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Netscape 4.x still going....

     

RammsteinNicCage

11:26 pm on Jan 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just transferred to a new school, Stony Brook University, and on the first day, I used the computer lab at the library. They had IE6 on the computer and wouldn't let me download Opera. So, I figured I would check out what version of Netscape they had... it was 4.07! The computer lab's homepage didn't even display correctly since they use css-p. I did see in another thread awhile ago (which I can no longer find) some reasons for not upgrading, such as a slow connection or computers that cannot handle NN7. Now, the connection speed on campus is fine (although it could be better :p) and the computer had 300+mb RAM, a 1.6GHz processor, and was running either 98 or XP, I forgot to check. So, to me, it seems like there is nothing holding them back from upgrading other than laziness. Is there some other reason that I should know about before complaining to them about this?

Jennifer

Purple Martin

12:41 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



NN4 is one of the most secure browsers. Many schools and unis have kept it so that they don't have to deal with various security problems.

drbrain

12:46 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I ran an early mozilla (pre 0.9, maybe M16?) on a P133 laptop with 40MB of ram and Win98. It was sluggish, and swapped a ton if I switched to/from other apps, but it worked just fine otherwise.

I currently run Firebird on a PII-350 with 128MB of ram, it runs great. They probably don't need all of Mozilla, but the forthcoming Firebird 0.8 is probably just what they're looking for.

There's no reason to move to NN7 (unless you want AIM integration). It is buggier than the latest mozilla, and I doubt you're going to have much luck supporting it.

Check out www.mozilla.org for more reasons on why to switch.

drbrain

12:48 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



One more thing, don't write to your school's helpdesk, write letters (and get your fellow students to write) to the head of IT and the President.

iamlost

1:11 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You will have to ask to be sure.

It wouldn't have anything to do with SUNY/Stony Brook being a M$ Windows Source Code Licensee?

I would point out that a university publishing itself as a computer science leader should show cutting edge w3c compliant browser leadership as well ;-)

Good luck with the rabble-rousing!

DrDoc

4:08 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



NN4 is one of the most secure browsers.

But it crashes an awful lot ;)
Face it -- all non-IE browsers are secure! :)

I agree there's no reason for them to upgrade to NN7, but they could at least throw Firebird in there.

choster

4:24 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There may be some local application which some professor developed to run as a plugin for NN4 back when it was cutting edge (1996). I know my university had a few machines around so they could run ancient real mode DOS programs from the 1980s-- purchased for thousands of dollars at the time and, for the purposes of the lab exercise or basic statistic reports or whatever, still adequate.

Universities tend to be conservative with the installations they put in "public" labs and libraries. The newest applications are usually rolled out at high-end labs and research centers-- they after all are the ones who have received the funding for it-- and the site licenses rotated down. At many institutions the machines themselves may simply have been retired from one of their high-end research centers or graduate study facilities. It's sort of like the junior varsity team being granted access to the weight equipment in the gym... because the varsity team has built a whole new weight room for itself.

Firebird is still in development, making it an even tougher sell for a whole university. But I wouldn't be surprised if it were being used in corners of the CS department.

DrDoc

5:04 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Firebird is still in development

Aren't all browsers?

DrOliver

8:26 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




NN4 is one of the most secure browsers.

But it crashes an awful lot ;)
Face it -- all non-IE browsers are secure! :)

IMHO: any head of IT who wants to keep N4 only for security reasons is simply making himself impossible. It's 2004 now, man, N4 will be 7 years old this summer. How can they honestly still expect websites to "work" correctly in N4?

If there's a reason not to switch to, let's say, Firebird, then it must be for costs. Well, most browsers come for free, but the work and time it takes to switch the software in possibly hundreds of machines can be taken into account.

"Never touch a running system", maybe that's what they're really after? Security? Duh.

It's been about three years now I serve N4 nothing but unstyled content. Flame mails so far: 0.

amznVibe

9:29 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Netscape 4.x is 6+ years old now. Time to lay it to rest.

I really wish one or two big, general websites would stop supporting it so people would move on.

I suspect people who do computer admin for large groups are not web development savvy at all and therefore have no appreciation why NN4 needs to be retired.

We don't sell leaded gasoline anymore in the USA, can you imagine service stations being required to have a leaded pump for the 1% of customers that won't get rid of their ancient cars that need it?

tombola

11:32 am on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Even if they use Netscape 3, we live in 2004 : all our pages validate XHTML1.0 strict and CSS.

Farix

12:14 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If there's a reason not to switch to, let's say, Firebird, then it must be for costs. Well, most browsers come for free, but the work and time it takes to switch the software in possibly hundreds of machines can be taken into account.

Sounds like a job for the work-study students. ;) Only have to pay minimum wage and many of them are already doing nothing except watching the labs to begin with.

percentages

1:12 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>It's been about three years now I serve N4 nothing but unstyled content. Flame mails so far: 0.

My flame mails are more like 6 to 8 in the last 2 years....like I care, my sites can't be viewed on Apple IIe's, TRS80's or PET's either....and my Sony Hi-Fi system won't play 78's.....ain't life a b***h for some;)

You have to draw the line somewhere....5 years for technology seems like a good point to me :)

DrDoc

3:57 pm on Jan 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



the work and time it takes to switch the software in possibly hundreds of machines can be taken into account.

Even that's not an excuse... Universities and other large institutions use drive images. They don't install software on every single machine -- instead they install a master copy, then create a drive image which is used on all the other machines.

Give me an hour -- TOPS -- and I can do it :)

RammsteinNicCage

2:15 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



NN4 is one of the most secure browsers.

That surprises me... why would they make newer versions that are less secure?

As for Mozilla (I wasn't even thinking about that because I'm partial to Opera :p), it would certainly be an improvement over IE or NN, but I don't think the chances of getting them to use that are very good for the reason that Choster stated. I doubt they'd want to try something in beta for all of the computer labs, even if it is stable.

no reason for them to upgrade to NN7

I would have thought that a main section of their site not displaying correctly would have been reason enough. :p

Thanks for all of the other suggestions and things to think about. Anything else?

Jennifer

TGecho

2:43 am on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's actually Firebird that's in beta, Mozilla proper is not.

I still need to talk to my local library. They're using IE4 on all of their machines. And their inventory system uses cascades of tables (four at a time) to achieve a "fancy" multi-layered border effect. A perfect chance to use CSS since they have total control of the browsers being used.