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January 07, 2002

Browser Agnosticism

Cameron Barrett writes:

"Hey, you know those one or two people who keep hitting your site with Netscape 4.x and Lynx? Well, that's me! Just keeping you on your toes..."

Tee hee. I've always taken the stand that NOVA's website should be inclusive, eschewing flashy ... er Flash programs, dynamic html and Java applets in favor of being readable by anyone with any browser and hardware configuration. Okay, I experimented with a DHTML pop-out toolbar one time, but quickly convinced myself of it's flakiness.

Contrarily, this weblog uses CSS Style Sheets which definiltely do not render on older browsers. As my audience is a small circle of friends and family, I don't feel the same constraints that I did when designing a 'benevolent club' website. So you mostly won't find any TABLE tags in this website, unless they're generated by Greymatter.

But you most likely won't see Flash or Java applets here either, as they are often horrendous kludges, and serve to make the site less accessible, rather than more. For a good example of that, try visiting Tokyo Pop sometime. Try buying something through their website. Part of their problem is their database design, but part is the site layout and implementation. What browser were they testing this with?!!? I've tried everything, including the industry gorilla of Internet Explorer (though admittedly running on a Mac), and menus tread on graphics (and vice versa), links fail to activate... Geeze. It's like they don't actually want business.

Maybe they have such a small staff that they can only handle like twenty orders a week, so they deliberately make it hard to use their site. Like the old saw that claims the standard typewriter keyboard is purposely designed to slow down typists to avoid jamming the mechanical keys together...

Posted by dpwakefield at January 7, 2002 02:15 PM