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From Christopher Bentley <>
Subject Re: Forrest HTML
Date Sun, 26 May 2002 08:04:50 GMT
On Sunday, May 26, 2002, at 03:14  PM, Robert Koberg wrote:

>> However, do we really need to know? Will browser and OS statistics
>> actually help us? I think not. Let us stick to the cleanest
>> (X)HTML code that we can manage with our powerful tools.
> Well the cleanest would be using CSS :) But the reason to check what 
> browsers the users actually use will tell us what browsers *need* to 
> look perfect. Those that fall into a certain low percentage and display 
> the page incorrectly are not considered in testing,  nor is time spent 
> on trying to make it work.

Hi Rob

My Requirements Docs  used to say "Must render and function Identically 
on IE5+ and Netscape 4.03+ on WIndow and Mac". They have been 
increasingly relaxed about the 'render Identically' part for about a 
year in regard to NS4.

CSS is not as scary as it used to be, IE5mac, IE6 Windows and all 
Mozilla variants have very nice solid support up through quite big 
chucks of CSS2 and IE5 Windows although quirky and non-complient is 
manageable in the most part and has pretty full CSS1.

I believe IE6 Windows use runs at around 60% in SME stats at present 
with IE5 Windows taking up most of the remainder, as I mentioned in my 
post "Cold sweat" your Users are likely to have scewed browser stats and 
it would be good to find out at least what that scew is if in fact it 

While the design I have seen will have no problem with a full on CSS2 
base build, it would however place you at the bleeding edge with all the 
pit falls of that place - would you be prepared to cope with the 
problems (and possible delays) that may arise in the UI.. the 
outstanding questions maybe.
  *will it scale to met all the requirements to Phase 3
* are there enough support people who have the CSS2 to maintain and 
advance such a build
* do you want to be an early adopter

I can't answer these questions, no one I know has ever implemented such 
a build in a commercial production of any scale- we are all waiting on 
Mozilla 1.0 to be released!.. but there has been some great work done 
over the last year to develop strategies to to deal with its arrival. 
There is a pent up desire both by clients and developers to move to this 
kind of build - myself included. for the following reasons;

The W3C recommend it
It leads to accessibility best practices
It is lightweight
It is future proof (I'm sure we've all heard that one before but at 
least IE 7 should'nt break it)
It will work 'out the box' better against a wider cross section of 
It may even work ;)

In the end Bert's view that he should center his design around Netscape 
4.08 may still remain the wisest for the obvious reasons not the least 
because he is the one prepared to do it and is most comfortable in that 
space. Also I sense a need for speed so adventures in the unknown could 
be nerve racking for some

The downside to a NS 4 centered design is that it will not aid you in 
keeping the UI lightweight, hack free or easily accessible.

But hey our Apache! at least think about outputing XHTML 1.0 
Transitional... its XML!


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