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  1. #1
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    Question Would it be wrong to 'ignore' Netscape 4.x?

    By ignore, I mean, not worry about making sure everything is perfect when browsing a page in it. It is becoming more and more tedious to make sure the JavaScript contains elements that NS 4.x needs to render the page the same as IE 5+, NS 6+, and Opera.

    I understand that by doing so, I will be hindering a few folks, but most companies design 800x600, ignoring the 640x480 users as well. Even Micro$oft drops support of its products as time goes by.

    Buzzwords like "forward-thinking" or "cutting-edge" can't apply if you're always working in the past, can it?

  2. #2
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    Well according to this it's not gonna be a huge thing.

    But it really all depends on your audience. You need to think about who they are likely to be, and what the chances are of then using NS4.
    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
    Matt's debating is not a crime
    Hint: Don't buy a stupid dwarf Clicky

  3. #3
    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Very quick survey in the room where I am:

    IE6 users: 50%
    Moz1 users: 50%
    NS4 haters: 100%

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by weirdbeardmt
    But it really all depends on your audience. You need to think about who they are likely to be, and what the chances are of then using NS4.
    That's a problem we've had in the past with some clients. They insist that their site must look the same across browsers, including AOL (read: ALL graphics must pass AOL's guidelines to avoid automatic compression). They seem to think everybody in the world agrees that <insert favorite browser here> is the best thing since sliced bread, and there are no other options.

    It's just a whole lot nicer using document.getElementById() than having multiple "if" statements.

  5. #5
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    My feeling on the issue:
    As long as people can get to your content in a basic manner and can still USE your site without all of the Javascript then you're OK.

    My manager's feeling on the issue:
    Make sure it works the same on my Netscape 4 as it does in IE5+ and Netscape 6+. I don't care if it takes 25% more work for 2% of users, just do it.

    Anyway, I hate Netscape 4 personally. It's a nasty, antiquated browser (five, six years old now?) that should be thrown in the junk heap. Sadly though, people still use it because they are unaware of the alternatives, or just don't care what browser they are using, or they just like to be mean.

    I've all but given up on Netscape 4.x. After looking at the server logs it appears that 99% of the people who browse my sites at work with Netscape 4.x are THE DEVELOPERS when testing code! I still make the sites usable and even with a similar look for NS4 users, but if it's going to be too difficult to replicate in NS4 and will take up my time I only send a version of javascript that the newer browsers can understand.

    --Vinnie

  6. #6
    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by vgarcia
    ... It's a nasty, antiquated browser (five, six years old now?) ...
    June 11, 1997

  7. #7
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jofa

    June 11, 1997
    Wow. I've never seen a situation where so many strive to support such outdated technology. Even Microsoft, who stresses backward compatibility so much it puts a thorn in their side, doesn't support new versions of their software on something like Windows 95 (and even Windows 98 nowadays!).

    --Vinnie

  8. #8
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    What's so special about netscape 4.0? If they love NS so much why don't they atleast upgrade to the latest netscape version? I think there's NS 7.0 or something.

  9. #9
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by IamAdam
    What's so special about netscape 4.0? If they love NS so much why don't they atleast upgrade to the latest netscape version? I think there's NS 7.0 or something.
    Most institutions like governments and schools still use it. The reason they still use it is because:

    1) Their computers are older, they usually have a 5 year life span on hardware in their budgets. Even with that new hardware trickles down from the top and is still a couple years old before it gets to the mainstream users.

    2) They have service contracts with Netscape that originated before the software was free and are still current.

    3) Finally, it can take 2 or 3 years before new technology is approved for use in the organization.

    with that Netscape 4.7 still has a larger marketshare than Netscape 6+ and Mozilla combined.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  10. #10
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    Personnaly, I'll just drop all non-DOM (who don't support document.getElementById()) compliant browsers as far as design is concern in the future version of my site (and everything else I would design). While having all design in CSS, I still use a table (as opposed to CSS positioning) so that the content is still available for the old browsers pr-historiques that people browsing the NET with ataris, comodores and DOS3.0 are using.

    Michel
    Dis donc, qu'est-ce qu'il dit ce mec? Hein? Je comprends rien...

  11. #11
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    I share my views with VGarcia. This is a good article about it:
    http://www.alistapart.com/stories/netscape/

    Essentially, you sure ensure that the content is accessible to ANY browser (v4+... v3 is out), but it doesn't have to look pretty on older ones!
    MarcusJT
    - former ASP web developer / former SPF "ASP Guru"
    - *very* old blog with some useful ASP code

    - Please think, Google, and search these forums before posting!

  12. #12
    webality...dunno what it means bcp_2005's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M@rco

    Essentially, you sure ensure that the content is accessible to ANY browser (v4+... v3 is out), but it doesn't have to look pretty on older ones!
    Good point M@rco. I agree that the content should display properly in all 4th generation browsers but that doesn't mean that it needs to have all the bells and whistles.

    Also I think that the people who use non-DOM compliant browsers probably don't even know what they're missing out on. So they won't care if the expandable tree doesn't expand as long as they can still navigate the website!

    Anyways very good point M@rco...

  13. #13
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    I think the responsible designer takes into consideration how a site looks in version 4 browsers and up. Having said that, I also think there is a point where you need to stop beating your head against the wall over small display quirks of Netscape 4.7. In other words, check your sites in 4.7, if it looks good enough, fine, if it crashes the browser, look at fixing the reason why.

    I can't tell you the hours I've spent trying to get certain sites looking exactly the same way in Netscape and IE. There comes a point where you just have to accept that it's not worth the time spent vs. the number of people using that browser on your site.

    On a side note, there have been times where I was swearing up and down at 4.7 and the problem was with my code, not the browser. IE is extremely forgiving with sloppy code. Testing in Netscape can make you a better coder.

    Palmer

  14. #14
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PalmerB

    IE is extremely forgiving with sloppy code. Testing in Netscape can make you a better coder.

    Palmer
    True, and even today this is still true, due to Netscape/Mozilla's recent standards-compliance.

    --Vinnie

  15. #15
    SitePoint Evangelist S7even's Avatar
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    I design my pages for browsers that support getElementById.
    Everybody else is "kicked" to an alternative version that just shows the text with simple navigation (and a note that their browser is old and they should upgrade if they want to use the "real thing"), that even version 3 browsers can see.

    My college had NS4, and in most cases if a student tried to view a site that NS4 could not render correctly they would blame the old college computers and not the developers of the site, saying something like: "With my computer i could view this page perfectly. They should throw these computers in the garbage". I believe that the majority of NS4 users would react in the same way because using NS4 is not their choice.


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