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Are 99.9% of Websites Obsolete?

CmdrTaco posted about 12 years ago | from the nah-its-just-us dept.

The Internet 546

citizenkeller writes "Zeldman is at it again: " Though their owners and managers may not know it yet, 99.9% of all websites are obsolete. These sites may look and work all right in mainstream, desktop browsers whose names end in the numbers 4 or 5. But outside these fault-tolerant environments, the symptoms of disease and decay have already started to appear.""

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546 comments

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First page lenthening post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237554)

Courtesy of Klerck

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happen s

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

p eople

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PA GE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

w ish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

do nt

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

tho se

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

be cause

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lam eness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

hav e

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

suc ks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

t his

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesn t

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

l ike

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

m uch

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

l ine

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

cert ainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WI DENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

ar e

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

pe r

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

fi lter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

m any

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

peo ple

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wis h

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

beca use

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lamen ess

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

so me

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

th ere

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

thi s

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

be ginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

lik e

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

muc h

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

u sed

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

wo rry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

t hat

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

lin e

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

p eople

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certai nly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

T his

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDE NING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

ar e

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

pe r

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

fi lter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

m any

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

peo ple

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wis h

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

beca use

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lamen ess

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

so me

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

th ere

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

thi s

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

be ginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

lik e

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

muc h

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

u sed

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

wo rry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

t hat

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

lin e

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

p eople

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certai nly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

T his

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDE NING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narr ow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

y ou

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

f ilter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enoug h

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

la me

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

who le

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

beginnin g

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wid e

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

coo ler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

t o

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

a bout

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

y ou

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

tha t

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

h ave

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeat er

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

h ope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

i s

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

page s

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pa ges

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

do nt

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

cha raters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

la meness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wond er

how

many

people

will

read

this

whole

co mment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

beginning

bec ause

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

ar e

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

pe r

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

fi lter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

m any

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

peo ple

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wis h

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

beca use

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lamen ess

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

so me

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

th ere

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

thi s

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

be ginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

lik e

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

muc h

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

u sed

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

wo rry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

t hat

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

lin e

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

p eople

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certai nly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

T his

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDE NING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

ar e

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

pe r

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

fi lter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

m any

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

peo ple

This

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wis h

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

beca use

you

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lamen ess

filter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

so me

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

th ere

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

thi s

whole

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

be ginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

lik e

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

muc h

cooler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

u sed

to

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

wo rry

about

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

t hat

you

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

lin e

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

p eople

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certai nly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

T his

is

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDE NING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

than

those

narr ow

pages

you

are

used

to

reading

because

y ou

dont

have

to

worry

about

the

lameness

f ilter

telling

you

that

you

don't

have

enoug h

charaters

per

line

that

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

have

to

put

some

la me

lameness

filter

defeater

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

who le

comment

I

certainly

hope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

is

just

the

beginnin g

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wid e

pages

I

wish

all

pages

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

coo ler

than

those

narrow

pages

you

are

used

t o

reading

because

you

dont

have

to

worry

a bout

the

lameness

filter

telling

you

that

y ou

don't

have

enough

charaters

per

line

tha t

really

sucks

when

that

happens

and

you

h ave

to

put

some

lame

lameness

filter

defeat er

text

in

there

i

wonder

how

many

people

will

read

this

whole

comment

I

certainly

h ope

it

doesnt

annoy

too

many

people

This

i s

just

the

beginning

because

PAGE

WIDENING

IS

BACK

I

like

wide

pages

I

wish

all

page s

could

be

as

wide

as

this

dont

you

wide

pages

are

much

cooler

Re:First page lenthening post! (-1)

microsoft.CLIT (589336) | about 12 years ago | (#4237715)

that was brillent my good friend.

I disagree! (0, Offtopic)

LordYUK (552359) | about 12 years ago | (#4237556)

Just check out the Awful Link of the Day at www.somethingawful.com and you'll see that those numbers are far lower than 99.9%!

Jay-Z (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237557)

h to the goatse
v to the penis bird
fo shizzle my tubgirl widen the page

Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237563)

Slashdot does a good job of making websites obsolete for a good week after something has been slashdotted. You should really think about incorporating a caching system so that you do not take the original site down...

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237686)

How many times does this issue need to be addressed?

You don't win a prize for being the 1,000,000th slashbot to point out that a caching system might be in order.

Posting your suggestion here doesn't help, either.

So please fuck off.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237812)

Let me get this striaght... he sez:

- people who adopt IE only standards are stupid because the piss away 25% of potential users.

- people should abandon older standards for W3C

What is logically inconsistant about those two statements?

Authors want and write backwards compatibility in order not to piss off the friggin users who use older browsers! Get a clue pill dude.

Whatever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237564)

98% of dogsleds dogs choose spiffy brand dog chow. Bringing dogs and processed pork products together. ...Whatever

Figures.... (2, Interesting)

inf0rmer (545195) | about 12 years ago | (#4237566)

I think this percentage of the web sites that Iv'e developed over the years are obsolete. It's nothing to do with bad design - the owners of the site don't bother to use them effectively any longer and content becomes... obsolete.

Re:Figures.... (1)

Markgor (413027) | about 12 years ago | (#4237629)

I agree about mismanagement of content. I was responsible for the development of a spiffy website for a telecom equipment company until i was laid off a year ago. i've taken a look at my handiwork every once in a while to see what's been happening since, only to find that not much has happened at all because the news is still the same as when i left. how sad.

Re:Figures.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237774)

You remind me of Lassie, right? I'll bet you think that prostitutes
are uncouth. I've never heard anything as ridiculous as the idea that
the world is full of Volkeswagen drivers. It takes a "as uneducated
as a system call" SysThug Volkeswagen driver like you to say that Gorbachev
was black. You have a over-educated pager, right?

It's well known that Italian people are uneducated, despite the fact
that Windoze'95 is a marginally uncouth operating system. You're probably
feminist yourself. Only a wimp like you would say that people are
dying every day. I've never heard anything as ridiculous as the idea
that too many rude people are very crass. Let me tell you something,
you sexist, the more copyrights you have the better.

JFK told me that dead people are over-educated despite the fact that
you can never have enough keyboards! Save the laptops! How can you
say that you remind me of Heidegger? The National Enquirer is always
right, huh? Sadist!

You can always blame the poors. Your worthlessness reminds me of
a religion. Did you know that the UNIX kernel source listing said
"it's fun to be seriously crass". Why, are you a peasant? You must
be a real idiot to think that your wood-burning stove is great.

Only a Volkeswagen driver like you would say that not enough criminal
people are utterly, utterly primitive. I firmly believe that religious
people are all uncouth and rude SysThugs. Did you know that the US
Constitution said "laptops are fun". Do you realise that life is lack
of common decency? I can't believe how bloated you are.

Let me tell you something, you lousy rat, it's OK to run down tax-evading
people. Very disgusting and improper white goof! A survey in the
Window's 95 manual said that 100% of young people believe that all
Irish dudes should get laptops! You must be a real weakling to think
that Castro killed Lassie. Groups of white people are involved, huh?

Furthermore, you whimpering scumbag, mentally retardeds are inherently
superior to crazys. Too many Chinese people are diminished unpleasant,
right? You can always blame the mentally retardeds. They say "The
Government published a report in the US Constitution saying that working
people are all nasty because nothing lasts forever and there are too
many nukes in the world (of course the SigGraph papers committee believes
that they can't spray paint that small (and some people even think
that they don't have venereal diseases!)!) (of course the military
believes that there are too many whites in this country (and there
are too many funny-lookings in this country (and Hitler wouldn't have
done it!!)!!)!) (and some people even think that there are enough computers
already!)." - but I don't believe it. You're a typical dead person,
totally over-educated.

