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Re: [NH] web pages and Netscape

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  • Ian Rastall
    ... One important concept in the world of HTML is that web pages should degrade gracefully. This means that when accomodating something like NS4, you don t
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 19, 2002
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      On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 09:01:25 +1000, you wrote:

      >All the html sites said "Make sure it works in old browsers".
      >So I got one, and it didn't.
      >I have no way of knowing how many people would be using NS4.

      One important concept in the world of HTML is that web pages should
      degrade gracefully. This means that when accomodating something like
      NS4, you don't have to make everything exactly the same, as long as it
      looks pretty good, and works fine. Not having hover on NS4 is just
      fine. One thing I like to do is to remove the underline on links, by
      writing:

      a {text-decoration: none;}

      and combined with no hover, sometimes it's hard to see links. But I do
      it anyway, and I figure most net users are so used to the context of
      links that they'll have no trouble knowing which is which.

      There's a movement out there to exclude NS4 from everything. A lot of
      people now won't code for that browser at all. Some will detect the
      browser, and if NS4 is detected, the user will be forwarded to a
      screen telling them to update their browser. That's not terribly fair
      for people on slow connections, though (especially in under-developed
      nations). Some people will write the stylesheet without taking NS4
      into account at all. They'll detect the browser, and if it's NS4, it
      gets the plain version.

      I do something different. I use the @import hack. There are different
      ways of introducing a stylesheet, and one of them is to write:

      <style type="text/css">
      @import "foo.css";
      </style>

      Every browser recognizes this, *except* NS4. So if you introduce an
      external stylesheet, like so:

      <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="foo2.css" />

      you can make that the stylesheet that Netscape recognizes, and make
      your @import stylesheet the one that all the other browsers recognize.
      You put all your main CSS in the Netscape sheet, and then anything
      that needs to be overridden, you put in the other one. Because
      style-sheets cascade, anything in @import will take precedence over
      anything in <link>.

      Sorry for the long explanation. Hope this helps.

      Ian
      --
      That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
      with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

      http://www.aspipes.org/
    • loro
      ... Not really. It also takes care of IE Windows 4 and below. :) http://pixels.pixelpark.com/~koch/hide_css_from_browsers/summary/ Lotta
      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 19, 2002
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        At 04:21 2002.07.20, Ian Rastall wrote:
        ><style type="text/css">
        >@import "foo.css";
        ></style>
        >
        >Every browser recognizes this, *except* NS4.

        Not really. It also takes care of IE Windows 4 and below. :)
        http://pixels.pixelpark.com/~koch/hide_css_from_browsers/summary/

        Lotta
      • Ed Brown
        You should always code for NS 4. The only thing wrong and it is not wrong, with NS 4 is that it demands that your coding be correct. If it is not then the
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 19, 2002
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          You should always code for NS 4. The only thing wrong and it is not wrong,
          with NS 4 is that it demands that your coding be correct. If it is not then
          the chances are about 99% you have made mistakes in your coding. The other
          1% is IE has some coding that works only with it, and so it should probably
          not be used, only use what works with all browsers as much as possible. In
          IE 6 the positions are somewhat reversed, I have found it demands more
          correct coding than it ever did before and NS 6 will work even if you have
          made some little errors in your coding. Good luck and check your code if it
          does not work with NS 4.0
          Ed
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ian Rastall" <idrastall@...>
          To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 9:21 PM
          Subject: Re: [NH] web pages and Netscape


          On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 09:01:25 +1000, you wrote:

          >All the html sites said "Make sure it works in old browsers".
          >So I got one, and it didn't.
          >I have no way of knowing how many people would be using NS4.

          One important concept in the world of HTML is that web pages should
          degrade gracefully. This means that when accomodating something like
          NS4, you don't have to make everything exactly the same, as long as it
          looks pretty good, and works fine. Not having hover on NS4 is just
          fine. One thing I like to do is to remove the underline on links, by
          writing:

          a {text-decoration: none;}

          and combined with no hover, sometimes it's hard to see links. But I do
          it anyway, and I figure most net users are so used to the context of
          links that they'll have no trouble knowing which is which.

          There's a movement out there to exclude NS4 from everything. A lot of
          people now won't code for that browser at all. Some will detect the
          browser, and if NS4 is detected, the user will be forwarded to a
          screen telling them to update their browser. That's not terribly fair
          for people on slow connections, though (especially in under-developed
          nations). Some people will write the stylesheet without taking NS4
          into account at all. They'll detect the browser, and if it's NS4, it
          gets the plain version.

