Simon Willison’s Weblog


Browser upgrade messages enter history

5th January 2003

There’s been something of a backlash against “browser upgrade” messages recently, for a variety of reasons. Now Jeffrey Zeldman, the man who brought upgrade messages widespread attention in the first place, has admitted that he too is moving away from them. With 4.0 browsers almost a thing of the past and awareness of web standards much greater than it was a year ago it looks like they may have hit their retirement date. Incidentally, Jeffrey’s post includes the following piece of standards compliance propoganda which, while old hat to most people, I feel is still worth a quote:

The cost of bandwidth-intensive, invalid markup, and of detection scripts that continually run afoul of their target, is too high. Such methods waste site owners’ money in a futile effort to keep up with ever-changing browser versions. More importantly, they hurt web users, forcing everyone to download bandwidth-busting heaps of inaccessible junk markup and proprietary code forks so that an ever-shrinking minority of old browser users can have the exact same experience as the majority. (Meanwhile, this same junk code locks out screen reader and wireless users, and often denies access to the physically impaired as well.)

This is Browser upgrade messages enter history by Simon Willison, posted on 5th January 2003.

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