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#1 Grumpus

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 09:13 AM

Hiya. This came up in another thread, so rather than taking that thread off topic, I thought I'd post this here...

This very forum is not very browser friendly. No, not the people using the forum, but the forum programmers.


Since JD's been working hard on trying to eliminate this kind of issue since he inherited the forum programming duties, I think it's a good thing to discuss as it'll make his job easier if he has some specific examples.

I've asked bearmugs to come into this thread and post his examples to help us out, but if there are others of you that are seeing funny things in your browser, please let us know what they are.

We are aware of an issue with Opera 7 and the "next page of this thread" links. It's an issue with Opera, but I think that either JD has already or is still looking at a way to fix it on this end.

Any others?

G.

#2 DaveChild

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 10:10 AM

The issue you mentioned is down to Opera 7's javascript implementation, and I can't solve it without removing the javascript in question at the moment - but am still looking for other options.

And yes, examples and bugs etc very welcome - as soon as I hear of anything that needs fixing, I like to get to work on it :)

#3 bearmugs

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 10:56 AM

Hi Folks

I guess I'm creating trouble already.
But seriously, I'll document the problems that I've encountered, and report back.
Lots of great information on this site.

JB

#4 DianeV

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Posted 21 March 2003 - 07:35 PM

Once I saw Bearmugs' comment, I visited the forums in NS4.78 and noted that the paragraphs do *not* wrap around; they're just one long line running off the screen.

Of course, if you disable JavaScript in NS4.x, it also make the CSS not work ... fun, eh?

#5 bearmugs

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 11:19 AM

Hi Ladies and Gents

A few quick notes.
For your records, I'm running a Power Macintosh, PC Compatible, and use Netscape 4.78.
However, for this post/reply, I had to use MSIE 5.0, because the data entry fields on the "Post Reply" screen, with NS4.78 (at first I thought they were non existant, but then I found them by scrolling a full page to the right, and there they were)
Once I discovered the entry fields, the "message body" is only one line.

I was going to include screen images to show what I see, but the image attachment seems too complicated for me to understand, or is not compatible with what I'm using.

PS
Does anyone have an Emoticon with blood shot eyes.

Have a great weekend.
John 8)

#6 Adrian

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 12:59 PM

Well, personally, I'd say that what ya get for using NS4.x!

Can I ask why you choose to use a browser as old as that?

I don't buy into this idea of making sites REALLY backwards compatible, IE5.5 is probably about as old as I would look at supporting. I know theres a lot of older browsers out there, but my view is that they need to upgrade! Else if I've got to go to great lengths to support an obsolete browser now, whats going to happen when the next browser comes out? am I going to have to rejig it again?

I'd be interested to know the kinds of reasons NS4 users keep using NS4 for!

#7 DianeV

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 08:43 PM

Way back when, NS was the best of the browsers. It too came with a great email client; I've got over five years' worth of email in mine. (As well, the NS email client does not automatically launch viruses that come in email; I've downloaded a number over the years without suffering the consequences.)

As someone who builds websites for clients, I'd of course prefer not to have to consider older browsers. However, what is more important than my preferences is the target markets of my clients -- what browsers might they use? Comments on this and other boards reveal that certain market segments use older browsers.

Well, at least WebTV does not appear to be as popular as it once was. I hope.

#8 DianeV

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Posted 22 March 2003 - 08:45 PM

Hm. My edit button seems to be missing. Can someone delete that second post?

#9 bearmugs

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 11:01 AM

I use NS4.x because it's reliable, safe, fast, secure, and has all the functions I need in one application.
I only use MSIE .1 percent on the time, and only have it for testing websites because it's not any of the things I mentioned above.
Why not upgrade NS4?
Because it does all I need it to do, and would require getting a new system.
I found an old copy of NS 2.02 in my archives, and tried this forum with it, and despite some js syntax errors, it displayed everything perfectly. (I have a client with an office full of Windows XP computers, running MSIE 6.0 but he also has an old laptop that he uses occasionally with NS 2.02. What would I say to him, if he asked why he couldn't get his website on his laptop.
The hardware and software companies want everybody to run out and by a new computer with each new release, and the big corporations will do just that. But they have their own programming people, and are not going to be using my services.
The small business guy is the target client, and he is going to have older technology. A number of his customers are going to have the same or older technology.
Backwards incompatibility is how software companies get rich, by sucking people into the trap and routine of having to upgrade constantly.
RE: Having to "rejig" with the next browser release, that's not likely because forwards compatibility is pretty good.
Now, back to the topic of this forum, as Diane said "Of course, if you disable JavaScript in NS4.x, it also make the CSS not work ... fun, eh?" The forum seems to work very well with NS4 on my computer now.
I left Javascript enabled, but disabled Style Sheets. For the forum here, that would seem to be the quickest solution for visitors to the site.

#10 Adrian

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 12:35 PM

I use NS4.x because it's reliable, safe, fast, secure, and has all the functions I need in one application.


