NOTE: ALL hosanna1.com PAGES ARE DESIGNED TO FIT SCREEN SETTINGS OF 800X600 PIXELS, AND TRUE COLOR.  IF OUR PAGES DON'T FIT ON YOUR SCREEN - IF THEY LOOK SMALL WITH BLANK SPACE AT THE RIGHT, OR IF YOU HAVE TO SCROLL TO THE RIGHT TO SEE THE REST OF THE SCREEN, YOU SHOULD TRY RESETTING YOUR DISPLAY TO 800X600.  AT THAT SETTING, ALL THE PAGES WILL FIT PERFECTLY ON YOUR SCREEN.


WHY ARE WE USING 800X600 SETTINGS?  We are using 800x600 for several reasons.


A) The majority of our site's visitors are still using 800x600.  We know this from our site stats. But we also know the majority is now a slim one. Over the past few years, I have watched the number of users with 800x600 screen settings change from about 85% to now only about 51%. Today, almost 1/2 our visitors are using a variety of higher settings, and a very few (notably those with 'Web TV') are still using lower settings. Those people who are using higher settings will find our pages look small - the photos look much smaller, the pages do not use the whole screen, and perhaps the background may be wrapping around on the right (which might look 'ugly' : ).  You are missing out, we do have some of the most beautiful pages on the www. To really enjoy all the pages at www.hosanna1.com, please try resetting your monitor to 800x600 True Color screen settings.


B) We will continue using 800x600 in the foreseeable future, because the majority of people in the world still have fairly slow phone line access to the www.  In order to present pictures with the same (large) dimensions in inches at a higher resolution, we would have to make the photos much bigger in file size (bytes).  If you have looked at our pages at both a higher resolution, and the correct 800x600, you will have noticed that the dimensions of the photos in inches on your screen is much smaller with the higher resolution.  In order for them to be the same size in inches (and use the same percentage of your screen) at higher resolution, they would be much larger file sizes in bytes, and all those in the world with slow phone line access to the www would wait even longer than they do now (2 or 3 times as long, depending on how high a resolution we used) for our pages to download. On hosanna1.com, our focus is on beautiful photos and pictures. Our pages already take long enough to download. And the photos would not look any better at a higher screen resolution than they do at 800x600. Your eyes could not tell the difference, the pictures would just take much longer to download, or we would have to have smaller (dimensions in inches) photos and pictures.  Alternatively, we could compress the photos much more than we do, but would lose a lot of the quality of the photos in doing that, which is not an acceptable solution either.


C) Most of the people in the world do not have huge monitors. And at the higher resolutions, on a smaller screen, the type and pictures look much smaller.  At very high resolutions, on a 'standard' 13" screen, the average text size is truly tiny.  There is no way for anyone in the world to 'force' everyone in the world to all use the same hardware and software. So designers should be trying to make WebPages that can be optimally viewed by the largest number of users world wide possible. 


NO ONE CAN DESIGN ANY WEBSITE AT MULTIPLE SCREEN RESOLUTIONS, WITHOUT DESIGNING MULTIPLE PAGES, WHICH WOULD BE COST PROHIBITIVE FOR MOST OF US. I do not have the time, nor the server space to create and host multiple copies of our fairly extensive (over 200 megabytes as of January, 2005) website at all possible screen settings.  I 'could' do it, but I will not.  I can not afford to.  So all those who do not use 800x600 will not see any of our pages correctly.


WHY ARE SO MANY OTHER SITES GOING TO HIGHER SCREEN RESOLUTIONS?   Maybe just because they can.  It could be that old perception that 'bigger is better' - which we should all know doesn't always hold true.  Also, commercial sites who make money selling ads can cram many more ads on a higher resolution screen, so I suppose they can make more money per page selling ads.  And if their focus is on text and simple graphics, their download times would still be acceptable.  Also, maybe they see more of their visitors using higher resolutions (the newer computers may be shipped preset at higher resolutions), so they are just trying to 'keep up'.


POSSIBLE SOLUTION? I think until 1. high speed access is available to a large majority world wide AND 2. larger screens are used by a large majority world wide - the best compromise screen settings are 800x600.  I wish more developers would realize this, and stick to that setting.  And USERS, YOU have some say.  If more of YOU will keep your settings at 800x600, the large commercial sites are also monitoring what their site's visitors are using, and making their design decisions accordingly.  This is not by any means a complete discussion of this issue, but I hope it gives people something to think about.

Ninety-two percent of our website visitors are using a version of Internet Explorer.  Less than 7% are using Netscape, and a tiny percentage (less than 1%) are using other browsers.


INDEX - Quick Jump

--- Which Browsers Do Our Visitors Use?
--- Browser Versions In Use
--- General Browser Compatibility Issues
--- Flash Player Support
--- Real Audio Streaming
--- If You Can't Hear Our Music:
--- Is Your PopUp Killer Causing You To Miss Out?
--- More Netscape Browser Differences
--- Does the Page Layout Look Funny On Your System? ABOUT DISPLAY SETTINGS
--- What is the Biggest Challenge On The WWW? COMPATIBILITY
--- Second Biggest Challenge On The Internet - Do You Hate Ads?
--- YOUR HELP WANTED:


WHICH BROWSERS DO OUR VISITORS USE?

