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  1. #1
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    How do you make a web page show up EXACTLY THE same on ALL browsers-OLD versions?

    http://home.earthlink.net/~nomorabito/index.html

    Thanks so much for all the help I get in these forums--so far
    I have been able to center my site, and have it show up the same on IE (5.2), and Netscape (7.1) on the Mac-- and IE (5.5) and Netscape (7.1) on the PC side (I use Virtual PC)--and Safari, (1.0) on the Mac-

    BUT--
    Using an older Mac Power PC, OS 8.5, Netscape 4.7, it looks HORRIBLE!!

    Please tell me how I can change my existing code (as I've said, I'm new at this, and am only making this site to help share my tabs, and help people,and this has been more than a labor of love!!), so that Iit looks the same on the older browser also--

    and please give me SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of what to change. .I need all the help I can get!!
    This is so very much appreciated, and I thank you all for ALL YOUR HELP!
    Thanks-Bob Morabito

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    no offense, but...this made me smile.
    my advice would be to give up the idea of having anything display exactly the same in every single browser. unless you make your entire page a single graphic, or use flash, there's always going to be situations in which a particular browser will display things slightly differently. the web is not print.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...22&btnG=Search
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Like redux said, there really isn't any way to make a page look EXACTLY the same in EVERY browser, especially if you are using newer technology. The problem with Netscape 4.7 is that it is so old that some stuff that is "standard" now was not supported back then.

    I think the problem is your CSS. If you look at this link from Netscape you can see the different aspects of CSS1 which are supported and which are not (chart key here). Just one I noticed off hand is the x STYLE= command which I see you use. Looking at the chart it states that NN4x on the PC and Mac are buggy, which could cause some layout / display problems. There may be others as well that you are using which are not compatible.

    So if you really want to be compatible with the OLD browsers, probably can't use CSS. But really, I wouldn't worry about that old of a browser if I were you.
    Kevin Hauge : Modern Leaf Design : Follow Us on Facebook
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for all the advice, and replies--to be honest, I know NOTHING about CSS,and a little bit of html, and some of the coding came from an original very small web example, and when I mess with it, I always seem to end up with ANOTHER problem to then slove..

    But if there are any SPECIFIC replacements you can quote, and I can paste in the code, that would be a very great kindness, and would be most appreciated..
    I really am very new at this, and program "empirically"--hit, and miss, try this, then that, without sometimes being sure of the results,just to get the site built-
    Thanks, for all your help, and any more help will be greatly appreciated!
    Bob

  5. #5
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    How can you make everything exactly the same on all browsers? Like redux said, you can make your page one big graphic (don't do this), or all Flash (not recommended if you want search engine traffic), or you can use the nasty formula of font tags, nested tables, and spacer gifs. Long story short, Netscape 4 is from 1997. It's a 7 year old browser, and thus is obsolete by all but the biggest luddites. If you have something working in IE5+, Safari, Netscape 6+ and Opera, I think you're in great shape.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Vinny for all your help, and kind words-it works in all those, except I don't know for Opera-
    Thanks again!
    Bob

  7. #7
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    How do you make a web page show up EXACTLY THE same on ALL browsers-OLD versions?
    Flash.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot gohankid77's Avatar
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    It's virtually, technically, and practically impossible!

  9. #9
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    it shouldn't be, but that's the way it is--THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!
    Bob

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    If you have something working in IE5+, Safari, Netscape 6+ and Opera, I think you're in great shape.
    True - BUT - what about real life? What do you tell your clients or bosses when they review their site with a browser you decided not to support because it's old? The site renders horribly and they are not about to pay you for that mess (even thought it validates perfectly at w3c). I don't hear a lot of mention about that. I'm not talking directly to you vgarcia, just a general observation.

    I hear a lot of accessibility enthusiasts expound on the fact that one should never assume the type of browsing device that is requesting their page... that should also include people using old browser versions like Netscape 4 or 3 even. You can't force them to use something different. Usage statistics don't matter... all it takes is one person to raise the issue.

