Friday, December 28, 2007

Netscape is dead

AOL announced today that they will be dropping support for the Netscape browser on Feb 1, 2008. Netscape used to be main competitor to Internet Explorer and the two browsers fought for market dominance for many years. Netscape finally lost that battle and has been fading into obscurity for many years with current market share figures for Netscape at a minuscule 0.6%. With this announcement AOL has finally pulled the plug on the browser and is recommending remaining Netscape users to adopt Firefox. The portal web site will continue to operate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

IE8 on Acid

Microsoft announced that an internal build of Internet Explorer 8 passed the Acid2 test. The Acid2 test was created by the Web Standards Project as a standard test that makers of web browsers could use to test if their browsers had achieved a high degree of standards compliance.

Until that time there was some variance on what "standards compliant" browsers like Firefox, Opera, and Safari would display for a given page. Worst of all Internet Explorer 6 had many standards compliance issues, but it was hard to define an authoritative list of what they should fix in the next release. The Acid2 test provided a target for everyone to use and easily test.

Internet Explorer 7 came much closer, but still failed the test. Opera and Safari soon released versions that passed the test and the upcoming Firefox 3 will also pass the test. With today's news on Internet Explorer 8, all major browsers will pass the test. This means we should be entering a world where pages look the same on all browsers (at least whenever IE8 is released and widely adopted) and that is a great thing for web developers and the Internet.

Web 2.0 - Bah Humbug!

Jakob Nielsen just released and article entitled Web 2.0 Can Be Dangerous that shows all is not perfect in the world of Web 2.0. There are downsides to rushing to implement Web 2.0 features in your site without thinking it through.

Monday, December 10, 2007

1024 is the new 800

For a long time the common wisdom has been that web sites should be designed to fit on a screen with a resolution of 800x600. Most new computers have higher resolutions and as of November the places we check for global Internet statistics show that 90.3% of users have a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher.

While we have been doing some sites designed for 1024 already, 90% is the threshold where I feel you can always design for that size. Those with smaller screens are still able to use these sites. They may just need to scroll horizontally a little bit.

These are global numbers. You may find the numbers are higher or lower for your particular industry. As always the best option is to utilize a site analytic program on your own site to see what people are using.