Re: Novice question

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 05:39:45 EST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "[OT] C-sharp"

    From: "Edward H. Trager" <>
    > Also, I would not bother testing Windows OSes prior to Windows 2000/XP.

    Why not? Windows 98 and ME are still in use today, and can work on more limited
    PCs, unlike 2000/XP which requires a newer PC. If you're targetting a population
    with less resources, it may be important to allow them to use these previous
    less-demanding versions of Windows.

    Still Windows 2000 is a very tiny fraction in US and Europe, and only the
    availability and distribution of Windows XP Home edition by PC vendors made a
    real boost for that platform.

    Still Windows XP is young, and there are still lots of people using 98 or 98SE
    (and very few using ME, which was a flop and has rapidly been upgraded to XP
    Home or Pro). And there are lots of people at home (even in US and Europe), and
    quite often too in business, using "deprecated" hardwares that they will upgrade
    slowly later in order to run XP or a newer OS.

    A PC initially built to run 95 or 98 will behave poorly with XP, due to lack of
    memory, not enough hard disk space, or too "slow" processor.

    Don't trust the statistics collected on US web sites: they reflect the current
    deployment of Windows in North America and Europe. Collect your own statistics
    on your local web site according to your own web site profile to see which
    platform to support. India and Pakistan may have very different OS deployments
    than US and Western Europe. If you eliminate some platforms too soon, you may
    miss important parts of your intended commercial target.

    I can see these differences by studying the distribution of OS per origin
    country and it's clear that there are differences caused by the local level of
    PC hardware upgrades and different OS licencing practices in these countries.

    It's best to be conservative, at least at start, and then drop a support later
    if some platform support no longer matches your expectations. For the newer
    platforms, you may add some better contents and enlightments and improve your
    site specially for them. But keep some support for older platforms, at least on
    your home page and some important parts of your web site.

    > Also, of course one has to have fonts installed on the client computers.
    > by making sure Microsoft Arial Unicode is installed on the Windows boxes.

    Bad suggestion here: MS Arial Unicode is not part of the Windows distribution or
    updates, and is available only with Office. However Windows comes with other
    useful fonts for the Arabic and several indian scripts.

    A CSS stylesheet can be made to create a virtual "@font" style listing some
    known font names that may resolve locally (e.g.: @font{name: "MyIndian"; src:
    local(Indianfontname1), local(Indianfontname2);} ) then if these are not
    resolved, your stylesheet may include as a last resort a web font (such as .oet
    fonts) hosted in your web site, provided that you have the toolkit installed on
    your web server to serve font glyphs and you have a font with a licence allowing
    you to do it. If not, you may provide a downloadable free font within the
    Look into the CSS specification on the web site, as it is a great tool to
    avoid users to have to configure their browsers manually. And get sure that your
    site is properly encoded with UTF-8, and the content distributed with the
    correct "Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8" header (look into the webserver
    settings), and that your HTML pages are correctly labelled with the latest HTML
    version (preferably XHTML) and validate with XML, HTML, and CSS validation

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