Checking Backward Compatibility of a new page

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Griz, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Griz

    Griz Guest

    Hi,

    I'm working on a complete redo of my site. My objective is to provide a good
    looking usable site to the widest possible range of users (browsers). I've
    chosen HTML 4.0 strict and CSS1 as my compromise between backward
    compatibility and capability.

    I have a 2 col + header + footer basic page structure completed and have
    been checking it against the "Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer" at
    http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html
    but there are hundreds of browser ID strings listed at
    http://www.delorie.com/web/agents.txt and I would guess that most are not
    necessary to overtly check (e.g. if Mozilla/2. and Mozilla/4.0 work than do
    I need to check Mozilla/3.0 ?)

    Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I should
    check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant differences in
    HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?

    If you are interested my test page is at
    http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/test/new-form.html

    Please let me know if it breaks down (overlaps etc.) with your browser.

    I'm a newbie but have thick skin (and skull) so don't spare me the truth (as
    you see it) :)

    Thank You

    --
    Griz (aka Steve - Builder of Garaj Mahal)
    To EMail reply delete a letter from each side of @
    Steve-Stuff http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/
    Laser For Sale http://home.att.net/~mazak-laser/
    Griz, Dec 21, 2003
    #1
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  2. Griz wrote:

    > Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I should
    > check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant differences in
    > HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?


    I'm not sure what you mean "browser ID strings that [you] should check".
    You don't check strings -- you check in the browsers themselves.

    Check:

    - Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6 for Windows
    - Internet Explorer 5+ for Mac
    - Netscape 4.8
    - Mozilla 1.4
    - Opera 7
    - Konqueror 3 or Safari 1
    - Lynx

    That is my recommended testing suite. Personally, I have no access to
    IE/Mac, so I often have difficulty testing in that one.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?page=132
    Toby A Inkster, Dec 21, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Griz

    Steve Pugh Guest

    "Griz" <> wrote:

    >I'm working on a complete redo of my site. My objective is to provide a good
    >looking usable site to the widest possible range of users (browsers). I've
    >chosen HTML 4.0 strict and CSS1 as my compromise between backward
    >compatibility and capability.
    >
    >I have a 2 col + header + footer basic page structure completed and have
    >been checking it against the "Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer" at
    >http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html
    >but there are hundreds of browser ID strings listed at
    >http://www.delorie.com/web/agents.txt and I would guess that most are not
    >necessary to overtly check (e.g. if Mozilla/2. and Mozilla/4.0 work than do
    >I need to check Mozilla/3.0 ?)
    >
    >Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I should
    >check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant differences in
    >HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?


    I'd ignore user agent strings as (a) a lot of them are merely the same
    browser under different distributions and (b) a lot of them are lies.

    The main graphical browsers in use today can be split into several
    families:
    Windows IE
    Mac IE
    Netscape 4.x
    Gecko (Mozilla, Netscape 6+, Firebird, Camino, etc.)
    Opera
    Konqueror/Safari

    How many versions of each of the above you test in is up to you.
    Testing in older versions of Win IE (e.g. 5 and 5.5) is going to cover
    larger portions of your audience that testing in older versions of
    Opera.

    >If you are interested my test page is at
    >http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/test/new-form.html
    >
    >Please let me know if it breaks down (overlaps etc.) with your browser.


    I'll assume that the appearence in IE5.5 is correct.
    In IE6 there are some scrolling issues (horizontal scrollbar appears)
    In IE5 the header has a blue background.
    Broken in Netscape 4.8.
    Broken in Gecko based browsers (tested in Mozilla 1.5, Firebird 0.7
    and Netscape 7.1)
    Broken in Opera 5 and 6.
    Broken, in a new way, in Opera 7.

    The CSS doesn't pass validation.
    The HTML does pass validation when a character encoding is enforced.

    I'd hide the CSS entirely from NN4 and then do some research into the
    CSS box model and IE's bugs in that area, it's probable that you've
    coded to IE's bugs which is why it falls apart in other browsers.