          I do something different. I use the @import hack. There are different
          ways of introducing a stylesheet, and one of them is to write:

          <style type="text/css">
          @import "foo.css";
          </style>

          Every browser recognizes this, *except* NS4. So if you introduce an
          external stylesheet, like so:

          <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="foo2.css" />

          you can make that the stylesheet that Netscape recognizes, and make
          your @import stylesheet the one that all the other browsers recognize.
          You put all your main CSS in the Netscape sheet, and then anything
          that needs to be overridden, you put in the other one. Because
          style-sheets cascade, anything in @import will take precedence over
          anything in <link>.

          Sorry for the long explanation. Hope this helps.

          Ian
          --
          That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
          with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

          http://www.aspipes.org/




          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Ian Rastall
          ... Writing valid HTML is crucial. NS4 doesn t handle CSS very well, though. So if you re working with CSS, especially if you re trying to do a site without
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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            On Fri, 19 Jul 2002 23:31:45 -0500, you wrote:

            >You should always code for NS 4. The only thing wrong and it is not wrong,
            >with NS 4 is that it demands that your coding be correct.

            Writing valid HTML is crucial. NS4 doesn't handle CSS very well,
            though. So if you're working with CSS, especially if you're trying to
            do a site without using tables for layout, you end up having to do
            workarounds.

            On the main site that I run, I've managed to use one stylesheet for
            all the browsers, and that's because I use tables for everything. (I
            don't see that as very cool, but it's how I got everything to work.)
            There are a couple things that don't show up in NS4, but the site
            still works fine.

            Ian
            --
            That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
            with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

            http://www.aspipes.org/
          • Fay
            I m getting way behind with acknowledging the reams of help I ve been getting on this question. Some letters I ll have to keep and study later, so that I can
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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              I'm getting way behind with acknowledging the reams of help I've been
              getting on this question.
              Some letters I'll have to keep and study later, so that I can get things
              working reasonably well asap and then go back and improve.
              I'm really grateful that so many people have had the kindness to share their
              knowledge with me, and rest assured that not one word will be wasted. I see
              there's heaps to learn, but now I have my own personal "manual"! I thank
              you all very much indeed.
              Fay
            • Fay
              Ian, Long explanations are usually careful and detailed, easier to understand and much appreciated. I ve copied yours into a text file and go over it
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                Ian,
                Long explanations are usually careful and detailed, easier to understand and
                much appreciated.
                I've copied yours into a text file and go over it carefully.
                I'll work on the matter of the two style sheets once I've conquered the
                earlier steps.
                I'm glad you think that people with old equipment and software shouldn't be
                ignored, and my own pride wants it to be that if only six people in the
                whole world look at my site they'll see the best I can manage.
                (I haven't a clue what a "fungo" is. Is it a mushroom? Would we have them in
                Australia?)
                Thanks,
                Fay
              • Ian Rastall
                ... Thanks. Glad it helped. ... It usually comes into play when you re messing around with CSS, and discovering what works in different browsers. That s just a
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                  On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 18:31:48 +1000, you wrote:

                  >Long explanations are usually careful and detailed, easier to understand and
                  >much appreciated.

                  Thanks. Glad it helped.

                  >I'll work on the matter of the two style sheets once I've conquered the
                  >earlier steps.

                  It usually comes into play when you're messing around with CSS, and
                  discovering what works in different browsers. That's just a technique
                  that will allow you to do two things at the same time, which saves a
                  lot of headache.

                  >(I haven't a clue what a "fungo" is. Is it a mushroom? Would we have them in
                  >Australia?)

                  I don't know what that means either. That's why I think it's so funny.
                  :)

                  Ian
                  --
                  That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                  with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                  http://www.aspipes.org/
                • Ed Brown
                  ... From: Ian Rastall To: Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 2:58 AM Subject: Re: [NH] web pages and Netscape
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Ian Rastall" <idrastall@...>
                    To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 2:58 AM
                    Subject: Re: [NH] web pages and Netscape


                    On Fri, 19 Jul 2002 23:31:45 -0500, you wrote:

                    >You should always code for NS 4. The only thing wrong and it is not wrong,
                    >with NS 4 is that it demands that your coding be correct.

