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View Poll Results: Do you mind coding with hacks and turnarounds for NS4?

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  • Yes it makes me feel smart

    7 8.64%
  • No it makes me waste a lot of my time

    74 91.36%
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  1. #51
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Japhi
    There was an "experiment" a while back where someone converted the Sitepoint layout into a table free layout. It turned out looking almost like a clone of the tables layout.
    http://sitepoint.com/cssdesign/ -- it's quite nice but does have a minor rendering problem in Opera.
    Using depreciated tags with HTML tricks really isn't 'compatible' because it hurts your pages ability to be viewed by other browsers and will eventually be ignored in the future. Compatibility isn't about getting your pages to look exactly the same in the last round of browser voiles; it's about getting your pages to convey it's content and information (note: not the design) regardless of which browser your visitor uses.

    Right now the market is completely dominated by browsers that support the CSS standards well enough to make a full fledge CSS page. The version four browsers have been rapidly declining in market share. And now, by the time a new site begins to become popular enough to weren't the use of browser hacks, I doubt NS4 would be much of an issue any more.
    That's an argument I had posted in another thread about CSS only designs, but it applies here, too.

    On the matter of the percentage of buyers who you'll "lose" if your pages don't render perfectly in NS4, I think that's quite low. Who says NS4 users buy that much online or even at all? People who do buy online are usually quite technically savvy -- not the type of people who don't upgrade there browsers since '97.

    I've never seen any conclusive data that demonstrated this theory, but it does make since and has been echoed by others. If you do have that data on the buying habits of NS4 users, why not share it with us?

    ~~Ian

  2. #52
    SitePoint Guru Marc's Avatar
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    While I agree that having to code specifically for all kinds of different browsers is a huge waste of time, I also would hate to see everyone standardize and succumb to one universal browser (Hmmmm... ie, perhaps? ). I think that the more competition the better, the better the browsers will become, and its still ridiculous that we have to even deal with these issues.

    If a browser company would just step up and realize this is all ridiculous, they could potentially really set themselves apart. And if that happens, eventually, even the "uneducated" masses (by uneducated I just mean they dont understand that the browser you are using can affect the website you see) will flock to it.

    <fantasizing>
    What if a browser allowed for a seperate tag, or declaration in which you declared which browser and version you have satisfactorily tested a site in, and then the browser makes sure the user sees in it that exact version with those exact specifications.... hmm.. that java browser thingy sounds much better..
    </fantasizing>
    Marc Gugliuzza
    marc.gugliuzza.com



  3. #53
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Marc
    While I agree that having to code specifically for all kinds of different browsers is a huge waste of time, I also would hate to see everyone standardize and succumb to one universal browser (Hmmmm... ie, perhaps? ).
    Actually, the fact that we're moving to standardized browsers won't mean we will end up with only one. When everybody goes by the same standards, it will be easier for every browser manufacturer to come up with a competitive product and that might even mean we will have more options in terms of browsers.

    However, it also means that whatever browser you'll use, the sites will all look pretty much the same (except for specific flavors of each which would most likely be design related). It might even be the only chance we have not to end up with an IE monopoly (could it be worse than now?)

    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
    [+] ICQ number: 115649885 || Email: denis@cybercodeur.net
    [+] Daily Weblog on Web standards and accessibility : CYBERcodeur.net

  4. #54
    SitePoint Enthusiast AlbinoRhyno's Avatar
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    CSS Now

    I design mostly in css, table-less sites. The only benefit I still see for tables is navigation and rollovers (using text, not if you use graphical nav).

    I also agree that the people who are using IE 3.x or Netscape 4.x are not the people who are going to be buying online - they're the ones who are afraid every hacker in the world will know their credit card number once they use it online.

    If it is a tech-savvy person who is a NS 4.7 loyalist, I guarantee he/she'll have a backup IE5.5+ or Opera program for the sites using the new technologies.

  5. #55
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    What about building a site completely in Flash then there'd be no cross browser / platform compatibility issues??? ..............No sorry thats just ridiculous

    The site in my sig gets over 5% of NS4 visitors which adds up to about 8000 visitors this year.... still to many not to make it cross browser happy.

  6. #56
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    NS4 just stinks! I have only once coded a page especially for NS4. What a pain.