    Steve

    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Dec 21, 2003
    #3
  4. Griz

    jake Guest

    In message
    <uBeFb.504757$>, Griz
    <> writes
    >Hi,
    >
    >I'm working on a complete redo of my site. My objective is to provide a good
    >looking usable site to the widest possible range of users (browsers). I've
    >chosen HTML 4.0 strict and CSS1 as my compromise between backward
    >compatibility and capability.
    >
    >I have a 2 col + header + footer basic page structure completed and have
    >been checking it against the "Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer" at
    >http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html
    >but there are hundreds of browser ID strings listed at
    >http://www.delorie.com/web/agents.txt and I would guess that most are not
    >necessary to overtly check (e.g. if Mozilla/2. and Mozilla/4.0 work than do
    >I need to check Mozilla/3.0 ?)
    >
    >Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I should
    >check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant differences in
    >HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?
    >
    >If you are interested my test page is at
    >http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/test/new-form.html
    >
    >Please let me know if it breaks down (overlaps etc.) with your browser.
    >
    >I'm a newbie but have thick skin (and skull) so don't spare me the truth (as
    >you see it) :)
    >
    >Thank You
    >

    You might want to think what to do about NS4.

    (a) Forget about it altogether on the basis that probably less than 5%
    of your audience use it, or
    (b) Hide the *positioning* CSS from it, but supply a 2nd stylesheet to
    use CSS to apply font sizes/colours, etc., or
    (c) Hide all CSS and see if it degrades OK.
    (d) Supply a 2nd stylesheet that will give you the layout you want.

    A lot of people would say that (d) is not worth the effort, but I would
    think that you should be able to make it work without too much trouble.

    Anyway, this is how it looks in NS4.75:

    http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/NS4X.JPG

    regards.
    --
    Jake
    jake, Dec 21, 2003
    #4
  5. Griz

    Griz Guest

    Steve Pugh wrote:
    > "Griz" <> wrote:
    >> Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I
    >> should check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant
    >> differences in HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?

    >
    > I'd ignore user agent strings as (a) a lot of them are merely the same
    > browser under different distributions and (b) a lot of them are lies.
    >
    > The main graphical browsers in use today can be split into several
    > families:
    > Windows IE
    > Mac IE
    > Netscape 4.x
    > Gecko (Mozilla, Netscape 6+, Firebird, Camino, etc.)
    > Opera
    > Konqueror/Safari
    >
    > How many versions of each of the above you test in is up to you.
    > Testing in older versions of Win IE (e.g. 5 and 5.5) is going to cover
    > larger portions of your audience that testing in older versions of
    > Opera.
    >
    >> If you are interested my test page is at
    >> http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/test/new-form.html
    >>

    >
    > I'll assume that the appearence in IE5.5 is correct.
    > In IE6 there are some scrolling issues (horizontal scrollbar appears)
    > In IE5 the header has a blue background.
    > Broken in Netscape 4.8.
    > Broken in Gecko based browsers (tested in Mozilla 1.5, Firebird 0.7
    > and Netscape 7.1)
    > Broken in Opera 5 and 6.
    > Broken, in a new way, in Opera 7.


    Thank You for the detailed feedback. I was checking it with the tool at
    http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html and it looked when I input the browser
    ID string for each of the above browers into the tool input box. I now
    realize that the tool was not showing me what the page looked like in those
    browsers.

    >
    > The CSS doesn't pass validation.

    ??? it tests ok at http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html for
    me. How are you testing it?????

    > The HTML does pass validation when a character encoding is enforced.

    It tested OK at http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/ but based on your
    input I did add the character encoding string <META
    HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    >
    > I'd hide the CSS entirely from NN4 and then do some research into the
    > CSS box model and IE's bugs in that area, it's probable that you've
    > coded to IE's bugs which is why it falls apart in other browsers.


    I'm sure you are correct. Based on the comments I've recieved and some
    further reading I've done I guess I need to download a mess of browsers to
    support testing. I may also go back to a limited use of tables for basic
    layout, then slowly add CSS (while monitoring browser compatibility). I'd
    rather have stable and compatible than state-of-the-art and buggy.

    Thanks again for your help.

