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  1. #1
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Question Anyone really still care about NN4??

    Then read your newsletter and go here!

    I've had this 'argument' a few times on the forums here, but this guy puts it in writing far better than I've ever had the time to do ... seriously good choice Matt Mickiewicz!

    G

  2. #2
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I still care about NS4 users, but only in as much as I want them to be able to access the content on my sites. I make no concessions to make it look attractive

    That said, there is no reason not to serve up a "basic" stylesheet to NS4 (using a <link> element) and hide the advanced stylesheet (with all of the positioning stuff) with an @import rule. That way you can still have the page look reasonable in NS4 (set the font, add a few margins) without needing to do any extra work just for that browser.

  3. #3
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    I agree. I do exactly what you said. As long as the content's accessible I don't worry if it doesn't look quite right.

  4. #4
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    Backward Compatibility

    Here is my take on the subject.

    Would you walk into radio shack and whine becasue thier top of the line stereo system does not have an 8-track tape player?

    Of course not! No one in their right mind would even consider it!

    As long as designers continue to offer backward compatibility as a regular part of their web design package, surfers will never be encouraged to upgrade their browsers. We can drone on and on to them about how the updates increase security and viewing options...blah, blah, blah...but for some reason, even the threat of hackers or a virus will not prompt some users to upgrade. This boggles my mind.

    I suppose if you are one of the "big boys" in your industry, you may want to have it done for your site anyway, but there should be extra fees for this kind of work. The client should also be aware that in the next 5 years the hacks used to satisfy all of the older browsers were all a waste of cash.

    Well, that's my 2 cents.
    Pace Computing Limited

    "If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems." - Frank Wilczek, Particle Physicist

  5. #5
    Non-Member mmi's Avatar
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    Cool I do - and you don't need to use deprecated tags to get displays in N4

    from that Zeldman article
    But traditional mainstream browsers don't work the same way. Lax to the point of absurdity, they gobble up broken markup and bad JavaScript file links without a hiccup, in most cases displaying the site as if it were authored correctly. (emphasis added)
    I thought it was IE that did this, but not Netscape

    btw, "re-purposing" is typically not hyphenated

  6. #6
    + platinum's Avatar
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    I usually check it out and see how the site looks, if it displays "in general" how it's meant to i'm happy (I did spend a bit of time with my web design site trying to get it to work perfectly which it mostly does...)

  7. #7
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    I care, and I suspect there are other web professionals who care as much as I do as well. Allow me to explain,

    I just recently became a web manager for a small liberal arts college (we house ca. 1,500 students). The default web browser which all college issued machines come standard with at this point in time is, you guessed it, Netscape 4.7. This means that not only am I to assume that all 1,500 students are accessing our website using Netscape 4.7, but I am also to assume that our entire faculty and staff are accessing it in this manner as well.

    Not only do I still care about NN 4.x, I am in a position where I must design most all of my pages assuming NN 4.x to be the primary browser. College administrators don't buy the, "It doesn't work on your machine because your browser isn't standard compatible", excuse. Their response would be, "If it doesn't work on mine, then it's obviously not working on someone else's."

    I have a feeling that I am not the only web manager in the world who's corporation or organization still issues NN 4.7 as their default browser, even though our numbers are dwindling (thankfully).

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard Crowe's Avatar
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    dmartin, I'm with you. Preaching standards is all good and well, but people tend to take it to extreme's sometimes.

    Anyone here own a Beta Max player and can rent tapes for it? Doubtful. It was a better standard. It was the NEW STANDARD. But VHS won out anyway.

    Bottom line, consumers will ultimately decide what's standard no matter what we say. I would go on, but it'll be in my article on why standards don't work aka "Because Zeldman says so!"

    Chrispian H. Burks
    Nothing To Say

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    I second (or is it third now?) the splitting up the style sheets idea. The last site I did, I had a php browser detect, and served the 4 browsers an "easy" style sheet, and everything else an @import setup. Looks great in everything

    Also the first time I've gone for full validating/passing: XHTML/CSS/WCA-AAA triplet

    Site's not up yet, but I like it! (and my client says he loves it )

    Douglas
    Hello World

  10. #10
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    My Thoughts So Far

    As I am concerned, I am a web developer, and I create tons of pages in ColdFusion, as well as PHP, JavaScript, and more.

    The thing I have found is most annoying to myself is pages that dont compensate for resolution more than the newest browser.

    The people who dont get the latest browser in my opinion are the people who ***** about the presence of the net. If they want to have a better browsing experience then they should keep up with me. I list on all my pages what their browser has to be and where they can get it for FREE most often, so there is no reason for them to NOT upgrade, but in the event I have free time and money on my hands i will take my sweet time to redevelope a page so my great grandma can see it too, I just dont believe that there are that many people who dont keep up with browswers.

    I think I have ranted enough.
    I am he, who you want me to be.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Crowe's Avatar
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    Utachon,

    Try telling that to a boss who's decided that NN 4x is the best browser because his nephew is a computer weenie and can do no evil.

    Or some older person who spends less than 10 hours a month online.

    Or Someone who just doesn't know any better because they can only operate the computer enough to get to a search engine where they think THAT is where they type in urls.

    If you don't care about these people, that's cool. I want more people like you designing pages. Because everyone one of those people who can't use your site, CAN use mine and make a purchase. I'll take everyone I can get.

    I'm totally for cutting yourself with the razors edge. Push it to the limit. But when you design for clients, you don't have that luxary. Their business is counting on maximum exposure.

