I posted early about still using tables and not going with CSS because of the amount of browser versions out there and better the devil you know (at the moment). This, I know, is a heated subject. There's no right or wrong because there are too many variables to consider, but what it did get me thinking about is whether it is our job to get our users to upgrade their browsers?
Ok here goes, but please hold back any flame throwers till I've finished and I have my asbestos suit on. Now we have all seen, and dare is say used at some point the following line "Best displayed at 800x600 on IE5.5+" or something similar. Eeuuugghhhh, I hate that sentence like most of you no doubt. BUT (always a but), maybe they have a point without knowing it? Skip the displayed bit and change it to something like "upgrade your browser to IE 6"( this can be changed to Mozilla but for now its easy to just use one browser product). Maybe, just maybe we should be pointing our users to the latest browsers and help them on the upgrade path. STOP, I can see you already lighting the throwers, there's reasoning here: 1. As developers we find it easy if there are less browser version out. If everyone was up-to date life would be sweet. 2. Skip the selfish reasons, upgrading can help prevent more virus's and Trojans etc circulating. At our work the main source of viruses come from customers(users) who have emailed us once with a query and have kept the address in their contacts, then use an old software i.e. Outlook Express. 3. Educating users. We are in a situation of being the best people to help educate web users about exploits. My mum has recently jumped on the WWW but still doesn't know the first thing about looking out for viruses. We take what to look out for as second nature because its our work. For example I use to know people in the IT business who would take the time to "un-subscribe" from spam mail. Now we all know that that just generates more. Some things just aren't as obvious as they seem.
There's loads more, but my point is this; by helping users upgrade not only can we help marginally prevent the spread of Trojan and other nasties but also we can help ourselves develop in a more stable and standard environment?
Side note: I've mentioned IE a lot here, and just to let you know that I have no preference. On my home and work machine I have IE, Mozilla and firebird installed. Admittedly I hardly use FB as I prefer Mozilla for some reason, but out of them I use them all equally. The tabbed browsing is amazing, if I want to look at a site quickly IE has an amazing load up time still, plus 9/10 I'm already got a Windows explorer window open so I just type in the address bar. The reason I used IE was to keep things simple. Plus you have to remember that a lot of users out there think the Internet is the big blue E on their desktop, but this is due to MS and the monopoly. If this is to change, then it comes back to what I was saying about we are the only people who can educate. Remember Mozilla has no marketing budget, and even my stats which I would say is 100% developers still shows a good IE5+ share at 65%-70%, if you want them to change we need to push.
Again, just my thoughts, not strong believes, just thoughts? If you think i've missed something let me know.