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Re: FAFSA.ed.gov claims I am not using a standards compliant browser - HELP

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 22:47:26 -0500
Cc: site-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <C28546FF-BF36-43B2-8FB9-5378EA2F8499@w3.org>
To: Dennis Householder <hous3y@gmail.com>

On 26 Mar 2011, at 8:12 AM, Dennis Householder wrote:

> Hello,
> The short version my question is that I cannot find a list of
> standards-compliant browsers on your website.

Hello Dennis,

W3C doesn't certify browsers for conformance to standards.

> http://www.w3.org/standards/agents/browsers is not complete. Using
> google to search a) just within w3.org and b) entire web do not yield
> useful results. Does such a list of browsers and host operating
> systems exist?
> To explain my situation in more detail, FAFSA.ed.gov claims compliance
> with W3C standards, therefore I must use a browser that meets those
> standards.  I am using firefox 3 on Fedora 14. Full version info is :
> Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110308
> Fedora/3.6.15-1.fc14 Firefox/3.6.15. Each time I try to begin the
> FAFSA process, I am told that I am using an incompatible browser.I
> have chatted with FAFSA tech support and they told me that Linux is
> not and will not be supported. How can they claim compliance with open
> standards if they will not support my open OS? In fact, they only
> support Mac and Windows, the very furthest thing from Open Source.
> Any assistance you can lend in this matter is greatly appreciated. It
> may only be to prove a point, but I think there will be some benefit
> if I can convince them to add Linux support or at least reword their
> "incompatible browser" page. Conversely, if I am in the wrong for
> expecting interoperability of web content on my choice of operating
> system then I will humbly purchase a copy of Windows 7 from BestBuy.

I recommend that you contact them and urge them to:

 * Serve their pages to _any_ browser.
 * Let users know _elsewhere_ of usability issues they may face if their browser doesn't support, say, CSS. That can be done on a FAQ page, for instance.

Tell them it is frustrating to be blocked, and that if you had access, it would probably be just fine. I am glad that they are using Web standards, but I think they should not block unrecognized browsers.


> FAFSA incompatible browser page:
> https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/errors?page=incompatibleBrowser
> Thanks in advance,
> Dennis Householder

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Monday, 28 March 2011 03:47:29 UTC

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