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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

On the heels of the recent forum upgrade and with the overall design of the site, in general, taking leaps forward into modern Web design standards and practices, I thought it would be a good idea to do a Web browser comparison.

The purpose of this comparison is purely to show how a few different Web browsers display this site - particularly the forums since that is our bread and butter - and compare them with exactly how the site should look. There will be no consideration of browser performance or comparison of superiority or inferiority of coding or rendering engines from browser to browser. (Those issues have already been touched upon in other topics here. :) ) Again, we are only discussing which ones display the site as it should be and which ones are, frankly, butchering this site at best.


First up we have Safari 4 on Windows XP/Vista.

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Anyone who has ever used an Apple computer is likely familiar with the Safari browser. Safari is a Standards Compliant Browser that does an excellent job of properly displaying the HR Forums. It correctly handles PNG images, including transparency, and even acknowledges and correctly renders most new CSS 3 elements such as radiused div corners. (CSS 3 is still not quite yet industry standard. CSS 2 is still considered the standard. However, many popular Web sites and Web browsers are embracing the future now.)


Next is Google Chrome 2 on Windows XP/Vista.

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Chrome is a relatively new browser that, surprisingly to many, really hit the ground running. As seen, it is a Standards Compliant Browser - that even supports the new CSS 3 standards - which also does a nice job properly displaying the HR forums. If there is but one complaint it would have to be that the color palette within Chrome still leans toward the "web safe" side - which can be seen on "fading" color transition areas - despite the fact that most Operating Systems and displays are more than capable of utilizing a deeper pallete and are rendering colors very similarly these days.


We also have Opera 10 on Windows XP/Vista.

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The Opera browser is also a Standards Compliant Browser which properly renders most elements of the HR Forums. It even utilizes a deeper color palette as seen around color transition areas. It does not, however, support the latest CSS 3 elements such as radiused corners. (Does not hinder performance. Only an aesthetic issue.)


Now for Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP/Vista.

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As you should be able to tell from the picture, IE6 murders the HR Forums! IE6 is nearly 10 years old. Simply stated, IE6 is not a Standards Compliant Browser. It does not support half of what is considered Web standard design elements these days. From misaligned elements, seen around the sign in menu, due to a lack of current CSS standards support to the blue/green areas you see - which are actually improperly rendered transparent PNG images that are not supported in IE6 - Internet Explorer 6 is one of the worst possible browser choices on any Operating System for surfing the Web in 2009. (Mind you, not just for visiting the HR Forums, but for surfing the Internet at all! If you use IE6, you are not seeing the Internet as intended.) If you are still using IE6, upgrade today. It's free. You have no excuses.


Next is IE8 on Windows XP/Vista.

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Internet Explorer has come a long way in the past few years. It is finally a Standards Compliant Browser! As seen, it renders most elements properly. It does, however, suffer from an issue similar to Chrome in that it does not properly transition color from images to background color areas properly as you can see near the middle of the tabbed menu bar and search box. It also lacks the "advanced" CSS 3 support of other browsers which means that radiused corners, for example, are still rendered as being square. These, however, are purely aesthetic issues. They do not negatively impact the performance of surfing the HR Forums.


Finally we have Firefox 3.5 on Windows XP/Vista.

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We saved the best for last. The HR Forums were specifically built and optimized for the Firefox web browser. Simply stated, no matter the Operating System, when Hunting Resource is viewed in Firefox 3.5 it is exactly what it was meant to be. All elements are aligned as intended. All images, including transparent PNGs display properly. All CSS, including future standards, are fully supported. In this guy's personal opinion, Firefox is still the standard by which all other Web browsers are judged.


A word on Operating Systems: In testing, it has been found that most of the browsers tested above that are cross-platform tend to render elements the same. Hence, we did not provide Mac, Linux, or other OS versions of the browsers above in the comparison.

In conclusion, we obviously highly recommend Firefox 3.5 for the most visually pleasing, accurate layout and proper function when surfing HuntingResource.com. Safari 4 is a close second. From there, you will basically be picking and choosing between which features you are willing to live without. :(


Update: The odd color transition issues mentioned above, particularly in IE, between some images and background colors is a continuation of improper handling of PNG files by IE (and apparently Chrome as well). I was able to find a fix for this issue which involved removing certain "chunks" of data from the PNG files themselves. (Shouldn't have to do this. It's the browser's fault. But, oh well.) So, now you can wipe that problem off the list above. (Yay!)

This would now make Google Chrome 2 a solid browser choice for surfing HR. In fact, I would probably rank them as follows in light of this development...

1) Firefox 3.5
2) Google Chrome 2
3) Safari 4
4) Internet Explorer 8
5) Opera 10
6) Internet Explorer 7
...
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) Internet Explorer 6 :lol:

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#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:12 PM

Thanks for taking the time to run the demos to compare so we can see what we could be missing.

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 08 June 2009 - 03:12 PM.

"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#3 Chrud

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:24 PM

We saved the best for last. The HR Forums were specifically built and optimized for the Firefox web browser.


That is because Firefox will someday rule the world, right? :D

Thanks for the web browser shots. I know Firefox has been the easiest, fastest and most reliable web browser I've used

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:36 PM


That is because Firefox will someday rule the world, right? :D

Thanks for the web browser shots. I know Firefox has been the easiest, fastest and most reliable web browser I've used


LOL

Honestly, I don't know how it's going to pan out. With IE still coming bundled when you buy a Windows-based PC they still clearly own the market. Then you have browsers like Chrome (which is actually based on Mozilla) that are already competing only a year or so after being released and who knows. I just know who makes the best all-around for right now.

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#5 McBruce

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:15 PM

great post...thanks for the leg work on this Jer :) ( then again it is your world ) :)
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