DISCLAIMER:


We DON'T own any stock in Microsoft, Netscape, AOL, or ANY other company.  But we LIKE stuff that WORKS. - no matter WHO makes it : )


All comments herein are the responsibility of Lynda R. Farley, BAS/CS.  Lynda has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University, and was a Computer Programmer at IBM Corp. for almost 10 years, before 'retiring' to be a full time mother.  She is a mom of 6, and grandma of 4 (so far).  For the past five plus years, Lynda has been the Sole Proprietor and 'Webslave' of 'The Most Beautiful Pages on the WWW', www.hosanna1.com.  Lynda does not pretend to 'know it all', but has extensive training and experience.  She has made an attempt here to answer some frequently asked questions.  CLICK HERE to see Resume

We usually like to do multicolumn and complex page formats.  It is much easier to read narrower columns of text.  That is why magazines and newspapers are laid out the way they are.  But we have found that Internet Explorer is much more forgiving and agile than Netscape (talking about the old 4.7 version again) with tables and complex layouts.  Also, Netscape messes up the borders we sometimes use to enhance readability. It (the old version) made them much wider on one side than the other.


BROWSER VERSIONS IN USE

Altogether, there are dozens of different versions of IE and Netscape in use, including several versions of AOL.  We have no access to AOL here, so have no way to know how it behaves.  We do all our developing in the latest level of ver. 6+ Internet Explorer because this is what the majority of our visitors are using AT THIS TIME.  When we see that the majority is using something else, we will change to that.  We also in the past did some testing in  Netscape Ver. 4.7, which with 7% (at that time) was the most popular used Netscape browser among our visitors.  We also for a short period attempted testing with a 6+ version of Netscape, but that was SO BAD, we won't go there here.  It was completely unworkable.  We no longer (since about 2002) bother to test with Netscape.  You guys are on your own (sorry).


GENERAL BROWSER COMPATIBILITY ISSUES:

There are MANY problems with compatibility with ALL computer code, and NO webpage is displayed exactly the same across all platforms.  (I don't care WHAT the salesman told you <g>)

Explorer or Netscape  version 4 or later are needed to support Macromedia Flash Player to see sWish and Flash movies. If you have an older browser, you will not see the movies in Internet Explorer OR Netscape.  The older version of Netscape we used to use, 4.7, did not support the transparent background function in FLASH, so didn't look as well where we used transparent background.  In Netscape, the movie background was a solid color, not transparent - not allowing the webpage background to show.

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FLASH PLAYER SUPPORT

We are streaming high quality music from our server with Real Audio on some of our pages.  I have found that it works with Real Audio, Microsoft, AND Quicktime Players in Internet Explorer.  Almost everyone in the world seems to have one or another of those, that is why we finally decided it was time for us to have music.  We live in a remote area, with two cans and a string (kidding - we have 28kb phone line) connections. Being aware that there is a wide variety of platforms and software available in different parts of the world, and experiencing ourselves the aggravation of waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting..for music to download, we had avoided using it.  Now, STREAMING makes it useable.  Even on my oldest 5 year old Gateway system that only has 32 mb of memory, I am impressed with the performance of Real Audio streaming.


REAL AUDIO STREAMING

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Real Audio did not work for us in 4.7 Netscape, and I don't have other versions of Netscape available to try it with.  It WILL  play in Netscape, however, it loads the entire 2 megabyte music file first before playing.  It does not  stream.  Therefore, it may seem that your system (you Netscape users)  is bogging down and our site is taking too long to load.  If this is a  problem for you, you can turn  off the music at the bottom of our Ad page .  That is where it is playing, and why even if you go to another page on our site you still hear the music.  The Ad page  is loaded automatically behind our hosanna1.com Portal page .


If you are not a Netscape user, and you still can't hear our music, see below about popup killers.


IF YOU CAN'T HEAR OUR MUSIC:

If you have not been able to hear the awesome Real Audio music at www.hosanna1.com, it may be because of your popup killer.  On our site, I often put music on a second page, opened behind the first page, so when you browse from one page to another on the site the music isn't interrupted. 


Popup technology isn't only used to pester you with nuisance ads.  It's often used for many of the integral functions of a website, and many websites won't work properly without their popups.  You may find you can't login on some sites, can't fill out a form, or if you are an affiliate marketer, you may find your stats aren't credited properly and you even may lose income.  Also, some sites use popUNDERS for their ads, and if you are using a popUP killer, you may not be able to access the links you want at all.  Your popUP killer may shut down the page you WANT TO SEE, and you will only see the popUNDER page (ad).  If you are having a problem accessing links on a site, and you are using a popup killer, try turning it OFF.  You can't win for losing, folks.