I have many gay friends. Man, wasn't it Superman who said that there's
a Amiga inside Lassie's brain? What we need is more cardboard cut-outs!

You know, you remind me of Maggie Thatcher. I'll bet you think that
Lassie's nukes are depressing.

I can't believe how dumb you are. Let me tell you something, you
fascist, all criminal dudes should get Amigas. You're a typical unborn
person, totally unpleasant. I can't believe how bloated you are.

You know, nukes are fun.

Only a wally like you would say that the abusive culture is fascinating.

A survey in the US Constitution said that 13% of religious people
believe that tax-evading people are all ignorant because they don't
know how! Too many working people are utterly phoney, right? I firmly
believe that every fascist person is a beast, because crazy people
are all disgusting and primitive because they're too racist. You're
a typical religious person, totally abusive.

You have the ignorance of a SysThug. No lawyers! No nukes! Wasn't
it Ren and Stimpy who said that The Pope's ghost is living in your
prostitute? Did you know that the New Statesman said "Gadaffi was
Polish".

Furthermore, you whimpering scumbag, breathing causes cancer. Most
loonie people have software licenses, huh? Ban right-wing death squads!

I can't believe how ignorant you are. Mick Jagger's total absence
of compassion is superficial, right?

Don't you realise that all Puerto-Rican dudes should get lawyers?

Sadist wally! Save the sexual fantasys! They say "man, how can
you be so uncouth?" - but I don't believe it. No overly lousy wood-burning
stoves!

You're a typical Puerto-Rican person, totally malignant. I don't
want to hear about your wood-burning stove. Did you know that the
Playboy Magazine said "every lesbian person is a moron". Furthermore,
you dogmatist, too many gay people are minimally stupid. You're always
totally wrong.

I have many loonie friends. You know, the Martians are coming.

You disgusting rude beast! You must be a real peasant to think that
the more mental problems you have the better. They say "The SigGraph
papers committee published a report in the UNIX kernel source listing
saying that rich people are abusive despite the fact that there are
enough loonies already." - but I don't believe it.

Let me tell you something, you goof, I was Ren and Stimpy in an earlier
incarnation. A survey in the New York Times said that 32% of Polish
people believe that Caesar's abusive selfish and "as disgusting as
a vegetable" obsession and lousy spelling or total absence of ignorance
is over-educated! Why, are you a jerk? So, my pager is pretty good?

What we need is more JFK's system calls!

I couldn't care less about your Pentium. Don't you realise that
the Martians are coming? You can always blame the olds. It takes
a underpriviledged ignoramus like you to say that underpriviledged
people are selfish. You're a typical religious person, totally sadistic.

What we need is more mouse pads! You have the idiocy of a Sports
section-reader. The feminist culture is fascinating, right? Furthermore,
you slimebag, Einstein is communist. I can't believe how nasty you
are.

JFK told me that your disease is great! Gorbachev told me that Lassie
was homosexual! You're a typical communist person, totally sick.

I have many Irish friends. You perverted funny-looking wally!

Stupid funny-looking slimebag fascist! You extremely depressing
young slimebag! You have the fanaticism of a sexist. How can you
be so superficial? It's well known that the Journal of Ceramics in
Industry is always right.

Blinkers (2, Troll)

Zemran (3101) | about 12 years ago | (#4237576)

It seems like someone has finally noticed that if you do not test your site using a wide range of browsers you do not know how your page is going to look... To most of us this problem is obvious.

Re:Blinkers (1)

wandernotlost (444769) | about 12 years ago | (#4237925)

> It seems like someone has finally noticed that if you do not test your site using a wide range of browsers you do not know how your page is going to look... To most of us this problem is obvious.

Not to disagree, but I think the point is that a lot of people build sites using bad HTML, then test on the major browsers to verify that it works. That doesn't prevent the fragile coding that is so prevalent these days. What they really should be doing is using standard logical markup, and adulterating that with CSS to influence layout. They also should disavow themselves of the notion that they can control every pixel of the layout. To try to control layout definitively is to miss the point of the web.

YEAH I agree (3, Interesting)

RembrandtX (240864) | about 12 years ago | (#4237582)

I cant even keep OUR damn site up and compliant.

It worked in all the current browsers a year ago.
but with IE 6 and the new netscape coming out - you would *THINK* there would be backwards compatability.

However, I get e-mails all the time from things that are now 'suddenly' broke.
And after verifying what browser/etc the user encountered this error with - amazingly enough .. pages that work with older browsers - are choking up the newer ones.

*go figure*

Re:YEAH I agree (2)

Elbereth (58257) | about 12 years ago | (#4237617)

I don't see how that's possible, since you're using standard HTML. Wow. Maybe your web site got sucked into an alternate dimension where HTML versions are not backwards compatible?

correction .. company website (5, Interesting)

RembrandtX (240864) | about 12 years ago | (#4237709)

Correction .. I mean to say my employer's website, which uses asp/javascript/VB

{and technically .. my personal website uses PHP .which is just getting parsed into html for your browser}

however .. if you would read the article .. even basic HTML can be corrupted ..

IE 5.5 will support nested tables up to 7 in depth. Netscape 6 will only support up to 4 in depth.

Netscape 4.7 does not require quotes around 'field' tags like width or height.
Netscape 6.0 can do unusual things if they are not there.

the problem (as stated in the article) is that becuase of the past 'browser wars' fighting for dominance .. previous incarnations of browsers tolerated (and corrected) sloppy html.

Now that everyone is trying (or at least saying they are) getting on the w3 bandwagon. These little 'faults' are starting to cause errors.

And since the vast majority of web pusblishers and early adopters out there have not received *formal* training in html [I for example .. got my CS degree in 1994 .. i never even learned visual basic in college] they are/were not always *aware* of things that html 'requires' but the browsers let them get away with.

5 years of bad habits become 2nd nature.

sorry for the confusion.

Re:correction .. company website (2)

Elbereth (58257) | about 12 years ago | (#4237808)

Yeah, I know what you mean. Most of the time, the problem is with the browsers, though. When you allow yourself to compromise for the sake of compatibility with poorly designed browsers, this is exactly what happens.

Granted, sometimes it's unavoidable, since backward compatibility can't be maintained. In this case, the problem is with standard HTML. However, when the HTML is standard, it's a bug in the browser, which needs to be addressed.

Just because void main{} can compile doesn't mean it's right.

Re:correction .. company website (2)

cliveholloway (132299) | about 12 years ago | (#4237972)

You know, adding a DTD, defining character encoding and validating your HTML [w3.org] would probably help quite a bit.

They're called standards for a reason.

.02

cLive ;-)

Re:correction .. company website (2)

shren (134692) | about 12 years ago | (#4237992)

because there are so many to choose from?

Re:YEAH I agree (3, Insightful)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 12 years ago | (#4237681)

I cant even keep OUR damn site up and compliant.

It worked in all the current browsers a year ago. but with IE 6 and the new netscape coming out - you would *THINK* there would be backwards compatability.

If you had written to the standards instead of just hacking something together until it worked in IE/NS $CURRENTVERSION, odds are pretty good that you wouldn't have this problem now.

Re: Backwards vs. Forwards Compatibility (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about 12 years ago | (#4237698)

It worked in all the current browsers a year ago. but with IE 6 and the new netscape coming out - you would *THINK* there would be backwards compatability.
You have backwards and forwards compatibility mixed up.