    You could do like sitepoint does and give a message (I assume based on UserAgent) that "sorry but we support standards so the site looks bad for you". That's all fine and dandy because, well they own the site. But paying clients or your bosses may want no part of that.

    I'm just curious - what do you all do when (if) this happens. Tell them to upgrade? even if they understand and say OK and upgrade their browser, that doesn't eliminate the problem for other viewers who are not upgraded, and people aren't fools, they are keenly aware of that.

  11. #11
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mutus
    True - BUT - what about real life? What do you tell your clients or bosses when they review their site with a browser you decided not to support because it's old?
    that is something that needs to be specified at project initiation stage. what browsers should the new site support, visually?

    this will then inform the decision to either go with a pure css layout, a transitional/hybrid approach with the odd table to keep everything in place, or a complete tagsoup mess.

    I hear a lot of accessibility enthusiasts expound on the fact that one should never assume the type of browsing device that is requesting their page... that should also include people using old browser versions like Netscape 4 or 3 even.
    the point with regards to accessibility is: if you're using a css layout, the site is still accessible with old browsers...it just doesn't look visually sophisticated. don't confuse the matter here.

    all it takes is one person to raise the issue.
    it takes an informed client/manager that realises that going with a css only layout has advantages that outweigh carrying on with table based, kludged markup. again, this is a decision that needs to made at project initiation.

    But paying clients or your bosses may want no part of that.
    see above
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast mutus's Avatar
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    Nobody in the world (except for web developers) cares or even knows what kind of approach you go with. They don't view source. They do not know the first difference between tagsoup mess and a pure CSS layout. They only know what shows up on their monitor. period. Sure you can explain (and usually bore them) all the details about web standards, CSS vs. tables etc. etc. but in the end they still only know what they see in front of them.

    the point with regards to accessibility is: if you're using a css layout, the site is still accessible with old browsers...it just doesn't look visually sophisticated. don't confuse the matter here.
    I don't think I'm confusing accessibility with anything. I did not say that CSS sites were inaccessible to old browsers. I only mentioned "accessibility enthusiasts" because that's where you hear it the most: Don't make assumptions about what browsing device is requesting your page. The same holds true for old browser versions, and CSS layouts sometimes look like garbage (depending on your browser). And that is the only thing the people paying you really care about. They want the site to look and work the same for as wide an audience as possible.

    You nailed it on the head, these matters "should" be decided at project initiation, but in my experience, people who are not web savvy will tell you they understand what you're talking about even when they don't. That means when they're over at Aunt Nancy's house and they fire up her PC (atfer blowing off the dust) to show off the new web site... you'll still get a phone call that "my web site is broken".

    "hmmmm, well what browser?"
    "I don't know"
    "What does it say in the title bar... the strip across the very top of the window?"
    "umm.. something something Netscape"
    "What version?"
    "I don't know"
    "click on Help"
    "Huh?"
    "At the top of the window"
    "Oh OK"
    "Now click ABOUT..., what does it say?"
    "Netscape Communicator 4.8"
    "See now... we discussed this at project initiation, your site doesn't support that browser..."

    Even if they remember the converstion, which they probably won't - this is where you'll find out that they had no idea what you were talking about in the first place. You may wave me off as a poor communicator, but my communication skills are fine - at least not below average. It's happened to me more than once, yet it only seems to happen to me when I'm discussing web development issues with someone who knows little about the topic. It becomes apparent later on that they were "yessing" me just to avoid seeming uninformed at the time.

    Now don't get me wrong - I love coding pure CSS and strict XTHML... it's really a joy. But for another real life example... just last month my brother wanted some updates to his small web site that I put together for him like 3 years ago. (He's a graphic designer so he simply gave me PSD's of the pages and I just cut them up) This time around, aside from updating his site, I decided to do him a favor (and have some fun) by converting the site to a pure CSS/Strict XHTML layout, light-weight, accessible, search engine friendlier... etc. (I explained it to him too) After testing on every modern browser I had, I sent him the link to the staging server so he could preview and what I got back was some screen shots of his home page viewed through his Mac on IE 5[something]. Not only completely mangled, but completely inaccessible because the "enter" link from his splash page did not even render in the browser (and this layout was extremely simple). Can you guess what his main concern was?

