Re: The Netscape / Microsoft / Future Quagmire

Scott E. Preece (preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com)
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 08:04:14 -0500


Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 08:04:14 -0500
Message-Id: <199610181304.IAA20042@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>
From: "Scott E. Preece" <preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>
To: snowhare@netimages.com
CC: jaobrien@fttnet.com, www-html@w3.org
In-reply-to: Benjamin Franz's message of Thu, 17 Oct 1996 19:31:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The Netscape / Microsoft / Future Quagmire

  From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@netimages.com>

| I write to a subset of the 3.2 DTD + CSS1 stylesheets. My documents reach
| over 98% of people (I use JPEGs and TABLEs - else it would be 99.9%+ -
| lynx really needs to implement TABLE...). Do my pages look *best* on NS3.0
| and MSIE 3.0?  Damn straight they do. Do I annoy people uselessly with
| 'get NS/MSIE 3.0' buttons and 'Looks better in browser of the week'
| labels? Not on your life. The people who *have* those browsers already
| know it looks nice in them. Those who have other browsers are not going to
| switch just because I say so - why annoy them?  The pages are usable (even
| attractive) in nearly any browser.
---

I have to disagree.  The "looks best in..." and the "download ... now"
buttons are useful.  They give people a way to know whether their choice
of browser is getting in the way of their use of the information they
use.  It's not an annoyance, it's a piece of advice.  Obviously, you
have to design so those with other browsers are at least adequately
supported, but it's good service to your users to let them know what
they need to do to get the best value from your offerings.

And people *will* switch when they start seeing a lot of pages
suggesting a different browser - especially if the suggested changes are
simply to later versions of the browser they're already using.  Or,
possibly more important, they'll start pushing the vendor of their
preferred browser to incorporate the same new features as the ones
suggested by the pages they use.

I think it's a very useful mechanism for the continuing development of
the Web.

scott

--
scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
phone:	217-384-8589			  fax:	217-384-8550
internet mail:	preece@urbana.mcd.mot.com