[thelist] Browser support, drawing a pragmatic line in the sand.

Ian Anderson ian at zstudio.co.uk
Mon May 1 11:00:39 CDT 2006

Tony Crockford wrote:

> but that offers "support" on browsers that may be uneconomic and isn't 
> clear on what exactly partially supported means in laymen's terms - 
> "content must work", might be interpreted as "looks the same"

This is the central issue. Most non-web designers assume that
"supported" means "look the same". In fact, a lot of web designers do too.

I think wherever you draw the lines, you need to be clear about the
differences between visual consistency, access to content and core
functionality, and complementary layers of
functionality/interaction/behaviour like scriptaculous UI effects or
AJAX functionality.

I visualise it in concentric circles, with the primary design cases ( I
agree Windows IE, Firefox and Safari) at the centre, other good browsers
like Opera in the middle tier with older versions of IE perhaps, and
then legacy or non-mainstream browsers, and mobile clients in the outside.

Perhaps a diagram like this with a sample screen shot for each ring
showing a sample rendering of a given page would get the message across.
For instance, in the outside ring, there might be a picture of NN4 just
showing plain unformatted content.

I'd be inclined to put Opera 8 or higher into the centre circle,

I'd also argue for hiding all css from the third circle, or supplying
nothing more than minimal formatting like font face and some margin on
the body.

Hope this helps


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