    For the linux, mac and webTV browsers (which I will not be able to test
    myself) what do you think of
    Browser Cam http://www.browsercam.com/default.aspx and/or NetMechanic
    Browser Photo http://www.netmechanic.com/browser-index.htm#pricing_list

    --
    Griz (aka Steve - Builder of Garaj Mahal)
    To EMail reply delete a letter from each side of @
    Steve-Stuff http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/
    Laser For Sale http://home.att.net/~mazak-laser/
    Griz, Dec 22, 2003
    #5
  6. Griz

    Griz Guest

    Toby A Inkster wrote:
    > Griz wrote:
    >
    >> Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I
    >> should check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant
    >> differences in HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?

    >
    > I'm not sure what you mean "browser ID strings that [you] should
    > check". You don't check strings -- you check in the browsers
    > themselves.


    I thought I was checking the page against specific browsers at
    http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html by inputting the strings from
    http://www.delorie.com/web/agents.txt into the tool input box. I now
    realize that the tool was not showing me what the page looked like in those
    browsers. <stupid me to think it was that easy>

    > Check:
    >
    >
    > That is my recommended testing suite. Personally, I have no access to
    > IE/Mac, so I often have difficulty testing in that one.
    > - Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6 for Windows
    > - Internet Explorer 5+ for Mac
    > - Netscape 4.8
    > - Mozilla 1.4
    > - Opera 7
    > - Konqueror 3 or Safari 1
    > - Lynx


    Thank you for your time and the list. I guess I need to gather a mess of
    browsers for testing.
    For testing linux, mac and webTV browsers (which I will not be able to test
    myself) what do you think of
    Browser Cam http://www.browsercam.com/default.aspx and/or NetMechanic
    Browser Photo http://www.netmechanic.com/browser-index.htm#pricing_list ??

    --
    Griz (aka Steve - Builder of Garaj Mahal)
    To EMail reply delete a letter from each side of @
    Steve-Stuff http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/
    Laser For Sale http://home.att.net/~mazak-laser/
    Griz, Dec 22, 2003
    #6
  7. Griz

    Griz Guest

    jake wrote:
    > In message
    > <uBeFb.504757$>, Griz
    > <> writes
    >> Does anyone have a list of the specific browser ID strings that I
    >> should check in order to catch all (99%) of the significant
    >> differences in HTML4/CSS1 implementations.?
    >>
    >> If you are interested my test page is at
    >> http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/test/new-form.html
    >>

    > You might want to think what to do about NS4.
    >
    > (a) Forget about it altogether on the basis that probably less than 5%
    > of your audience use it, or
    > (b) Hide the *positioning* CSS from it, but supply a 2nd stylesheet to
    > use CSS to apply font sizes/colours, etc., or
    > (c) Hide all CSS and see if it degrades OK.
    > (d) Supply a 2nd stylesheet that will give you the layout you want.
    >
    > A lot of people would say that (d) is not worth the effort, but I
    > would think that you should be able to make it work without too much
    > trouble.
    >
    > Anyway, this is how it looks in NS4.75:
    >
    > http://www.gododdin.demon.co.uk/ng/NS4X.JPG
    >
    > regards.


    Thank You for your feedback. I will be gathering a mess of browsers so I can
    test my work first hand. Your option (d) would be my opjective but I may
    well end up with one of the others.

    --
    Griz (aka Steve - Builder of Garaj Mahal)
    To EMail reply delete a letter from each side of @
    Steve-Stuff http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/
    Laser For Sale http://home.att.net/~mazak-laser/
    Griz, Dec 22, 2003
    #7
  8. Griz

    Steve Pugh Guest

    "Griz" <> wrote:
    >
    >Thank You for the detailed feedback. I was checking it with the tool at
    >http://www.delorie.com/web/wpbcv.html and it looked when I input the browser
    >ID string for each of the above browers into the tool input box. I now
    >realize that the tool was not showing me what the page looked like in those
    >browsers.


    The ID string in that tool is what get's sent to _your_ server. It's
    in case your site has some form of browser sniffing implemented on the
    server. Also note the 1999 date on that page and reflect that even Ie
    has had a new version released since then.

    >> The CSS doesn't pass validation.

    >
    >??? it tests ok at http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html for
    >me. How are you testing it?????


    The same, but via an addon to Opera that allows me to submit pages
    directly.

