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Why Support Everything?

Last Updated: Friday, 09-Jan-2015 12:32:47 PST

Why do you support every kind of computer?

I started out with this idea, because I couldn't test on Internet Explorer 6-8, which is still used by 60% of web users and so I felt that if I was already losing that many users, it would be unwise to eliminate any other users. This is because I was using Mac OS X and Linux, I did not want to expose my data to viruses, and didn't feel I had the money to dedicate an entire computer to testing

The only reason why this website works in Internet Explorer 6-8 now is due to specific direction from my Uncle Clive. I could not have figured out how to get past the complex and confusing bugs in Internet Explorer 6-8 without him telling my exactly what to do to make my layout work.

The other idea behind this is that I want what I create to last many years into the future. If we still are able to hold onto our technology into the future, new software will likely come about that never existed before. There are some website designed in the late 90s that only work now with Internet Explorer and Netscape. Even though Firefox can handle the same data, it will not be allowed in because the name is not Netscape (Firefox doesn't use the name Netscape because it is a trademark owned by AOL Time Warner). Who would have foresaw in the late 90s that Apple and Google would have web browsers that might now be the future of web browsers for many years to come.

Why do you have your writings in many formats?

I started out putting everything in PDF format, as that made the most sense for long documents. You cannot make a web page that is only 1 file to download, still has easy navigation panel on the side, breaks into pages, and prints out well. I specifically forbid changing the file format of my documents, because I don't want my work to only survive in a Microsoft format. This would require people to pay them and use their software to access the documents, if Microsoft even exists and still supports those Microsoft formats at that time. There is not an easy way to explain what an open format is and since companies like Microsoft base their entire business models by claiming they support open standards and then sue competitors for using their technology, I am left with having to convert things myself.

Another problem I ran into is that people could not access PDFs, because some people buy Windows computers, without a PDF reader and are afraid to install it. Others hate Adobe for some reason and think they need to use Adobe Reader to create or view PDFs. Many people also think that PDFs cannot be made accessible to sight impaired readers or cannot be reflowed for mobile devices, because many people create PDFs the wrong way and abuse the format for things it was not intended, and just assume everyone who uses PDFs to distribute documents abuses the technology in the same way.

I remember many people disabling Javascript, because they hated pop up windows. Many people also disabled cookies, because they were afraid of storing information on their own computers, didn't realize that it was necessary for basic things like shopping carts, and was much better than keeping the information on a web server. Now you can't go to hardly any website without enabling cookies and Javascript. People now seem to love the same Javascript they hated 5 years earlier, because their were now pop-up blockers. Now people Flash because it is abused in similar ways. Only designers can realize the value that Flash provides to non-programmers to have control over the way their website looks on all major browsers.

The Underlying Problem with Web Design

You have no control over what software people who visit your websites use. People don't want to ever install any software or ever upgrade, because it is very hard to uninstall software on Windows, even with the latest version 7.

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