This site has been designed with the W3C standards in mind. These are standards designed to make websites look more or less the same on all browsers and platforms. This site in particular uses XHTML 1.0 Strict in combination with CSS2. This is supported by all modern browsers, including Mozilla/Firefox/Netscape (and other "Gecko" based browsers), Opera, and Konqueror/Safari (and other "KHTML"/"WebCore" based browsers).
All fairly recent versions of the Gecko browsers, KHTML/WebCore browsers and Opera are supported. Firefox 1.0 for example renders the site properly. The KHTML/WebCore browsers haven't been tested very thoroughly, though recent versions of both Konqueror (KHTML) and Safari (WebCore) work properly. Opera from version 7 onwards shows the site as it's supposed to as well. Even in Opera 5 and 6 it looks fairly good, although in those version the fonts might look bigger than expected. See the next page for some known bugs and issues. Netscape 6.x (Gecko, but old) has quite some problems showing the layout properly, but from 7.0 onwards it looks alright.
However, Microsoft has long neglected these standards and does not support many things very well. Besides that, real development of Internet Explorer - besides security fixes - has stood still for a long time, making Internet Explorer an ancient browser. The result is that many hacks 'have' to be applied to make the site look consistent across all platforms. We do realise that the majority of our users browses the site with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, hence we tried our best to make the site look good in that browser too.
Unfortunately, it's hardly possible to make everything look as intended, even with these hacks. Adjusting a design for Internet Explorer is a painful process. And Microsoft has said they will not fully embrace the CSS2 standards in Internet Explorer 7, of which a first beta is expected in summer 2005.
Due to these problems, it might be that some things look different, or wrong, in Internet Explorer. Usually there won't be anything we will do about that. The site works, that's it. If you want to experience The Spore Zone to the max, we recommend using Firefox or Opera, or other alternative browsers. Future designs of the Spore Zone might drop Internet Explorer support, depending on how well Microsoft listens to web developers. If they do not support web developers, we will not support them, and then we will encourage everybody to switch to a different browser instead.
Of course, some "ancient" browsers, like Netscape 4.x (and even 6.x), Opera 3 and Internet Explorer 4.x are too old to support the newer methods of web design. It is highly recommended to upgrade if you're using one of these browsers, as we do not support these at all, and haven't tested the site on these browsers. Due to the structure of the site's pages, you might be able to view the site in plain-text mode (disable styles), or in a browser like Lynx or Links.
If you want, you can head to http://validator.w3.org/ and validate several pages of the Spore Zone. You'll find that most, if not all of them will be built according the official standards of the W3C. Depending on the content some things might not validate, but if you e-mail me, with a precise link to the page, we will fix the problem.
This site has been checked on and looks at least reasonably well on the following browsers. It may look well on browsers or versions not listed here, and we might test more browsers in the future:
- Firefox 1.0
- Netscape 7.0, 7.2, 8.0 Beta
- Opera 5.00, 6.00, 6.06, 7.02, 7.0.3, 7.10, 7.20, 7.50, 8.00
- Konqueror 3.4.0
- Safari 1.1
- Internet Explorer (Windows) 5.0, 5.5, 6.0
- Internet Explorer (Mac) 5.2
We hope as many people as possible will enjoy the site, and that with this article you understand why some things do not work properly in certain browsers.
Written at 02:00 2005n Tuesday 17 May 2005 by