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MacBytes
Mar 16, 2004, 03:58 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Mac are second-class web citizens (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040316165812)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Nermal
Mar 16, 2004, 04:31 PM
Oh well, second-class on a Mac isn't as bad as third-class on Windows :D

dashiel
Mar 16, 2004, 04:45 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Mac are second-class web citizens (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040316165812)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

as the author implies, macs are not second class citizens, rather there are far too many "web designers" out there who don't even know there is something called XHTML, let alone how it differs from HTML. fortunately there seems to be a genuine desire amongst responsible, educated designers to adhere to standards, and the "i've lost my job as an engineer, oh i know i'll be a web designer. now where is that make HTML feature in Word again?" seem to have a relatively short life span.

it's just like DTP in the 80's when there was this explosion of "designers" who knew f-all about typography, layout, text flow, etc... the market was saturated with crappy, low cost designers that not only lowered the standards of acceptable design, but almost singlehandedly ruined the typesetting industry (something which i believe the industry at large has never recovered from). just as the design industry was getting back some semblance of respectability again, along comes the web. this time it's even worse though because nobody knows what the hell they're doing, basically making it all up as they go along.

i'm not a programmer by nature (not that HTML is programming), but i take pride in the fact that all of my sites always comply with w3 and 508 standards. i make a point when talking to clients to point out the benefits and why IE6 despite it's dominance will be treated as a second class citizen and dealt with *after* the site is 100% compliant. some clients don't like this and don't want to work with me, which is fine. there are plenty of potential clients out there whom once educated embrace standards and become almost evangelical about it. i have one client who asked if their competitor's site was compliant, which it wasn't, he now tells his potential clients that fact. i thought that was silly, but apparently as they are in software/manufacturing it goes over quite well.

Stella
Mar 16, 2004, 06:18 PM
Lazy web developers who ignore Standards and continue to use Microsoft bastardized HTML.

dukemeiser
Mar 16, 2004, 06:19 PM
Somebody needs to show this guy the debug menu. Or we all need to go write angry letters to the offending sites. "We're just trying to serve the majority of people." will be their response. :rolleyes:

TwitchOSX
Mar 16, 2004, 06:57 PM
Im a Web Designer / Graphic Designer and I use Dreamweaver. I know that Dreamweaver does not spit out perfect code, but for the speed that Dreamweaver gives me for finishing a project, I appreciate it. I worked with a guy at my last job where I did web-design and I re-vamped the ENTIRE website that they had before. Was a large project for one person to do. Anyway, after I left, this guy decided to revamp the whole website with his little cronnies helping him. At the bottom of this new site, it says " This site has been validated for XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0." How lame. This is a site for an ISP. They do not need to say that. Let alone waste the time to do that IMO. Not saying that they should have done it in Frontpage which is just about the worst code on the planet besides Word HTML... and Im damn glad that Dreamweaver comes with a built in "Clean up Word HTML" script. Anyway, I would think that my clients would be happier to pay less to get it done faster than to pay more to get it perfect. But then, I dont work on huge corporate websites so I guess I can get away with it. If I did work for a huge corporation, I would hire somebody to work with me to manually clean up or fix any code that Dreamweaver created incorrectly. =)

bryanc
Mar 16, 2004, 06:57 PM
It always burns me when I have to use Safari's ability to disguise itself as MSIE, and a site which wouldn't work, suddenly works. What this means, if I understand correctly, is that the site is perfectly compatible with Safari (and probably many other browsers) but is locking out non-MSIE browsers arbitrarily, because the smeg-head who made the page doesn't want to have to worry about different browsers. Thus, even though Safari handles the page fine, it's not allowed in unless it pretends to be MSIE, and then the hit-counter reports another MSIE hit, further perpetuating the attitude that MSIE is all web designers need to worry about.

Whenever I run into this, I try to send the web-master an email to let them know that they've already got a Safari-compatible page if they simply delete the browser-check.

Cheers

TwitchOSX
Mar 16, 2004, 07:26 PM
Actually, thats not how it works. Because Safari and the HTML rendering engine that its built on relies on the page to be built correctly, it will not show lots of things if the page is broken. In other words, IE and older Netscapes can show a page just fine even if a table doesnt have an ending tag where Safari will most likely not show that because thats not the right way of doing it. Unfortunately, that alienates anybody who has a browser that is super strict such as Safari. IE allows the table to show by understanding what the page is trying to show and allows it to render the way it thinks it should. This has its up's and downs and of course lots of people put in all kinds of IE only crap that blocks out other browsers from rendering correctly. I think that Safari should have a little lienency, but not as much as IE. It might help a little.

