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It's funny.  Laugh. The Media

Boston Globe to Blogger — "Stop Using Opera" 465

Posted by kdawson
from the what-part-of-'modern'-do-you-not-understand dept.
PetManimal writes "Mac Daniels of the Boston Globe weighed in on a prickly debate involving the updated local mass transit website. The Globe's advice to one complainer named 'derspatchel': Stop using Opera. Derspatchel's response is to go medieval on Daniels' ass, and ask the question: Why should Opera users give up their browser? Quoting: 'I don't give two whoops about the "percentage of the Internet population" or whatever. I don't care if a website works on someone else's choice of browser; I care if it works or not on my choice of browser. It's a modern browser, it's in active development, and it's free. Once dev stops on the Opera browser and the last version becomes outdated and unable to support newer Web innovations, then I'll "stop using it." How's that, Chuckles?'" After a day the transit authority took the new site offline to "improve performance," reverting to the old version.
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Boston Globe to Blogger — "Stop Using Opera"

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  • by TheSpoom (715771) * <[ten.00mrebu] [ta] [todhsals]> on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:08AM (#17274470) Homepage Journal
    I posted on his blog that he was about to be Slashdotted and he protected the post, probably so he wouldn't receive an assload of comments, which is fair. For context, though, here's the full post as I got there before it was protected:

    Apparently my last post about the problems I experienced with the new MBTA web site punched some people in the goolies or something. Apparently my complaints about the site aren't valid because I like using the Opera browser. Apparently I shouldn't be using Opera because, as someone on the Universal Hub said, "Opera is only .6% of the internet population. Opera is also known for being buggy." (Firefox is known for memory leaks; IE is known for being susceptible to exploits. What's your point?)

    And Mac Daniel, who apparently gets paid to blog for the Globe, has this apparently helpful pearl of wisdom for me, nicely writ up with the Imperial First Person Plural:

    Then there's this guy who uses the Opera browser and doesn't like things one bit. Our suggestion? Stop using Opera.

    Wow! Awesome! Thanks for that helpful nugget of advice there, chief! That kind of knee-jerk bullshit response is about as annoying as the zealots on certain tech boards who answer every question about a Windows problem with "INSTALL LINUX, PROBLEM SOLVED." Basically it means "I have nothing helpful to contribute, but I just thought I'd act like a douchebag anyway."

    Not that I've ever had any experience with that before.

    So, uh, got any more advice for me, Mac? You were so helpful with the technical problems I wonder if you can help me out with other things in my life. Should I wear the black pants, or the brown? Which Law & Order series should I follow? Should I put the 60-watt bulb in this lamp, or go for the 75-watt? What wine would you recommend with this steak? I have dropped my glass of water on the floor (I am terribly sorry), what should I do? Is that strange high-pitched buzz coming from the fluorescent lighting, or something outside?

    I don't give two whoops about the "percentage of the Internet population" or whatever. I don't care if a website works on someone else's choice of browser; I care if it works or not on my choice of browser. It's a modern browser, it's in active development, and it's free. Once dev stops on the Opera browser and the last version becomes outdated and unable to support newer Web innovations, then I'll "stop using it." How's that, Chuckles?

    I've been following the development of this browser since 2001. I found its interface clean, it was the first browser I saw that featured tabbed browsing, and I enjoy some of its more interesting navigational features (mouse gestures are somewhat helpful, but using mouse button combinations to move back or forward a page is just great.) I've tried Firefox before. I've tried it at several times during its development cycle, actually, from when it leaked memory like a sieve to when it merely dripped memory like a leaky faucet. It looked okay, but it wasn't for me. I didn't want to have to search through acres of plugins to find the ones that would make Firefox do what Opera already did out of the box.

    Let's get back to the point: I think the MBTA website redesign has a lot of great new features. It's a far cry better than the version they had up before. The Google map integration is excellent, and I like the detailed information on the stations and stops (with all connections listed and stuff.)

