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e-maestro
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Northwestern Lower Michigan, USA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 09-13-2002 21:09 Edit Quote

If there has been discussed recently please tell me....

Have haven't done much web design in a few months and now have a new project. It is a site for a company that installs high tech equipment that control the lights, security and audio/visual environments of high end homes and businesses.

I'm wondering what the latest concensus is on dealing with browser compatibility. Those of you that deal with it all the time, which browsers are you designing for?

Should I still worry about N4.7 or just forget it?
Which browser do I design for first, then try to find fixes for the others.

To me this is the worst part of the design process! Trying to figure out when "broken" is acceptible and when it isn't!!

Thanks for your help.

e-maestro





Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

IP logged posted posted 09-13-2002 21:25 Edit Quote

Consensus?

<script type="text/javascript">
document.write('Ha');
for (a=0; a < 99999; a++)
document.write(' ha');
document.write('!!!');
</script>

Everyone has their own opinion on this topic. This is mine:

1. Write the page in standard, validating HTML or XHTML without any style information. Structure it well so that it makes sense on even the most basic of text browsers.

2. Style the page with CSS. Put simple style information that most browsers (even NN4) can handle in one CSS file, using the <link> tag to link it to the document. Use <style ... > @import "complicated.css";</style> to import the complicated CSS that only recent browsers can handle.

3. Add scripts for whatever you want to look cool, making sure that those without scripts turned on will still be able to view all the content right from the beginning, and making sure that the script manually excludes any browsers which wont be able to handle it, via testing for the existence of functions such as document.getElementById.

That way, you can make a page readable in practically any browser/user agent at all, yet still make it cool.

e-maestro
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Northwestern Lower Michigan, USA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 09-14-2002 02:47 Edit Quote

Sounds good...but

are there any good examples of what you are talking about or something that explains the process step by step?

I would like to see a site that had been done this way and study the code a bit.

Being fairly new to CSS I'm not sure I know how to do this.

e-maestro

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

IP logged posted posted 09-14-2002 03:17 Edit Quote

Well, it's my own personal approach, so the best example I can give you is my recently created front page at www.slimeland.com .

If you don't know CSS, it's definitely the thing to work on (provided you know HTML) since it's useful even in old browsers like NN4, and *very* useful in recent browsers.

twItch^
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the west wing
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 09-14-2002 05:49 Edit Quote

Browser compatability is a giant, four-sided blade that cuts everyone that comes within a square kilometer of it. To design or not to design for web standards, that is the question. More ink has been spilt (metaphorically, of course) on this topic than nearly any other in the web world. We're all waiting for something to happen that will be catastrophic and convince everyone that browsers made during previous presidential campaigns of the last millenium should no longer be supported.... Does it depend on your client? On the sites traffic? On it's content? On it's audience?

Yes to all, and, frankly, no to all.

-Your client doesn't understand web standards, nine times out of ten. He wants to know why it doesn't work in NN4.6, though, which will continually boggle my mind.
-The sites traffic can be a clincher (read: web standards makes smaller code = lower bandwidth charges) if you're dealing with numbers like Yahoo generates (and yet they ignore standards, too. <shrug> )
-If you're churning text out, you want it displayed as quickly as possible, and as amicably as possible to each and every browser... nonetheless, you also want blind people to be able to read it, don't you? Do you?
-If your audience is a bunch of ailing 70 year olds... well, they're using NN4. If your audience is a bunch of hipster-do-rights, they're using Mozilla. If your audience is both? HMm...

"The client is always right."
"Give the client what he wants, not what he asks for."

These are truisms we must deal with. You deal with them however you wish.

______________________________
s t e p h e n

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

IP logged posted posted 09-15-2002 05:47 Edit Quote

Yeah yeah... clients always say they want it to be accessible to everyone, dumb and smart.

I usually convince them to my view.
Design for the most widely used browser out of necessity, but strive to make it work for the best standards compatible browser out there.
Simply... design for the biggest and the best (they aren't always the same.)

So basically... design for IE5+ and Mozilla 1+

If the browser user minority with their old wrecks really want your content, they can get with the program.
And let's face it... every Windows user has a copy of IE, thanks to Monopoly-power.
And I'm sure they have to fallback on IE all the time to get any real surfing done, I know I do.
Soooo many site designers have been corrupted by IEs overpowering market share that just doing some online banking at Compass Bank or getting a car estimate at Kelly Blue Book REQUIRES you to use IE.

It's really such a sad state of affairs I'm just glad you asked the question.
BRAVO!!



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