Except NS4 doesn't have brilliant standards support (when your looking at things like XHTML and CSS anyway) and therefore does it have all the functions you need?

Why not upgrade NS4? 
Because it does all I need it to do, and would require getting a new system.


Again except it doesn't have brilliant standards support (in its day it may have, but its lagging behind a lto now) and therefore isn;t going to display many websites correctly. I installed Opera6 (didn't have a copy of 7 on CD though I'm sure it would be fine as well) on an ancient Pentium 90 desktop yesterday, I was a bit nervous of putting an updated version of IE or NS on there but Opera 6 was fine.

If someone really does have a laptop that is only good enough to run NS2 then my answer is scrap the laptop. If they can afford an office full of XP desktops I'm sure they can stretch for even a refurbished laptop that will run something current.

#11 DianeV

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 05:54 PM

Your points are good, Adrian. But again, I would just point out, though, that there are companies that for security reasons don't allow browser updates (or various types of browsers). There are also organizations which don't or can't afford new equipment. Or whatever.

Hey, I would love to live in a world where everyone used the latest standards-compliant browser, just as I would love to live in a world where everyone had the same size (large) monitor and highest color settings -- and broadband. Unfortunately -- and we have been talking about this since 1997, when designing for 800x600 was considered a radical move -- that is not where I live.

If one is designing information-only sites that are not connected to ecommerce -- or commerce at all -- or designing only for oneself, then one can do as he pleases. On the other hand, most of what I build is designed to bring in income in one way or another, and I cannot imagine advising a client that choices that *I* had made unilaterally were depriving him of income because I was dismissing that portion of his audience that was too lame/stupid/poor to view his website as I had designed it. Of course, if you properly advise the client, then his/her decision takes precedence.

This is, of course, the other side of the coin, where clients get to decide whether what I provide is worth it in terms of their goals. I simply don't feel it's fair to make decisions that affect client income adversely, regardless of what standards I'd like to support.

#12 DianeV

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 06:20 PM

... having said all that, I do wish things could be as you say, Adrian.

It certainly would be wonderful, and much easier, to design only for current standards-compliant browsers.

#13 Grumpus

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:42 AM

Diane - I drove NS4.7 until about July of last year. My machine (while it let me code fine) just didn't like NS6 (or Opera - I tried) and I just HATE IE for a main browser. I finally bought a new machine last July that could handle NS6.

I'm in the biz. I HATE those developers that are too lazy to take my old 64meg RAM limits into consideration. I won't be one of those guys that doesn't take my visitor's browser into consideration too. Sure, NOW every computer comes with 128megs of ram, but last year at this time, 128 was an add-on.

BTW - Adrian and JD - I downloaded Opera. I LOVE it. Small footprint. Very functional. I'm still driving NS, but you may have a new convert in a few weeks once I get used to it.

G.

#14 Adrian

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 01:49 AM

I take your point that regardless of what I and others think, people still stick with old browsers and therefore have to be considered. I think companies that think an old browser is better for security are probably kidding themselves, I can't see the latest version of NS7 (which has been about long enough to clean up most of the bugs I'd say) is going to be LESS secure than NS4x. Where I work we use all IE (apart from the web team fo course!) and we do stick to IE5.5 for non WinXP machines (as that comes with IE6 anyway and theres no way to get rid of it). That maybe is a fairer point and it is IE afterall :)

I think you'd be surprised at what spec machine will actually run some browsers as well. NS seems to actually be the hungriest of them all, needing 64MB of RAM for version 7 I think. IE 6 though, Microsoft state, will run on a 486/66 (thats the processor we had when we got our first PC in about 1995), though a Pentium is recommended and 16MB Ram on Win98. I don't know how well thats going to run and it may well be that NS4 will run a bit faster on the same spec machine (though as I said, NS seems to be the hungriest!). With Opera it seems again, it only needs 16MB RAM and will run on Win95, doesn't specify a processor and it was very difficult even finding the specs!

One train of thought is that by ignoring older browsers when you design pages, they probably aren't going to look right in those older browsers. Which then would hopefully (!!) make the person upgrade to a newer browser.

Of course, if you can't take the risk that they will just moan, leave and not come back to your site, its null and void.

Interestingly though, and this is heading WAY off the original topic, of those people who code for older browsers to ensure you don't lose those few percent of people, how many of you follow the accessibility guidlines as well? Interesting in that, if your concerned about losing a few percent using old browsers, what do you think of a the few percent of visually/physically impaired people surfing?

Oh, as a little extra on the idea that its not as easy as I try and make out to have a current browser. For those people on dial up, Opera (once you've got Java installed) is about a 3MB download. Thats about 15 mins, maybe 25 tops to get.

