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Re: Netscape 4.79 Unblocked



Thanks Emily for all the hard work..

I hope this e-mail shows some of those with "dug in heels" what it costs to support outdated web browsers.

On a related note.. I have successfully installed firefox and mozilla on a P166 with 32MB ram here at work running windows 98se.  Have used it on and off for the last few hours, and it seems to be working fine.  As far as hardware goes, it really doesnt get more outdated than that.

If you were using MS specific code and required users to be on Internet Explorer, I would be throwing stones at you too.. but I think throwing stones at you for requiring a web browser made in this millenium is just insane.

After I am done checking the site with Mosaic 3.0, I will get back to ya.

Danny
KE4RAP

Friday, July 2, 2004, 2:52:31 PM, you wrote:


EC> As of 09:00 PDT this morning the site was opened for Netscape 4.x users
EC> (and for all users for that matter.)  If you are using a version of
EC> Netscape prior to NS 4.79 we still advise you to upgrade to 4.79 as the
EC> site is untested with the 30 or so versions of NS that came out before
EC> 4.79.  Bugs that are evident in Netscape will not be investigated on a
EC> priority basis unless they are totally blocking access to the site and can
EC> be reproduced in 4.79.

EC> I would like to explain why we blocked the site previously, what we did to
EC> work around the problem, and what the cost to the users of the website will be.

EC> Why we blocked the site
EC> --------------------------------------
EC> Netscape versions prior to version 6 have a document object model (DOM)
EC> that is not compatible with the W3C HTML 4.0 DOM.  Netscape dug in it's
EC> heels and refused to change their DOM in a rush to market to get Version
EC> 4.0 out on the market.  This resulted in a number of bugs, five of which
EC> were very nasty bugs that affected the AMSAT website design.  These were:
EC> 1) Uneven table sizes that resulted in ridiculously long lines of text.
EC> 2) Failure to permit subclassing anchor tags with a CSS style and failure
EC> to ignore the tag, rendering links unusable.
EC> 3) Bleed through of the backgrounds into other page elements that are
EC> embedded in them rendering them unreadable.  For example, a table that has
EC> no background will show replicate the page background rather than the
EC> default colour.
EC> 4) Inactive rollovers
EC> 5) Failure to display the proper borders and margins specified in the style
EC> sheet.

EC> Because of this, we felt it better to wait to put the fixes into the site
EC> in a timely manner,  after thorough testing, rather than take the risk of
EC> making the site unstable.  However, we have now implemented the fixes.


EC> What we needed to do
EC> ---------------------------------
EC> 1) We had to put in about 200 lines of conditional code.
EC> 2) We had to rewrite all the header and footer files for conditional
EC> layouts, which are now bloated to twice their previous size.
EC> 3) We had to reformat tables that contained images and add additional
EC> tables to hold things that were previously children of the primary table
EC> structure.


EC> What it cost in terms of site impact
EC> ----------------------------------------------------
EC> 1) While this is tested and we feel confident that it is somewhat stable,
EC> destabilizing bugs may still exist in the site because of the lack of
EC> thorough testing.  These may affect the 99.8% of users with supported
EC> browsers as well as Netscape users.
EC> 2) Because the back end server must now do more conditional processing, the
EC> speed at which the server delivers pages may be slower, depending on the
EC> load.  This will affect the 99.8% of users with supported browsers as well
EC> as Netscape users.
EC> 3) These changes came at the expense of progress on the RSS feed, site-wide
EC> keyword search engine and the Echo telemetry upload page.  We won't return
EC> to work on those until Tuesday.
EC> 4) 12 hours of design and programming time and an additional 18 hours of
EC> testing.


EC> What it may cost in the future
EC> -------------------------------------------
EC> In the future, all users may experience delays in seeing updates because of
EC> the need to test everything twice.  In the past we identified Firefox as
EC> the browser that would be likely to experience incompatibility so we used
EC> that for testing.  Now we will have to test with both Firefox and 
EC> Navigator.  Twice the testing time = twice the amount of time between when
EC> we receive an update and when we can deploy it.


EC> What it cost to me personally
EC> --------------------------------------------
EC> On a personal note this also came at the expense of having to turn away
EC> work from a paying client that I may or may not get back.  I do not get
EC> paid for working on the AMSAT website so this cost was real and came close
EC> to 1100$US in lost wages.


EC> So everything is unblocked, right?
EC> --------------------------------------------------
EC> The 0.2% of you who are still using Netscape 4.x browsers are no longer
EC> blocked - as they say, you are now free to roam wherever you feel you would
EC> like.  The site will also serve up the Netscape 4.x version of the page to
EC> any browser it cannot detect is HTML 4.0/CSS 1.0 compatible.

EC> We do not know the status of WebTV - we apparently have one user who is
EC> using it.  At the present time WebTV clients, as well as any other client
EC> we can't identify will see the NS4 formatted page.  In the process of
EC> researching WebTV browser compatibility with only marginal success, we
EC> noted an overwhelming number of sites block WebTV. We will not block it,
EC> but we do not have any way of testing with it, so whether it works or not
EC> is speculative at this time.

EC> If you missed the earlier announcement, Lynx is also unblocked.  That
EC> change happened at approximately 7am PDT Thursday morning.  Lynx is running
EC> off the HTML4/CSS1 model - if someone who has a lot of experience working
EC> with Lynx (as a web developer, not as a user) has an opinion about whether
EC> it should be served that page, or the NS4 page, please let me know.

EC> Please use the category "Netscape 4.x Browser Issue" or "Lynx Browser
EC> Issue" when reporting bugs if you are using those browsers.  We will not
EC> address any of these until Tuesday at the earliest.

EC> 73,

EC> Emily


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

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

EC> ----
EC> Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
EC> Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
EC> To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org



-- 

Danny



----
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