    One of my sites is having problems with NN 4x right now. I'm working hard to fix it even though only like 50 visitors out of 30,000 use NN4x on my site. That's 50 to many for me.

    Not to mention that telling people what browser your site was designed for is so 1998 If they don't know enough to upgrade, telling them about it sure won't do a lick of good.
    Chrispian H. Burks
    Nothing To Say

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Crowe
    is so 1998
    That is so last millennium!

    When it comes down to it, the choice as I see it at the moment is this:

    Backward compatibility
    OR
    Forward compatibility

    If you want one or the other, life is easy That's what most big sites do, hell, its what most of the web does: go for backward compatibility.

    Result? "Bad" code => as per the article.

    If you want both, you've got to work a bit harder the 4s are "good enough" (It wasn't so long ago that 4 was state of the art remember) for a basic display with CSS, so just give a more complicated one to the standards browsers. Fin.

    I really don't see what people's problems are!

    Douglas
    Hello World

  13. #13
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by drmartin
    I just recently became a web manager for a small liberal arts college (we house ca. 1,500 students). The default web browser which all college issued machines come standard with at this point in time is, you guessed it, Netscape 4.7. This means that not only am I to assume that all 1,500 students are accessing our website using Netscape 4.7, but I am also to assume that our entire faculty and staff are accessing it in this manner as well.
    Then that's frankly shocking!!! Do the IT department do anything???! It's free s/w for Christ's sake. There is absolutely no excuse for an institution like that NOT keeping up with the latest technology -- ESPECIALLY when it's free. How can they prepare people to enter the real working world if they teach them obsolete tools and methods?? Do they treat all their equipment as they treat their computers? If so ... I pity the students.

    G

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    It was the one year anniversary last week of my company changing to IE from NS4.7. A fairly big chamber of commerce with (then) several hundred pc's. At the end of the day users don't give a monkeys what you use or what your opinion is, and if they are happy with what they've got, who are you to tell them to change?
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  15. #15
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    But if you're in charge of the upkeep of IT systems for a large organisation you should keep on top of things like system upgrades. You're right -- the users don't give a monkeys -- which is why it's up to the IT professionals in the organisation to lead them in the right direction and keep them on top of things. Otherwise they WILL wallow in what they have. They'd still be using Word 5 on Windows 3.11 if the IT departments didn't say "right guys, we're moving on and upgrading that s/w." Same with web browsers. I can't understand how people can figure it's acceptable to use a 7 year old browser, but not a 7 year old OS or word processing package. It's an astounding double standard ...


  16. #16
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    greg.harvey -

    I absolutely agree. One of my first orders of business has been to put this topic on the IT radar. Unfortunately my office does not reside in the IT department, the web manager position lies in public relations.

    The only possible excuse that I am able to rationalize revolves around the fact that the IT department is fairly small, and constantly bogged down with large projects on campus.

    BTW the initial excuse I was given had to do with IE security issues.

  17. #17
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by drmartin
    BTW the initial excuse I was given had to do with IE security issues.
    Fair enough. Opera!

  18. #18
    Back in Action Winged Spider's Avatar
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    Or Mozilla, Netscape 7.0 isn't bad either.

    Personally I stopped caring about Netscape 4.7 users.
    It's 3% that I don't reach, and don't make money from.

    But it's time now.

    Cast off those chains.


  19. #19
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Yup. And sitting here debugging a JS that won't work in NN4 is really strengthening my resolve! (This particular client has an IT manager who checks everything in NN4 ... and they're a big client so I have to play ball ... )

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist Mr. Brownstone's Avatar
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    Netscape 4.xx must die.

    Dubbel-yoo Free See! Dubbel-yoo Free See!
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

  21. #21
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    I really don't think that it's going to happen tomorrow. I still design for people who insist on NN 4.78. It doesn't matter what you want. They pay you, and you need to "play ball". You can charge more for the backwards compatibility or whatever, but if they pay...

  22. #22
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mbenson
    They pay you, and you need to "play ball". You can charge more for the backwards compatibility or whatever, but if they pay...
    They don't pay for backward compatibility. They should, but they wouldn't wear it, cos they don't know what a pain in the preverbials it is. They need educating (which is arguably part of our role) -- but unfortunately I have a 'client service' department who are my mouth on these matters and they don't consider it a significant issue cos they don't have to make websites. Well, that's not fair. It depends on the account handler. Some will say "Greg, can you talk to the client about this?" which is fine, because then I can set them straight. Others say, "I'll let them know ..." which is client service BS for "whatever!"

    G

  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    I usually go by my stats. Before I update my site, I'll check what percentage of people are using what browser. If it's below 5%, I don't take it into consideration. Seeing as before I updated my site last, 1% of users were using NS4, I didn't bother this time round.

  24. #24
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by moonman
    Seeing as before I updated my site last, 1% of users were using NS4, I didn't bother this time round.
    My stats indicate just below 1% too.

    [OFF TOPIC] Gooner, eh? [/OFF TOPIC]

  25. #25
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    Quote:
    Anyone really still care about NN4??
    Then read your newsletter and go here!
    end-quote

    the story is good, but the thing is, I think is that Yahoo probably makes more money by using up the bandwidth using <font>tags. I think this because people still use non comliant browsers. I'm sure that Yahoo probably does continuous research on this topic, and if a satisfying percentage of people used IE 5 and NN 6, they would use those technologies that make the site faster and more attractive. I mean, if I were paying them for advertising, I would want 100% of the surfers to see, not a mere 75%, you know what I mean? If they couldn't, I would find someone who does. There's always someone who wants the money more, and who is willing to bend over backwards, even if it means a "backwards" site.


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