December 13, 2002
Testing, 1... 2... 3...

Jim noted that his site didn't look right in old versions of Netscape, to which Joanie replied "Who Cares?" I started this as a reply on Jim's site, but figured a wider audience might be interested.

Who should care? You should, and you should, and you should too! The netscape browser is making a comeback now that it's been revamped, is stable, secure, and has more features than IE. It also follows the CSS rules more closely, and doesn't have as many quirks as IE.

The old Netscape browsers (4.x and lower) were written when CSS was in its infancy, and as a result they don't follow style sheets very well, if at all. Because of CSS's growing popularity, increasing numbers of sites are gradually becoming unreadable to these early browsers. It will be difficult to get your site to view correctly in 4.x.

As a web site administrator I consider it a duty to make sure my sites look correct in at least the two "big" browsers. Luckily, the MT writers think so too, and so it's quite rare for me to find an MT site that doesn't display properly in Netscape 6+ (yours, Jim, and yours, Joanie, both look fine, for example). Unfortunately blogspot doesn't work that way, and so Maru's site, for example, is almost unreadable to me at work, and Larry's is unreadable to Ellen at home (although that might be because Ellen's computer is schizophrenic "quirky"). We don't check those blogs as often as we want to because of this.

It's a free download folks. Take the time out to get the latest version and at least glance at your site in both versions when you make changes. Sure, it's a pain in the ass, and yes, there's nothing quite as frustrating as having everything look "just so" in the browser YOU use but having it get mangled in the browser someone else uses. But until IE catches up with Netscape's (actually Mozilla's) conformity to standards, you still have to do it.

Do you have to make your blog look perfect in both browsers? No. Ours looks perfect in Netscape but there are weird little details in IE (the text in the sidebars tends to run off the margins at times, for example). But it's quite readable. One of the points of blogging is to allow as many readers as possible to check you out. I, for one, will thank you.

P.S. Also keep in mind AOL is still making noises about switching its default browser to a Mozilla-powered system, making it essentially the same as Netscape. If that happens we Netscape users won't be such a small minority!

Posted by scott at December 13, 2002 09:06 AM

eMail this entry!

Quite frankly, I'm extremely surprised that aoHell hasn't switched over yet.... when did they buy Netscape, 6 years ago or so? Back when I switched back to IE, I had a site that looked perfect in Netscape, but shitty in IE. I ended up revamping it and putting a notice of sorts on the site that NS had given up (they hadn't released a v5 yet and IE was out for ages at that point.... if I remember correctly)

I actually thought IE conformed better to CSS, but I had no basis for that thinking...

Posted by: Jim S on December 13, 2002 11:51 AM

IE used to conform better, until NS 6.1 came out (say about 18 months ago). NS 6.1 was based on Mozilla 0.9.4 (I think), which was the first release they really stomped out all the CSS bugs. After that the Mozilla engine just never looked back, and now is a *lot* more compliant with the standards than IE is. Plus you don't have to worry about every security exploit in the world with NS.

Posted by: Scott on December 13, 2002 12:39 PM

Scott=Card Carrying Member of the CULT of Netscape. I have liked IE better (At least since IE4.X) I haven't used Mozzilla (Place I work at doesn't authorize anything past Netscape 4.79 yet) IE just has always worked better for me (No stupid plugins etc)

Posted by: Jeff on December 13, 2002 02:09 PM

Okay, okay. I care. A little. Frankly, this is all a foreign language to me. Tell you what, if you ever find that my site doesn't translate well into Netscape.....tell me about it, okay? I'm freakin' clueless about this stuff!

Posted by: Da Goddess on December 13, 2002 11:55 PM

Aha. That's probably why your site looks good in Opera...

Posted by: Kathy K on December 15, 2002 09:37 PM
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