andrewc at MAIL.VICNET.NET.AU
Tue Sep 25 00:58:45 UTC 2001
You're right. Its best to design a web page to be as cross OS and cross browser
compatible as possible. I guess i'm lucky and my target audience is all on
English language versions of windows95/98/NT4 with a mix on netscape 4 and IE5.
but my situation is relatively unique.
I try to make my browser as cross compatible as possible.
But it depends on the language. At the moment I'm working on a unicode site
which will require Hindi and Tamil. So my browser options are limited ...
Netscape 4 or 6 on windows can't use uniscribe so is unable to render
and ligatures that may be required in hindi.
Ti handle hindi and tamil requires minimum IE 5.5 on Win9x/NT4 with Arabic or
Thai language packs. This will update uniscribe to the correct version. or you
need to run win2000 with Hindi langauge support installed in the OS.
The hindi opentype fonts that come with win2000 do not contain any latin
charcaters, and will not work with win9x based platforms.
I may be doing some work with Syriac script soon, in which case it will require
a mimimum IE6 on win9x/ME/NT4/2000 and arabic support added or WinXP with
OS support added.
If i'm working with Dinka (Southern Sudan) using custom 8-bit character
based fonts then i can effectively use any browser.
Dinka in unicode is more tricky, I need uniscribe with Latin script support.
Such a version of uniscribe is not available yet.
I haven't had an opportunity to map language support on the various versions of
teh MacOS yet.
Since my clients are windows based, thats what i've been working on. I should
have the data i have on hand compiled in the next week or two. I'll post it on
my web site when i have it finished.
I just wish all browsers had nice simple, flexible langauge support for the end
AndjQuoting Chuck Coker <chuckc at tyrell.com>:
> From: "Andreas Kyriacou" <andreas at kyriacou.ch>
> > Andrew Cunningham wrote:
> > > netscape
> > > 4 or IE and insert in netscapes case a link to a dynamic font, and
> > > IE's case
> > > some CSS which identified an embeded open type font source.
> > Just out of interest: What do you do if you detect another browser?
> > Or if a browser like Opera masks itself as NS or IE but still
> > differently?
> During the month of August 2001, I had 1,132,345 different requests,
> 2,558 different browsers, hit my web servers. (Note that these are ~my~
> servers, not the web servers at tyrell.com, my employer.) The browser
> is based on unique User Agent strings.
> A User Agent string for an Opera browser can look like this:
> Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98) Opera 5.12 [en]
> ever seen.
> Table 1, below, is a heavily edited list of visiting browsers, sorted by
> number of requests. Table 2, below, is a list of visitor's operating
> systems, sorted by the number of requests. (A monospace font makes the
> numbers line up nicely.)
> Of course, your mileage may vary. In fact I'm sure it will -- I have a
> of software development information which would account for the higher
> average number of visitors from the Linux camp and the lower than
> number from the Macintosh camp.
> As you can see MSIE (62.25%) and Netscape (27.52%) are by far the most
> widely used browsers (89.77%) visiting my servers. While I do get
> using Opera (2.16%), I suspect that they are more computer savvy than
> average user. I also noticed people using Lynx (0.07%), which last time
> used it on a VAX in the early 1990s, was text-only.
> I try to design my web sites to be as browser-independent as possible.
> However, when I have to make a browser-dependent decision, I usually go
> the MSIE 5+ and Netscape 4.7+ crowds. I use CSS but I haven't used
> fonts. Most of my decision making is done on the server using PHP
> (Linux) or
> ASP (NT).
> I also suspect that an overwhelming majority of people wanting to visit
> endangered/minority language site will be using either Windows or
> OS and the default browser that comes installed with the OS, usually
> On the other hand, if endangered/minority language people are using a
> browser customized for their language, it will probably be an open
> browser which would eliminate all MSIE browsers and Netscape browsers
> What would really be nice to have is some way to find all
> information for a given language on a single web site. The reason that
> think this is unlikely to happen is that everyone (myself included)
> ~their~ way of doing things is the best way, so we have the situation
> we are trying to duplicate information across many different sites, but
> way to keep the sites in sync with one another. Something like running
> in a daily cron job helps, but you have to write every page to a
> common denominator.
