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how my new design works with old windows

Like anyone else who designs a template for a web site, IE is just plain evil. Specifically, any IE under version 8.

Out of the gate I knew that some parts of my site wouldn't work correctly in older Windows with older IEs. Fortunately however it doesn't make the site unreadable.

I have old versions of Windows loaded in virtual sessions for nostalgic reasons, but I also use them to test out new versions of my site. My test is pretty basic. If the site can be viewed in Windows 2000 using IE6 @ 1024x768 resolution, I know it will work anywhere even if it looks like ass.

For you old Windows nostalgia buffs out there, you'll probably get a kick out of this concerning what works, what sorta/kinda works and what doesn't work at all.

Each image below can be clicked to view full-size.


Microsoft Windows 3.1
Netscape Communicator 4.06

PNG graphics don't display at all, JavaScript must be disabled else the browser will crash on attempt to load. CSS is completely ignored.


Microsoft Windows 3.1
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0

Amazingly loads and understands some of the CSS, but all scripting must be turned off so the browser doesn't crash. Like with Netscape, this IE doesn't display PNGs.


Microsoft Windows 95
Netscape Communicator 4.79

Same problems as there were in Windows 3.1.


Microsoft Windows 95
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5

PNGs do display but transparency doesn't work. CSS is understood for the most part. Scripting can be left on but has errors on load.


Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

Similar to IE 5.5, but strangely the scripting won't work whereas in IE 5.5 it did.


Microsoft Windows 98
Mozilla Firefox

Everything works. No issues.


Microsoft Windows 98
K-Meleon 1.5.4

Everything works. No issues.


Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0

Sidebar works here but there are still PNG transparency issues.


Microsoft Windows 2000
Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta 11

A very new browser at the time I write this on a very old OS. It amazes me Mozilla even makes a browser that works in Win2000.

Obviously there were no issues and everything worked.

How do you make a web site that works on every browser even on ancient computers/OSes?

This is not impossible to do even in today's internet. You have to make something that uses no CSS, tables for formatting, no Flash, very light JavaScript (none, if possible) and only use GIF and JPG images.

There are sites like this that are exactly like that. Drudge Report is one of them and it gets craploads of traffic.

See for yourself:


I would do this save for the fact I need scripting for the Facebook sidebar to work and I periodically embed videos that also need scripting.

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