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Cross-browser development

P: n/a
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider it
necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days, especially for
public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do you
think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work in
Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this additional 5%? It's
the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...

Mark
Nov 18 '05 #1
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17 Replies


P: n/a
Mark,
I came across this issue just last week when developing a public facing
site. The project manager on the project was a Mac user, and the site looked
horrible on his Mac. He bitched and moaned about it until no end. But like
you said, I don't think it's worth the effort to spend a crazy amount of
time trying to make the site cross-browser compatible.

I don't use any fancy stuff on the HTML side of my sites, it's all CSS. On
particularly annoying thing I came across was this. Consider this snippet

<tr class="somecssclass">
<td><td>
</tr>

In IE, the <td> automatically inherits the style from the <tr>

However, Opera, for example wanted the class applied to every <td> in the
<tr>.

In my opinion, that ridiculous.

Small annoyances like this get under my skin! It's not like I'm using
GridLayout and expecting it to work flawlessly on every browser!

"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ev**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider it
necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days, especially for public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do you
think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work in
Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this additional 5%? It's the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...

Mark

Nov 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
5% of the hundreds of millions Internet users is still a lot of users! It
completely depends on if you are building for the Internet or an intranet.
If it is the Internet, the cross-browser support is still considered a must
by any pro.
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ev**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider it
necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days, especially
for
public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do you
think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work in
Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this additional 5%?
It's
the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...

Mark

Nov 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
I do not think it is economically viable and stick with the devil I know.
I believe the court cases have been the reason that IE development
has become stagnant. Now that the court cases appear to be resolved
Microsoft will pull a rabbit out of the hat which we all know has been
long overdue.

--
<%= Clinton Gallagher, "Twice the Results -- Half the Cost"
Architectural & e-Business Consulting -- Software Development
NET cs*********@REMOVETHISTEXTmetromilwaukee.com
URL http://www.metromilwaukee.com/clintongallagher/

"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ev**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider it
necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days, especially for public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do you
think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work in
Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this additional 5%? It's the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...

Mark

Nov 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
"George Durzi" <gd****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
Small annoyances like this get under my skin! It's not like I'm using
GridLayout and expecting it to work flawlessly on every browser!


LOL!

For a while now, I've been costing cross-browser compatibility as a separate
item when preparing a quote for a new piece of work.

The basic cost is IE5.5 and above for Windows any additional browser /
hardware platform combination incurs an additional 20% cost.

Not a single client has ever chosen the cross-browser option(s)...
Nov 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
That's why a lot of people end up going with Flash or something like that
instead of dealing with cross browser development.

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:uh*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
5% of the hundreds of millions Internet users is still a lot of users! It
completely depends on if you are building for the Internet or an intranet.
If it is the Internet, the cross-browser support is still considered a must by any pro.
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ev**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider it
necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days, especially
for
public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do you
think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work in
Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this additional 5%?
It's
the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...

Mark


Nov 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:uh*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
5% of the hundreds of millions Internet users is still a lot of users! It
completely depends on if you are building for the Internet or an intranet.
If it is the Internet, the cross-browser support is still considered a must by any pro.


If you're writing a desktop application, do you also write a Mac version,
UNIX version, OS/2 version...?
Nov 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
They would be completely separate versions most likely developed using
different tools.

"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:eY**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:uh*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
5% of the hundreds of millions Internet users is still a lot of users! It completely depends on if you are building for the Internet or an intranet. If it is the Internet, the cross-browser support is still considered a

must
by any pro.


If you're writing a desktop application, do you also write a Mac version,
UNIX version, OS/2 version...?

Nov 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
Step one is to identify the target audience for the application.

If the target is the Internet, then cross-browser compatibility is a must.
If the target is an intranet, then the corporate browser standard is
targeted.
If it is a desktop application (as you ask about) then we need to determine
which OS we're targeting.
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:eY**************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:uh*************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
5% of the hundreds of millions Internet users is still a lot of users!
It
completely depends on if you are building for the Internet or an
intranet.
If it is the Internet, the cross-browser support is still considered a

must
by any pro.


If you're writing a desktop application, do you also write a Mac version,
UNIX version, OS/2 version...?

Nov 18 '05 #9

P: n/a
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:eM**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
If the target is the Internet, then cross-browser compatibility is a must.
Why? There's no law that says this - if a car manufacturer produces a car
which runs on petrol, they don't *have* to produce a diesel version...
If it is a desktop application (as you ask about) then we need to determine which OS we're targeting.


Why aren't you targeting them all, in the same way that you're targeting all
browser makes and models...?
Nov 18 '05 #10

P: n/a
CJM
Talk about the blind leading the blind....

None-IE browsers constitute more that 5%!
http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp. What is more, because
of the dodgy way IE has been developed, you get different results for IE6,
IE5Win and IE5Mac...

So developing for IE on windows means you are missing out on over 22% of
your potential client base.

Gone are the days of 'Best viewed in Browser X', which is a good thing.
These days you should be producing code that validates against the W3C
(X)HTML specifications. That means using the online validator. Admittedly,
CSS support varies across different browsers, but there is still little
excuse for developing a site or application that is viewable in one browser
only... If you validate your HTML, there is a good probability that it will
render well on all modern browsers.

