How many use old browsers (e.g. =< Netscape 4 or IE 6) as their ONLY source of web content?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at
Mon Jul 6 17:03:26 CDT 2015

On Fri, Jul 03, 2015 at 10:26:35AM +1200, Terry Stewart wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm engaged in a Retrochallenge project where I'm recoding my
> site to make it suitable for mobile platforms.  I
> want to modernise the code as well, making it as close to HTML5 standard as
> I can
> The RetroChallenge blog site is here.

Um, Page Not Found? The main page loaded ok, however.

> In doing this, I will probably need to say goodbye to old browser
> compatibility.  As in old I mean Netscape 4 or earlier, and other pre-2000
> browsers (and possibly IE 6, as it's not very standard).
> The website does have a few articles and resources of interest to vintage
> computer hobbyists, which I wouldn't want to make inaccessible. The
> question is, how many guys like us, those who dabble with old tech, are
> likely to use ancient browsers as their ONLY source of web content.  I
> suspect not many.  Should I worry about it?  Any comments welcome.

(comments-or-rant-mode T)

This is not about your website, which looks very nice (Opera, see
below), but here goes.

Myself, I'm not the biggest fan of modern web technology. Especially
when I load a page and see one of my CPU rate go to 100% regadless of
core speed (I use a not so classic 4-core and set their speeds
manually as I please). And no, there is nothing (visible) on the page
which could be blamed for this. Apparently some piece of code loaded
from somewhere loops with no end. Thank you Javascript... So much for
energy saving. Of course there are also pages which load as a
charm. Overally, my opinion is this: if it doesn't show content with
Javascript turned off, I should assume there is nothing interesting
for me there. But I'm ok if others don't follow this line of thinking.

(comments-or-rant-mode nil)

If you care about being readable, I suggest that you test your new
webstyles with text browser. There are few of them, lynx is my goto
for textual browsing. I guess mobile friendly should be readable in
older browsers, too, at least if they can ask for proper stylesheet
(but I have no idea, really).

> On a related note, I'd be interested if anyone on the list CAN'T read this
> page properly:

Loads and looks acceptable under:

 - Links 2.7 in graphical mode (links2 -g -> loads images, but I guess
   no JS)

 - Emacs 23.4.1 with w3m browser (with image load toggled on and off,
   again no JS)

 - Opera 12.16 (Build 1860) - I try to only load as much JS as needed
   and routinely browse with styles turned off, because when they're
   on, this old browser sometimes shows trash instead of text or it
   renders page in such way that my eyes hurt. I tried to fix it by
   googling + reconfiguration and gave up, multiple times. I
   understand it could have been considered a (website?) bug in the
   past but nowadays it is a feature. A very important one.

All under Debian 7.0, if that matters.

I also use some modern browsers too, but didn't test with them. Other
pages always look ok in them.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at             **

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