[conspire] We don't support Mozilla

Ross Bernheim rossbernheim at speakeasy.net
Sun Apr 24 16:13:52 PDT 2005

On Apr 24, 2005, at 3:54 PM, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Ross Bernheim (rossbernheim at speakeasy.net):
>> They later migrated to a web based system. They do support firefox and
>> even Apple's Safari web browser. It does take them a while to support
>> new versions of the browsers after they come out.  They did balk at
>> supporting new browsers a number of years ago, but have been fairly
>> good for the last few years.  They do not support all browsers and no
>> bank that I know of does.
> Honestly, the fact that they have to develop "support" for particular
> browsers means they're doing it badly.
> It's really not that difficult:  An e-commerce site of any sort should
> require only basic HTML (e.g. HTML 3.2), SSL, and _maybe_ -- if the
> designer insists on doing tiresome tricks like mouse-sensitive 
> picklists
> and validating your input on each field as you tab out of it --
> Javascript.  If the cited "tiresome tricks" aren't used, then it's even
> simpler.
> There's no reason beyond site-developer malfeasance why the site should
> be _that_ browser-sensitive.  I would speculate that _this_ is what is
> happening with your WFB guys:
> The site developers, being typical screwball PageMaker guys who got 
> laid
> off and haplessly ended up as Web designers without bothering to
> correctly understand the medium, tend to use _all_ of those tricks and
> more, because they're still under the delusion of doing page layout.
> When they're done with the design phase, they check that the rendering
> results are pixel-perfect with MSIE v.whatever on their workstations,
> and cross-check with Netscape Navigator v.whatever.
> Shortly before deployment, they hear disturbing rumours that some
> customers might use "non-standard browsers" like Mozilla Navigator,
> Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, etc.  They find one such browser, 
> and
> one of the images is out of place by five whole pixels!  This plainly
> cannot be permitted!
> They go to the bank IT director and state that, for quality control
> reasons, in order to ensure a quality customer experience, the site 
> will
> have to be modified to check browsers' agent strings, to make sure
> they're on the approved list.  Any browser that returns a differing
> string, even if only because it's MSIE v.whatever+1, will get the door
> shut in its face.
> And, typically, the bank IT director goes along with such idiocy,
> because he doesn't know better and is getting bad advice from his
> "experts".  The "experts", in turn, give bad advice because they don't
> understand -- and never will understand -- that the Web designer isn't
> _supposed_ to be able to specify the fine details of rendering, which
> are strictly under local user-level control _by design_.
> Which is why, often, the least-troublesome way to fix the problem is to
> fake the agent string of a "supported" browser.  If that doesn't work,
> e.g., because the site relies on particular browsers' more-peculiar
> quirks, or -- worse -- because it uses ActiveX or such -- you're 
> dealing
> with idiots who shouldn't be entrusted with your money in the first
> place.

Wells probably went through a lot of this earlier. They seem much better
now. One of the reasons that they check browsers is a security thing. 
given how insecure Explorer has been, I question their definition of 
security. :-)>

Just tried using the Shiira browser on the Wells site. "Your account 
is currently unavailable. Please try again later or call 1-800-..." 
Changing the
agent string to Safari 1.2 the site works. Change back to Shiira and no 


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