Backwards compatibility means it works in older browsers. As Zeldman mentions, it always has some cutoff point, such as Netscape 3 or IE 2.

Forwards compatibility means that it works in newer browsers. There is not necessarily any cutoff point, as long as you have constructed the website correctly. Structural problems and other typos in the HTML, proprietary and deprecated tags, and versioning can all limit the forward compatibility of the page.

Read the article and you'll see that Zeldman is arguing that web designers should be developing with forwards compatiblity in mind. Unsurprisingly, yours is one of the 99.9% of all sites that have not.

Re: Backwards vs. Forwards Compatibility (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237907)

He made no such mistake. He places the burden of interoperability on the producers of the software, not the designers of the sites. You place the burden on the designers, not the producers. From his perspective, the software companies should make sure that their software does not make unnecessary deviations from standard, thus breaking older sites. You think that the designers should predict change and design their sites to take this into account.

I don't know which philosophy is more unreasonable.

Forwards Compatibility? How? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237959)

I know the past. I can look up the past. Since I'm not psychic, I CANNOT know the future.

A page written to W3C guidelines in 1997 should work as well (or better) in a brand new browser as it did in a 1997 browser.

I write for the lowest common denominator possible while staying as W3C compliant as possible.

If I need something not supported in an earlier standard I use a later one.

Backward compatible is easy- just write to old specs. If a browser won't render properly written code, that's the user's fault for choosing internet explorer.

Forward compatibility is impossible, and you would be stupid to even try. If an old tag works, use it. Only use the new tags when you can find no old tag that does what you want it to.

solution: report 99.9 % of browsers is windows. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | about 12 years ago | (#4237898)

The solution is simple: make it render only ok in ineternet explorer(use user agent detection scripts for this). Then report to Management that 99.9% of the user use internet explorer, so there
is no need to update the layout.

even some
websites recomment coding for the main [deben.net] browsers.

Unless the wireless browsers break trough, this will stay this way.

newcomers browsers will fake the User-agent field because they will not be allowed (full)acces any other way.

This is just a book advertisement. (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 12 years ago | (#4237588)

It's not even a review. The "sample chapter" presented features such nice conflicts as: web pages that are HTML 1.0 compliant waste bandwidth vs. web pages that are written for IE only turn away 25% of their viewers.

Near as I can figure out, he's claiming "the web is broken, don't bother."

The book looks broken. Don't bother.

Re:This is just a book advertisement. (2)

kwashiorkor (105138) | about 12 years ago | (#4237693)

Have to agree.

HTML. Broken. Yadda yadda yadda. Design. Content. Seperation. Blah blah blah.

Relying on HTML to solve these problems is outdated. We have back-end scripts used to deliver cutomized presentations depending on the browser used to visit the site.

But I guess this is obvious to most of the horde of /. readers.

Re:This is just a book advertisement. (0, Flamebait)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 12 years ago | (#4237760)


You have a separate back-end script for every single browser that exists? No, I didn't think so.

Attractive vs Compatible (1)

Komrade S. (604620) | about 12 years ago | (#4237595)

By today's standards I guess it comes down to whether you want an attractive site or a compatible site. Guess which one Slashdot chose.

I'm a devout CSS advocate in that it's taking web designer down a simpler route that hopefully won't get as convoluted as mainstream HTML has (So long and thanks for all the iFrames, Microsoft).

Let me qualify... (4, Funny)

digital_milo (212475) | about 12 years ago | (#4237597)

If by "obsolete" you mean "porn", then I'd have to agree with you.

Frickin' idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237601)

I very much doubt that the 99.9% of the web in question is old (ie pre-3.2) HTMLthat has been obsoleted by the introduction of more recent standards.

At a guess, it's because 99.9% of the web is created with Front Page or similar, that don't create standards-compliant HTML. When will people learn to Use The Fucking Validator [w3.org] ?

Author confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237603)

Why tout bleeding-edge markup when the very technology that makes pages accessable is often itself a generation behind?

Also, non-exclusively targetting pages towards the dominant browser maximizes returns, so why is this a bad thing?

Back in Reality... (5, Insightful)

alexhmit01 (104757) | about 12 years ago | (#4237605)

You can read the Webmaster World [webmasterworld.com] article, "XHTML -- is now the time? [webmasterworld.com] " if you want to read a debate among professionals. There are many pros, primarily developers of small sites, that are advocating dropping NN 4 for XHTML Strict and CSS, but most developers aren't going that route.

They are developing XHTML 1.0 trans or HTML 4.01, maybe adding CSS to go foward. NN4 will be around for a while, and few people are willing to write them off simply to appease the standards gods.

In the real world, we build sites for human composition. We separate content from display with our databases and content management. HTML may be an inefficient way to get the data to the browser (XML+XSLT would be ideal, XHTML+CSS would be easier on the browser), but it works. The browser parsers are done.

Sure XHTML+CSS is easier on the browser, and that may help rendering issues. However, the reality is that old browsers will be with us for a while. Maybe in 5 years this will matter, but not until then.

Alex

Re:Back in Reality... (5, Interesting)

jilles (20976) | about 12 years ago | (#4237825)

XHTML strict by itself renders quite nicely in older browsers. It's CSS that causes the problems. If you adhere to the standards and do some positioning, etc. You are likely to encounter problems in almost all browsers other than Mozilla. It is really frustrating to tweak your CSS to do what you want it to do and have it work on all major browsers.

For my own sites I simply don't care about older browsers. I provide alternative CSS files (with basically all layout stripped) that should work in netscape 4 (haven't actually tested this). Aside from that there's only IE6 and mozilla for me. I develop for Mozilla and remove everything that doesn't work as specified in IE6. I refuse to do browser detection or to use CSS hacks to get stuff working. Some people advocate such hacks to trick IE into the right behavior but I refuse to sacrifice elegance and simplicity. That is also the reason I use XHTML strict. XHTML strict is much easier to maintain than HTML dialects that are polluted with formatting and other bullshit.

Giving netscape 4 users a bad experience may actually stimulate them to install something else. If enough sites ignore netscape 4, maybe it will be abandoned by users. On most platforms there are now good alternatives (e.g. opera performs better than netscape 4.x on win32).

Re:Back in Reality... (2)

bunratty (545641) | about 12 years ago | (#4237829)

Sure XHTML+CSS is easier on the browser, and that may help rendering issues. However, the reality is that old browsers will be with us for a while.
Even if your users use only the newest browsers, there are reasons to stay away from XHTML. Read Ian Hixie's Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful [hixie.ch] .

Re:Back in Reality... (1)

nagora (177841) | about 12 years ago | (#4237971)

XML+XSLT would be ideal,

There are lot of words I'd use to describe XML; "ideal" isn't one of them.

TWW

I'm an exception to your generalization. (2, Informative)

elocutio (567729) | about 12 years ago | (#4238016)

Rants against Netscape 4 tread well beyond the scope of CSS, but it's commonly known that any webpage that implements a fair amount of CSS1 will not be supported correctly on NN4. Better yet, if the webpage implements ANYTHING from CSS2, it's very likely that Netscape 4 won't support it. And there's much, MUCH more:

NN4 doesn't support <DIV>. It supports <LAYER> instead.

NN4 doesn't like inline styles.

NN4 doesn't fully support the height attribute (e.g., table cells).

NN4 doesn't allow onclick events on every object, such as <img> and <div> (or, layer, if we want to be technically correct).

NN4 uses its own Document Object Model, which results in very poor DOM Level 1 support, and virtually no support for Level 2.