It always burns me when I have to use Safari's ability to disguise itself as MSIE, and a site which wouldn't work, suddenly works. What this means, if I understand correctly, is that the site is perfectly compatible with Safari (and probably many other browsers) but is locking out non-MSIE browsers arbitrarily, because the smeg-head who made the page doesn't want to have to worry about different browsers. Thus, even though Safari handles the page fine, it's not allowed in unless it pretends to be MSIE, and then the hit-counter reports another MSIE hit, further perpetuating the attitude that MSIE is all web designers need to worry about.

Whenever I run into this, I try to send the web-master an email to let them know that they've already got a Safari-compatible page if they simply delete the browser-check.

Cheers

wowser
Mar 16, 2004, 07:39 PM
there are far too many "web designers" out there who don't even know there is something called XHTML, let alone how it differs from HTML.

that'll be newbies like me, then :confused:

shamino
Mar 16, 2004, 07:59 PM
When did this become newsworthy?

The problem with web pages being IE-only is a lot older than MacOS X. I've been suffering from this problem since the first release of IE. I got bitten by this back when it was IE 3 vs. Netscape 3.

The entire article could be summarized in one line: nothing has changed in the past 8 years.

Rower_CPU
Mar 16, 2004, 08:02 PM
Actually, thats not how it works. Because Safari and the HTML rendering engine that its built on relies on the page to be built correctly, it will not show lots of things if the page is broken. In other words, IE and older Netscapes can show a page just fine even if a table doesnt have an ending tag where Safari will most likely not show that because thats not the right way of doing it. Unfortunately, that alienates anybody who has a browser that is super strict such as Safari. IE allows the table to show by understanding what the page is trying to show and allows it to render the way it thinks it should. This has its up's and downs and of course lots of people put in all kinds of IE only crap that blocks out other browsers from rendering correctly. I think that Safari should have a little lienency, but not as much as IE. It might help a little.

Actually, bryanc is right when he talks about browser-checks/sniffers that developers put in place that adversely affect Safari. We've had some good conversation on this in the web dev forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=58). Here's one such discussion:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=60557

nagromme
Mar 16, 2004, 08:04 PM
I'm a freelance web designer (and yep, I always use XHTML, even when it gives me headaches with Netscape). Someone I barely know is retiring, and just asked me how to make a "good living" at home as a web designer. Qualifications: this person has become "somewhat comfortable" with computers (in other words, email) after many years of trying... and "likes to make things."

Oh, boy.

wrldwzrd89
Mar 16, 2004, 08:06 PM
I support web standards. Check out my web site (address in my signature); it is coded as XHTML 1.1, the latest standard from the W3C. It validates too!

kanaka
Mar 16, 2004, 10:27 PM
Somebody needs to show this guy the debug menu. Or we all need to go write angry letters to the offending sites. "We're just trying to serve the majority of people." will be their response. :rolleyes:

Please don't use the debug menu to change your User Agent. This just racks up more hits for non-Safari browsers, and the offending company will end up feeling justified that they only support IE. Whenever possible, I prefer to go the second route you mentioned -- writing letters and emails to the offending sites, explaining to them that I will no longer visit their site or use their product until they change their ways. I treat my User Agent like I would treat my vote in a political election... I may be in the minority, but I'm still going to let my voice be heard :)

kanaka
Mar 16, 2004, 10:44 PM
Actually, thats not how it works. Because Safari and the HTML rendering engine that its built on relies on the page to be built correctly, it will not show lots of things if the page is broken. In other words, IE and older Netscapes can show a page just fine even if a table doesnt have an ending tag where Safari will most likely not show that because thats not the right way of doing it. Unfortunately, that alienates anybody who has a browser that is super strict such as Safari. IE allows the table to show by understanding what the page is trying to show and allows it to render the way it thinks it should. This has its up's and downs and of course lots of people put in all kinds of IE only crap that blocks out other browsers from rendering correctly. I think that Safari should have a little lienency, but not as much as IE. It might help a little.