    About 4% of our users are still on NS4, but I don't optimize the site for them. I simply don't have the time. Our site still looks ok, but the layout (especially the forms) is a bit off.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Evangelist =X¥®µ§='s Avatar
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    I think that most NS4 users are used to sites not showing properly in their browser - this is still no argument but to make all sites NS4 compatibel would make the site too ugly or would take too much time...
    PHP-Webservices - Profesional Hosting and Programming of sites.

  8. #58
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    Above all, it's not a matter of how used to ugly rendering sites NS4 users are; it's a matter of building Web sites that will last and still be displayed properly as time goes by.

    The example is easy to visualize; just take a site that was built for an older browser and watch that site degrade as browser versions keep adding up. Web Standards offer us a solid way to rest assured that this will happen less and less because standardization assures us that our coding methods will still be valid years from now.

    And yes NS4 users are used to bad rendering, just like mac users are to a certain extent. Time is money. It's especially true when you have a customer paying your coffee breaks when you develop his site. Clients will be less and less likely to double pay for their website in order to have a "good browser version" and a "bad browser version".

    Hell I've double coded long enough. It's about time someone else double does something. But I assure you it's gonna last much less with double development fees than with double development time. I already see it a lot with our customers.
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
    [+] ICQ number: 115649885 || Email: denis@cybercodeur.net
    [+] Daily Weblog on Web standards and accessibility : CYBERcodeur.net

  9. #59
    SitePoint Enthusiast anantatman's Avatar
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    netscape sucks.

    You want to know how much netscape sucks?
    Their own Netscape Messaging Server has a webbased email system that allows its users a VERY nice interface. Address books, folders (imap), colorschemes, etc..

    BUT , guess what, I CAN'T use it while using netscape 4. If the people that own it can't even make their own web software work with such bad software, how and why should we?
    Rahul Singh, CEO
    http://www.anant.us
    http://www.anant.us/blog/
    http://community.rainbowportal.net/


  10. #60
    SitePoint Enthusiast anantatman's Avatar
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    netscape sucks.

    You want to know how much netscape sucks?
    Their own Netscape Messaging Server has a webbased email system that allows its users a VERY nice interface. Address books, folders (imap), colorschemes, etc..

    BUT , guess what, I CAN'T use it while using netscape 4. If the people that own it can't even make their own web software work with such bad software, how and why should we?
    Rahul Singh, CEO
    http://www.anant.us
    http://www.anant.us/blog/
    http://community.rainbowportal.net/


  11. #61
    SitePoint Guru Marc's Avatar
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    I've recently been doing a lot of html coding, and after a while of constantly testing it in both IE an NS, I've begun to learn each of their little quirks and its now becoming much easier for me to code my sites and make them work in all browsers... sometimes I don't even test it till the end and it works..
    Marc Gugliuzza
    marc.gugliuzza.com



  12. #62
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    That's an interesting point...

    I guess most of my knowledge in HMTL come from the fact that I always had to double test and learn workarounds to please both IE and NS for as long as I care to remember. It does make ome wonder though if it's a good thing to become good at hacking around quirks... instead of actually mastering the proper uses of elements...

    Hopefully, with older browsers being supported less and less, we can all start to drop those bad but necessary habits for standard compliant methods of applying HMTL to a Web document.
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
    [+] ICQ number: 115649885 || Email: denis@cybercodeur.net
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  13. #63
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    Re: Reasons to drop non-standard browsers

    Originally posted by cybercodeur
    start coding only for standard compliant browsers?
    You don't code for browsers. You CODE FOR STANDARDS. Thus, a browser which recognizes and adheres to your standard should display properly.

    Right? Code for standard, thus standard compliant browsers work.

    But I was shocked to see that I scored in the 96th percentile on the HTML 4.0 test at brainbench. I hope everyone out there is not like most people I've met: use a WYSIWIG and hope for the best. Look at the section508.gov site. Weak ... their developers are all using some WYSIWIG. HTML is such a simple thing, any good site nowadays has so much stuff templatized ... standards should be even easier to be met. But I don't see it.

  14. #64
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I've recently decided to ignore all the other browsers to a certain degree. I'll code for the XHTML Transitional standard and if that doesn't work in NS then the user should upgrade. It's good if it is at least readable in all the browsers but I'm not going to spend hours making it so.

    I think Opera made the biggest mistake ever when they allowed their browser to identify as MS IE. Opera just doesn't have the same standards support as IE. If they displayed all pages identically, then yes it would be good. But they don't. Not even nearly.