    The site just doesn't play well with all browsers. Sure, you can't guarantee your new website with up-to-date features will work well with every browser (You'll notice Adam Gaffin tried the site in lynx before I got the chance to) but I'm sorry. Opera is a valid, "modern" browser. Just because you don't use it doesn't mean nobody should.

    Ron Newman has no problems with the site when he views it in Opera (are you using a Mac or PC, Ron?) so there's hope there. Maybe there's a problem with the XP version. Maybe there a

    • by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:35AM (#17274646) Homepage

      He's clearly ranting, and it doesn't all make sense.

      If he doesn't care if pages work in someone else choice of browser why would anyone care if they work in his?

      Personally, I do care that data which is presented as being a 'web page' should, in fact, be a web page. Web pages work in any browser, barring browser bugs.

      So the question for me is, does this page not work in opera because the page is wrong, or because of a bug in Opera? I haven't used Opera in a long time, but it used to be a very solid browser with very few bugs when I used it, and I suspect it still is. Nonetheless, generalities don't solve the problem, specifics do. Is Opera correctly displaying a broken page, or is it displaying a good page improperly?

      The page in question is far [w3.org] from a good web page, which reïnforces my suspicion, but still, does anyone know exactly the issue in question here?

      • by JoshJ (1009085) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:57AM (#17274796) Journal
        I note from your W3C validator link that several bits of what look like code are commented out, notably items 16 and 18 on the W3C page. It seems possible that the problem lies there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheGavster (774657) *
        The primary issue seems to be a set of Javascript menus at the top of the site. The divs they're on are supposed to be hidden until the mouse hovers on the title, and they're not. This is a fairly common problem to have with sites in Opera, but by no means is there no easy way to implement this feature (ATI's site, for example, works fine). Funky menus is really the only bug I run into on a regular basis with Opera (apart from it simply not working with Google Calendar). It's gotten a lot better over the ye
      • by shaitand (626655) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:05AM (#17275312) Journal
        Sorry but any web developer can tell you that the 'if it follows standards it should work' myth has been dead for a long time.

        A 'good' webpage can be written in xhtml and include every scrap of CSS defined in the 2.0 standard. Unfortunately, the standards in question (including the older CSS specs) are ambiguous in some places and even if they weren't there is no browser that fully implements them. You can write a 100% standard and validated webpage that doesn't rendered properly (read according to standard) in any modern browser.

        This is further complicated because the implementations are not just incomplete, but no two browsers implement the same parts. And if the browsers all implement a function, the ambiguity of the standard comes into play and you will often seen something rendered differently in each to a small or large degree. Depending on how critical the visual element in question is to your design, an unexpected difference in behavior can make a page unworkable or at least broken.

        The result is that a web developer who is doing everything right (the site in question is obviously not, but I am not defending them, just setting the record straight) must do what he always has. He must test the page in an assortment of browsers and then work out the kinks for them. He must then hope that the resolution to those kinks will result in an implementation that will generally work in the browsers he has not tested.

        Such is life. Even among those who do design according to standards and validate properly, there are those who only actually test and resolve issues in one browser. They know this will make most of the market work and following standards means that nobody can claim broken functionality is their fault.

        Of course, accessibility standards for any government type site (city, county, state, federal, etc) should be required to work in all modern browsers. After all, I suspect that the blind do not constitute 0.6% of the browser market but those sites are required to be accessible to them. Are the blind somehow better than Opera users?

        "If he doesn't care if pages work in someone else choice of browser why would anyone care if they work in his?"

        Because Opera has support for features and technologies that rival any browser on the market (meaning it is as easy to support as any other browser) and 6 out of every thousand web users are using Opera. Considering that there are roughly 1,086,250,903 Internet users (per http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm [internetworldstats.com]) that means Opera's 0.6% of the browser market is about 6.5 million people. Using percentages immediately favors the biggest players and belittles the mid-sized and smaller players when you are referencing a sample the size of the browser market. When you are talking about nine zeros, reducing your figures to two zeros doesn't magically make for a clearer picture, it only serves to mask reality.