Holy misconceptions -- I thought you said you were a web designer?!! I think you are confused about what the User Agent does. When you use your browser to visit a web site, your browser describes itself by sending along this User Agent. When you use the debug menu in Safari to change your User Agent, you are NOT changing the underlying rendering engine being used. You are simply changing a small piece of text that would normally say, "Hi, I'm a Safari browser" to say "Hi I'm an IE browser (or whatever you choose)". If a site doesn't work when you have your User Agent set to Safari, but does work when you set it to something else, it often means that the web site is very poorly designed. Sometimes sites even have the nerve to display a message saying "You must use Netscape x.x or IE x.x to use our site", but their site will work perfectly when you change your User Agent. This isn't because Safari is changing its rendering engine, it's because the site is specifically discriminating against certain browsers for absolutely no good reason.

As I said earlier, fight The Man, don't change your User Agent if you can live without using the site in question.

dashiel
Mar 16, 2004, 11:10 PM
that'll be newbies like me, then :confused:

there is nothing wrong with being a newbie and putting in the time and effort to learn the correct way to do things. we all had to start somewhere.


At the bottom of this new site, it says " This site has been validated for XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0." How lame. This is a site for an ISP. They do not need to say that. Let alone waste the time to do that IMO

i disagree, i put XHTML validation and 508 compliance at the bottom of all my pages, along with a link to the validator page for both. it is important for me not to just make my pages compliant but to help educate others. i didn't bother with compliance a few years ago (4.0 browser time) simply because i didn't know better. after reading webstandards.org (http://www.webstandards.org) and a list apart ("http://www.alistapart.com) for a couple of months i began to understand how important it really is. my feeling is if only one person visits any of the sites i create, clicks on the validator links and is inspired to create valid markup for their own work; then that is one more person in the fight against microsoft's crap browser and one step closer to a day when you won't have to write hacks. it doesn't take more than a few seconds to add that line of code, and it doesn't in any way hinder or detract from a visitors experience with the site.

fwiw i actually find hand coding to be much faster than dreamweaver or golive these days. adobe and macromedia seem unable or unwilling to provide an application that performs in a respectable manner (i haven't tried the latest DW 7.0.1 update). i might crack one of them open to do some quick and dirty layouts for a client meeting, but in general bbedit, is faster and more stable. it just took a few months to kick the WSYWIG habit and get comfortable with HTML again. i'm not a hand coding snob (yet :) ), but after years of editors i'm really much happier coding it by hand again.

Nermal
Mar 17, 2004, 02:01 AM
i put XHTML validation and 508 compliance at the bottom of all my pages

I'm not a professional web designer, but I do make the occasional page. And when I do so, I always run them through the W3 validator. But I've never heard of "508 compliance". Care to enlighten me?

dashiel
Mar 17, 2004, 02:17 AM
I'm not a professional web designer, but I do make the occasional page. And when I do so, I always run them through the W3 validator. But I've never heard of "508 compliance". Care to enlighten me?

508 is the government regulation for making web pages accessible to those people with disabilities. i believe at this point in time it is a requirement for government agencies only, but just like wheelchair ramps i'm guessing it becomes mandatory for all websites (or maybe just big corporate/fineable sites) at some point in the future. in general if you're XHTML compliant you're likely going to be 508 as well, i just like to run mine through to be sure. this is a pretty decent validator for 508 http://www.cynthiasays.com/

shamino
Mar 17, 2004, 10:14 AM
508 is the government regulation for making web pages accessible to those people with disabilities. i believe at this point in time it is a requirement for government agencies only, but just like wheelchair ramps i'm guessing it becomes mandatory for all websites (or maybe just big corporate/fineable sites) at some point in the future. in general if you're XHTML compliant you're likely going to be 508 as well, i just like to run mine through to be sure. this is a pretty decent validator for 508 http://www.cynthiasays.com/
So I guess an animating rainbow background (which makes just about everything unreadable) is right out? :D

MrMacMan
Mar 17, 2004, 11:21 PM
Well if everyone built their websites standards complaint we wouldn't have a problem... but no one does expect people who use Safari, Mozilla and others...


People who use IE don't see a reason for that.

