Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Headlines | XML feed | Contact | New Sites | Archives | Job Centre | MARKETPLACE | For Sale
Note: This column represents the opinions of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Pure HTML is Dead, Long Live IE? 9 July 2002 Edition
Previous Edition | Archives

Please support the sponsor
Sponsor's Message
There used to be a time, long long ago, when web pages were implemented using a markup language known as HTML.

Life was simple for web designers. Create an HTML-compliant web page and visitors using Mosaic, Lynx (and later, Netscape) could browse around without any problems.

Then Netscape decided that all these "simple" HTML web pages were pretty lame and boring -- so it decided to spice up HTML a little with a few extensions of its own.

Always keen to embrace such innovations, many web designers started using these new extensions and this meant that users of other browsers were sometimes disadvantaged.

Feature: Promoting Your Website
Dont' forget to check out the series of hints on how to promote your website which will be regularly added to throughout the next few weeks.

New this week: The Importance Of Branding

Now jump forward to 2002 and we find something very similar going on -- except now it's Microsoft doing the "enhancing".

As a died in the wool Netscape user, I find myself increasingly being forced to fire up my Internet Explorer 6.0 to gain access to some sites.

The reason for this is simple: the guys at Microsoft have decided that there are lots of cool things you can do to make websites more interactive, exciting and useful. Unfortunately, not all this extra functionality isn't supported by my Netscape or even my "HTML compliant" Opera browser.

But why should Microsoft or the web designers using all these "gee whiz" features care? After all, just about everyone uses IE these days so what does it matter if a handful of visitors can't properly access IE-specific websites?

Readers Say
(updated hourly)
  • IE, Netscape, Opera... - Annon
  • The IE Monopoly... - Andy
  • Browser Agnosticism... - Allister
  • Xtra network infected... - Mike
  • Netscape/Mozilla vs IE... - Ian
  • IE HTML Websites... - Me
  • The Gooey... - Don
  • Telstra Clear... - David
  • Have Your Say

    Well if the feedback I received recently regarding The Gooey is anything to go by, there are still a lot of people who do care.

    Perhaps it's because Aardvark has a fairly high level of "technically aware" readers who avoid Internet Explorer for obvious reasons -- or perhaps it's because the new release of Mozilla has drawn back a lot of people who had temporarily defected to IE -- but whatever the reason, it seems that the number of non-IE users has risen recently.

    What's more, non-IE users tend to be a far more vocal bunch than their Microsoft-enamoured peers, so when they encounter a site that is IE-specific they're more likely to say something about it.

    All of this leaves web designers in a bit of a pickle doesn't it?

    Should they use all those clever IE-specific features and build a site that rocks the client's socks off -- or should they focus instead on producing a site that is more browser-friendly and works well with Opera, Mozilla and IE?

    In the case of an a business website the answer is probably pretty easy to work out. If we assume that 10 percent of web surfers are Netscape, Mozilla or Opera users then we simply subtract that much from the projected total sales value related directly to the site.

    For instance -- a website that is expected to produce sales of $10,000 per month could be turning away up to $12,000 a year worth of business if it effectively locks out non-IE users.

    Clearly it would be easy to create a solid business case to spend an extra in order $5,000 to make that site more browser-agnostic.

    Unfortunately I doubt that many companies will do even this simple piece of math and, as a result, we can look forward to an increasing number of "no-go" areas for us non-IE users.

    What do you think? Should Non-IE users just get with the program and ditch their incompatible software -- or should web designers get a brain and learn that an gramme of agnostic functionality is worth a kilo of glitz and glamour?

    Have Your Say
    As always, your comments are welcomed. Please remember to select "For Publication" if you want them included on this site.

    Have your say.

    Linking Policy
    Want to link to this site? Check out Aardvark's Linking Policy.

    Did you tell someone else about Aardvark today? If not then do it now!

