[thelist] Site redirect check : old browser

Mark Cheng mark.cheng at ranger.com.au
Tue Jun 5 23:06:01 CDT 2001

>-----Original Message-----
>From: thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org
>[mailto:thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org]On Behalf Of .jeff
>what's going to keep the redirect from kicking them back into the "browser
>compliance complaint" page or are you going to have two versions?

simple JS  to do a history check - if their previous hit was to the nobrows
page let them through, or maybe a cookie?  Haven't decided yet.

>  if two
>versions, then people are going to be passing around links to the text
>version to people that are likely capable of viewing your "standards
>compliant" version.  what then?  does that matter to you?

the text version is not a copy of the site.  It contains a couple of
documents -latest announcement etc.

>what's more, buttons should not be used as navigation -- that goes against
>accessibility guidelines.

I didn't know that - I'll change it. Thanks

>noble goal.  however, intertwining this goal with the wasp
>initiative is not

True, but seemed to be linked and people tend to take action more often if
you give them the perception they are falling behind in some way.

>if you were truly separating style from content (ie, storing the content in
>text files that were included or within a database) then you wouldn't need
>to go to the trouble of building two versions of the site.  on top of that,
>you could have specially tailored templates for the delivery of the content
>depending on the user agent requesting the page.

1) why do I need a backend database to separate style from content?  Does it
matter where the content sits?
2) there is only one version of the site.  the text only has a couple of
links in it to recent announcement and thats it.
3) the whole point of the redirect is so that I don't need complicated user
agent based delivery of the page.

>for example, it took me all of about an hour and a half to go through the
>process of "skinning" all of evolt.org for avantgo, an offline web service
>for palm users.

Not knowing anything about designing for palm, could I use a stylesheet that
specified images display:none (like the print one i have) and reset the
colors to normal to achieve the same effect?

>don't go for the same layout.  let older browsers view the page however the
>browser renders it.  just do your part to make sure it's still usable (ie,
>no black text on a black background) for older browsers.
The code was laid out so that the content should come pretty close to the
top for anything which doesn't deal with Css-P.  The problem is in the JS
navigation & DHTML.

>: I am coding beyond concern for older browsers (actually
>: opera 511 has probs with some of the code in the site
>: as well!).
>why?  they won't see the stylesheet for the document like newer browsers,
>but they shouldn't have any problem flowing some <div>-wrapped text in the
>window.  it may not look the same but it's accessible and usable.  in fact,
>before you had your redirect working properly i found the page to be more
>enjoyable in nn3 than i did in ie5.

opera won't reshow the page on a class swap, and doesn't redraw when
display:none is changed.  These are DHTML/DOM issues, not CSSP/CSS.

>: However, I care about those older browsers - enough so
>: that they don't try and render the "latest standards
>: compliant" site.
>what is there about the "latest standards compliant" site that is going to
>be problematic?  when responding to this please do so from your own
>experience, not from what you've read elsewhere.  if you can't think of
>anything, then maybe there really isn't as big of a problem as you think.

If the browser doesn't support getElementByID or some form of
attachEventListener, the nav, rollovers and expanding divs won't work in the
Ranger site.  Oh, it also has to actually display the object when the
display property is changed from none to block.

>: I don't want them to get JS errors
>javascript has nothing to do with w3c compliance.  it's a simple enough
>matter to make sure that older browsers don't get any javascript errors.

Actually, ECMA and DOM compliance is a w3c issue.  I can stop them from
getting errors, but they'll still have lower navigation abilities and no
DHTML if they don't support DOM.

>it's up to you the programmer to take the necessary measures to eliminate
>those problems.  this is not a valid excuse to use a redirect for older

I have - hence the redirect.  I am not going to litter my JS with hacks to
deal with document.all, document.layers and various other DHTML issues to
support old browsers.  A) Because I have no idea what the problems are; and
B) because I can't test anyway (I choose not to spend time downloading out
of date browsers)

By using DOM I've removed a lot of the mouseover and mouseout attributes
from the HTML which made the code much easier to read (and type!).  DOM
manipulation looks to be a really easy way to get some interactive effects
eg searches, dynamic pages client side etc.  I'm looking forward to
exploring that area.

>: If they don't want to upgrade their browsers
>: for free - I'm not forcing them to - they can
>: go to the text only site and get a subset of
>: the info available.
>are you really going to maintain two entirely separate versions of
>the site?

No, sorry I should have said the text only is just one page with a couple of
the latest releases.

> his point, imo, is that your site works fine for older
>remove that silly redirect - save everyone's time (yourself included).

One page does not this site make.  I need the redirect because without
DOM/ECMA support they won't be able to:
1) use 2nd level navigation
2) expand the images
3) expand drop down menus for press releases etc.

thats why I need the warning.  Aardvark's point was well made - by relying
on JS there is a hole in the redirect. someone sent me some PHP to do a
server side detect which is probably a better idea all round.

thanks for the comments jeff


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