more on the standards-heavy main site argument

Bruce Heerssen bruce at heerssen.com
Tue, 02 Sep 2003 10:00:04 -0500


Oops, sent this one directly to Mr. Mohr by mistake. Can we please get 
proper reply-to headers?

-Bruce Heerssen

Robert Mohr wrote:

> James Russell wrote:
>
>> I'm pasting this from an e-mail I just sent to further flesh out my 
>> argument for a dynamite main page. Some of it's already been said but 
>> there's more meat to this one:
>>
>> """
>> I really feel that mozilla.org needs to use standards to show off 
>> what standards can do. As I discussed in the list, Netscape 6 PR1 had 
>> an awesome start page. It really rivaled Flash, and I think we 
>> really, really need to show off what companies can do just by 
>> following standards. That in turn will promote browsers, like 
>> Mozilla, that follow those standards. We could have a sniffer that 
>> points non-standards-compliant browsers to a site that clues the 
>> viewer in to the fact that the browser they're using is broken. A 
>> Flash movie would be good to show the viewer what they're missing, 
>> and of course the page would offer a URL to download Mozilla. I 
>> really feel this is superimportant. Having a ho-hum page that works 
>> on any browser isn't going to convince people to download Mozilla 
>> like an awesome page would.
>> """"
>>
>>
>>
>
> Why Flash when Mozilla is already working on a better, open 
> alternative: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/svg/

He is arguing that the flash version would be only for non-mozilla users
who would therefore be unable to view svg. Of course, the flash version
could show what the svg site would do if they were using Mozilla. Not a
bad idea, IMO.

My take on the original post is that the front page must look good in
all browsers. If it appears to be broken in other browsers, average
users of those browsers would get the impression that mozilla.org is
unprofessional, and would not inspire confidence in any product hawked
on the site. First impressions are powerful, and are not usually
reasonable or considered. Furthermore, we must take into account the
overwhelming majority of dial-up users on the planet. Redirects or other
such cleverness only add to the wait time for those people, as does an
over-abundance of scripting, images, or what-have-you. I do think a
prominant link to a showcase site could add some serious value,
especially if there were two sites - bandwidth intensive and bandwidth
conservative.

- Bruce Heerssen