The War of the Browsers

netscape.jpgOnce you start replacing your HTML with CSS like I have been doing with my little website project, you have to worry more than ever about what type and version of browser your visitors will use. Otherwise before you know it, what looks awesome on your machine, will collapse like a house of cards on someone else’s screen.

I remember the days of IE vs. Netscape. I seem to recall that back then everyone said Netscape was sooo superior to Microsoft. Netscape was the only product I used throughout the 1990s. Around the turn of the millennium, it got quiet around the Navigator, and – out of pure spite towards Microsoft – I switched to Opera. But only for a while. I had too many problems with pages that wouldn’t display properly and never could get any shopping done.

So very reluctantly I gave in and started using IE. I didn’t like it. I wanted to continue using the underdog browser. I liked the anarchy of not letting Windows have its way. (In my next life, I think I will join to cyber underground and become a hacker.) Other browsers may be faster or better looking than IE, may even have fewer bugs or quirks. But when it comes to designing web pages pages, you have to design for the product the majority of visitors to your site use, and according to that’s 54% IE as of Dec ’07.

But I took a look at the other day – the administrators of the Netscape estate, I understand, and I was impressed to learn that 36% of internet users use Firefox. I might take the time to install  it to see how pages look compared to IE.


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