IS YOUR POPUP KILLER CAUSING YOU TO MISS OUT?


MORE NETSCAPE BROWSER DIFFERENCES:


Does the Page Layout Look Funny On Your System? ABOUT DISPLAY SETTINGS


BIGGEST CHALLENGE ON THE WWW = COMPATIBILITY

If you have a different type of browser than I have available here, you are welcome to email me and let me know how things behave on it.  I may not be able to fix it, but I could try, and I'm always wanting to learn more.  My phone # is (270)432-7272 CST (I'm a night owl).


I hope this discussion has been helpful to you.


Thank you for visiting www.hosanna1.com


Sincerely,


                          Lynda Farley


'The Most Beautiful Pages On The WWW'

www.hosanna1.com 

CEO 3A Home Business Consulting

My Resume  ~  About Us

Email hosanna1@scrtc.com

Phone (270)432-7272 CST

Edmonton, Kentucky

This is not a comprehensive list of differences between the browsers, but only a few notes about some of the major ones.  The biggest challenge on the Internet is COMPATIBILITY.  Ideally, one should expect the same piece of code to be displayed the same way on any system or browser.  In reality, this may never happen.  The hardware AND software is changing too fast, and there doesn't yet seem to be much in the way of 'STANDARDS'.  There have been attempts at some, and detailed analysis of that is beyond the scope of this simple article.  But briefly, attempts to use standards have been thwarted to a great degree by different company's development efforts to gain a competitive edge, and that each company has their own proprietary interests to defend.


Some developers also seem not to pay enough attention to DOWNWARD compatibility - that is, making sure that their OWN new stuff will still work with their OWN OLD stuff.  This is one reason we in general avoid using JAVA.  They have a very poor track record in this area. 


It would be great if more developers would pay more attention to downward compatibility when they come out with new releases.  Most people aren't able or aren't willing to run right out and buy new hardware, and/or new software to upgrade immediately, just because I made a ''kool'' new webpage, or even just because some company is trying to sell some new 'whiz bang' thing.  We can't usually afford to do this ourselves, especially if it entails updating thousands (or perhaps millions) of lines of code.  There is no budget or manpower here to do it.


SECOND BIGGEST CHALLENGE ON THE WWW - DO YOU HATE ADS?

I know, I know... we all want it all for free.  In the infancy of the internet, it was very difficult to convince very many people that there is anything actually worth paying for here.  People just did not understand what could be done with it, nor how to use it, and didn't see the value.  Because of this, most new .coms have given away as much as possible, just so people could have the opportunity to find out just how valuable it IS.  Where else can ANYONE display pages and pages of full color glossy photos of their art, show dogs, orchids, hobbies - for so little?  Not to mention the educational and business opportunities the internet has brought within reach of almost ANY budget. 


But folks, I will share with you the fact that computer systems cost $, and the internet is composed of COMPUTER SYSTEMS.  And computer systems are useless without software.  Software is created by computer programmers, who like to eat, and even have families to feed - and who spent years in school, and invested fortunes in their training.  Only a very small percent of .coms have been able to cover their expenses.  We have all been witness to the .com-.gone phenomenon, and the carnage has been awful.  The biggest challenge for many is to SURVIVE.


Ads on the internet are no different than ads on Network TV.  The advertisers help to pay for some or all of the costs of providing FREE CONTENT to you.  The only alternative (other than programmers working for free, and supporting their families on welfare, at taxpayer expense <g>) would be for users to pay fees for all internet services they enjoy.


We personally have provided years worth of work, and paid for hardware, bandwidth, and specialized software ourselves, to create, develop, and maintain 'The Most Beautiful Pages On The WWW', www.hosanna1.com, for more than 5 years.  It's my dream that some day we will earn enough from it just to cover our basic out of pocket expenses.  I have just about no more hope that it will ever pay enough to compensate me for even one of the tens of thousands of hours I've spent creating all of that (over 200 MB of content as of January, 2005).  It's been a labor of love.  This is why I (tongue in cheek) refer to myself as 'Webslave', rather than 'webmaster'.


MANY write us, and tell us how much they enjoy our site - how it's uplifted them, and given them joy.  Thousands of individuals have visited our pages more than 100 times EACH.  Folks, I always appreciate the wonderful comments, and they make my day.  But they don't pay our bills.  As our family, with four children still at home, struggles financially day by day, I have less and less time to even keep www.hosanna1.com updated.  And we are among the MINORITY of .coms that have SURVIVED more than five years online.


Folks, if you find a website that is useful to you, or that you get great joy from, have a heart for who is doing all that work, and who is paying for it.  Please consider patronizing the advertisers on that site.  Do some online shopping with the links provided on those sites.  Thoughtful 'webslaves' have made an effort to find high quality merchandise, from reputable businesses, that you may very well be interested in, and benefit from.  If there are things you would be shopping for anyway, why not try to help keep a .com on the www by supporting them in this way?


YOUR HELP WANTED


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