      • by msobkow (48369) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @05:19AM (#17275656) Homepage Journal

        His argument could be improved, but he is correct. W3C should be the fallback default for websites, not some IE variant. Too many websites default to IE if they don't recognize the browser id string, and that frells even W3C compliant browsers.

        The other thing the bozo in transit forgets is that Opera is one of the most popular microbrowsers built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable devices -- the very customer base that is most likely to need mobile access to information about the transit system.

        The whole series of "browser wars" arguments are bull IMNSHO. W3C HTML first, W3C approved standards next (e.g. XHTML, XML documents), vendor-specific variants LAST. If developers would stop working around that godawful mess, Microsoft would be forced to fix IE by a deluge of customer complaints. Our own policy of appeasement in search of market share is what forces the entire web community to keep working around the incompatible platform-specific enhancements, costing the entire planet money.

    • A painful subject (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Simprini (173067) <(Simprini) (at) (geeqsquad.com)> on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:22AM (#17275932) Homepage
      I have been an opera fan, nay, fanatic since the 6.x days. I even paid for it, no joke. An integrated mail client plus browser plus rss reader AND it works on Windows and Linux!? These reasons kept me going up until this week, more or less. I realized that for years I've been making excuses and bitching about the way people write webpages (and me a web developer) and generally being irritated at -them- when I am forced to open up IE or Firefox to view a page. This very week, I snapped. It is ridiculous for a page to work in IE and Firefox and not Opera. And it's OPERAS FAULT. I know their excuses. I've used them myself time and time again and it just doesn't fly. As a application user I DON'T CARE. I should be able to go to a website and view it. If I can't then that browser is broken and needs a patch. It was easier to blame MS back in the day sites worked with it but not Mozilla or Opera. These days, I'm not sure I've ever seen something that works in IE only that Firefox can't handle. I've had it up to my eyebrows and as soon as I figure out how which rss reader to use, hopefuly something cross-platform for both Linux and Windows, I'm giving up.
  • Not Opera (Score:5, Informative)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:09AM (#17274476) Journal
    At least 3 other people using Opera 9.0+ comment on the complainer's blog to say they have no problems. Now, that's still no justification or reason for saying "don't use Opera," but I don't think this problem is really with Opera in the first place.

    Sorry for the serious comment in an "It's funny. Laugh." story ;)
    • Re:Not Opera (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:34AM (#17274638) Journal

      Now, that's still no justification or reason for saying "don't use Opera,"

      Really? 0.6% marketshare? Can I complain because it doesn't render properly in Lynx [browser.org]?

      Take my comment as flamebait if you want to. But I have much bigger things to complain about on the web. Like webpages that won't work without Javascript. Or webpages that use stupid flash interfaces. Or how about webpages that aren't dialup friendly? I suspect there's more dialup users out there then Opera users. Don't see anybody on /. jumping up to defend them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        Really? 0.6% marketshare? Can I complain because it doesn't render properly in Lynx?

        Take my comment as flamebait if you want to. But I have much bigger things to complain about on the web. Like webpages that won't work without Javascript. Or webpages that use stupid flash interfaces. Or how about webpages that aren't dialup friendly? I suspect there's more dialup users out there then Opera users. Don't see anybody on /. jumping up to defend them.

        If the website is coded properly (i.e. XHTML+CSS, structured c

      • Re:Not Opera (Score:4, Interesting)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:27AM (#17275434) Journal
        I agree that specifically working on Opera support is meaningless (and I've been using Opera as my primary browser for the last 5 years). However, the web developer is only in the position to dismiss it like that if and only if his pages are otherwise fully standard-compliant. Then he can point finger at the browser and say, "we done everything alright, it's that thing doing it wrong".
      • Re:Not Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:29AM (#17275446) Homepage Journal
        ``Really? 0.6% marketshare?''