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/...rm.html&warning=1&profile=css2&usermedium=all
    passes, but
    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/...uff/test/new-form.html&warning=1&profile=css2
    fails. Hmm. Something to do with the way border-color: inherit is
    treated. Where it's getting the values of brown and Pink from I'm not
    sure.

    >> The HTML does pass validation when a character encoding is enforced.

    >
    >It tested OK at http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/ but based on your
    >input I did add the character encoding string <META
    >HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">


    That's the least optimal way of sending a character encoding, but it
    will suffice until you can reconfigure your server to send it
    properly.


    >For the linux, mac and webTV browsers (which I will not be able to test
    >myself) what do you think of
    >Browser Cam http://www.browsercam.com/default.aspx and/or NetMechanic
    >Browser Photo http://www.netmechanic.com/browser-index.htm#pricing_list


    I have used browsercam. It's okay (and if you have your own domain you
    can create unlimited numbers of free trials by using new e-mail
    adresses each time). But all it does is show a static screengrab, it
    doesn't show how the page reacts to variable window sizes, font sizes,
    images on/off, CSS on/off, JavaScript on/off, etc. I've also noticed
    that the Mac and Linux screenshots often don't work. :-(

    Steve

    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Dec 22, 2003
    #8
  9. Griz

    Steve Pugh Guest

    Steve Pugh <> wrote:

    >Something to do with the way border-color: inherit is
    >treated. Where it's getting the values of brown and Pink from I'm not
    >sure.


    Maybe if I'd actually looked at your code rather than the normalised
    output from the validator...

    Anyway, the error is easy to fix:
    Brown and Pink are not allowed colour names in CSS2, see
    http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/syndata.html#value-def-color

    Steve

    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Dec 22, 2003
    #9
  10. Quoth the raven named Griz:

    > and webTV browsers (which I will not be able to test myself)


    Sure you can. <g> Fun, too!

    http://developer.msntv.com/Tools/MSNTVVwr.asp

    --
    -bts
    -This space intentionally left wondering
    -why people use that service.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 22, 2003
    #10
  11. Griz

    Griz Guest

    Griz, Dec 22, 2003
    #11
  12. Griz

    Griz Guest

    Steve Pugh wrote:
    > "Griz" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> The CSS doesn't pass validation.

    >>
    >> ??? it tests ok at
    >> http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html for me. How
    >> are you testing it?????

    >
    > The same, but via an addon to Opera that allows me to submit pages
    > directly.
    >
    >

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/...rm.html&warning=1&profile=css2&usermedium=all
    > passes, but
    >

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/...uff/test/new-form.html&warning=1&profile=css2
    > fails. Hmm. Something to do with the way border-color: inherit is
    > treated. Where it's getting the values of brown and Pink from I'm not
    > sure.

    I can not replicate the errors I see at
    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/...uff/test/new-form.html&warning=1&profile=css2
    by going to http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html and
    playing with the options. I assume that media=all would be the worst case
    but it looks like your browser is not selecting any media type at all.
    I have not fixed the HTML color error yet because I'm still looking for a
    CSS validation setup that will catch the problem (for future test
    effectiveness).

    >
    >>> The HTML does pass validation when a character encoding is enforced.

    >>
    >> It tested OK at http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/ but based
    >> on your input I did add the character encoding string <META
    >> HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

    >
    > That's the least optimal way of sending a character encoding, but it
    > will suffice until you can reconfigure your server to send it
    > properly.

    You really pushed past my limit of knowleage on this one. Is the character
    coding definition OK but being sent to you by my server in a "less than
    optimal manner"??? or can I do something to the definition in the HTML to
    improve the situation????

    I'm currently "hosted" as a PWP at Worldnet so I have NO server side
    control. Very shortly I will be moving to a REAL host with all the bells &
    whistles so I can start a whole new learning curve. :)

    --
    Griz (aka Steve - Builder of Garaj Mahal)
    To EMail reply delete a letter from each side of @
    Steve-Stuff http://home.att.net/~steve-stuff/
    Laser For Sale http://home.att.net/~mazak-laser/
    Griz, Dec 22, 2003
    #12
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