Cross Browser Compatibility

Written by Michael Bloch

Sure, it looks great in Internet Explorer 6, but.....

A few years ago, there weren't many different versions of web browsers to choose from. Now there are dozens. Actually, there's over 100 different browsers, not counting different versions ofrepparttar same product. Quite a number of these names I had never heard of before - here's a list of browsers currently available:

1X, Act 10, ActiveBrowser, Active Worlds, Alice, Amaya, ANT Fresco, Arachne, AvantGo, AWeb-II, Beonex Communicator, Browse-X, Charon, Chimera, CipherNet, Clickgarden, CrystalPort, CubicEye, DocZilla, E:ID Frame, Encompass, Enigma, Escape, ezWAP, FairLighHTML Viewer, Fast Browser, Galeon, Go.Web, Grail, Grasshopper V1, Home Page Reader, HotJava, iBrowse, IBrowser, iBrowserPlus, iCab, ICE Browser, I-Comm, iConnecter, InfoScanner, Internet Explorer, IPowerPortal WebBrowser, KBrowser MIPS Edition, KBrowser Palm Edition, Kidnet Explorer, Klondike Web Browser, K-Meleon, Konqueror, Konqueror/Embedded, Links, Lynx, Lynx for Amiga, Micro Digital Browser, Mobile Explorer, Mozilla, MSN Explorer, Multilingual Mosaic, MultiWeb

but wait, there's more!......

Neoplanet, Nestor, Netcaptor, NetClue, NetPositive, NetRaider, Netscape, Net-Tamer, Newt's Cape, Nokia Wap Browser, oKID Browser, Oligo, OmniWeb, Openwave Mobile Browser, Opera, Orangotango VirtualBrowser, Oregano, Palmscape, Pendragon Browser, Pixo Internet Microbrowser, Planetweb browser, Pocket Browser, Palm Browser, Pocket IE, ProxiWeb, Q.Bati, RapidBrowser, Safexplorer, SlipKnot, SpeedSeek Portal Solution, SPIN, StarDesktop, TV Interactor, UltraBrowser, ViOS, Voyager, w3m, Wapaka, WAPman, Web, WebsterXL, WebPhace, WebTV, WeMedia Talking Browser, Whack Force, WWW/LX, XBrowser, Yalzer, Yoozee.

Choice is a wonderful thing, butrepparttar 134618 proliferation of browser software has also increased confusion in consumers as to what they should use. It also beenrepparttar 134619 major bugbear of web developers.

The good news for developers is thatrepparttar 134620 vast majority of web surfers use either Internet Explorer or Netscape - approximately 95%. The bad news is that there are over 200 flavours of Internet Explorer and Netscape. Web pages can look totally different betweenrepparttar 134621 different versions.

The common arguement used by web developers to avoid dealing with compatibility issues is that asrepparttar 134622 percentage of people using Netscape is relatively low, aroundrepparttar 134623 10% mark globally, - it isn't worthwhile taking those users into account. This is probably not a wise way approachrepparttar 134624 issue, especially for an ecommerce based site. 10% can make a big difference to your bottom line as it's not only Internet Explorer users who buy goods and services online.

You may be ofrepparttar 134625 opinion "my server logs show that only 5 percent of my visitors use Netscape, so I'm not going to bother too much about cross browser compatibility". Perhaps you would have more Netscape visitors by making some minor changes to your coding that would better present your web material to them. Netscape users also have a tendency to switch to IE from time to time. If they have had a bad experience on your site using Netscape, they may not even bother visiting it again under a different browser.

Even if you do target your site to a particular brand of browser; you then need to contend with different versions of that brand. For example; a site designed for IE5.5 may look different under IE4.

The simple solution is for everyone to upgrade their browser? True, but who are we to dictate what people use on their systems? Some people do not haverepparttar 134626 equipment capable to do this. The later versions of Internet Explorer demand massive system resources.

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has been battling for years for software companies to produce "compliant" browsers. The idea of compliancy, amongst other things, is to guarantee that a web page looksrepparttar 134627 same under any browser. Many browsers circulating now are not "compliant". Unfortunately,repparttar 134628 W3C has had an uphill battle in this but does seem to making some ground.

Independent Consultants Take Over Web Design

Written by Chris Kalaboukis

Whether you are a web designer, or have worked with web design vendors,repparttar web design business has changed greatly overrepparttar 134617 last few years. While there has been great change in this marketplace, there are a few main streams which are developing, most of which are positive trends forrepparttar 134618 independent web consultant.

Larger Fortune 500 firms now have handed most ofrepparttar 134619 responsibility for web work to their internal Information Technology (IT) depts. While marketing continues to have a say, IT will make most ofrepparttar 134620 vendor decisions. This is a shift which could be problematic for web design shops or individual consultants if they have traditionally dealt with marketing departments and maintained those relationships. Marketing and IT departments have traditionally been at odds within most companies. Many web design firms may not haverepparttar 134621 technical breadth and depth to be IT consultants; therefore they have never really built strong ties with IT. Since they have not built these ties, it becomes more difficult to gain business from IT departments. However, many independent consultants who moved intorepparttar 134622 web space do have an IT background, and therefore they can easily makerepparttar 134623 transition to becoming a consultant to an IT dept.

Asrepparttar 134624 web moves beyondrepparttar 134625 brochureware stage for these clients, as they provide more functionality; they are more and more intertwined with their legacy systems. As they become more connected torepparttar 134626 business systems,repparttar 134627 standard bearer of business systems, IT, becomes more involved. As IT becomes more involved, they will tend to turn torepparttar 134628 contractors they have been using: usually independent IT consultants or larger consulting firms which they may already have on board to do other IT consulting work.

The web is moving from medium to application. As it moves from medium to application,repparttar 134629 user experience becomes part of an application, as opposed torepparttar 134630 user experience being repparttar 134631 application. For example, whenrepparttar 134632 web was young,repparttar 134633 web was more of a medium: similar to TV and radio, it was not that interactive, and while there was some interactivity, this interactivity was usually not interconnected to core business practices. The look and feel,repparttar 134634 interface,repparttar 134635 ultimate user experience wasrepparttar 134636 goal to hit. In a few cases, there was a defined task flow whichrepparttar 134637 user could follow, but inrepparttar 134638 early days, users were more expected to explore than to be guided.

Now, asrepparttar 134639 web becomes more of an application,repparttar 134640 look and feel is not as important as being able to assistrepparttar 134641 user to completerepparttar 134642 task at hand, a skill which requires more than adept graphic design (which does help but is notrepparttar 134643 whole picture)

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