redirected you to a download Internet Explorer link with a rude message. I found out the companies with high PR that linked to the second and they soon dropped their links - that site plummeted a year or two back. But both sites that don't work, both have a user-agent redirect - it's not that the site would not work but that the designer could not be bothered to check.
In fact, I have seem some designer design around IE for good reason. The only reason I have ever seen that is a good reason is they were designing for an Intranet where they guarantee 100% IE users!
My personal preference in Netscape7 to test in, but I know that really I should use Opera. All the fiddly bits and tweaks (particularly CSS) that you used to have to do to NN4 have long gone.
Your site should be designed around the W3C. Never forget that IE can drop tags in the next release or it could be less forgiving of errors without warning. How much work would you have to do if this became the case, or if another browser began to get a good market share (let's say Opera got 25%)? Wouldn't it be better that your site worked in all browsers to start with?
I could imagine the national news if a petrol/gas company released a new petrol and were discontinuing the old one for one that was easier to make. But...this new petrol/gas does not work in Honda cars. Just imagine - yet Honda have a small percentage of the market share - but there would be some very angry people out there. Why should someone be forced to change theor brand of car? Why should someone be forced to change their browser? And does their speech recognition program, screen reader or braille reader work well with IE or are we actually expecting them to buy new software/hardware to view the site? There are legal obligations here for business sites. A company may be sued for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions if a disabled person cannot easily view your site, if you have designed this site for that company, who do you think the company will sue? As stated earlier, this has already happened in Australia.
Every site that asks me to use internet explorer alway annoys me - why should I? Do they want my business? And those with redirects to internet explorer download pages or that do not allow you to view the site are simply unforgivable.
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