        I don't know why people keep saying this is a market share issue. There are published, freely available standards that describe the languages used for creating web sites, and the way browsers should interpret these languages. Now, if a page doesn't work in a browser, there are two possibilities:

        1. The website is doing something wrong
        2. The browser is doing something wrong

        In the first case, the website is broken, and people should complain to the webmaster, regardless of the market share of their browsers. In the second case, the browser is broken, and people should complain to the browser vendor, no matter the market share of their browsers.

        ``Can I complain because it doesn't render properly in Lynx?''

        Yes, as long as you use the right definition of properly. Most importantly, rendering a page "properly" does not have anything to do with rendering it the same way another browser does. HTML and CSS were designed to be forward compatible: browsers are supposed to treat elements they don't understand in a specific way, which ensures that the elements are, at least, made available to users. JavaScript doesn't work that way, but, in the forward compatibility philosophy, scripts on pages should themselves be something that can be ignored, without rendering the page useless. Together, all these mean that Lynx, or any other browser, should at least render the basic elements like paragraphs, headings, and links in some way useful to the user. This could be anything from full support for a custom scripting language and lots of multimedia content embedded in the page, full support for the latest versions of CSS and HTML, etc. to speaking out the text on the page with some indication of which parts are links and how to activate them. As far as I can tell, Lynx does a good job at this, except when web pages are made in such a way as to not be compatible with all but a few chosen browsers.

        You can argue market share all you want, but, in the end, it's not usually about the users of one specific browser being discriminated against, but about blatantly shutting out _all_ browsers, except a chosen few. That's ok; after all, if it's your own webpage, you can decide what you put on it and who can view it and what software they need, etc. (at least, as far as my sense of morals is concerned; US law disagrees) However, everybody who doesn't like that has the right to complain about it. And I will say the complaints have merit. Not that you have to care about the complaints, or about my opinion, of course. Still, you could make your page in such a way that it works in all (compliant) browsers; it's not hard. In fact, it's what you get if you don't do anything against it.
  • Firefox (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:18AM (#17274528)
    To address the inevitable:

    Yes, Firefox can be plugged up to do everything Opera does (password fill, voice browsing, mouse gestures, tab thumbnails, comprehensive download management, RSS/etc feeds, two-click privacy management/delete data, on-the-fly presentation modes (change styles, backgrounds, tables, links, images from toolbar in User/Author mode), image gallery jumpthrough, keyboard zoom, and all the rest.

    However, Opera provides a standard setup out of the box, on any computer. I can download it and be up and running in seconds, without spending time configuring plugins, and no annoying autoinstalls. It will also look and behave the same on your XP laptop as on my *NIX box, as on your 98 workstation.

    And unlike Firefox, Opera will not be using 2GB of swap if you leave it running overnight with Gmail open!

    With that in mind, Opera is at the level, or better than Firefox, meaning that it is way better than Internet. Not supporting it is just idiocy.
    • Re:Firefox (Score:5, Insightful)

      by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:36AM (#17274654) Journal

      Yes, Firefox can be plugged up to do everything Opera does

      Whenever the subject of Opera's functionality comes up:

      "Install 20 extensions to make Firefox mimic the functionality."

      Whenever the subject of Firefox instability comes up:

      "Firefox doesn't crash for me. It's probably those 20 extensions you have installed."

      • True, but at least Firefox lets me pick which extensions I run.

        My problem with Opera has never been about the compliance. I used Mozilla from the beginning, ran Konqueror frequently, and toyed around with Safari on the mac when it was in its infancy. Sites that "don't work" don't seem to irk me as much as other people.

        Opera is fast. Noticably faster I'd argue, than anything else I've used on Windows or Linux (not much experience with the Mac end of things).

        But I don't use Opera. It feels bloated. Sure
    • Well, I don't think you can fix HTML rendering errors with Firefox extensions. I recently ran into this one [vgmusic.com].
  • The 3/3 Rule (Score:2, Interesting)

    by isnoop (239143)
    I'm a fan of the 3/3 rule: If it has less than 3% market share or the version is over three years old, strongly consider what your effort is worth before changing code to support it.
    • I'm a fan of the 3/3 rule: If it has less than 3% market share or the version is over three years old, strongly consider what your effort is worth before changing code to support it.

