preaching to the choir in our own little world...
Let me ask everyone participating in this thread how much it matters when web designers have web sites that only rock on 5.x/6.x browsers, when the people mostly visiting a web designer's site are... web designers using the latest browser versions!
Now, there is one other kind of person visiting a web designer's site: potential clients. Um, let me rephrase that: potential clients probably using legacy browsers.
Potential clients that would stipulate that any site made for them work in all browsers.
Potential clients that don't know a <table> from a <div>, and, perception being reality, will think the reason why your site looks like garbage in their 4.x browser is because you suck!
Zeldman speaks for all of us in voicing our desire for standards compliance. Because of the public's lack of knowledge on the issue (and really, they shouldn't have to know), the vendors will continue to have us by the shorties.
on the wrath of IT and IT spending
Excellent point, Pony. And what a double-edged sword this is. I wonder what would happen if/when all the other industries and businesses on this planet could be made to see how much money was being lost through backwards-compatible & cross-browser web design costs! Or if an IT department could be shown that their refusal to upgrade browsers is costing their company dearly. Especially when most browsers don't cost anything!
Originally posted by pony
And of course there are all those people browsing at work or college who can't upgrade their browser without incurring the wrath of their IT dept.
If you really want to go down the Zeldman route one way to 'encourage' your clients is to charge extra for making sites that fully match their spec also compliant with vsn4 browsers - after all it is more time consuming/more of a pain.
Re: user understanding: perception=reality
As opposed to (alas, most) webdesigners who would blame all the problems on Netscape4 not being able to render newest standards set after the browser was released. Or blame all on Netscape 6 because neither document.all nor document.layer, both non-standard, work in this browser ;)
Originally posted by Caramel_Cortex
I don't think any of us have to try too hard to figure out what usually happens when a user comes upon a site their browser can't accomodate: they blame any problems on the site.