Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to New OpenACS website - Please test!

Posted by Vadim Makarov on
I emailed Gilbert Wong privately yesterday with reasons to support NN 4.x, not seeing necessity to give them in this thread. Now that this discussion erupted, I feel compelled to repost my email here:

There are many reasons why people use old browsers. To name a few, let me mention my top 6:

1. Before release of Mozilla 1.0 (I've just checked it), there were NO modern browser except Netscape 4.x that would Save Page As... intact, as received from the server. IE ran the page source through an evil parser that completely rewrited everything, and even NN 6 replaced line break characters when saving.

2. Netscape has a more professional-geared interface (many things) for Web designers like me. You can conveniently study how other's pages are made, break out of frames, etc.

3. On a shared computer, you can't "just upgrade the browser". You get to use whatever happens to be installed there. This is very common at my university and whenever I travel.

4. If you do your design for Netscape 4.7, chances are it will work fine in any other browser, requiring at most minor tweaking. Opposite is not true.

5. You get accustomed to a particular interface and don't want to learn quirks of another one.

6. There is a feature in my IE installation that I could not uninstall. It goes through Chinese, Korean, etc. keyboard locales when I switch them, annoying the hell out of me. In Netscape, it's just EN - RU - EN... fine.

Yes, it takes time to get used to buggy rendering engine of NN 4.x (no kudos to Netscape here), but in fact almost every design CAN be done correctly in it.

I was glad to see that OpenACS folks did not adapt an arrogant "upgrade your browser" attitude, but were going to make the site fully compatible.

If I were considering a toolkit (of any serious software, for that matter) and its head site didn't look properly in my Netscape, it would be my last visit to it, automatically.

Developers and testers can download Netscape 4.7x from Netscape software archive and install it.