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Another way is to get SilverThingy from Sausage Software "Test Web pages in a number of screen configurations. Using either Internet Explorer or Netscape you are able to preview your Web pages in three popular screen resolutions (640 by 480, 800 by 600, 1024 by 768). This allows you to make certain your Web pages will look great on everyone's screens regardless of their settings!" http://www.sausage.com/supertoolz/web_utilities/stsilverthingy.ht ml
MSIE 5.x (70%) Netscape 4.x (14%) MSIE 4.x (9%) Netscape comp. (2%) MSIE 2.x (1%) Opera x.x (0%) MSIE 3.x (0%) Unknown (0%) Netscape 3.x (0%) Mozilla 5.x (0%) Netscape 2.x (0%) Netscape 1.x (0%)
The days of having to be absolutely pedantic about "cross-browser compatibility" are gone.
With a total of 79% of visitors able to see most or all of extra goodies that you can do, particularly with CSS, in IE 4 & 5, use 'em. Just take care that they are only "lost" on Netscape users and don't turn out looking funny.
Forms are my bug-bear. You can format neat little boxes to fit in small spaces in IE, then they take up half page in Netscape. I still have some to fix. If you design for MS IE, I'd advise you, from bitter experience, to take another look at yours.
Keep a copy of Netscape on your machine for testing as I do, or save heaps of HD space and pop along to http://www.anybrowser.com -- "Your Source for Browser Compatibility Verification".
Win 98 (69%) Win 95 (15%) Win NT (6%) Win 2000 (2%) Unknown (2%) Mac (1%) WebTV (1%) Unix (0%) Win 3.x (0%) Linux (0%) Amiga (0%) OS/2 (0%)
Nothing here we didn't know already! With only 1% of people using a Mac, you really have to make a decision. Do you really need to labour creating alternatives such as .pdf flavour eBooks or do you cater to vast majority and stick with .exe? Your call!
All you can conclude from this is that it is safe to use both these technologies. Whether you should or not is another matter!
If you MUST use Java, make sure you have a water-tight excuse and that you NEVER use it on your front page. I just hate having my browser crash moment I enter your site or waiting a week for your "bells and whistles" navigation to load before I can go anywhere. How much of your site will I surf? Yep, you guessed it!
If you design with this Mr/Ms. Average in mind, but just taking care not to completely upset any minority group, you'll come up with a happy-medium that makes for a good browsing experience for them and a heck of a lot less stress for you.
We could all use things that make life easier and that's no lie!
Pamela Heywood is webmistress of http://www.tucats-design.com - Building Your Online Business Instinctively. Subscribe to the weekly TuCats Mewsletter (sic) mailto:email@example.com and get regular FREE hints, tips, articles and resources.