      Probably a sensible rule. But I think it's better to turn it around and say this: If a new feature you want to develop for your site will require a recent version of a "major" browser, it might be a good idea to reconsider whether you actually need that feature. Or maybe you could spend just a bit of time investigating whet

    • by nmb3000 (741169)
      If it has less than 3% market share or the version is over three years old, strongly consider what your effort is worth before changing code to support it.

      Whew! It's a good thing then that Apple is just about to pierce 3% of the desktop market share! [techspot.com] Of course you should be careful making claims like that around here since Linux desktops are around only 3% as well, though a quick search didn't turn up any recent numbers.

      I find it humorous when people (and certain stupid stereotyping commercials) talk about
  • by bunions (970377) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:38AM (#17274666)
    1) Some government site changed their webpages
    2) Guy A can't load it and assumes he's being blocked because he's using an oddball browser
    3) Guy A complains and is told by Guy B to stop using his oddball browser and get over it
    4) Guy A goes ballistic on his blog
    5) Guys C, D and E respond to Guy A's blog and say "we're using opera and it works fine for us, must be something on your end"
    6) Because it's blog drama, one man's fucked-up configuration problems ends up on slashdot

    Do I have that right?
    • Yup. You'd think there would be some kind of a filter to prevent stuff like this from happening. My coworkers don't delve into the stories, like I do so they come away with just the summary to go by. I'm sure someone will try telling me next week that Boston hates opera, or opera has to be supported because Boston changed their website for Opera.

      But in general its a similar problem with all blogs. A company I know Is upset because of a similar situation. Some idiot who doesn't know what he's talking abo
      • by bunions (970377) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:01AM (#17274820)
        > You'd think there would be some kind of a filter to prevent stuff like this from happening.

        That's a pretty good idea, actually. I mean, we're never going to get something like actual human editors who could actually inspect the articles before they were posted, so some sort of automated solution to cull out the obvious crap would be a good first step.
        • by mattOzan (165392)

          > You'd think there would be some kind of a filter to prevent stuff like this from happening.

          That's a pretty good idea, actually. I mean, we're never going to get something like actual human editors who could actually inspect the articles before they were posted, so some sort of automated solution to cull out the obvious crap would be a good first step.

          You mean like FireHose [slashdot.org]?
    • by eclectro (227083)
      Do I have that right?

      You forgot.

      7) Profit!!!
    • by Buran (150348)
      You forgot "slashdot links to an unreadable webpage so we can't read the rant that slashdot is making a big fucking fuss over". The editors apparently can't be bothered to actually check anything. But did they ever? Naw.
  • While I would like web sites to work worth every web browser on the world, for one reason or another it is not going to happen. These days when doing my testing IE and Firefox are the main test-beds and sometimes followed by Safari and Opera. One thing you need to think about is when whether the issue is web-site related and which are browser related. For example, Safari on MacOS X has a number of issues, which the developments team is watching out for. Javascript is usually the main culrpit for web site br
  • Uh, hi there. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spatch (28798) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:59AM (#17274810) Homepage
    I'm derspatchel. I took the entries and the pictures out of circulation. I don't need the comments and my admin doesn't need the bandwidth overages. I kept saying the last thing I wanted to do was start a goddamn browser war, but it looks as if I didn't really have any choice in that matter. I kicked a rock and it rolled downhill from there.

    My original complaint was written as I was viewing the revamped website, and just couldn't believe the nav problem I had seen. Nearly half a million dollars went into the redesign and it seemed like they'd really goofed. The second complaint was written when Mac Daniel threw a little jab in his writeup on the debacle, while I was sussing out the nav problem with Ron Newman. Is it a coding thing? Is it an OS thing? Is it a configuration thing? Is it an enduser thing? I dunno. Then the MBTA reverted to the previous version so I couldn't play around with it any further. And then my knee-jerk reaction to Mac's knee-jerk reaction just led to more knee-jerk reactions. Okay, I gotta stop typing 'knee-jerk' because it's beginning to look weird.

