[Pydotorg-redesign] What are the goals?

Skip Montanaro skip at pobox.com
Tue Sep 30 09:27:08 EDT 2003

    >> * If it doesn't matter if NS4 is unreadable or crashes, the designer
    >>   can just use CSS and let the chips fall.  Easy.

    aahz> That is not an option.

Seems like a perfectly valid option to me.  A thread here some time ago
suggested NS4's share of the python.org hits was just over 1%.  At some
point, you have to just cut it loose.  Lynx is a different matter, not
because it necessarily has a larger share of the browser market (it might at
this point for all I know), but because it serves a unique segment of the
user population, those without access to graphical user interfaces.  I
suspect most people who use NS4 *could* use something else.  It doesn't hurt
that it has a vocal supporter either.  I've never heard a peep on webmaster
from anyone complaining that the Python site doesn't work in NS4.  Maybe the
people coding the site have been diligent or just lucky.  In any case,
Netscape 4's warts mean that at some point you have to decide it's not worth
the effort.

    >> * If the site has to be readable in NS4 but getting a different, less 
    >> attractive, presentation doesn't matter, the designer can just hide
    >> or simplify the CSS stylesheet served to Netscape4 using Apache
    >> directives or some CSS tricks.

    aahz> That's the way to go.

I'd still argue that NS4 support is not a primary design criterion.  If,
after all is said and done, you can (easily) tweak the CSS or add a
RewriteRule to the Apache config to deliver a different CSS file to Netscape
4 users, that's fine.  Just like we don't take pains to support Unicos,
Cygwin or OS/2 (someone from the Python community has to pony up some
patches) we shouldn't take great pains to support NS4 either.  In fact, I
like that analogy quite well.  Just like Python itself, this is an open
source programming project (maybe the CVS repository should be available via
anoncvs) being done with limited contributed resources.  Like any other open
source project, the programmers get to scratch their itches.  They aren't
obligated to scratch someone else's.

    >> * If the site has to look identical in both NS4 and Mozilla, it's
    >>   very difficult; you end up doubling the work required, or you
    >>   implement for NS4 and avoid using modern CSS.

    aahz> Well, I'm not opposed to the idea of ditching CSS.  ;-) (You
    aahz> figure out how much winking that is.)

Like it or not, CSS is the future.


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