The graded browser support philosophy
that Nate has been crafting for Yahoo over the past several years is predicated on the notion that we can identify a manageable number of User Agents that comprise two classes of browsers:
1. A Grade: Browsers that support core standards and modern DOM APIs and have significant marketshare — it's a sign of enormous progress at this point that we can identify this class of browser as representing 96% of our network traffic;
Browsers that are not identified on either list, but which make an http request for a standard page on the network, should be given the chance to respond as though they are an A Grade browser. This includes some very capable browsers, like Konqueror on Linux or Firefox on BSD -- we don't list these browsers and in most cases we don't test them -- they are X-Grade browsers in that sense -- but we give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that in most cases they will perform well. The same, incidentally, is true for browsers like OmniWeb on the Mac, which should behave just like Safari because it uses Apple's WebKit as its rendering engine, or RSS readers on Windows that use the IE rendering engine. They are X-Grade and are therefore given the chance to provide the full A-Grade experience.
Technically, the same might be true for a mobile browser that makes a standard http request for a web page — you might consider that an X-Grade browser in the sense that we don't test for it. However, we don't expect such clients to be consuming standard content prepared for the big screen browser; mobile devices are typically served separate content that's more appropriate for the device's capabilities and form factor. A separate and very complex browser matrix is used to address the mobile space these days.
On Feb 14, 2006, at 10:18 AM, the hum of rockets wrote:
I'm trying to find out a little more about the graded browser support
project and what what status of non-listed browsers in the matrix are?
Are they all 'x-grade'?
What about mobile interfaces? A lot of cell phones have partially
capabable broswers (blackberrys, sidekicks, etc) -- what is the level
of support they recieve?
Is bandwitdth considered in the browser gradings?
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