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Usability (was FAQ)

 [1/2] from: sunandadh::aol::com at: 16-Sep-2002 15:03


Christopher:
> > Except with > > Opera, IE and Netscape(6+) it looks the way I want it too -- unless > > the user turns off style sheets and get the look they want. (in the > > middle of all this is Netscape 4 which makes everything look > > terrible)
The Opera and Netscape 6+ features are a Good Thing. A website is not a printed page. It's a content payload with hints for how it could be displayed. If I'm blind with a screen-reader, or color blind, or have a slow line and don't want graphics, or a WAP phone, or teletype rather than a screen, I still want to be able to access your content. Letting me override *any* presentation setting you have set is essential. Our sites should never assume anything about the way the content is displayed. Sites that put all their content in (say) a big graphic so I can't mess with it, are missing the spirit of the web. I'll quote Time Berners-Lee, the man who started it. The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. http://www.w3.org/WAI On the other hand, Netscape 4 is a really Bad Thing. People have gone bald trying to write valid HTML that NN4 will render. Basically, it was a browser full of bugs. There is still a lot of debate about whether NN4 is worth targeting. The answer really depends on your audience. Figures for the number of NN4 visitors to a site vary from zero to 20% . One way not to antagonise NN4 is to avoid doing anything too fiddly with tables. They were not its strong point. Many of the same usability issues apply to Rebol applications. For example, an average end-user has no way to reskin or recolor, or resize, or change fonts in the demo calculator. I also can't work it (under Win98 anyway) purely from the keyboard. Sunanda.

 [2/2] from: jason:cunliffe:verizon at: 16-Sep-2002 15:45


> There is still a lot of debate about whether NN4 is worth targeting. The > answer really depends on your audience. Figures for the number of NN4 > visitors to a site vary from zero to 20% . One way not to antagonise NN4 is > to avoid doing anything too fiddly with tables. They were not its strong > point.
Yes.. For example, there's a detailed discussion about it here: http://www.actsofvolition.com/index.cfm?section=board&id=521 The general thrust these days seems to be: - aim high and enjoy the late version browsers - but *don't* expect your NN4 pages to be render the same as others - however with a little extra planning, you can make them readable/accessible, which is what counts - meanwhile encourage _everyone_ to upgrade from these nightmares - CSS is great and is now being widely embraced, but one should not go too far insisting on no tables. For simple non-nested row-column data tables are still very useful, and can be combined well with CSS <DIV>. ./Jason