> Texts could be shared by putting the texts in a file that is intended to
> included with SSI, but that would also require everything in a given
> language to use the same character mapping. Unicode would help for
> languages that can be entirely written using the Unicode character
> which I assume is most languages. Unicode has a private use block
> reserved -- great for characters not included in Unicode -- but
> would have to standardize on a common character mapping scheme for the
> private use area, and that would mean some kind of standard being in
> and by definition, it would no longer be a private use block.
> Naturally I am willing to offer free server space to anyone and
> working on endangered/minority languages, but I suspect that others
> willing to do the same, e.g., universities, organizations like SIL,
> Note that I can only offer space on ~my~ servers, I can't speak for
> Software, my employer.
> I know that this has turned into rambling, but these are a few of my
> thoughts on things.
> Chuck Coker
> Orange, California, United States
> Table 1: Browsers
> reqs: %reqs: browser
> ------: ------: -------
> 704247: 62.25%: MSIE
> 630050: 55.69%: MSIE/5
> 62672: 5.54%: MSIE/6
> 11451: 1.01%: MSIE/4
> 74: 0.01%: MSIE/3
> 311354: 27.52%: Netscape
> 207171: 18.31%: Mozilla/4
> 101335: 8.96%: Mozilla/5
> 1051: 0.09%: Mozilla/3
> 55: : Mozilla/6
> 56890: 5.03%: Netscape (compatible)
> 24455: 2.16%: Opera
> 24364: 2.15%: Opera/5
> 58: 0.01%: Opera/3
> 33: : Opera/4
> 5264: 0.47%: Teleport Pro
> 3607: 0.32%: WebZIP
> 3560: 0.31%: Offline Explorer
> 2080: 0.18%: Scooter-W3-1.0
> 738: 0.07%: Lynx
> 630: 0.06%: MSProxy
> 353: 0.03%: Dual Proxy
> 279: 0.02%: contype
> 237: 0.02%: Java1.3.1
> 229: 0.02%: libWeb
> 224: 0.02%: DA 5.0
> 216: 0.02%: EbiNess 0.1a
> 213: 0.02%: Windows-Media-Player
> 198: 0.02%: iCab
> 152: 0.01%: RMA
> 141: 0.01%: DA 4.0
> 112: 0.01%: Konqueror
> 110: 0.01%: SpaceBison
> 95: 0.01%: FlashGet
> 91: 0.01%: GetRight
> 76: 0.01%: WebTV
> 65: 0.01%: NSPlayer
> 58: 0.01%: EmailSiphon
> Table 2: Operating Systems
> reqs: %reqs: OS
> ------: ------: --
> 788770: 69.72%: Windows
> 390801: 34.54%: Windows 2000
> 180740: 15.98%: Windows 98
> 128786: 11.38%: Windows NT
> 35835: 3.17%: Windows Me
> 30160: 2.67%: Unknown Windows
> 22410: 1.98%: Windows 95
> 23: : Windows 32-bit
> 15: : Windows 3.1
> 266324: 23.54%: Unix
> 209410: 18.51%: Linux
> 31932: 2.82%: Other Unix
> 14352: 1.27%: SunOS
> 7828: 0.69%: BSD
> 1906: 0.17%: IRIX
> 436: 0.04%: OSF1
> 358: 0.03%: HP-UX
> 102: 0.01%: AIX
> 31283: 2.77%: OS unknown
> 27507: 2.43%: Macintosh
> 26727: 2.36%: Macintosh PowerPC
> 780: 0.07%: Macintosh 68k
> 106: 0.01%: BeOS
> 81: 0.01%: OS/2
> 76: 0.01%: WebTV
> 54: : Atari
> 48: : OpenVMS
> 45: : Amiga
> Chuck Coker <chuckc at tyrell.com>
> Software Developer, Tyrell Software Corporation
> 23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204
> Laguna Hills, California 92653 United States
> +1 949 458 1911 ext. 3
> Extreme sports ... offer "some kind of physical analog to the thrill
> of installing Linux or other open-source operating systems."
> -- Mikki Halpin, in The Geek Handbook
Multilingual Technical Project Officer
Accessibility and Evaluation Unit, Vicnet
State Library of Victoria,
andrewc at vicnet.net.au
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