13 posts by 7 authors in: Forums > Off Topic / Other
Last Post: July 19, 2002   (RSS)

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By Dave - June 11, 2002

Hello Everyone,

We've been talking about what browsers to support for our new software products and I wanted to get some feedback on what everyone thinks. What we're thinking, is it's time to drop support for Netscape 4. Netscape 6 was released over a year and a half ago, Netscape 7 is likely a couple weeks away and all the other browsers have progressed so far it's getting really hard to be compatible with everybody and still write nice code or take advantage of new features in HTML, Javascript or CSS.

Moving forward, instead of designing interfaces to work with various browsers, we'd like to write interfaces based on internet standards (XHTML, CSS, etc) and then double check them for compatability with the major browsers.

Here's the browsers we're thinking about supporting:

Netscape 6.0 and up (Mac and PC)
Mozilla 1.0 and up (Mac and PC)
Internet Explorer 5.0 and up (PC)
Internet Explorer 5.0 (Mac OS) and up (It's actually different from Windows IE)

This would allow us to write standards compliant XHTML 1.0 (XHTML is the latest version of HTML and has been a recommended standard by the [url "http://www.w3.org/"]World Wide Web Consortium[/#800080][/url] since January 26, 2000) that would be compatible with all current and future browsers.

So here's what I want to know. Do you still develop for Netscape 4? Do you test your pages with it? If you do, do you test the latest versions 4.7+ or the original 4.0 (They're actually very different). Do you have clients running Netscape 4.0?

What browsers do you think we should support, what your thoughts on the matter. Let me know.
Dave Edis - Senior Developer
interactivetools.com

Re: [Dave] What browsers should we support?

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By philm - June 13, 2002

WOW so many views and no-one's taken the plunge ;)

I think the list you suggested is fine and gives more than enough options and flexibility for users.

Personally, we don't actually develop *for*, but we always try to test the pages on NN4.7, just to make sure it doesn't look too hideous. We definately don't have many, if any, users running NN4.0.

Also, many browsers on the list have been around for a while, I imagine 99% of people will be running one of these?
.:Sticky New Media:.

Opera browser

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By deniseb - June 13, 2002

Another browser to consider adding to the "supported" list is Opera. It is small, fast, standards compliant, and has been out for a few years.

I think the user-base is larger in Europe than in North America, but don't quote me on that.

/dlo

Re: [dlo] Opera browser

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By ColinW-O - June 13, 2002

I personally use Netscape 4.76. Believe it or not, I prefer it more than IE. I test my site(s) on both browsers and make sure they load fine on both.

Colin
Wrestling-Online.com

Re: [ColinW-O] Opera browser

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By Dave - June 13, 2002

Wow, that's interesting! Have you tried Netscape 6 or Mozilla 1.0 (very new)? If so do you still prefer Netscape 4.76 over them? What operating system are you running?
Dave Edis - Senior Developer
interactivetools.com

Re: [Dave] Opera browser

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By ColinW-O - June 13, 2002

I tried Netscape 6, bit it loads fairly slow on this crap I call my PC. :) My laptop is the only thing that can handle some serious workload but didn't try Netscape 6 on that either.

I haven't tried Mozilla 1.0 yet.

I always check that my site loads good on both Netscape and IE. I'm sure I'm not the only one who uses Netscape, so you have to make sure both browsers load the site the same. If something is different, I change it so it looks the same.

Re: [dlo] Opera browser

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By Dave - June 13, 2002

Well, I know Opera is big on being standards compliant. The "hope" would be that ANY "standards compliant" browser would be supported in future because we'd be writing to support the standards and not specific browsers. In many ways IE 6, Mozilla 1 and the upcoming Netscape 7 will be mostly standards compliant. And I think (hope) that all future browsers will have to be as well, because the precedent has been set.

I know one of the things that really frustrated me in the past with Opera was that very few (if any) of their javascript bitwise operators actually worked. I was playing around doing MD5 password hashing on the client side so passwords wouldn't have to be sent over the network plaintext (assuming no HTTPS connection) but apparently the support just wasn't there. Maybe it is in the newer releases.
Dave Edis - Senior Developer
interactivetools.com

Re: [Dave] What browsers should we support?

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By ironmike - June 29, 2002

Check out the article:

http://www.alistapart.com/stories/tohell/

for one organization's view of the future and version 4 browsers.

ironmike
ironmike

Re: [ironmike] What browsers should we support?

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By Dave - July 1, 2002

That's an interesting read, thanks! : )
Dave Edis - Senior Developer
interactivetools.com

Re: [Dave] What browsers should we support?

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By simonlilly - July 11, 2002

Dave,

What sort of timescale are you looking at to produce XHTML compliant output? I potentially have a large project that would involve 7 similar sites that would use AM as the main CMS, but it needs to be in an XHTML compliant output.

Any kind of forecast would be good - i.e. early 2003 etc..

Cheers,

Simon
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Simon Lilly
Web Bloke
www.meridiantv.com
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