NN4 supports the onunload event, but it does so quite unconventionally. This results in strange behavior when resizing a window: content unloads and refreshes, which is very undesirable for persistent objects, such as applets.

I guess that's a good stopping place. The list goes on, but I hope you see my point. In fact, the word "unconventional" suits NN4 quite well.

Web developers who are serious about dynamic or heavily stylized content will quickly realize that full NN4 support requires either an insane dedication to little hacks and gimmicks or a text-only version of their website. The way to present cross-platform, stylized content today is to use Shockwa^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a plugin.

The fact that 5th and 6th (and now 7th) generation browsers are 95-99% standards compliant means that bleeding-edge content will target newer browsers, and Netscape 4 will be left to rot. Five years is an insane lifespan for a browser, and if you remember correctly, Netscape 4 was just getting off the ground five years ago. Internet life moves at the speed of normal time ^2, so your five years is really like 25.

Maybe I live in a parallel universe, but in my reality, NN4 is already dead. Or, at least it has a really bad case of leprosy.

New flash (1, Funny)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | about 12 years ago | (#4237607)

99.9% of websites are offer crap. Roll the presses!

Technology exceeds demand.. (3, Insightful)

joshua404 (590829) | about 12 years ago | (#4237631)

In the neverending rush to heap more and more gadgets and whizbang technology into browsers, the people that develop them didn't seem to take much of an interest as to their usefulness. Web developers struggling to stay abreast of existing technologies hardly had time to hone their skills on all the latest, bleeding edge (and often contradictory) gadgetry while being pushed by their managers to get their work done "Now, now, now!" Everyone was in such a rush to cash in that nobody put any thought into it.

Now that the bubble has burst, fixing "obsolete" sites is not a priority. IT staffs have been cut, resources have been redirected into projects that actually turn a profit, or the "web guys" are gone all together. Nobody is around or has time to fiddle with the brochureware homepage.

Gasp! (5, Interesting)

Tsali (594389) | about 12 years ago | (#4237634)

And Jeffrey Zeldman will help us fix the errors or our ways! Anyone check Amazon for the price on this baby?

Who on earth is running a browser earlier than 4.x? Do you expect stuff to be rendered right if you use an older version of IE/Netscape/Opera? Do advertisers want to sell to people that refuse to use the latest and greatest thing? Don't you have to try real hard to even find an older version of any of these browsers?

Sounds like a cheap way to sell a book - and a little extra helping of FUD thrown in.

I think you misunderstood... (1)

NoBlock (601522) | about 12 years ago | (#4237914)

Who on earth is running a browser earlier than 4.x? Do you expect stuff to be rendered right if you use an older version of IE/Netscape/Opera? Do advertisers want to sell to people that refuse to use the latest and greatest thing? Don't you have to try real hard to even find an older version of any of these browsers?

This is not the issue. As I understood the article the complaint was that current web pages fail in the newest browsers because they don't accept non-standard markup as much as they used to. I.e. loads of web-pages should be rewritten to make them more standards-compliant.

Re:Gasp! (5, Insightful)

Isofarro (193427) | about 12 years ago | (#4237968)

Who on earth is running a browser earlier than 4.x?

I'm using Konqueror 3.0 which came with Suse 8.0. Googlebot is version 2.1 according to my logs. The point is that it shouldn't matter what browser you are using, and we shouldn't be fudging markup into tag-soup in an effort to keep certain browsers happy. Rather markup a document cleanly, and use CSS to present the markup -- that way less capable browsers can strip away the CSS and have a default view of the content - which they can markup or manipulate themselves.

Do you expect stuff to be rendered right if you use an older version of IE/Netscape/Opera?

No, I don't care about the rendering, but a page would be much more interesting to my little scripts if the markup described the structure of the content appropriately.

Don't you have to try real hard to even find an older version of any of these browsers?

Not too hard at all: http://browsers.evolt.org/

Cause and effect? (2, Insightful)

Marqui (512962) | about 12 years ago | (#4237635)

Could this be because of the huge numbers of layoffs since the dot-bomb explosion? There are less people being paid to maintain and monitor the data, hence rendering it obsolete. Also, I am sure there are people who "maintain" to just keep the site alive and not actually doing anything as far a changing it since in most cases, it was not their site originally.

Are 99.9% of Websites Obsolete? (3, Insightful)

Ratface (21117) | about 12 years ago | (#4237641)

No!

(Hmm, I was tempted to leave that as is, but I think at least a little explanation is required. Zeldman disagrees with his own thesis in as much as he says that sites like Yahoo! are important because of what they offer not how they look. So QED a site that relies on it's content is not obsolete. Tadaaa!)

99.9%??? (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 12 years ago | (#4237645)


Talk about sensationalism. The article just points out that many web sites have mark-up errors in them. Big deal. To go from that to saying that 99.9% of sites are obsolete is just dumb.

This is just a sensationist way to promote a book. Shame it got onto the front page of Slashdot. It will encourage more to do the same.

Re:99.9%??? (2)

einhverfr (238914) | about 12 years ago | (#4237834)

Well lets see---

99.9% of web sites are obslete, and every computer for sale is obsolete by the time it hits the store.

What's the difference?

We design our web pages not to be constantly cutting-edge, but to be compatible and useful. Also as the parent post points out there is a difference between non-compliance and obsolesence.

No, it's just reminiscent of "Flash: 99% Bad" (3, Interesting)

starvingartist12 (464372) | about 12 years ago | (#4237932)

No. It's about informing the public about the dangers of having proprietary code in their websites. Sure, the headline is a sensational, but that seemed to work with Jakob Nielsen's Flash: 99% Bad [useit.com] , which practically woke up the whole Flash community to making more usable Flash objects in websites. We needed a similar wake up in regards to websites.
What do developers mean by "backward compatibility?" They mean using non-standard, proprietary (or deprecated) markup and code to ensure that every visitor has the same experience, whether they're sporting Netscape Navigator 1.0 or IE6. Held up as a Holy Grail of professional development practice, "backward compatibility" sounds good in theory. But the cost is too high and the practice has always been based on a lie.
Proprietary code and those little hacks are bad. Code to standards.

Yahoo (1)

cd-w (78145) | about 12 years ago | (#4237648)

This is not news to Linux users. The majority of web pages are designed entirely for Internet Explorer. For years these pages have rendered badly under Netscape, Opera, Mozilla, etc. Not to mention the use of Flash etc.

"If Yahoo would simply replace its deprecated, bandwidth-gobbling tags with bandwidth-friendly CSS, the cost of serving each page would greatly diminish, and the company's profits would consequently rise. So why hasn't Yahoo made the switch?"

Personally I think Yahoo is one site which has done a lot to remain browser compatible. For a long time CSS was horribly broken on Netscape and IE. Many people are still using older browsers and so it makes sense to keep things this way for now.

Re:Yahoo (2)

rseuhs (322520) | about 12 years ago | (#4237870)

I am a Linux user and I have never encountered a site that didn't work with Mozilla. I think I have seen 2 or 3 sites which did not let Mozilla in, but the only reason I ever saw them was because some guy in some forum said "Hey this site doesn't let Mozilla in".

Occasionally, I get to sites that don't let Konqueror in (maybe once in a month) but Mozilla works.

BTW, Flash works very well in Linux, too.

Uh-huh. (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 12 years ago | (#4237663)

Though their owners and managers may not know it yet, 99.9% of all websites are obsolete

Methinks somebody is confusing "are obsolete" with "will eventually be obsolete, so long as web browsers suddenly becoms fault-intolerant and the site owners leave things exactly how they are and never ever maintain them, ever".

