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The spice of life

Introducing a new version of IE was a very good thing in my view. It's hardly a panacea for IE's many frustrations, and should have been released about 6 months after IE6 was, but at least it's progress. The only problem with introducing something new is that it doesn't necessarily mean that the old version is immediately wiped out. It's just another browser in the web client mélange to test my sites with.

I have been keeping an extra-close beady eye on the browser usage statistics recently, specifically because of the roll-out of IE7. Now browser statistics are notoriously slippery. So down at Browser news, several sets of data are used for a variety of sites. And even then the results are seasoned heavily with salt and pepper.

So here's my round up, taken from Browser News. Gecko-based browsers have roughly 13%. IE has roughly 80%, with a growing 20% of that IE7. Nearly all the rest is IE6. KHTML-based browsers such as Safari and Konqueror (a browser used by KDE on some Linux systems) at roughly 3%.

On screen resolution has 800x600 at 15%, and nearly everyone else on 1024x768. What do we do with these results?

My answer is to rate the importance of having a site work “as intended” on various browsers. No browser should be excluded from finding the content of the site: that is to say that there should be no element of the substance of a site that excludes people because for example they have JavaScript turned off, or they are using IE5. While these people should be able to access the full content of the site, there is no need for you to spend a disproportionate amount of effort making your site perform or look identical to the modern browsers. You've heard it all before – allow access to content, but then enhance functionality and the look of the site as the features become available in newer or better browsers. A full experience should be available to people using IE6, IE7, Gecko-based browsers and KHTML based browsers, too.

Technorati: Web development


Jason posted this on Friday, March 23, 2007 at 9:58 am. Leave comment.

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