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Old Browsers

7/26 If you are using any of the Netscape version 4 or Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 or lower browsers you may start to have problems with this web site. The problem is the browser! It is time to upgrade to a modern, standards-compliant browser. The Internet “world” is now shifting from a war among browser vendors, trying to make their browser the standard, to webmasters that design web sites that comply with a set of standards established by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards are the Hypertext Mark Language Specification HTML 4.01, dated 24 December 1999, and the Cascading Style Sheet standards in CSS1 Recommendation and CSS2 Specification, dated 11 January 1999 and 12 May 1998, respectively.  They have been in place long enough now to be accepted by browser makers, webmasters, and readers alike.  As time goes on, the standards will more and more govern how web sites are designed and how they will behave.

I am rewriting the Digest to comply with these standards. Both Netscape and Internet Explorer (IE) version 6 and higher (and, for the most part, IE 5.5) are highly compliant with the standards and should work without a problem on this web site as it evolves.

So far this month, of the 405,291 pages requested from this web site, 203,454 pages have been requested by IE 6; 149,632 by IE 5.x; 4,118 by IE 4.x and below; 15,641 or about 4% by Netscape 4.x, and 3,569 by Netscape 6. Making a web site that complies with the standards and works 100% with Netscape 4.x is very difficult, if not impossible. I spent all last weekend trying to do that with this page, which I just shifted to HTML 4.01 and CSS1. It would be impossible with a full implementation of CSS2, which I would prefer and may do. Furthermore, Netscape 4.x has many known bugs (http://css.nu/pointers/bugs-nn.html), some of which can actually crash the browser when viewing a standards-compliant page; i.e., I can design an HTML page that can crash your browser--I've done it!  I hope that you understand that I cannot possibly spend 80% of my time trying to make a one-person web site with over 5,000 pages comply with the requirements of an obsolete browser used by 4% of my visitors. I prefer IE 6 as it seems to have fewer problems with non-compliant web sites. Netscape 6.2 will run on more operating systems. Here are the links to the browser downloads, which are FREE:

Internet Explorer


Please take the time to do it now. Thank you, Larry

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.