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Thread: Older browsers

  1. #1
    ********* Poet X Q mano's Avatar
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    Older browsers

    Hi,

    On my computer now, I have IE 6.0, Opera 7.0 Beta, Opera 6.05, Netscape 4.08, Netscape 7.0 and Mozilla 1.2a...

    But when designing pages, I have realized that I should have some older browsers as well... But where can I get them?

    Especially I want some older versions of IE... Since they are the most widely used...

    Are there any of these browsers I definately DON'T need? Are there any I definately SHOULD have? And if so, where can I get them?

  2. #2
    American't awestmoreland's Avatar
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    Which versions to code for is quite a contentious issue it seems.
    Check out this SitePoint Forums article for some discussion.

    I'm beginning to subscribe to the theory that you should check the user's browser version for W3C compatibility and divert them to an upgrade page if it's not. Here's more info on that.

    As far as old versions of I.E. go, if you decide you want to install and test some of them, you could try OldVersion.com.


    Andy
    From the English nation to a US location.

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    ********* Poet X Q mano's Avatar
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    Thanx...

    I'm a littlebit of the opinion that you shouldn't ask a user to upgrade their browser. I hate it when it says that "this page is designed for Internet Explorer 5.5 800X600 resolution" A designer should make the effort of designing for as many browsers and platforms as possible.

    However, I have often been tempted to redirect them. And I COULD be persuaded to do so in some cases...

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    American't awestmoreland's Avatar
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    I appreciate what you're saying, but it's in the interest of both users and developers to be using and designing for browsers that support W3C standards.

    If we keep pandering to those users with IE 2.0 and a screen res. of 640x400 then they'll never upgrade and new functionality suffers because all our time is spent ensuring backward compatibility.

    Do you have any stats from web pages you've already designed? Might be worth checking the percentage of users visiting with older browsers to see what kind of impact designing for only later browsers would have.


    Andy
    From the English nation to a US location.

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    ********* Poet X Q mano's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm starting to agree with you more and more...

    I'm starting to think that I should ensure backward compatibility up to a point. Don't know what point quite yet.

    The stats programs that I use for the other websites I've made are not very good. So I haven't got any decent stats that I can make any use of... I'm learning from previous mistakes though, trying to ensure I have proper stats for my pages.

    It seems I cannot install older IE's on my windows 98 computer...

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    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    You are correct I believe only one active version Micro$oft IE can be installed per Windows OS, thus I would suggest partitioning your hard drive if you want to use different versions of that browser on one machine.

    Typically all and sundry has forgotten about the version three browsers of the two main vendors so I'd probably ignore testing in them.

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    ********* Poet X Q mano's Avatar
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    Originally posted by xhtmlcoder
    Typically all and sundry has forgotten...
    All and who?

    So you mean I should only test in versions 4 and up?

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    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Basically yes, "all and sundry" is probably not a Norwegian term but it basically means 'nearly everyone'.

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    American't awestmoreland's Avatar
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    Not saying that this page has all the answers, but it does suggest some versions: www.amherst.edu.

    Just having a read of it myself as the IE vs Nav thing is driving me mad.


    Andy
    From the English nation to a US location.

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    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    http://browsers.evolt.org is also a good place to dig up some ancient and unsung of browsers. :-)

    ~~Ian

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    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by awestmoreland
    I'm beginning to subscribe to the theory that you should check the user's browser version for W3C compatibility and divert them to an upgrade page if it's not. Here's more info on that.
    I strongly advise against the "redirect non-standards compliant browsers to an upgrade page" approach - a far better method is to ensure all page content is available (even if the design looks rubbish) and display a "this page looks rubbish because your browser doesn't support web standards - go upgrade!" message at the top of the page. Easily done with CSS.

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    American't awestmoreland's Avatar
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    I like the sound of the "Best of both worlds" approach Skunk. I think I'll use that in future.


    Cheers,

    Andy
    From the English nation to a US location.

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    ********* Poet X Q mano's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    "this page looks rubbish because your browser doesn't support web standards - go upgrade!" message at the top of the page. Easily done with CSS.
    How easy skunk? If you are willing, I would be very grateful if you explainded a little on how...

  14. #14
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I believe what Skunk was referring to using CSS "display: none" for example:

    img { display: none } /* Donít display images */

    In the above example if the specific user-agent does not support CSS it will display images, whereas within a CSS compliant browser you would see no images...

    Basically the same methodology can be applied to specific text, etc. However, it does have limitations, since itís only basically relying on the "old browser" not understanding: {display: none }


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