                    Writing valid HTML is crucial. NS4 doesn't handle CSS very well,
                    though. So if you're working with CSS, especially if you're trying to
                    do a site without using tables for layout, you end up having to do
                    workarounds.

                    On the main site that I run, I've managed to use one stylesheet for
                    all the browsers, and that's because I use tables for everything. (I
                    don't see that as very cool, but it's how I got everything to work.)
                    There are a couple things that don't show up in NS4, but the site
                    still works fine.

                    Ian
                    --
                    But there is many thousands still using NS 4. the question becomes do you
                    want them to read your pages?? Perhaps not. I do. I will use CSS and
                    still try to make the changes in styles that NS 4 can use or avoid styles
                    altogether on some pages. In many 3rd world countries they who have the
                    least pay more to get on the internet. In fact in some of the richer
                    countries people pay by the minute. Do you want them to see your pages?
                    This means the simplest designs will reach the most people. It seems that
                    simply design loads faster, prints better and the information is available
                    faster, so CSS is not the answer in many cases at least at the present time.
                    If you are working in a corporation and only trying to reach those on a
                    closed circuit and the capability is there for them to read your page then
                    you can do whatever seems good. I design for the masses and try to avoid
                    using anything that would slow down page loading including photos. I use
                    photos and lots of them, but I let people know this is a page with images so
                    that they can skip those. But every situation is different. If you design
                    only for a few segments of the population of the world then you do what is
                    best to reach those people. Or you can make two, three or even four
                    different pages and according to the browser send them to a page that they
                    can easily view. So as long as your site works fine for the few people that
                    you want to view your site, that is good, but remember it does not work
                    fine for those using NS 4, or 3. And I think maybe, there are still some
                    using NS 2. Does it work fine for reader browsers? And how does the large
                    population of males that are color blind see your site?
                    Ed
                  • Don Passenger
                    So @import is an external stylesheet, given local stylesheet precedence? ... I like to code to ns4 because at least until lately there were still a fair
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                      So @import is an external stylesheet, given local stylesheet precedence?

                      > <style type="text/css">
                      > @import "foo.css";
                      > </style>

                      I like to code to ns4 because at least until lately there were still a fair
                      percentage of users on it. Although now with Opera (which is also picky in
                      some ways -- or correct to standards if you prefer) and both 6.2 and 7.0 ns
                      out there, I think ns4 is beginning to slip away pretty fast. Some of the
                      reading I have been doing now suggests three sets of styles if you are doing
                      multiple styles. I personally try to avoid that, prefering to compromise
                      all a little in the interest of simplicity. Others may have more time or a
                      programmer on staff 8^)
                    • Ian Rastall
                      ... Ed, I get the feeling you re arguing with me. I m not going to do that. Ian -- That oughta be like hittin fungoes with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                        On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 07:56:11 -0500, you wrote:

                        >But there is many thousands still using NS 4. the question becomes do you
                        >want them to read your pages?? Perhaps not. I do.

                        Ed, I get the feeling you're arguing with me. I'm not going to do
                        that.

                        Ian
                        --
                        That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                        with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                        http://www.aspipes.org/
                      • hsavage
                        ... them in ... Hi, For purposes of enlightenment, which is what these lists are about. hrs ... http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=fungo fun·go
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                          > Fay wrote:
                          >
                          > Ian,
                          > I've copied yours into a text file and go over it carefully.
                          > I'll work on the matter of the two style sheets once I've conquered the
                          > earlier steps.

                          > (I haven't a clue what a "fungo" is. Is it a mushroom? Would we have
                          them in
                          > Australia?)
                          > Thanks,
                          > Fay
                          >

                          Hi,

                          For purposes of enlightenment, which is what these lists are about.

                          hrs

                          ----------
                          http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=fungo

                          fun·go Pronunciation Key (fngg) - the key didn't travel well.
                          n. Baseball pl. fun·goes

                          A fly ball hit for fielding practice by a player who tosses the ball up
                          and hits it on its way down with a long, thin, light bat.

