Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: OpenACS home page CRASHES Netscape

Posted by Vadim Makarov on
Developers are not using WebTV, but the users who visit their sites are. I just wanted to point out there are current browsers that don't support css; not a big percent but some. The design from our home page will be copied by developers and is likely to eventually proliferate into packages. It needs be a good example.

It's common to have browser window that's not taking the whole screen. IE spawns non-maximized windows by default, and users may occasionally want to tile two windows side-by-side. We may occasionally have a long_non_breakable_word_in_the_columns (for example, a forum topic with some long variable name in it). Pages really should work gracefully at any window width. Finally, what about possible portable devices with small screens, we don't want to support them? It looks like the layout falling apart at smaller widths is an expected behaviour of this css layout, no? It better be fixed either by changing css or by switching to using a table for column layout. I like tables as they seem to be more robust if a bit inflexible from programmer's standpoint. I can try to make it if you think this won't break some overall concept.

Posted by Bernd Eidenschink on
Hm. Don't even think about starting to support _all_ of these "channels". The moment you are using Javascript and CSS you are usually lost, but nevertheless they are an important help in increasing positive site experience and usability.

Very often non-web-savy people critizise web frontends (they are allowed to do!) and not using any technology that lies around to support them and is called "standard" would be a shame.

The human resources you need to distribute your content to all that hype or not hype targets are tremendous, it's definitely not done with fixing some tables. You need specialists for every channel or days and weeks of research. Browsers are enough for that battle, imho. You know that one page in XY browser version Z can look differently on the same browser and version just on a different operating system due to different implementations. And you know that Javascript support can change from subversion 4.6 to 4.7 or even 4.6a to 4.6b. So with CSS. It's simply not worth to claim that product X (e.g. OpenACS) delivers browser independent markup.

Maybe the current discussion is just a natural consequence of the style and layout change / efforts. Also it's ok that Vadim originally notified the community that NN4.7 crashes. But, imho, supporting WebTV, Konqueror, Netscape, Mozilla, IE, Opera, and of course, Lynx (both, the one with and without color and frame support, of course), maybe WML, Users that life in the 640x480 world (256 colors) ... that is really the job of the people deploying the toolkit in a real project.

my 5 cent.