    I stand by my opinion that if a browser is in current development and it's W3C compliant, then it should by all rights be considered a supportable browser and a browser to be supported. That's all. If I had been crying that the MBTA site wasn't viewable on Netscape Navigator 4.0, say, then I could see why there'd be a problem and why the advice to change browsers would come pouring in.

    All I wanted was to be able to use the website with a current, up-to-date, standards-compliant web browser. I also said I'd be happy to use another supported browser to view it, but it would be nice if I didn't have to, and it'd be much nicer if I weren't told to.
    • If your browser is W3C compliant, and the page works in Firefox, then it should work in your browser. If OTHER users of your browser are reporting it works for them, then you should use a different browser that's somewhere around your level of technical understanding so you don't shoot yourself in the foot so much. Basic logic.
      • by Shados (741919)
        Well, I didn't try Firefox 2, but I know that for quite a few things (not many, but still too many, though I don't remember them off hand), Firefox 1 was closer to IE7's behavior than Opera's... Thats when I started developing in Opera -first-, because it was more (at the time at least) compliant than Firefox. Was quite awkward.

        There are other annoyances. For example, Safari's javascript implementation sucks. Simply put, there aren't any standard compliant browsers. Just browsers that get damn close. So its
  • Our suggestion? Stop using Opera. Note in the comments section that other Opera users aren't experiencing the same problems.

    Their suggestion is a poor attempt at implying the obvious. If other Opera users aren't experiencing the same problem; then maybe you're just too stupid to configure your browser properly, and should use one that comes set up for you. Of course saying that outright is a PR nightmare so they just said switch browsers.

  • you're a lot better just asking for W3 compliance than "support $my_browser because I use it". If it follows the W3 standard, we can all use it, and if we can't, it's because of our browser. Run the site through http://validator.w3.org/ [w3.org] and send them the URL as well as their list of errors.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:32AM (#17274946)
    This browser-customized TRASH, you find on many websites is the root of the problem. Opera routinely beast other browsers in conformity tests. If defeloppers stopped trying to cater to broken browsers a) the browsers would get fixed and b) testing would get far, far easier. After all, that is what standards are for...

    Side note: The 0.6% figure is highly doubtful. Because of broken websites that work fine in Opera, but that refuse to load if they detect anything other than IE or FireFix, many Opera users set their Browser to pretend to be IE. Broken statistics tools cannot see through this.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Hmm, sorry, but some of us have money to make. That means catering to broken browsers.

      That being said, Opera just happens to be amazing to develop web sites in because of its incredible level of compliance, so my sites happen to work in Opera, simply because they are developed in Opera FIRST, then fixed to work in other browsers.

      But thats only because the move makes sense from a business point of view. Not to please some minority.
  • by aiken_d (127097) <brooks @ t a n g e n t ry.com> on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:58AM (#17275072) Homepage
    Regardless of the validity of the guy's point (and it has some validity), is anyone else struck by how inured we've become to borderline-irrational rants from whiny little bitches?

    First of all, how ridiculous is it to get emotionally engaged in some website's browser support policies? They may be stupid, counterproductive, outdated, or arbitrary and inane... but this guy acts like they're some kind of religious dogma and he's from an opposing sect.

    Second, whatever happened to voting with one's wallet, or eyeballs in this case? I mean, he acts like they are obligated to make their content available to him, and that their apparent refusal to support his browser somehow impinges on his human rights. What the hell?

    Finally, you have to wonder if this guy has ever gotten his way in any dispute. Because no matter how right he might be, he comes across like an 8 year old whose parents won't buy him the vibrating Harry Potter broom.

    All of which is unremarkable in itself, but what *is* remarkable to me is that this seems to be par for the course these days. It's like people have lost interest in actually getting what they want (better browser support in this case), and are enjoying masturbatory tirades instead.