    Security Alerts
    Microsoft Reveals Still More Security Flaws (NewsFactor - 28/06/2002)

    OpenSSH Hole Uncovered
    (CNet - 28/05/2002)

    Apache Web Servers at Risk - Patching Urged (NewsFactor - 23/06/2002)

    Holes Still Linger in Yahoo! Messenger (iNetNews - 06/06/2002)

    Experts warn of IE Gopher hole (ZDNet - 05/06/2002)

    Virus Alerts
    Kowbot worm targets Kazaa network
    (VNuNet - 01/07/2002)

    Worm exploits Apache vulnerability (Computerworld - 01/07/2002)

    Soccer World Cup Virus Detected (iNetNews - 07/06/2002)

    Bookmark This Page Now!


    NZL Sites
    NZ Netguide
    NZ Herald Tech
    PC World NZ
    NZOOM Technology WordWorx

    AUS Sites
    Fairfax IT
    Australian IT
    AUS Netguide
    NineMSN Tech
    APC Magazine

    USA Sites
    CNNfn Tech
    Yahoo Tech
    ZDNet Tech
    USA Today Tech
    7am.com SciTech

    UK Sites
    The Register
    BBC SciTech


    My Jet Engines
    Check Out Me And My Jet Engines

    The Day's Top News
    Open in New Window = open in new window
    New Zealand

    Open in New Window Advantage Group appeals trademark ruling
    Advantage Group has lodged an appeal over the judgement against its ownership of the Advantage name...

    Open in New Window Vote the Geeks for a snoop-free New Zealand
    Maybe forming a geek party is not such a silly idea. The Greens have shown what can be done in an MMP environment when badly dressed oddballs stand up for their beliefs...
    NZ Herald


    Open in New Window Cracking MS SQL Server passwords
    The inner workings of the undocumented pwdencrypt() hash function in Microsoft SQL Server have been revealed in a paper by security researcher David Litchfield of Next Generation Security Software...
    The Register

    Open in New Window First legal Linux program runs on Xbox
    The first Linux program to run legally on Xbox has been released, says the Xbox Linux Project. It is not clear to us what the program, which was created without the Xbox SDK, actually does...
    The Register

    Open in New Window The Spy Inside Your Cell Phone
    When mobile phones first started gaining popularity, it seemed anyone who could navigate a Radio Shack could put together a little receiver to intercept random cell traffic from the air...

    Open in New Window Sites bow to Microsoft's browser king
    When he co-founded Netscape Communications in 1994, Jim Clark introduced a Web browser that promised computer users a way around the Microsoft juggernaut...

    Open in New Window EBay Pays for PayPal
    The Web's largest auction site pays $1.5 billion in a stock swap for the online paying system that most of its customers use...


    Open in New Window Thousands fight for work
    IT professionals are plunging into personal crisis as the jobs slump and salary crash hit home...
    Australian IT

    Open in New Window auDA files complaint against Internet Registry
    .au Domain Administration (auDA), says it has lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission against Internet Registry, claiming information it sent out in a recent mail out is incorrec...


    Open in New Window Labels to Net Radio: Die Now
    You’d think the record companies would love Internet tunes—instead they’re trying to kill them...

    Open in New Window Mobile spam on the rise
    Unwanted text messages are becoming a growing nuisance for UK consumers, who are often confused about how they received such messages...

    Open in New Window Labels defend MusicNet, Pressplay
    Record industry executives and critics are trading barbs at an industry conference this week, with an outspoken legislator saying major labels' online subscription services may amount to a "duopoly."...

    Open in New Window Quantum Computing Puts Encrypted Messages at Risk
    In the world of quantum computing and encryption, the question of which will come first, quantum computing or quantum encryption, is very important...

    Open in New Window Itanium 2 on the way, but will it sell?
    The Itanium 2 processor marks a significant step in Intel's strategy to penetrate the upper echelons of the computing market. But analysts and others are asking whether it will thrive in the current economic ice age...

    Looking For More News or Information?

    Search WWW Search Aardvark

    Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2002, Bruce Simpson, republication rights available on request

    jet engine page