Evangelism on a different level needed

I’m running on my Fedora 8 box Mozilla Firefox 2.0. I see a link for Battlestar Galactica, Season 3, on CNN’s page near the bottom. What page do I get back when I load it? This one. EW doesn’t describe my feelings. Ewww does.

I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve been browsing the Internet and tinkering with computers a lot longer. So do tell, how does Firefox on Linux differ that much to a web server from Firefox on Windows or Macintosh? The best you’ve got is the user-agent string, I’d think. One of the biggest goals of Firefox is that web pages look the same on different platforms. More to the point, how do you suggest I upgrade my browser to a totally different operating system?

I’ve seen some stupid web-discrimination in the past (and I still do from time to time), but this is pretty near the top. There’s no excuse for that.

7 thoughts on “Evangelism on a different level needed”

  1. What gets me is that outside of critical web applications, like online banking, knowing that everything is going to work in a given web browser is completely unnecessary.
    99% of users are going to be running IE6, IE7, Firefox (latest public release) or Safari, and you really have to stretch the boundaries of what an information page can do before you break any of those.
    Why are web developers so scared that their page might break in a test scenario they didn’t consider? Until Safari on Windows, I couldn’t test in Safari, but a note on my site says if something doesn’t work in your browser of choice, tell me about it.

  2. I hear you about this issue. I encounter a similar problem when trying to watch Lost on NBC’s site. Of course in that case I know that it’s probably due to the fact that NBC forces you to view the video with their own proprietary video streaming plugin. This is still better then Fox however who tries installing the same kind of extension which doesn’t even work (even on FF2-win last I tried.)

  3. At least they give you the option of proceeding to the content. Way to often I’ve been locked out of a site because I’m using a nightly and I’m too spiteful to change my user agent string. Yahoo mail and american express come to mind….

  4. That’s at least progress; last I checked, there were still open bugs in Tech Evangelism about sites that only allowed Firefox/Win (and Netscape/Win) entry. 😛

  5. Sure it sucks, but it’s not that uncommon. And it’s not nearly as bad IMO as all the sites that require Flash. I can easily pretend to be using Windows, but nspluginwrapper has not been doing a very good job of pretending I’m running a 32-bit browser.

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