    I'm rambling on, but my point is that for all this CSS / XHTML standards movement (yes, I'm on the bandwagon too) it doesn't translate so easily into real life. For those telling Bob M not to worry about old browsers, that's a fine attitude here in the protection of web development forums where everybody understands and agrees. (I hold those same feelings) But eventually someone will complain or inquire. It happens, and don't be surprised if they are not satisfied with your explanation, even if it was supposedly agreed upon at project initiation.

  13. #13
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mutus
    Nobody in the world (except for web developers) cares or even knows what kind of approach you go with. They don't view source.
    if i hire a carpenter, i couldn't care less what kind of nails he uses. but i do trust that he follows best practices and industry standards, and uses the materials that will benefit me in the long term.

    You nailed it on the head, these matters "should" be decided at project initiation, but in my experience, people who are not web savvy will tell you they understand what you're talking about even when they don't. That means when they're over at Aunt Nancy's house and they fire up her PC (atfer blowing off the dust) to show off the new web site... you'll still get a phone call that "my web site is broken".
    ok, we're obviously talking about different types of clients here. i have had the fortune to work with larger clients that actually do know what i'm talking about when explained properly.

    I'm rambling on, but my point is that for all this CSS / XHTML standards movement (yes, I'm on the bandwagon too) it doesn't translate so easily into real life.
    in that case it strikes me as funny that more and more large organisations, blue chip companies, etc are transitioning their site to css/xhtml layouts. maybe they don't live in real life, who knows...
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
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  14. #14
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    The problem I encountered in viewing it in Netscape 4.7 on an old Mac was that it was misshapen, out of place--the tables on the botton-Links, and Articles, didn't reach all the way across, and had a border inside--the top with the drawing didn't reach as far across as the rest--...in all honesty, in my heart I really want it to look good on the odl browsers also, but as I say, I am almost completely new at this, and used a web example, and just went ahead a little at a time, all hit and miss, just to get the tabs and info out--

    For example, I know that some have taken issue with the format of the fonts--

    What would be the best, fastiest, and most sure way to change parts of my code, so that I can see if it helps in the old browser, WITHOUT losing what I already have?
    Thanks for all yur help, and input--Bob

    http://home.earthlink.net/~nomorabito/index.html

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    if i hire a carpenter, i couldn't care less what kind of nails he uses. but i do trust that he follows best practices and industry standards, and uses the materials that will benefit me in the long term.
    carpentry does not compare to web development. Your talking about a physical object. Like comparing a book to a web site. The book will look exactly the same to everyone. Not true for the web site. Didn't you say above that "the web is not print"

    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    in that case it strikes me as funny that more and more large organisations, blue chip companies, etc are transitioning their site to css/xhtml layouts. maybe they don't live in real life, who knows...
    I didn't say nobody's doing it. And I'm aware that over time we'll see it more and more. There have been some notable conversions - complete with a message or redirect for older browsers and even alternative versions of the entire site. As I said before, that's a decision made by people running their own web sites (like sitepoint or blue chip companies). But for every one of them, you can find hundreds more highly trafficked and well known web sites that don't even have a doctype.... let alone an XHTML doctype.

    I have convinced one organization to let me update their site to be more accessible. It is currently framed and will soon be non-framed XHTML/CSS fully compliant. My contact was sold on the whole standards movement and accessibility idea, and understands about old browser problems. But others I have spoken with (including the CEO at my day job) hold the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. And then there are some I refered to previously that just don't know/don't care what you're talking about regardless.