(Not to say that I don't agree with what he's saying, but jeez, what a wanker! "I declare that everything, everywhere sucks ass! Huzzah!")

Obselete? (3, Insightful)

forevermore (582201) | about 12 years ago | (#4237665)

I wouldn't call that "obselete" so much as "noncompliant"... Obselete would mean that newbrowsers can't run them, not that old ones can't. The problem in't that the technology in the websites has grown old, but that lazy users (those of the WYSIWYG persuasion, among others) and Microsoft devotees have chosen their own set of standards (or merely force out browsers who don't comply with their standards), rather than the ones set out by the people who are supposed to control the specs for html, javascript, etc.

Books vs. The Web (4, Interesting)

laetus (45131) | about 12 years ago | (#4237666)

Obsolescence and wildly diverging ways of presenting information is one of the basic faults I find with the web.

You know, if I pick up a book printed in 1920, it's interface is going to be familiar to me. Table of Contents, Index, Chapters, Body Text, etc.

And now? I pick up a book printed today and find the same, useful interface.

Contrast that with the web, where I can find simple clean interfaces like Google or Yahoo compared to some ghastly Flash-based interfaces that do everthing they can to distract me from the information I'm seeking. Plus, I'm being told that the device (program) I use to access these sites is obsolete less than five years after being released?

I'm all for freedom of speech (and web presentation), but the web's got a long ways to go before it can become the useful instrument it can be.

Re:Books vs. The Web (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 12 years ago | (#4237835)

You know, if I pick up a book printed in 1920, it's interface is going to be familiar to me. Table of Contents, Index, Chapters, Body Text, etc.

Well, yeah. By 1920, there had been thousands of years during which the presentation of the printed word was gradually improved and codified.

We're still in the early stages of presenting electronic content, the brainstorming stage, if you will. There's still plenty of room for innovation. Bear with it.

And I'm surprised at YOUR surprise that 5-year-old technology is considered obsolete in Internet time. Improvements are a GOOD thing.

Re:Books vs. The Web (1)

Wiggins (3161) | about 12 years ago | (#4237928)

Can you point me to the library or bookstore where I can get a book that will let me pay my phone bill, order another book to take its place, listen to a radio station, converse with a friend across the country, or update another half way around the world, how about track a stock's price or purchase/sell shares in a company.

Of course the interface still works, the features haven't changed.

The real problem: Non-compliant writing (3, Insightful)

tenzig_112 (213387) | about 12 years ago | (#4238011)


And now? I pick up a book printed today and find the same, useful interface.


Yes, but when you pick up that book from the 20's, did they split their sentences with unnecesary commas? And check out Chaucer, is his work obsolete? Would you really want to read it if it were "ported" to 2st Century English?

After a cursory survey, I'd say that at least 99.9% of the writing on the web is not standards compliant.

The rest are l337 5kr1pt k1dd135.

This is such crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237667)

99.9% of websites are shitty vanity websites that no-one ever looks at. And 99.9% of the visitors to 99.90% of the rest are probably using broswers ending in 4 or 5. But, for business sites, you're probably right. Businesses are dumb.

How about Slashdot then? (3, Interesting)

epeus (84683) | about 12 years ago | (#4237668)

When are you going to get rid of all those icky nested tables that slash makes?

Re:How about Slashdot then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237707)

Wrong question. This is open-sores land.

When are you, epeus, going to get rid of all those icky nested tables that slash makes?

Say it isn't so! (1)

MissMyNewton (521420) | about 12 years ago | (#4237671)


The [blink] tag can't dead!
Nooooooooooo!

Re:Say it isn't so! (1)

Ark42 (522144) | about 12 years ago | (#4237800)

Nope, Mozilla re-added support for blink recently! Even went so far as to add marqueue to 1.1 final.

Misread the title... (2)

reaper20 (23396) | about 12 years ago | (#4237677)

And here I am thinking that 99% of websites have out of date misinformation - that most corporate websites don't have any useful content and are nothing but marketing garbage and are "obsolete" as in old and worthless. ..and you were talking about layout. Wait, we're both right.

My personal favorite worthless website - ZDNet, home of TechTV and other "high tech" offerings, with its absolute length table widths, every try to read that crap at a high resolution? Another one of my favs is the old 1x1 gif or other "layout tricks" still used by webmasters today. Get a clue people, an XHTML book is $15.

not that simple (2)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 12 years ago | (#4237878)


About 10% of our sites' audience still uses Netscape 4.x, which doesn't support some elements of XHTML, nor any CSS positioning abilities.

We'd love to upgrade our standards to something more forward-thinking, but it's extremely bad business practice to piss off a tenth of your user base.

4 or 5? (1)

undeg chwech (589211) | about 12 years ago | (#4237682)

I'm using IE6.

Are my websites obsolete?

Jeeezzzz. Get a hair cut and a new browser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237684)

I test is NN4.7, NN6.2, Mozzila 1.0, Opera, and IE5. If you cant see it right in any of these, you must be using Lynx.

Come on, technology moves on. If you insist on holding on to an old browser, that's your problem.

Strong Typing, Strong Code (2)

PhxBlue (562201) | about 12 years ago | (#4237692)

The web could do a lot worse than become a bit more strongly-typed, and a bit more like a programming language than a scripting language.

True, most folks don't need more than the basic mark-up for their websites, especially where personal websites are concerned. But commercial sites could stand for a much better design than they have. . . the author here makes a lot of good points when he calls out the faults of ZDNet and Yahoo for their HTML. The code is crap - thank God HTML doesn't have GOTO statements, or these sites would probably be chock full of those, too.

Let's do what we did with the blink tag. Don't just deprecate it--ignore it. Tell the browser, "Don't listen to the <font> tag, just skip over it."

Not too long ago, I re-wrote my own personal webpages using Cascading Style Sheets. It's tricky, since Netscape/Mozilla oftentimes has different ideas of how to interpret CSS than Internet Explorer. But it's easy enough to accommodate both, without too much effort. And I'm a lot happier now that my HTML code looks less like last night's dinner and more like something that someone else could read and understand.

Most html coding is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237700)

It's true. If you've ever spent any time looking at the html for a lot of sites, you'll see it. I'm a bit of an html nazi, so I'm probably pickier than most, but, geez, I've seen comments that were like small novels embedded in html source. Those don't need to be there.

A big source of problems is all the people trying to be backwards compatible with Netscape 4. I was a Netscape 4 user, I'll admit it, but let it die now, please. Mozilla is available and it's spectacular. It's amazing what you can do with CSS when the browsers actually support it right.

Oh, and that reminds me of my newest pet peeve... Web pages that are all div's and span's. Some people have apparently forgotten there's a whole world of html elements available. Headers, lists, list items, etc are all still quite usable... and the funny thing is, on a simple browser like Lynx (which doesn't have CSS support), their use can still result in very usable pages!

Sell! Sell! Sell! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237717)

TRANSLATION: Buy my book! Buy my services! Need more money!

Isn't this the same yahoo that claimed to invent the clear pixel spacer? I remember seeing that after I had been using it professionally for quite a long time (as were my peers), we had a good laugh about that one.

Is error free HTML a chimera? (3, Informative)

imperator_mundi (527413) | about 12 years ago | (#4237729)

It seems so altough w3 [w3.org] offer a validator [w3.org] for free.