    Even web developers who spend a lot of time doing a seperate version of the site for Opera can't show it to users as the browser pretends to be something it is not. It also mucks up statistics. The day they released that feature was the day I decided not to bother designing for Opera any more.

  15. #65
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "identify as MS IE"? Can you be more specific? Do you mean that every time someone comes up on a web page with opera they are interpreted as MSIE for statistics? If so, where can we find real statisitcs on opera's users? TheCounter,com and OneStat.com sure don't think opera is being used that much. Surely there as to be a place where we can get the real figures. Thanks.
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
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  16. #66
    SitePoint Wizard
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    That's correct. In recent versions of Opera, users can select on the 'options' page which browser they identify themselves as to websites. I believe the default is MS IE but I'm not certain.

    That really does screw up the statistics, and many sites which have opera-specific pages are mucked up as well.

    There's no way at all to get accurate statistics for Opera users. Stats on browsers can only be gathered by looking at a browser's identification string, and once Opera started faking theirs, the string that everyone was relying on to give statistics became unreliable and ambiguous.

    I would expect that a couple of percent that is down as IE should be with Opera. But I can't imagine it would be higher than 2 - 5% at the most.

  17. #67
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    Thanks James that's very interesting info

    Would you happen to have any links on the subject I could browse through?
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
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  18. #68
    SitePoint Wizard
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    This page is quite interesting (I just found it on Google):

    http://webtips.dantobias.com/brand-x/useragent.html

    There's not a whole lot on the subject I'm afraid...if you download Opera though you'll see what I mean.

  19. #69
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    Thanks... I already have Opera installed but i am one of those type of people that click on NEXT until the installation is complete so i never noticed the feature...

    I will follow the link and hopefully will get to the bottom of all this
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
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  20. #70
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    I have read through the site you have given me, and found some clues as to what you're saying... very interesting.

    However, I have uninstalled Opera 6.0.3 and downloaded 6.0.5 just to see when and how they would ask for which browser i would like to be identified as. Nothing as such ever popped out. Maybe in their newer versions, Opera stopped doing so and declares itself as really being opera... which is a good thing. However, if it is so, it really means that there aren't really more than a person out of a 100 that uses it...
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
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  21. #71
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think you'll find it in the 'Preferences' page under 'Network'.

  22. #72
    <C²: web standards /> cybercodeur's Avatar
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    I am flabergasted

    This is shocking... I have changed my preference and will urge everyone i know to do the same... just how many opera users are there out there then?
    Denis Boudreau <C²/> - Web Standards & Accessibility
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  23. #73
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Interesting thread :-)

    But maybe we lost sight of what we really are supposed to do? Make your website accesible for your audience.
    I have my own preferences to what kind of browser I like to use. But that choice has nothing to do with how I make a website. 'NS4 sux' and other personal views upon browser are really irrelevant :-) The only thing that matters is your audience.

    Of course you have to set a line somewhere. Where you no longer 'optimize'. Maybe Konqueror with 0.2% of my audience is too low? Or maybe the line should be set at 4%. That is fully a strategic web decision everyone has to make for themselves. But crossbrowser html is *not* rocketscience. "Netscape sux' is a line I most often heard from people that are frustrated because they can not code crossbrowser.

    So I guess I am saying 'Code for your audience', you are not building your website for yourself :-)

  24. #74
    Fully Sweet Car noddy's Avatar
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    Exclamation catering for the few

    I don't know why it is but every other business deals and caters for the norm or average population. But for some reson when working with the web we always need to cater for every other possible user as well as the common one.

    ie makes up more than 95% of our hits apart from robots and other such hits but the few we get from uncommon browsers seem to take most of our time and get most of the concern.

    I wish we could drop these browsers and just all use the one.

  25. #75
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Maybe a slight misunderstanding to what I really meant :-)

    First I want to say that normal businesses dont cater for everyone. Every product, every marketing effort is targeted in one or another way.

    I don't think we should make the website for everyone out there. It does not make sense. What does make sense is defining your market. The demographics can consist of many different parameters, but If I wanted to reach a german population, with some of highest realitive amount of NS4 users, then I would make bloody sure I reached who I wanted to reach. :-)

    Part of what I am saying is 'know your audience'. Then browsers become second priority..

    I wish we could drop these browsers and just all use the one.
    As I said, personal preferences are irrelevant ;-)

    That being said, 95% is a pretty large percentage. You always have to weight the effort of reaching those extra percentages with what you actually gain, but with smart coding you should be close to 99% :-)


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