    I'm all for the standards - truly I am, but i think it is bad advice to tell somebody to simply "not worry" about NS4x and other old browsers. If you're gonna take the plunge, you should hold these visitors equally as important as every body else, and plan for them accordingly. Be it a message or a redirect like ESPN does when you arrive there in an old browser (http://espn.go.com/browserupgrade.html).

    Like you said... CSS sites are still accessible to old browsers, just not visually appealing. But again in my experience the most important thing to the person you work for is what they see on the screen, accessible or otherwise. You can lose visitors who dislike the seemingly "broken" pages or just don't feel like upgrading their browser, and will jump to a competitor's site in a hearbeat, costing you traffic and potential revenue.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob M
    What would be the best, fastiest, and most sure way to change parts of my code, so that I can see if it helps in the old browser, WITHOUT losing what I already have?
    Thanks for all yur help, and input--Bob
    firstly, save your original page in a safe place and then "save as" that file to a test page which you can "play around" with in no danger of losing your original. With a quick look I would say you don't need all that much tweaking to make it look the same in netscape 4x. You have a bunch of inline style mixed in especially to the tables that NS apparently doesn't understand or has troble with. simply revert to the old fashioned way of defining attributes like instead of :

    <td style="width: 100%; background-color: rgb(0, 128, 128); text-align: left; vertical-align: top;">

    use:

    <td bgcolor="#008080" valign="top">

    cell will be 100% width by default if it's the only cell on the row & text-align: left is not needed because cells default to left alignment, (but if it were needed, use align="left")

    and so on, start making changes like that and you will see the page start to come into shape through NS 4x. People will rail against me for saying this I'm sure, but if your goal is to make the page look the same in old browsers as new browsers then you gotta do things the old fashioned way wherever necessary. besides you're already mixing in "old school" attributes here and there as well and using deprecated tags such as font and center.

    The charts posted by LiquidReflex can be a big help to you.

    I would try replacing all those font tags with some styled text (in a separate CSS sheet) as NS should support that pretty well. It will clean up your code a lot.... then just find the places where CSS is making your page fail and replace with HTML attributes, especially where your tables and cells are concerned. Hope that helps you. Good luck

    PS there is the issue that future browser versions some day may not be able to correctly render "old fashioned" source code. Whenever that day may come, you (all of us) should have plenty of notice and cross that bridge when we come to it. That's my view point on that. I don't think any browser vendor is in a rush to break millions of web sites by eliminating backward compatibility (except maybe MS that it is )

    One other option would be to make 2 templates.... one for "good" browsers, and one for everybody else. then you would still have your modern page, and an identical looking page to serve your old browser visitors. There's many various other (and perhaps better) ways to deal with this.... the one I outlined above just seemed quickest and easiest for your immediate needs.

  17. #17
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    THANKS SO MUCH, MUTUS!

    WOW-prior to reading this, I used an HTML parser, and after getting the results, I tried changing things--it looked better, in NS 4, but I lost it in Netscape 7.1, Mac, and minor changes in the others.
    I tried what you suggested but it's beyond my level of capability--honest, I tried one thing, and was already lost, and lost a color-

    As I said, I'm really new at this, and I really do appreciate all your help, and I agree that ALL web pages should be able to be viewed just about the same on ALL versions of ALL browsers, even the old ones--I went back, and tried, precisely because of this, so that people with old browsers wouldn't see a misshapen site, but I just don't have the know-how....

    Thank you for all your help, and all--I guess I'll leave it, until when and if I know really what I'm doing-
    Thanks again-Bob

  18. #18
    With More ! for your $ maxor's Avatar
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    HTML Code:
    <html>
    <body>
    Hello World.
    </body>
    </html>
    Just wanted to add some humor.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxor
    HTML Code:
    <html>
    <body>
    Hello World.
    </body>
    </html>
    Just wanted to add some humor.
    That still will look different in all browsers. . gotta take into effect the text multiplier with each browser.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot Digitalman's Avatar
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    Don't put too much work in making your website display good in old browsers it is time the lazy people start updating them browsers.
    Or not?