                          [Origin unknown.]
                          ------------
                        • loro
                          ... It happens on the spot you put it, so to speak. The way the above is written, yes it would get the dignity of an embedded style sheet. If you import a
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                            At 15:34 2002.07.20, Don Passenger wrote:
                            >So @import is an external stylesheet, given local stylesheet precedence?
                            >
                            > > <style type="text/css">
                            > > @import "foo.css";
                            > > </style>


                            It happens on the spot you put it, so to speak. The way the above is
                            written, yes it would get the dignity of an embedded style sheet. If you
                            import a style sheet into another CSS document it would be the same as
                            writing it at the top of that document in the first place.

                            Lotta
                          • loro
                            ... Ahem, the OP asked about CSS. There is everything wrong with Netscape 4 when it comes to CSS. Hiding the CSS it can t handle, as someone suggested, is a
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                              At 06:31 2002.07.20, Ed Brown wrote:
                              >You should always code for NS 4. The only thing wrong and it is not wrong,
                              >with NS 4 is that it demands that your coding be correct.

                              Ahem, the OP asked about CSS. There is everything wrong with Netscape 4
                              when it comes to CSS. Hiding the CSS it can't handle, as someone
                              suggested, is a way of protecting it from getting a totally unreadable
                              document. It doesn't mean it won't get the content. It will, just more
                              plain looking.

                              Netscape this and IE that. That isn't what this is about. Sigh.

                              Lotta
                            • Ian Rastall
                              ... Yeah, from what I understand. It s CSS1. So it s been in there from the beginning. It s just that nobody uses it. I mean, why bother, if you can choose
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 09:34:51 -0400, you wrote:

                                >So @import is an external stylesheet, given local stylesheet precedence?

                                Yeah, from what I understand. It's CSS1. So it's been in there from
                                the beginning. It's just that nobody uses it. I mean, why bother, if
                                you can choose between <link> and an inline style sheet.

                                What I use it for is if I have one or two problems that can't be
                                worked out with all browsers. (I'm talking CSS problems.) That second
                                style sheet (the @import one) only needs to contain a couple things.
                                Say you want to use absolute positioning, but you can't do that with
                                NS4 because its support is so buggy. You can use "float", for
                                instance, in your regular stylesheet, and then write in your second
                                sheet:

                                div.foo {float: none ! important; position: absolute; left: foopx;
                                top: foopx;}

                                and in that way, you've just used two different ways of positioning
                                your div's, and it works across browsers. And I don't think the
                                "important" part is needed, but I guess it pays to be careful. Anyone
                                who tries to go "table-less" either has to use @import or just not
                                code for Netscape, because using CSS for layout is pretty much
                                impossible when the support is so buggy.

                                I tried slogging through the W3C CSS1 page a while back, and gave up.
                                They talk about inheritance on there, and I wouldn't be surprised if
                                inline style over-rides @import, though why you would need 3
                                stylesheets I have no idea.

                                Ian
                                --
                                That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                                with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                                http://www.aspipes.org/
                              • Ian Rastall
                                ... That just about made my day. :) Ian -- That oughta be like hittin fungoes with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward) http://www.aspipes.org/
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                  On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 09:38:21 -0500, you wrote:

                                  >fun·go Pronunciation Key (fngg) - the key didn't travel well.
                                  >n. Baseball pl. fun·goes
                                  >
                                  >A fly ball hit for fielding practice by a player who tosses the ball up
                                  >and hits it on its way down with a long, thin, light bat.

                                  That just about made my day. :)

                                  Ian
                                  --
                                  That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                                  with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                                  http://www.aspipes.org/
                                • loro
                                  ... Hey Stephen, where can I download that Etch-a-Sketch? It sounds like the thing I need right now and I promise that I ll at least try it once before I tell
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                    At 01:55 2002.07.19, stephen riddle wrote:
                                    >Hover will not work in Netscape four, but then again it's a product from
                                    >before hover was invented. Hover also does not work on an Etcha-a-Sketch.
                                    >Think I'll start hating Etcha-a-Sketches!
                                    >Almost everything works on Netscape 6.
                                    >Good thing some folks actually try it.
                                    >Good Luck,
                                    >Stephen

                                    Hey Stephen, where can I download that Etch-a-Sketch? It sounds like the
                                    thing I need right now and I promise that I'll at least try it once before
                                    I tell newbies that it sucks.


