Tuesday January 8th, 2002
A few of you have asked for us to post a news item taking your suggestions for the site, so here it is. Tell us all your ideas for what we can do to improve the site. Anything you want we'll think about, but try to keep it realistic.
Just to keep you updated, one of the things we're planning on working on is getting the ChromeZone up again, if we can find some volunteer editors to help organize themes. If you're interested, please email me and I'll get back to you sometime this week.
UPDATE! Right now we're working on dumping all the tables and other old HTML within the site to both show off Mozilla's skills, and to get our file sizes smaller. If you're using Communicator to view the site, you'll notice everything looking pretty ugly, thanks to the poor CSS support it offers. If you're using IE, it'll look a bit better, but thanks to IE's lacking CSS2 support, the sidebar will show up incorrectly. We've completely redone the homepage and talkback code, and we'll be working on the forums next.
UPDATE 2! We discovered Google's great "Search Site" feature, and have added it. Right now it has most areas of the site indexed except news item talkback pages. It will start indexing talkback today, and will hopefully add all of the old items, in addition to picking up the new ones.
UPDATE 3! We've been working hard to get as many of your suggestions as possible implemented, and we encourage you to continue the feedback. You can check this article's responses for what items we have fixed, or are working on.
#73 Go ahead, shoot yourself in the foot
Saturday January 12th, 2002 10:15 AM
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Do your server logs really say that a majority of visitors are using Mozilla? I'd be really surprised--I think you'd be the only site on the web that has those stats. Although I can see reason to ditch some of the old layout techniques, there's still a lot you should do to make sure the site is usable in older browsers. Old hardware more or less limits me to Netscape 4 or IE and I'd pick Netscape 4 any day over security holes in IE.
It seems to me that you're doing a great disservice by changing this site to be essentially limited to one browser. Standards or not, that's no better than an IE-specific site. Of course, I'm using Netscape 4 here which looks fairly terrible. IE4, which I only use for testing, crashed in MSHTML.dll. Perhaps other versions of IE are more tolerable. As a site about Mozilla advocacy, how does it help if it can't be read by exactly the people that need to be persuaded to upgrade?
I think there's a reasonable middle ground that you've missed. To show that you can use standards-based HTML and still support all browsers reasonably would be a better approach than kicking out old browsers.
Interestingly, ditching the old layout techniques can help older browsers as well as enhance accessibility if done well. Using standard header tags to identify articles in the talkback threads would be nice. Adding a disclaimer about why it look horrible in N4 would also be good. Adding the wrap attribute to the talkback response field would also help N4 and not hurt anyone else.
P.S. I use, test, and log bugs against Mozilla nightly builds on an almost daily basis. I love Mozilla, but know that for most companies tossing any part of your audience is completely unreasonable. This seems even more true for an advocacy site.