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict will_'s Avatar
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    The Flash technique and the One Big Image technique won't work either. I can't view Flash on my cell phone, for example. Nor can I view it or a big image on Lynx (a text browser) when I'm cruising around from the command line on my Linux box.

    There is no way to make a page look exactly the same in all browsers. There are too many varying browsers. It's part of being a web designer.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalman
    Don't put too much work in making your website display good in old browsers it is time the lazy people start updating them browsers.
    Or not?
    Hi, Digitalman--
    I can see both sides, but until someone gave me this IMac as a gift, I had, and would still have a very old Mac-PowerPC 6500/250, with the OS limitations (can't go higher than 8.5), and it looks bad on that computer.
    And if people still have an old computer, chances are they also might be inexperienced, or afraid to upgrade something that is already working--much less, knowing how to do it...

    So seeing the web page in the condition it's in, they'll just assume it was made that way, and it looks "funny"--I did once, with someone else's site that had that problem, and emailed them about it, trying to be nice.

    Thanks, everyone, for all your input..Bob

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast Scottie2Hottie7's Avatar
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    Dynamic

    I Don't Know Whether Anyone Has Mentioned This Yet

    xeye: To Lazy To Read All Replies! )

    But Why Not Get Someone (or me) To Design A Dynamic Webpage
    It Would Mean Updating It Every Time A New Browser Was Released

    Use ASP,JSP,CGI,SSI,PHP or any other language that can detect the browser

    You Can Use One Of Two Ways To Do This

    NOTE : Replace What Code Nesscarry With BROWSERCODE

    PHP Code:
    $browser BROWSERCODE;
     
    if (
    $browser == "Netscape6") {
    require(
    "NetscapePage.html");
    }
    else if (
    $browser == "IE5") {
    require(
    "IEpage.html");

    PHP Code:
    $browser BROWSERCODE;
     
    if (
    $browser == "Netscape6") {
    echo<<<EOF
    <B>You Are Using Netscape</B>
    EOF;
    }
    else if (
    $browser == "IE5") {
    echo<<<EOF
    <I>You Are Using Internet Explorer</I>
    EOF;


    Hope This Helps.....

    Scottie_Too_Hottie7 (http://Scottie_Too_Hottie7.tripod.com/index2.html)

  24. #24
    Afraid I can't do that Dave Hal9k's Avatar
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    I really understand what Redux is saying, and I appreciate how mutus feels about the client seeing pages as 'broken', even if they are not.

    The way I feel is that CSS, XHTML and standards in general is the future for the web. Sure for every user who has an ancient browser you gain, you will alienate a user who requires the standards because of any disabilities they suffer from. Even on a 56k connection, it doesn't take 20 minutes to download a standards orientated browser such as Firefox or Opera. A person who uses an old browser has a choice to be appreciate a page properly, whereas someone with any disabilities doesn't. Of course a person might not understand about browsers and version numbers, but don't you think it is worth the time to try an inform them? I have to view designing for the lowest common denominator is designing with a defeatest attitude.

    With IE back in development you also have to realise that if the dev. team takes notice of the W3C, you might be left with a site which is left at a considerable disadvantage. In short, we all hope CSS and XHTML will be near future-proof.

    You could argue about inappropriate analogies, carpenters and things, but you will sometimes never change what a person thinks until they realise by personal experience.

    I view the idea of dynamic code with scepticism, wouldn't that incure massive overheads?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob M
    a very old Mac-PowerPC 6500/250, with the OS limitations (can't go higher than 8.5), and it looks bad on that computer.
    So what? No one is using that anymore. I would imagine the percentage of your website visitors that would be using OS 8.5 might be about .001%. I know this because I have used Macs all my life and am very active in the online Mac community. No one is using that horrible ancient system anymore. Over half the Mac installed base has already upgraded to OS X. If you want your site to look good for Mac users focus on Safari and IE 5 under OS X. That's all you should be worrying about.


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