Maybe learning html in a weekend [intuitive.com] or in faster [geocities.com] don't help keeping the quality of code at high level ; )

Coding Insanity (1, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about 12 years ago | (#4237734)

Transition from HTML, the language of the Web's past, to XML, the language of its future.
XML is nice for many things, but I'd hardly call it the language of the future. Rather than change the world, let's let XML handle some data-bound pages and leave the simple stuff to HTML still shall we?

Support non-traditional devices, from wireless gadgets and web-enabled cell phones fancied by teens and executives to Braille readers and screen readers used by those with disabilities--again without the hassle and expense of creating separate versions.
Ain't gonna happen. Last time I checked lynx wasn't going to show images anytime soon, and neither would my cellphone. Some things just won't work for everyone. Unless of course, you want to convert your "picture gallery" to ASCII.

neither Mosaic (the first visual browser) nor Netscape 1.0 support HTML table-based layouts
So lets all just use HTML 0.1 with only <br> tags and <a> tags. Whine whine whine...!

And of course... the most important part...

...And more, as this book will show.
In other words, buy my book so I can fill your brain with a bunch of bitching about current lack of standardization and tell you the way I think things should be done, even though chances are that things will never actually happen according to my ideals...

No browsers were harmed in the creation of this document - phorm

93% of your audience use 4.x or better browser (2)

randomErr (172078) | about 12 years ago | (#4237736)

This is so stupid.

Do we start broadcasting TV signals in black and white again because a similar portion of viewers use b&w tv's?

Who ever uses an older browser ussually isn't a power user to start with and isn't looking for the latest fluff anyway.

Re:93% of your audience use 4.x or better browser (2, Insightful)

malfunct (120790) | about 12 years ago | (#4237848)

The difference is that NTSC (US color television standard) was designed to show up well on the old black and white tv. All of the picture is there you just don't see the fancy color.

I think the complaint with the web is that things don't gracefully degrade in downlevel browsers, they just die.

The original intent of the web and html was to distribute content with tags that describe the "purpose" of that content and leave the rendering up to the browser. This meant that I could write a page and my message would get across to anyone even though it might look different to every person.

Then enter the marketing folk and the desire that a webpage look the same to everyone. That sucked.

CSS allows better control of the look but still works on the premise that the html (or xhtml) describes the purpose of the content and CSS is around to give hints on how the page should look. It still gives the end browser ultimate control of the rendering and the page could look different to different people.

If people would design thier webpages realizing that whats important is the purpose of the information and not the look of the information we wouldn't have so many of these problems. The web was designed for information, not for art.

Re:93% of your audience use 4.x or better browser (1)

Inda (580031) | about 12 years ago | (#4237871)

That's similar to my reply when people shout "IT DOESNT WORK IN NN4!" at me.

If you want to watch colour TV then you have to ugrade your old black and white.

If you want rich pages with functionality then you have to upgrade your browser (and turn JS back on fools). It's not like browsers cost anything.

Re:93% of your audience use 4.x or better browser (1)

distributed.karma (566687) | about 12 years ago | (#4237896)

> Do we start broadcasting TV signals in black and white again because a similar portion of viewers use b&w tv's?

Not a fair comparison, since BW TVs are perfectly compatible with RGB broadcast. Similarly, "proper" HTML (i.e. not even pure w3c standard compliant) works perfectly on w3m. My point is that you don't have to trade off kewl looks or anything to retain some compatibility, because the whole idea of HTML is to adapt the same content for different user agents. If everyone had similar monitors, browsers, and high bandwitth, they could all just be images. But for good reasons they are not.

Re:93% of your audience use 4.x or better browser (1)

pyropaul (571423) | about 12 years ago | (#4237966)

This is a bad example since the NTSC colour signal was designed to be backwards compatible with black and white sets. The chroma and luma are separated so that the black and white set displays only the luma and so the picture will look correct on both.

Obsolete and then some (4, Funny)

r_j_prahad (309298) | about 12 years ago | (#4237740)

Our website is not only obsolete (it was designed that way from the ground up), but it's ugly and almost entirely non-functional too! Mainly we use it to harbor and distribute viruses inside the company. It's been very effective.

Now that he's completely met his goal of total obsolescence, our webmaster spends every day looking for new ways to make our website even less useful, uglier, and more of a pain-in-the-ass to use. He's been very effective.

Web designer's perspective (2)

cioxx (456323) | about 12 years ago | (#4237743)

I can assure everybody that well over 95% of sites out there are in fact obsolite.

Lets take a closer look.

Overwhelming majority of websites out there are not HTML 4.0/XHTML 1.0 compliant. Even the sites that belong to members of w3c bend the rules which they help write. Sounds asinine? You bet.

Standards do not mean s**t anymore. Everybody is aiming for IE 5.x/6 compatibility nowdays. Cross platform understanding is dead, now that Netscape has lost the overall war. Vast majority of web designers do not even double check their sites in Opera/Mozilla nowdays, thinking they might have to do some extra compatibility coding/clean-up.

Most sites are NOT cross device/platform. You cannot view them on a PDAs of cellphones. Notice the word _MOST_

There are millions of other reasons, but I have to run to a meeting. I'll expand on this later today in more detail.

Hyperbole or just foolishness? (1)

TechnoWeenie (250857) | about 12 years ago | (#4237754)

Merriam-Websters defines obsolete as:
a : no longer in use or no longer useful b : of a kind or style no longer current
If most users don't have a problem with the websites, because they are using one of the more popular web browsers, then the sites are still useful. If 99.9% percent of the websites employ these techniques, you can hardly say that the style is "no longer current".

He goes on to say that inefficient code causes Yahoo.com to add "add Pentagon-like costs to its overhead." Would anyone care to compare the annual budget of yahoo and the pentagon? I could go on, but I won't.

I COULD HEAR YOU BETTER IF YOU WEREN'T TALKING SO LOUD.

Zeldman (4, Insightful)

earache (110979) | about 12 years ago | (#4237756)

I've always considered Zeldman to be one of those self-proclaimed know-it-alls who has had little real industry experience in high volume, high technology web-sites. Most of his portfolio is brochure-ware that looks like it was done by a team of one. So I've always considered his belly-aching a little simplistic and, frankly, unrealistic in current web development scenarios.

It's easy to lament the fact that these sites aren't standard, but there are clearly reasons why most of these sites don't fit his vision of standards compliance.

For one, most sites don't have the budget to develop to standards. It's much easier to code to specifics and use non-standard work-arounds where possible then to boil everything down to the least common denominator (which standards are supported by whom). When I say easier, I mean that years of experience have instilled intimate knowledge in the seasoned web developer that almost comes as instinct now.

Secondly, all of these "standards" are interpreted differently by the different browsers, so you can't insure consistent look and feel without kludges.

Third, most of the foundations for these sites were layed out before coding to a standard was even possible, and when the mindset was not focused on any sort of standards compliance.

Finally, I've always thought that they made writing to standards compliance sound easier then it actually is, because even though it's called a standard, it rarely exhibits standard and consistent behavior across the various platforms. Most art directors and graphic designers - specifically those that migrated from print or traditional design - tend to be exteremly unyielding in the way their designs are interpreted on the web, leaving developers with few options that are fully supported by these so-called standards.

Personally, I think Zeldman needs to spend some time in the trenches working on a large site with a large development team under real deadlines for real clients. Things are rarely ideal in these circumstances.

What is it they say about armchair coaches?