And Grumpus, I'm glad you've seen the light ;) I think for a while IE and NS have been treading water a bit with their browsers. Each new version just has better standards support (not a bad thing by a long shot!) and looks a bit different. Opera have actually really tried to make the browser better and more functional. They started the tabbed browsing, I think they also started the Panels/sidebar thing (though I may have to attribute that to NS :)), Mouse estures are a god send and it just generally work very very well I think! Sure theres a few bugs in version 7 still, but nothing to make me want to change to anything else, they also have a great name for security (though there have been a couple little scares recently, mopped up within a couple of days though). I've not bought it yet to get rid of the ad bar, but if I were going to pay for a browser, I'd probably pay for Opera.

#15 Grumpus

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:09 AM

Let me start with a Pttttttthhhhhh and end up in total agreement with you Adrian, okay? :)

I think you'd be surprised at what spec machine will actually run some browsers as well. NS seems to actually be the hungriest of them all,


Yup. It's a pig. But who are you (we) to say that you're not good enough? A Netscape user is a Netscape user. Period. Just like an Opera user is an Opera user.

those people who code for older browsers to ensure you don't lose those few percent of people, how many of you follow the accessibility guidlines as well?


Good point. I code in a way that produces an output that meets accessibility guidelines from 2 years ago. I'm WAAAAAYYYYYYYYY off the tract now. (Working on getting it back with your CSS help and Kim's general help now). Is it going to happen overnight? Nope. But I'll be up to date by the time they change it again. Promise. :)

Each new version just has better standards support (not a bad thing by a long shot!) and looks a bit different. Opera have actually really tried to make the browser better and more functional. They started the tabbed browsing, I think they also started the Panels/sidebar thing (though I may have to attribute that to NS icon_razz.gif), Mouse estures are a god send and it just generally work very very well I think! Sure theres a few bugs in version 7 still, but nothing to make me want to change to anything else, they also have a


Yup. Opera's the bad boy of the neighborhood - just like the Commodore was to the TRS-80 and just like AOL was to my hometown BBS system. (I still hate AOL for that).

Standards are good. Sidebars are good (but it was Netscape). Tabbed browsing is GREAT (an Opera start). Mouse gestures? yeah. Kinda neat. I can't remember keystrokes and you don't want me to accidentally dial up my favorite porn site, do you? ;) Mouse gestures are one thing I haven't played with - in opera. I have played with them with other software, though.

At the end of the day - when I switch to CSS full time, I'll be leaving my old site up - all chock full of plain and pure HTML from the olden days. Sure, if you've got a new browser you'll never know.

Then again, when I build my next site, will I go CSS or full compatible? Hmmmm. Chances are that I'll never tell you, cuz I'll never say that I'm wrong. ;)

G.

#16 DianeV

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:29 AM

<off topic> Why is Adrian's post dated March 27, when it's the 23rd ... and Grumpus' post is dated correctly?

#17 DaveChild

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 09:25 AM

At a guess, I would say the date went funny on the server again. On the plus side, since people can still post and the sessions aren't messed up, it looks like the modifications I made in case of this happening again are working fine :)

#18 Adrian

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 10:04 AM

Then again, when I build my next site, will I go CSS or full compatible? Hmmmm. Chances are that I'll never tell you, cuz I'll never say that I'm wrong.


Theres still an excellant case for using tables for an overall structure and then CSS for ALL styling and maybe some of the smaller bits of positioning. You tend to get fewer problems using bits of CSS-P than when you try and make it ALL fit together nicely with it.

Another little extra on Opera, if it crashes, when you restart it, it asks you if you want to set off at the point it crashed at. Opens up any windows you had open and even preserves the back button path :) Being really clever though it enables you to choose that or just your home page or no windows at all, nother of those little extras :)

#19 Black_Knight

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 10:28 AM

it looks like the modifications I made in case of this happening again are working fine :)


Yup, and we didn't have to wait too long before the modification efforts were justified. :)

#20 bearmugs

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 08:28 AM

To get back to the topic, as I indicated, disabling CSS with NS4 will resolve the issue raised by this thread. A simple warning/note/disclaimer at the front of this site indicating that if the pages don't display properly on your browser, try disabling Stylesheets. :?
Going back off topic, regarding Opera, it's not free, it doesn't come installed on a new computer, etc. etc.
When most ISP's provided NS with signup, it was most popular. When Microsoft included MSIE with their machines, it became most popular. The poeple out there use the browser that's free, that comes (or came) with their machine, and don't upgrade or change.
I know what Opera is like, and what it can do, but the people out there don't use it and are too lazy to go out and get it.

#21 DianeV

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 09:30 AM

True. There are also plenty of people who don't know that you *can* install a new browser.

#22 bearmugs

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 10:29 AM

Diane, there are people out there who don't even know what a browser is.
"You mean that internet thingy?" :idea: :idea: :idea:

#23 DianeV

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 10:32 AM

<g> When a friend told me about some new information, I asked her where she'd gotten it. "On my computer." Okay, I said, by email or surfing the Web or ...?

"No. On my computer."



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