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Re: [css-d] Divergence between compliant browsers

Sent by Al Sparber on 29 January 2002 23:11


If this is turning into an opinion orgy, then let...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Henick" [EMAIL-REMOVED]>
To: [EMAIL-REMOVED]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: [css-d] Divergence between compliant browsers


> Might as well jump in, here.  Hi, Jeffrey.
>
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Jeffrey Zeldman wrote:
>
> > Will less-than-knowledgeable clients (i.e. many web clients) blame us
> > for for "not having done it right in the first place?" Will
> > less-than-knowledgeable clients think Mozilla is broken? Will they
>
> Lots already do, but that's because Moz/NN6 leaks memory like a sieve.
> Dammit.

Mozilla/NN6 is a commercial venture. Anyone who eats up the open-source "gee
we're so passionate" stuff is only deluding him or herself. NN6 was released
becasue it probably had to be released for *commercial* reasons. It does
have lots of problems for both the user and the developer... and it
exacerbates the historic practice of spending inordinate amounts of time
creating workarounds. If I catch your drift and context of
"less-than-knowledeable", then your completely offbase. A client has no
obligation to be knowledgeable about this type of knowledge because the
whole thing is a fast moving target that many developers have a hard time
keeping up with. An *educated* client is, at best, a luxury to be savored.


>
> > write off Mozilla/NN6 as "too little used at this time to worry
> > about?"
>
> There's that, too.

Mant people are. Many are also writing off Opera. It's a mistake born of
frustration. Many young designers have somehow (mysteriously) assumed that
NN6 and *Standards* were the promised land. What we have here is a rather
serious denoument. The harsh reality is that we have a few browsers that are
good-to-great at standards, but we have:

1. Thousands of pages with hacks that no longer work
2. More workarounds because:
        a: Standards is not an exact science
        b. Browsers are made in more than one building
            by more than 1 team.


> > If clients do not permit designers and developers to go back into
> > existing sites and alter their Style Sheets to accommodate the way
> > Mozilla/NN6 now renders table-based layouts, will users think
> > Mozilla/NN6 is "broken?" If so, will this decrease user adoption of
>
> This is a thorny issue.  Given for example the kind of reactions you've
> gotten to the Browser Upgrade Initiative, I suspect they would.

This is ludicrous. MSIE, bugs and all is on +/- 80% of the browsing public's
boxes. Distribution is the answer... and Netscape needs to work on that. It
would help if they did work on it *after* all the major bugs are fixed :-).

Or maybe the next great *project* should be a 1-Engine Project. Wishful
thinking, no doubt, but much more logical than expecting Microsoft, Mozilla,
Opera, et al to separately come to the same conclusions.


> > Mozilla and its derivatives, thus driving even more users to IE? (And
> > what impact would such a result have on the future of standards
> > compliance across all browsers?)
>
> *shudder*
>
> What it comes down to is, "is the official standard broken?"

There is no official standard because the W3C is not an authoritative body.
It can't issue parking tickets, ya know :-).


> <snip>

> > Particularly as I don't see sliced image layouts going away any time
> > soon, I fear that this divergence between our most compliant browsers
> > will make development more, not less, costly and complex.
>
> As I've already pointed out, I don't see why slices are necessary in
> tableless designs.  Period, end of paragraph, end of story.

That's you. You are at the elite pinnacle of your craft. Sadly, there are
probably a million folks around the world who like cute little rollover
images. It's easy to end a story only if you have absolute power or wish
everyone to believe what you believe. The web is big. It's uses are many.
But I fear that the *brand names* on this list are maybe a bit up in the
clouds. Perhaps a walk in the shoes of a young designer making an honest
living doing web sites for the local shops in his or her home town would be
good exercise. I think the issue is more *convergence*... and in a much
different context than you may think. We are in a little corner of the world
and maybe tend to magnify our importance a bit.

>
> > I also worry that it may negatively impact the already-slow adoption
> > of Mozilla/NN6, and could convince some clients and developers that
> > web standards are unnecessarily complicated and more trouble than
> > they're worth.
>
> That's a situation in which developers can make a difference, I think.
>
> If we conscientously develop for Netscape 6 (an easy enough task if you
> iterate carefully) and encourage its use by all of the end users we know,
> it could catch on.  (Yes, I will admit that the reality of catering to
> client expectations hasn't become much less time-consuming.)

Not in a hundred years. The onus is on Netscape to distribute its *product*.
We can only hope they succeed because it will be a fine product.

>
> But... there are still the memory leaks to worry about.  There's also the
> fact that folks practicing standards-compliant development are in the
> minority.  Though a tremendous amount of progress has been made in the
> past few years, much of it a direct result of your hard work.

I respect that work immensely, and the effort that's gone into it, but it...

Still sounds like a religion to me ;-)

Al Sparber- PVII
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