Re:Zeldman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237921)

<BLOCKQUOTE><I>Most art directors and graphic designers - specifically those that migrated from print or traditional design - tend to be exteremly unyielding in the way their designs are interpreted on the web, </I></BLOCKQUOTE>

<P>And that's precisely the problem with the web as it is today. When people finally realize that I'm looking for information--not a perfect rendition of some graphic designers visuals--and start coding to the standards, then the web will really start being usable for everyone on every platform.</P>

Complexity vs. usability (3, Interesting)

Metropolitan (107536) | about 12 years ago | (#4237767)

How many variations of 'standards' should one have to comply with to make a usable, functional, Web-based information node? That I have to test against huge numbers of browser/platform/OS variations is a massive waste of time and energy, when I should instead be able to focus on making the information clear and the functionality flawless.

I'm not saying that we as a collective need to move back to HTML 1.0, but there has got to be a solution to increasing complexity in Web information spaces. Companies that intentionally cripple some browser/OS combinations are doing the greater community a vast disservice.

The majority of Web pages are not necessarily broken, but reflect limits on the time and energy of those who create them to keep up with 'standards' that seem to shift every other week.
It's harder to play one note and have it be perfect than it is to play a thousand and have them be close. Most people choose the latter, and hope that one note hits home.

HEAR HEAR ! (2)

RembrandtX (240864) | about 12 years ago | (#4237843)

I agree with you, and hope someone mod's this post up.

All the folks out there who are slamming web developers/authors really need to step back a second. [I'm amazed that my first post in this topic already has 3 "You should code better" responses.]

I have been working with 'web' pages professionally since late 97.

And man has stuff changed.

Anyone who works in the real world (not academia) understands that not only is there the pressure of a 'real world' environment - but the need to show value for a company.

Understaffed departments, unreasonable demands, HUGE goals. Those are the factors that REALLY limit the 'good code' out there. Its very hard to make sure your 100% compliant [no matter how hard you tell the board/your boss/your dept/the finance people that you SHOULD be] when at the end of the day - you have more 'new' projects in your inbox than ones you have finished.

[and before folks cry - TELL THEM ! TELL THEM ! We are in an economy now .. where people are HORRIBLY disillusioned with the internet. I work for a fortune 500 which produces power tools - and it has been kicked around previously the idea of actually SCRAPPING our web-based projects. Hows that for a scarey morning meeting to walk in on :(]

but I digress .. my real point is .. standards change, and 'mega-powers' in the browser world ignore them anyways.

HTML that was 100% w3c 4 years ago .. is maybe 80% now. [good and bad .. means that html is more versatile .. but means that you have to recode that stuff.]

XML .. geez .. I have been using it at work for about 3 years now .. and for a 'universaly standard' language .. its sure been through the damn wringer.

I can write some xml/xsl for IIS .. and put it on a unix box and watch it puke. [and vica versa]. The standards on this 'universally adaptable' langage have changed so many times in the past few years my head is still spinning.
[clarification .. i dont mean the 'Official Top Shelf writtin in stone' standards .. I mean the ones that are in the real world .. MS for example. Its not a surprise they tweek things .. but when a major player in the software dept {yeah yeah} produces something sub-standard .. how long before it BECOMES part of the standards? even if its unwritten?]

So yeah .. I think your insights are dead on here.

where we are, and how we got there (1)

X_Caffeine (451624) | about 12 years ago | (#4237785)

The site is already slashdotted, but if you're at all familiar with Zeldman then know the message: website designers need to stop coding for "Netscape compatibility" (which means writing deliberate errors into the page to make it render correctly) and embrace CSS.

Websites fell into the decayed, rambling mess that they are today because designers started thinking that they were engineers.

A designer will use whatever tools appear to work to get the job done, because his job is simply to make something "look" right. If a designer needs to pound a nail into a wall, and the wrench is within reach, he'll use the wrench. Hence the use of <table> elements for layout.

And engineer's job is to do it the right way and make sure it functions properly. The engineer will use the appropriate tool. That's why standards -- which define the way things should work -- should be left in the hands of engineers. (design standards should be left in the hands of engineers who are also good designers, of which there are plenty; CSS works!)

The attitude that "it doesn't matter if the page is coded properly, as long as it looks right" is akin to thinking that it doesn't matter if you use "there" or "their" when you're writing -- as long as you get your point across.

btw, Netscape 4 isn't merely old -- it's broken (hence the Mozilla team's desire to start fresh). A properly written browser will ignore elements it doesn't understand, but Netscape doesn't do that. It attempts to interpret code it doesn't get and will often return a page of garbage or crash altogether. Try testing a CSS-driven, non-Netscape4 page in Netscape 3 -- it will usually turn out quite legible!

Bzzzz.... Wrong! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 12 years ago | (#4237787)

99.9% of all websites are poorly designed or horribly designed not obsolete. If you adhere to the proper W3c standards AND you use a browser that is compliant with those standards then it will render correctly.

The problem lies in the fact that web-designers are either lazy or ill-educated in proper design or the more prevalent problem.. the "GET IT OUT THERE and to hell with making it right" attitude of management. Giving unrealistic deadlines and goals further damages the websites design and stability.

If your website is HTML 3.0 compliant it will render correctly on every browser on the planet or universe for the next 90 quadrillion years IF the HTML 3.0 standard is properly implimented in that browser that is viewing it....

Personally... I believe the article's overstatements and sensationalism fail to miss the point that in a sea of HTML code... almost noone pay's attention to the standards... and it's the fault of the webdesigners, browser programmers, and the users. They are the cause of the sad state the web is in today... if users would not tolerate bad designs and browsers were desinged no voilently forced (Yes, violently.. we need to get a W3C mob together with sacks of doorknobs to beat the crap out of programmers and management) to strictly adhere to the standards... then things would get better.

Condensed version (3, Funny)

mmoncur (229199) | about 12 years ago | (#4237796)

Here's a condensed version of the article for those who don't have time to slog through it:

1. Standards are good.
2. Bad code that happens to work in current browsers is bad.
3. Buy my book.

and the remaining 0.1%.. (1)

ghum (109642) | about 12 years ago | (#4237803)

are slashdotted. Time to read a good book, isn't it?

Hmmm, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237804)

As long as the website, webpage work, all I need is to see the .jpg of Tanya & Julia.

i think he misses the point (1)

edmz (118519) | about 12 years ago | (#4237805)

These sites may look and work all right in mainstream, desktop browsers whose names end in the numbers 4 or 5.
Its not about pages not showing on some old browsers or some not popular ones. Its about using standards to achieve forward compatibility, to ensure a design can last longer, when new standards compliant browsers arrive, especially, those of cellphones, settop boxes, etc.

My method (1)

HappyPhunBall (587625) | about 12 years ago | (#4237818)

My resolution to the whole browser incompatibility problem is a combination of CSS1 and CSS2 with valid xHTML markup. All of my layout and formatting is pulled from CSS. My pages work in extremely well in IE 5+, Mozilla, Opera, and any text browser. I do not use browser detection scripts of any sort. I simply load the CSS via the @import method and if the browser understands that (most modern ones do) they get the site as intended. If they do not understand the @import method, they get a functional but very plain text site. The main browser this effects is NS 4.7 and below. Text browsers get pure text, as intended. I test on Linux and Windows extensively, and for the most part it works on the first try. I really need a friend with a Mac to test on as I cannot afford one.

Anyway, you can do a lot with xHTML and CSS now. Your markup will be much cleaner and if you are building sites for clients they will possibly be able to maintain the site themselves. Site wide changes such as layout, colors, and menus become much easier to effect as well, especially if you use something like php requires, SSI, or mod_layout on apache.