                                    Lotta
                                  • Ed Brown
                                    No, not arguing, just not getting all my ducks in a row, but Adam Weston said it perfectly. Thanks Adam. Ed ... From: Ian Rastall
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                      No, not arguing, just not getting all my ducks in a row, but Adam Weston
                                      said it perfectly. Thanks Adam.
                                      Ed
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Ian Rastall" <idrastall@...>
                                      To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 9:10 AM
                                      Subject: Re: [NH] web pages and Netscape


                                      On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 07:56:11 -0500, you wrote:

                                      >But there is many thousands still using NS 4. the question becomes do you
                                      >want them to read your pages?? Perhaps not. I do.

                                      Ed, I get the feeling you're arguing with me. I'm not going to do
                                      that.

                                      Ian
                                      --
                                      That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                                      with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                                      http://www.aspipes.org/




                                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    • Ian Rastall
                                      ... That s interesting. I ll bet there s still people using IE 4.x, although I never take it into consideration. Probably the most common thing is to just use
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jul 21, 2002
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                                        On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 05:01:37 +0200, loro <loro@...> wrote:

                                        >http://pixels.pixelpark.com/~koch/hide_css_from_browsers/summary/

                                        That's interesting. I'll bet there's still people using IE 4.x,
                                        although I never take it into consideration. Probably the most common
                                        thing is to just use whatever browser came with your operating system.
                                        I doubt most people actually download browsers at all. Many people
                                        don't even know how to download.

                                        Does anyone here code for the AOL browser? Is that just Netscape?

                                        Ian
                                        --
                                        That oughta be like hittin' fungoes
                                        with a corked bat. (Nathaniel Ward)

                                        http://www.aspipes.org/
                                      • loro
                                        ... According to the often cited but probably not reliable stats of companies like thecounter Netscape4 has 4% and IE4 3%...
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jul 21, 2002
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                                          At 16:25 2002.07.21, Ian Rastall wrote:
                                          >On Sat, 20 Jul 2002 05:01:37 +0200, loro <loro@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > >http://pixels.pixelpark.com/~koch/hide_css_from_browsers/summary/
                                          >
                                          >That's interesting. I'll bet there's still people using IE 4.x,

                                          According to the often cited but probably not reliable stats of companies
                                          like thecounter Netscape4 has 4% and IE4 3%...
                                          http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2002/May/browser.php

                                          I think the reason that everyone's concern is Netscape 4 and not old
                                          browsers in general is partly due to the fact that many companies and
                                          institutions standardized on that browsers long ago and they often don't
                                          see a reason to change. IE4 is probably almost exclusively in private use.
                                          But I'm guessing about that.

                                          Another reason is of course that it's easy to test in Netscape of any
                                          version on Windows but not so easy with IE if you don't have the resources
                                          needed to set up several OS or buy one of those Virtual PC thingies. Same
                                          with Mac and *nix browsers.

                                          >Does anyone here code for the AOL browser? Is that just Netscape?

                                          Last I heard the Gecko was beta tested. So there is IE AOL and Gecko AOL.
                                          As I've heard the only problem is that image compression they are playing
                                          with though.

                                          Hey, I just downloaded a WebTV emulator. It's fun - and better than I
                                          though. :p

                                          Lotta
                                        • stephen riddle
                                          Hi All, I had something very witty to say, can t remember what it was, but yes, the AOL users are among the most problematic. AOL still does some rather odd
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jul 21, 2002
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                                            Hi All,
                                            I had something very witty to say, can't remember what it was, but yes, the
                                            AOL users are among the most problematic. AOL still does some rather odd
                                            things to web pages. Last I heard, AOL/Macintosh users had the most problems,
                                            but anyone with a computer more than a year or two old using AOL, may be
                                            having a browser that just barely does JavaScript and probably not CSS.
                                            To check AOL out, go to aol.com and click webmaster info. You can browse to
                                            a table which lists the AOL browsers currently in use. The range from IE3 to
                                            IE5.5. I had heard that they used Netscape, but it does not look like it
                                            (even though they own Netscape.) However, only 20% of their users have the
                                            latest browser (IE6.6). 25% use IE5.0.
                                            AOL also uses a proxy cache to control and manage their users internet use.
                                            (Yes, they "guide" thier users, but you'll notice that hardly ever does spam
                                            come from an AOL user.) This can do wierd things with graphics, but in
                                            general should not cause intrinsic rendering dificulties.
                                            T'care,
                                            Stephen
                                            > Does anyone here code for the AOL browser? Is that just Netscape?
                                            >
                                            > Ian
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