Nermal
Mar 19, 2004, 05:14 PM
508 is the government regulation for making web pages accessible to those people with disabilities. i believe at this point in time it is a requirement for government agencies only, but just like wheelchair ramps i'm guessing it becomes mandatory for all websites (or maybe just big corporate/fineable sites) at some point in the future. in general if you're XHTML compliant you're likely going to be 508 as well, i just like to run mine through to be sure. this is a pretty decent validator for 508 http://www.cynthiasays.com/

Ah, so I can sum it up in 3 words: An American Thing :p

TwitchOSX
Mar 19, 2004, 07:41 PM
I am actually correct. Changing the user agent does allow the page to load when the code on the page only wants to display to IE or NS browsers. So, yes, doing that will fix some problems, but what I said about how Safari renders web pages with errors on the page is still true. Read a big article about it a few months ago. Im no programmer and dont really care how browsers do thier crap, but from what I read, Safari will not load things that IE or NS might if the code is broken (ie: missing ending tags) among other things im sure. So, Changing the user agent does nothing but disguise your browser to the page's browser validator. If that page still has broken or IE only code, its still going to be screwed up.

Rower_CPU
Mar 19, 2004, 09:26 PM
I am actually correct. Changing the user agent does allow the page to load when the code on the page only wants to display to IE or NS browsers. So, yes, doing that will fix some problems, but what I said about how Safari renders web pages with errors on the page is still true. Read a big article about it a few months ago. Im no programmer and dont really care how browsers do thier crap, but from what I read, Safari will not load things that IE or NS might if the code is broken (ie: missing ending tags) among other things im sure. So, Changing the user agent does nothing but disguise your browser to the page's browser validator. If that page still has broken or IE only code, its still going to be screwed up.

No. You told someone they were incorrect for stating that Safari won't load certain pages with browser-sniffers, saying it was ONLY due to Safari's error-handling. That's just wrong.

You're the only one to mention the error-handling, and no-one said you were wrong about that, just the browser sniffing part. You were corrected. Take it as a learning experience and move on. :)

TwitchOSX
Mar 19, 2004, 09:40 PM
Ok.. I read the original post that I replied to and saw that I was a little off track (I was drunk.. sorry). But I am still right about the rendering engine in Safari.

Thanks for pointing that out. w00t!

seanessey
Mar 21, 2004, 03:43 PM
hello all,

I've been lurking here for a couple of years, and finally registered; this would be my first post.

I've been having trouble with some pages which use java servlets- neither Safari, nor Firefox renders such pages correctly: all I get is a 1x1 pixel blank page.

I also use NetBarrier- I haven't tried turning it off yet...

Still, Wincentric webmasters really get my goat. There are too many designers coding under the assumption that all users are running Win/IE.

I always make a point of letting the site know that Mac users surf the site too, and I suggest that more of us need to do so to improve the web for mac users everywhere.

an example of a site which uses servlet links:
Globe and Mail (http://www.globeandmail.com)

themadchemist
Mar 22, 2004, 11:48 AM
The page could not be displayed on my PC...So I don't know what that tells you. :D

sillyghost
Mar 28, 2004, 07:07 PM
You hit it on the head. The problem is that MS has near total market penetration and if you can create a solution for 98% of your customers for half the time and money it would take to get it right for everyone, thats the way to go.


Im a Web Designer / Graphic Designer and I use Dreamweaver. I know that Dreamweaver does not spit out perfect code, but for the speed that Dreamweaver gives me for finishing a project, I appreciate it. I worked with a guy at my last job where I did web-design and I re-vamped the ENTIRE website that they had before. Was a large project for one person to do. Anyway, after I left, this guy decided to revamp the whole website with his little cronnies helping him. At the bottom of this new site, it says " This site has been validated for XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0." How lame. This is a site for an ISP. They do not need to say that. Let alone waste the time to do that IMO. Not saying that they should have done it in Frontpage which is just about the worst code on the planet besides Word HTML... and Im damn glad that Dreamweaver comes with a built in "Clean up Word HTML" script. Anyway, I would think that my clients would be happier to pay less to get it done faster than to pay more to get it perfect. But then, I dont work on huge corporate websites so I guess I can get away with it. If I did work for a huge corporation, I would hire somebody to work with me to manually clean up or fix any code that Dreamweaver created incorrectly. =)