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Re: AMSAT Website Redesign Available to the BB



At 02:08 PM 7/1/2004 +1200, you wrote:
>Hi Emily,
>
>Whatever Amsat-NA just achieved with the launch of ECHO,
>is well and truly undone with the re-design of the web site.
>
>First point is that my browser is mis-detected as Mozilla, it's not,
>it is Netscape.

Please send a bug report so we can determine the exact nature of the 
problem and include the browser identification we provide in the page.  If 
we can determine how your browser identifies itself, we can troubleshoot 
whether or not it should be excluded.  I apologize if our browser detection 
logic is not detecting your browser correctly - it happens, but without 
knowing how your browser identifies itself prohibits us from 
troubleshooting the problem. In the mean time please access the original 
site through the link at the bottom of the page.  It is still being maintained.

>Second point is that your suggestion that I should update my browser
>per your list is way off track.
>I have for a number of years been able to access and read 99.99% of
>the web pages on WWW, including Amsat's NA page, that changed
>now to 99.98%.

If there is a misdiagnosis, we will correct it.  We found one today, and it 
was resolved within 20 minutes.  We don't want to lock out users who are 
using browsers we should support.  Any browser that is HTML 4.01 and CSS 
1.0 compatible is being supported providing we know how to identify it.  So 
it is very important you include the information for us to troubleshoot 
your issue.

>Some of us have very good reasons to not use only operating systems,
>browsers and other software that has received the blessing of Microsoft.
>As a result we do not have the options to "upgrade", or even a wish
>to do so.

I understand that the decision to upgrade or not is a personal one and we 
support your decision to make it. However, the membership of AMSAT has 
given us a mandate to upgrade, and we are working hard to accommodate the 
99%+ users who are looking for a website that is more contemporary and 
indicative of AMSAT in the 21st century., and we reserve the right to 
provide them with the service they expect on a priority basis.  While we 
don't want to leave the .2 percent of users who may not upgrade browsers 
behind, we have to move forward according to the priorities of the 
membership.  In the mean time, we invite you to continue to use the 
original site while we make the modifications necessary for you to use the 
new site. There is a bookmark-able link at the bottom of the browser 
warning page that will help you locate it.

Just a bit of information you may like to know. We have not used any 
Microsoft software in the site and have done everything painstakingly 
possible to avoid doing so. I will go a step farther to say I personally 
would not volunteered to take on this enormous task if using Microsoft 
software was required.  I don't mean to appear to offend Microsoft, but 
there are better ways to do things and open source software is the route I 
have decided to personally support.  In the end, it wasn't my decision to 
make, but the management of AMSAT accepted my proposal in favour of open 
source software, and I am personally happier for it.

>Your priority of (the store, area 51), seems to me mis-directed, since it
>is not going to be visible till such time that Amsat-NA reverts to the WWW
>standard (99.99%), which appears to be HTML 3.0 / 4.0, and not "clever"
>style sheets, some form of java or cgi scripts.

With respect to Area 51, It is not my decision alone.  If you have a 
problem with our priorities please voice them to the members of AMSAT-NA, 
along with someone in management.  I'm just the developer and take my 
marching orders from the members and the management.  Complaining to me is 
not going to change anything since I do not make the decisions.

With respect to your statistics, please let's get some facts 
straight.  HTML 3.0 compatible browsers make up less than .9 percent of the 
web user base at this time ( Browser watch statistics, and ours show less 
than .3 percent of AMSAT.ORG users.)  I hope you will understand that these 
statistics drive how we ask volunteers to contribute time and are behind 
the decisions we have made.  We use only open source components, and are 
HTML 4.01 and CSS 1.0 compatible.  We have painstakingly tested this and 
the very few complaints have been either unfounded, a bug in the browser 
detection logic which was quickly fixed, or were not reproducible.  Testing 
consumed more person-hours than developing the site itself and we did have 
focus groups to guide our decisions.

We at AMSAT apologize if you are experiencing a temporary "loss of signal" 
but we do intend to eventually accommodate users of older browsers in 
time.  We have been developing conditional style sheets, and are in the 
process of testing them so that they will render acceptably across the 1700 
odd pages that comprise the site.  It won't happen tomorrow and we can't 
guarantee all parts of the site will be accessible to you without rendering 
errors.  However it will happen in time, which is why we provide you access 
to the original site, which is being maintained.

Please be patient - we will announce this when the new access rules are 
ready for prime time.

73,

Emily

---------------------------------
W0EEC - CM87tm
AMSAT Area Coordinator - San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.projectoscar.net    http://www.PlanetEmily.com 
http://www.experthams.net/ao7

Help Launch Echo - http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/echo/index.html
---------------------------------  

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