[thelist] Site redirect check : old browser

Mark Cheng mark.cheng at ranger.com.au
Tue Jun 5 21:46:31 CDT 2001

>oh yeah, look at that, there's no <form></form>... you really need
>to validate even your old browser page...  and while you're at it, it
>would be easier to validate if you had a DTD at the top of the page...
>you need to fix that...
>so why did you choose *not* to make that page standards-
>compliant?  and don't use the browser as an excuse...

Actually, I haven't got around to sorting out that page or the text page -
The content on the pages was just for eg/design purposes.  Thanks for the

>maybe i'm the only one who thinks this way, but sites like evolt.org
>are *completely* separating style from content... the data is
>wrapped into a template, and the articles contain no HTML other
>than structural HTML to mark-up the article... we changed
>templates and the whole thing was a new design... and we could
>slap a new template on there and it would be new again...
>so how is the style not separated from the content on evolt.org?

I didn't say it wasn't.  What I said was that I was looking for the benefits
of separating style from content.  As I have no backend skills whatsoever I
didn't need the complication of a backend template and sourcing the content
from a DB.  However, I achieved much the same effect with CSSP.  Why not a
table?  Because with CSSP I can move the design of all the pages just by
changing the stylesheet. I don't need to change my HTML at all.  That seemed
like a great idea to me.

> in fact, if it was truly
>separate, you should be able to slap a new template on that page
>and show us...

Actually, you can slap a new "template" on it - just insert a color change
(or a positioning change, or a font change) into a user stylesheet for
#content and mark it !important.

I'm looking forward (as in I'm eagerly awaiting - not "you are backward
looking")  to the day when we have a naming convention so that all content
is in a div id="content" or somesuch.  Then in my user stylesheet I can set
the preferences I want for the content (like moving it into the center of
the screen and blocking out ad banners :) ).

>with something like evolt.org, i can go in and select the content of
>an article in its entirity without getting any layout or styling
>information... i can't select the entire content of your copy without
>getting the <div>s used to lay it out... how is that separate?

Actually the Divs in the content are for emphasis, floating pictures etc.
Should we have those?  We could have had images inline, but these need to be
wide and high and would be a PITA if you were trying to read the text.   I
don't see a difference between <divs> in content and <a> or <strong> - you
are going to get that in content in most pages.

>> as a newbie, from my reading of various articles (including evolt and
>> A List Apart),  life is a lot simpler doing that than trying to get
>> the exact same layout on NN4x and ie, let alone anything before that.
>i'd argue that's just the easy way out... it's not as hard to do cross-
>browser development as most supporters of this approach
>purport... if you're trying to do major DHTML trickery, yeah, but
>otherwise i don't seem to be having that problem... and i'm cranking
>out lots of sites...

Absolutely - its the easy way out.  From my point of view, I had a couple of
months to get up to speed on HTML, CSS, Javascript, DOM so that I could put
this site together.  One of the first things was to select the browsers to
support - That was simple - anything with getElementById.  Why? - because it
made the javascript easier.

>and besides, if you are trying to get the *exact* same layout in NN
>and IE, you're missing the point... but now you've ensured you
>*can't* get the same layout, and shroud that failure under the
>argument of the WaSP initiative...  nah, sorry, that's too easy... i
>view it as a cop-out...

 I'm not trying to get the *exact* same layout.  I don't even have the box
model hack on most Divs in the CSS.  If you mean that I've ensured that I
can't get the same layout because I've used CSS-P - True.  I've explained
the reason for that above.  There is nothing complicated about that layout -
you could do it in a table easily.  But - the flexibility offered by CSS-P
to change it is a key thing that we wanted to keep.

I don't consider using the full potential of the standards available a
"failure" because I *can't* get the same layout in a browser that predates
the writing of the standards.  That's like saying no-one should produce wide
screen videos (haven't got a DVD :( ) because millions of TV's don't support
widescreen and get an ugly black band.  Whilst it costs money to upgrade a
TV, it costs nothing to upgrade a browser.

Basically, that is a user choice - I'm not shrouding my "failure" - I'm
pointing out to users who don't know/realise a simple fact.

>> I am coding beyond concern for older browsers (actually opera 511 has
>> probs with some of the code in the site as well!).  However, I care
>> about those older browsers - enough so that they don't try and render
>> the "latest standards compliant" site.  I don't want them to get JS
>how is that caring?  you've told them to bugger off... if you cared,
>you'd let *them* decide, not dictate to them...

I didn't tell them to bugger off - I point out a fact, give them options to
upgrade for free, give them an option to go in anyway and give them an
alternative.  They can decide.  The only thing I have taken away from the
user is the opportunity to hit this site with no warning about what may

>heh, if the JS worked and was conditionalized based on capability,
>you should have no such concerns... and if it weren't this non-
>tabled layout, would you even need any JS at all?  then wouldn't
>the older browsers be peachy, as well as new ones?  and couldn't
>it still be compliant?

Actually this discussion has made me realise that the issue with this site
is not the positioning - its the javascript.  I wrote the javascript using
DOM and getElementByID.  The nav menu, expanding divs and rollovers rely on
DOM support.  So - as long as I put in appropriate capability checking - and
a warning that some things won't work - I don't need a redirect.  I think
that I'll still keep it, but a wording change may be appropriate.

>actually, by the very points i've mentioned, they can't... think of all
>the time you're spending on this alternate page and the conditional
>code to handle it... think of the testing... wouldn't it have been
>easier to just create a simple tabled layout after all?  and since
>there's nothing terribly complex in this design, a simple table could
>have sufficed... (btw, i'm not altogether sure it's rendering in IE5 as
>you intended, the pictures are stacked in the upper left corner, and
>in content pages the headers are clipped)

You make it sound like so much work.  The conditional code is three lines.
The text only page is going to have 1 list, it's not a replica of the site.
Testing was confined to ie55, ns6, op5 win. (I don't have a mac, but I am
led to believe that there is a prob with the css - I'll look into that.)

As I said above, yes a simple table would have sufficed, but we wanted the

>btw, let's not forget that not everyone can upgrade their browsers...

Disagree - if you are referring to businesses, in today's e-world businesses
are more likely to upgrade faster than the general public. They need to to
maintain their information distribution systems.  (I used to work for
PricewaterhouseCoopers - their spending on knowledge management was vast.)

Everyone else can, just choose not to.

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