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Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Standard Platform?



Updated 2010-01-21
I have had time to try out 5 of the current top browsers and compare them in several aspects. Chrome & Safari are best. For developers/designers I think Safari wins, for basic users Chrome wins. Firefox comes in a very close 3rd. Opera is the "cool" toy of the bunch especially the voice component but it's CSS3 seams to be quirky. Finally IE8 which has fallen drastically from first to last n a few years. With the release of CSS3 Chrome, Safari and Netscape really rock. IE9 is going to support CSS3 but that will be a few months away. This blog has been customized specifically to take advantage of CSS3. There are numerous nice styling features you will not see if you are not using one of the top 3 browsers. One of the CSS3 features that could really help out display issues is the multi-column layout. It will allow applying different layouts very easily to accommodate displaying the same page on numerous different interfaces(something like having multiple XSLT files for one XML file but XSLT used html code where this is all within very simple CSS structures). The next few years should be very interesting... I expect Opera's voice interface(or similar) to become the rage. It actually works pretty good.

Updated 2009-10-27
We have new versions of all browsers, operating systems and just about everything else. Unfortunately we are in more mess than ever. Firefox(Netscape) has gained alot of ground but the real changes are the 3G mobile devices like iPhones. They mostly have their own version of some browser that simulates another browser ;( and they can rotate the screen. Screen sizes have gone crazy. Anything from 120X120px past 4120×3096px and new wide screens are everywhere. Even Mac’s are becoming more popular(about time).
If you want to talk about development platforms that is a whole other discussion.
The standard Computer web user….Current

  • Microsoft Windows(89%), Linux/Macintosh (11%)
  • Internet Explorer(40%+), FireFox(47%+), Other (13%+)
    • CSS
    • XML
    • DHTML
    • JavaScript

  • Supports 24 or 32 bits(display 16,777,216 different colors).(95%+)
  • Has at least 1024×768 screen resolution(87%+).
  • Has at least High Speed(80%+)

Updated 2001-06-08-merged from Standard User
We still have a lot of difficulties in web development but at least some of the issues have been
resolved on the PC client front. We will never have a 100% standard. This is
about as close as it gets. Of course other interfaces like WAP create a whole
new temporary issue(until 3G round 2).
The standard web user….

  • Microsoft Windows (95%+)
  • Internet Explorer Version 4.0+ (86%+)
    • CSS
    • XML
    • DHTML
    • JavaScript/VBScript

  • Supports high quality graphics(93%+)
  • Has at least 800×600 screen resolution(90%+).
  • Has at least 56kbs modem(82%+)
These stats are based on users that saw banner ads on millions of US sites.
You may have a site that caters to other configurations but anytime you have
better than 80% following the same standard it makes business sense to adopt
it.
On a future note the adoption of broadband access is growing very fast
where it is available. Eventually interactive video will become the standard
and we will be on to a totally different client interface.

Published 1997-09-25
Ya, right. Anyone that thinks that is dreaming. If you want to create an absolute minimal
page then it should work on any browser, but as soon as you want to do anything
cool you are into specific browser issues. It is now to a point that for a developer you
have to consider three browsers(Netscape®, Microsoft®, others)
with Microsoft® and Netscape® each having several versions that
all support different functions. Then you have to think about the different operating
systems like MAC, OS/2, Unix and Microsoft® Windows V***, again each with
their own supported functions for each browser.
What are the users settings? Do they have JavaScript enabled? What if they specify their
own fonts, background or other options?
After all that you still have to worry about screen resolution and browser window size.
My old site at one time had three views(one for each browser). In each view there was code
required to handle different operating systems and versions of each browser. Without this
I couldn’t show many functions available to the specific browser. I have now enhanced this
site to demonstrate IE version 4.
As for JAVA? Most companies making development tools(Symantec®, Microsoft®,
etc.) have added functions only available on a specific platform. Unfortunately without
these added functions JAVA is limited to the “sandbox”.
So what was that about standard platform????? Ya right.

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