Christian Heilmann

Ten of one hundred UK consumer sites alienate Firefox

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005 at 3:19 pm

Both the register and the BBC report about a test study conducted by SciVisum that found 10% of the UK retail sites tested failing in Firefox.

This is not really a surprise – it is a shame but no surprise – considering the state and age of some of those sites.
The problem with web standards and business is that it is much harder to follow them when there is maintenance to be done and not initial development.
Maintenance projects have a lower budget, and any change is meant “just to fix things and update the content”.
Rather than cleaning the site we patch and grudgingly fall into the same bad coding prinicples that were applied when the site was done initially – with bad browsers like IE4 and Netscape Communicator as the main goal.

What confuses me were some of the figures:

While most people still use Microsoft’s browser, Firefox is slowly making inroads.
Its share of the browser market grew to 8% in May, up from 5.59% at the beginning of the year, according to US-based analysts NetApplications.

What browser market? NetApplications is a site metrics tool, and depending on the site, figures will look a lot different (here it is 40% FireFox vs. 20% MSIE).

A real eyepopper was that one though:

This is largely because web developers are used to testing their sites just using IE rather than so-called standards-compliant browsers, which only use code ratified by the World Wide Web consortium.

I didn’t know the w3c ratifies the sourcecode of Firefox and Opera :-).

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