Yeah, whatever (2)

smoondog (85133) | about 12 years ago | (#4237820)

Yeah, whatever. 83.7% of all roads are in need of repair. 99.9% of all sewers contain rats and cockroaches. Things in society are messy and are nearly always far from perfect. Someone trying to make a buck doesn't make it anymore interesting or news.

-Sean

Web Standards are a well conceived joke (2, Interesting)

briancnorton (586947) | about 12 years ago | (#4237827)

While I have to agree on the theoretical benefits of web standards, the real world makes the whole thing fall apart.

The main problems that I see are that

1. Web standards bodies move slow and specifications are obsolete before they are approved. Take SVG. (please) Flash is a superior format with a large installed base, quality authoring tools, platform scalability, and open but expensive architecture. SVG took five years to become a reality, and is still VERY immature.

2. It's about the user stupid! For the most part, users sit at a computer desktop, with a commercial browser (IE), and use the internet. It needs to look right for THEM. The .001% of users on cell phones are doing specific activities with mostly packaged content. These users are novelty users. Portable devices have no standards as to how they display, and without this, nobody can expect a useful cross platorm "standard" that works everywhere. It's a microsoft world whiner. There is no doubt that IE is the only browser that matters. If someone else wants to make a competitive browser, it needs to be IE compliant, not W3C compliant. Microsoft took it upon themselves to create a language that works, no matter how it's written. Who cares about sloppy coding? Bandwidth is hardly an issue, and if a browser renders correctly, it should LOOK right.

in conclusion, the web standards project and w3c have failed due to their manegerial impotance, and can be safely ignored.

... So Let Me Guess: (1)

Shuh (13578) | about 12 years ago | (#4237831)



<M$ Shill Mode> "... and that's why everyone needs to move to .NET!" </M$ Shill Mode>

a couple of things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4237838)

"If Yahoo would simply replace its deprecated, bandwidth-gobbling <font> tags with bandwidth-friendly CSS, the cost of serving each page would greatly diminish"

Ok, I use <font>. It's a very old tag, and a very useful tag. It works in all browsers I know of, and unless I was drunk when I was last at the W3C page it is/was part of the HTML standard and before CSS was the only way to change a font or its size or color.

I can't figure out how this tag could "gobble bandwidth". I also can't figure out how to change the color of a font in an old browser or webTV or anything else that doesn't support CSS.

If someone could answer these questions for me I'd be grateful.

Also, if anybody has trouble with thefragfest.com in any device I'd appreciate an email to slashdot@thefragfest.com, with the device and what's not working.

I canned a borrowed javascript news scroller when I discovered it covered up part of the other text in KDE. And if you want to see the Strogg squishing Sonic the Hedgehog, I apologize if you're using Mozilla. I'm still working on that.

-steve

The Problem Ins't Backward Compatibility (3, Interesting)

wandernotlost (444769) | about 12 years ago | (#4237845)

Zeldman asserts that the problem plaguing web developers is a desire for backward compatibility. In fact, that desire seems unfortunately missing in most websites. The real problem making websites suck is the desire to view the web as a graphic design medium.

Designers want to control every pixel of a page's layout, completely ignoring what the web was designed for. If everyone used logical markup to describe their data, later adding CSS to attempt to influence the layout, the web would be a much friendlier place. It may not look exactly the same on every browser (which, come to think of it, may be Zeldman's point), but with proper testing, it should look similar on popular browsers, and at least be LEGIBLE on others.

People need to be convinced that the web is not a graphic design medium. That's what PDF files are for. People don't try to build their sites solely from PDF files, because that just wouldn't fly. Instead they try to use the web to achieve the same goal, completely oblivious to the fact that it's a really poor tool for that purpose. Rather than embracing a new paradigm, they try to contort it to look like what they already know. To me, that's just incompetence.

Good Job CmdrTaco..... (1)

I_am_Rambi (536614) | about 12 years ago | (#4237868)

Upon seeing the article, I went in search of the earliest gecko based broswer. I found Netscape 4.08 (running 32 bit, but there is a 16-bit version). Slashdot loads fine. Which is great!!

On the other hand, AOL [aol.com] gives me a connection reset before it loads the entire page. M$ site gives me a small unreadable font. Interesting things happen when running an old broswer.

I don't think so... (1)

David Leppik (158017) | about 12 years ago | (#4237887)

Funny, I visited this page [cornell.edu] just this morning, and despite it being "Best of the Web '94" and written in ancient HTML (without even <html> or <body> tags), I don't think it's completely out-of-date.

What are standards? (2)

randomErr (172078) | about 12 years ago | (#4237911)

Hello,

the world wide web is about what ever you make it. I could make my own meta language that the uses http servers. coming soon- rEml - randomErr markup language. it won't meet your standards, but it meets mine.

forcing everyone to do things your way is so... microsoft.

xhtml easier, yeah right (2)

kisrael (134664) | about 12 years ago | (#4237915)

I have to laugh at the assertion "For a beginner, XHTML is easier to learn than HTML precisely because its rules are consistent"--what wishful thinking! XHTML is harder to learn because there are so many more rules. Newbies, even ones who manage to make some interesting content [thoughtviper.com] think HTML already has too many rules...

Can someone tell me, is
<b> go and <a href="somelink">click me</a> now</b>
illegal in XHTML? Does it need to be
<b> go and </b><a href="somelink"><b>click me</b></a><b>now</b>

because A HREF tags aren't part of the valid contents of the bold tags?

Now it's HIS turn (1)

jhampson (580482) | about 12 years ago | (#4237926)

"Here come da Slashdot!" Now YOUR website is obsolete, jagoff!
All your bandwidth are belong to us!

Microsoft makes it especially difficult with IE (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | about 12 years ago | (#4237962)

Since IE is "essential" and "fully integrated, you can't keep multiple instances on the same box and you can't really go backwards if you're not happy where you are. And of course every iteration of IE functions significantly differently on each platform (NT, 2000, XP, ME, 98).

And the level of patching makes a difference. An up-to-date patched version of IE will block image from third party sites on pages that are the results of form submissions. Default versions don't always have this problem. The only way around it: iframes.

You can keep 20 boxes lying around just to test IE (or use VPC on your Mac, like I do or VNC). But any way you look at it, it's a major pain.

Solution: Content Management Systems? (2, Interesting)

merger (235225) | about 12 years ago | (#4237964)

I work for a mid sized company but I know the web site is very out of date and has incredibly poor content. In my mind I can pinpoint this to one thing. The inability for the people who write content to get it to the site.

I know for fact there is more than enough good stories and photographs in the organization that can be published but most of the technicians who would write it (or at least the first draft) don't have the time to learn a web design program. The solution I believe is a good content management system. I've been looking into Typo3 [typo3.com] and a couple of other content management systems. I believe once we make it easy to update then content will be less likely to be obselete.

Content Management Systems are right now the best place I can start introducing open source software at my work. We've looked at Microsoft's Content Management Server which is highly over priced for our needs and its hard to argue with the documentation and self-help community that open source software provides. I know there are other content management systems out there but the point is that for content to stay current publishing capabilities must be pushed to the people who will author it.

Pure Bunk (2, Insightful)

Greyscale (597578) | about 12 years ago | (#4238007)

My servers' web stats show 96.4% of all browsers visiting the servers are Internet Explorer and/or Netscape. The only thing surprising in this article--other than the clearly fudged percentage sited--is that the author advocates, with a straight-face, that because 3-4% of a site's visitors use incompatible browsers this translates into a 99.9% obsolence rate.

Still, it's always amusing to see someone suit up, gird their horse, and charge at the windmills while proclaiming the revolution.
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