Scott hit the nail on the head: Intranet = cross-browser; Intranet = Who
cares.

Why?

Well apart from being the professional approach, and good business sense...
it is also often a legal necessity. As a UK developer, Mark, you are bound
by the Disability Discrimination Act to provide equal access to web sites
for people with disabilities - an non-validating IE/Win-only solution is the
quickest way to break this. Our US friends are (often) bound by Section 508
legislation: http://www.richswebdesign.com/section508.shtml

If this sounds vaguely like a rant, it is because it is... Many web
(application) developers seem to think that standards are just for the web
purists, yet it is generally quicker and simpler to develop usable,
accessible, cross-browser sites... it just takes a bit of knowledge - as
opposed to thrashing something out in Frontpage or Dreamweaver...
Nov 18 '05 #11

P: n/a
Mark Rae wrote:
Hi,

I'm interested in your opinion concerning how far you would consider
it necessary to code for cross-browser compatibility these days,
especially for public-facing Internet sites...

According to a recent survey
(http://www.weboptimiser.com/search_e.../3061148.html),
Internet Explorer has just under 95% of the browser marketplace. Do
you think it's worth the additional aggravation of making things work
in Netscape, Firefox, AOL, Opera etc just to cater for this
additional 5%? It's the "poke-for-pound" argument...

Very interested to hear what you think...


Since accessibility is becoming a big topic in web development,
cross-browser compatibility could become inevitable depending on a country's
laws or regulations.

Personally, I always try to produce proper HTML, "proper" meaning validated
(e.g. http://validator.w3.org/). In my experience, validated HTML 4.01
combined with CSS procudes reasonable results with all modern browsers (IE
6, Mozilla/Firefox, Opera, ...). Unfortunately, ASP.NET 1.1 produces
non-validating HTML, but this should be fixed with VS 2005.

Cheers,

--
Joerg Jooss
jo*********@gmx.net

Nov 18 '05 #12

P: n/a

"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ON**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
news:eM**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
If the target is the Internet, then cross-browser compatibility is a
must.
Why? There's no law that says this - if a car manufacturer produces a car
which runs on petrol, they don't *have* to produce a diesel version...


No, there is no law. But if I don't, then there are potentially millions of
users who won't see my application as I intended. Does that sound like a
good thing to you? And, if I am a diesel user, I won't be able to use that
petrol vehicle. So, if we are going to use the vehicle anaology, the
manufacturer would usually desire to sell as many vehicles as possible,
right? Best way to do that is to make a version that fits all the possible
consumer desires.
If it is a desktop application (as you ask about) then we need to

determine
which OS we're targeting.


Why aren't you targeting them all, in the same way that you're targeting
all
browser makes and models...?


Because the Internet (the platform of web applications), by its very nature,
is OS and browser independent. An OS (the platform for a desktop
applications) isn't. For some desktop applications, it may very well make
sense to create a version for different OS's (take MS Office for example).
But the key is that you must determine your target audience. It is more
common to say that a target audience is "web users" than "Internet Explorer
Web Users" because there is no reason to exclude all the other web users,
since we're talking about one platform.
Nov 18 '05 #13

P: n/a
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in news:ec3E1vGhEHA.2684
@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl:
Not a single client has ever chosen the cross-browser option(s)...


Ever done work for a bank?

--
Lucas Tam (RE********@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Nov 18 '05 #14

P: n/a
> Well apart from being the professional approach, and good business
sense...
it is also often a legal necessity. As a UK developer, Mark, you are bound
by the Disability Discrimination Act to provide equal access to web sites
for people with disabilities - an non-validating IE/Win-only solution is
the
quickest way to break this. Our US friends are (often) bound by Section
508
legislation: http://www.richswebdesign.com/section508.shtml


I agree with you but to be fair, in the US, the Section 508 legislation only
applies to web sites built with Federal funds. However, in the US, we have
the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which, sounds similar to your
Disability Discrimination Act legislation. I agree that many (many, many,
many, ad nauseum) web developers have never given a thought to compliance
with these guidelines. Too many developers follow, what I call the "It
looks good to me!" development pattern not recognizing that what it looks
like to them is not necessarily what it will look like to others.
Nov 18 '05 #15

P: n/a
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in news:eYKum2GhEHA.3944
@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl:
If you're writing a desktop application, do you also write a Mac version,
UNIX version, OS/2 version...?

I guess you don't understand the point of web applications : )

--
Lucas Tam (RE********@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Nov 18 '05 #16

P: n/a
"Mark Rae" <ma**@mark-N-O-S-P-A-M-rae.co.uk> wrote in
news:ON**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl:
If the target is the Internet, then cross-browser compatibility is a
must.


Why? There's no law that says this - if a car manufacturer produces a
car which runs on petrol, they don't *have* to produce a diesel
version...


But you don't want to PO potential customers.

--
Lucas Tam (RE********@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Nov 18 '05 #17

P: n/a
"CJM" <cj*******@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in news:uepCRsHhEHA.1356
@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl:
Dreamweaver


Hey, Dreamweaver is a good HTML editor. You can turn on XHTML mode to
ensure a good document.

--
Lucas Tam (RE********@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Nov 18 '05 #18

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