    -b

    And yeah, you can call me kettle, but I'm coming at this from sadness, not anger, so that's got to be worth something.
    • by Spatch (28798)
      Dude, those are some completely and utterly baseless comments you're throwing my way.

      I saved up my paper route money to earn that Harry Potter broom and I'm damn proud of it.
  • I don't use Opera, but from what I've heard it's a decent browser that supports standards. I can't be bothered to check out this web page but if it applies standard (w3c) html then Opera *should* display the page well enough to use it. If the page is unusable in a standards compliant browser then it is, yet another, badly designed web page.

    A properly marked up web page should work in every standards compliant browser, who cares if the browsers interpretation of the 'box model' or whatever is different, it s
    • by vtcodger (957785) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @05:42AM (#17275784)
      Did anyone like actually feed the new web page to the W3C HTML validator? The old web page is currently back up, and it's clear that the MBTA web site designers don't consider standards compliance to be a priority.

      Result: Failed validation, 40 errors (This is just the home page, not the whole site.)

      Address: www.mbta.com

      Encoding: utf-8 (assumed, there is no encoding specification in the header)

      Doctype: (no Doctype found) -- the 40 errors assumes HTML4.01 Transitional. My guess is if there is no Doctype line in the header, the Web site designers probably have no clue that there ARE standards for HTML documents.

      It's true that not every site needs to be standards compliant. Google's home page doesn't validate either. But Google's HTML actually works in a diverse collection of browsers.

      My opinion FWIW -- If the site doesn't validate, the first step is to fix the site. If the site still doesn't render then, and only then, does it become reasonable to question whether the browser might be a problem.

  • by oohshiny (998054) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @05:48AM (#17275808)
    The question shouldn't be "does it work with Opera", the question should be "is it standards compliant".

    The user should simply send a bug report to both the browser and the site developer. Both developers should then determine whether the problem is with standards compliance of the browser or of the site, and whatever is broken should get fixed. "Don't use Opera" and "every site must work with Opera" are both unreasonable principles.
  • med school apps suck (Score:3, Informative)

    by oneplus999 (907816) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:28AM (#17275948)
    https://services.aamc.org/AMCAS2_2007/ [aamc.org]

    says

    Unsupported Browser

    AMCAS supports only the following web browsers for Windows:

            * Internet Explorer 5.5
            * Internet Explorer 6 Get it here
            * Netscape 7 Get it here
            * Firefox 1.0.2
            * Firefox 1.5 Get it here

    If you try to use anything else, even firefox 2.0, it won't let you in :'(
  • by doglikegroove (979723) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @10:55AM (#17277068)

    Can we not lose sight of the issue? (Insert obligatory slashdot culture joke here).

    Whether or not the site is busted or Opera is busted, while obviously quite relevant, is secondary. What's sticking in this guy's craw is that this Mac Daniel troll didn't even have a clue where the problem was, he just went into his go-get-a-real-browser routine right out of the box.

    Believe me, "It's your browser's fault, not ours" is a perfectly valid answer once you can back it up.

    Someone points out that just because you code to standard doesn't mean it'll work in all browsers. True. But that's why you code to standards. So when this happens, you take a frigging second to trace down the problem, and if it's because Opera isn't executing the standard properly, you can assert that with confidence and tell them to take it up with the browser dev team.

    If everytime someone breaks a standard we just stop coding to it all together, we may as well get rid of standards, becuase someone is always going to break them. At least until we nuke Redmond from space.

    But again, I doubt that's even the primary issue here, because I seriously doubt by his tone that Mac Daniels even thought about this. He simply heard Opera and reacted like your standard forum jackhole, and this guy smacked that garbage off the playground. Good for him.

  • Opera shmopera (Score:3, Insightful)

    by belg4mit (152620) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:53PM (#17278636) Homepage
    This thing didn't work that well in Firefox either. And there's no need to quote
    "improve performance", they really did need to improve it. I happened to hit the
    site yesterday for directions and it was dog slow for no improvement in usability
    (just aesthetics). Worse, they were using an invalid Google Maps API key from the
    test server in production.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

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