This page is basic for a reason, so everyone can view it. The following is a note from the authors mainly directed at the thinkquest contest officials adn judges, but individuals may find the contents interesting and debatable. No tags of any kind were used here really, so even lynx can view this document.
We, the creators of this page have very strong opinions on the internet and computers, and keep in mind any of the views expressed here and anywhere else on the page are purely our views. We do not represent anyone, except maybe certain people with the same beliefs.
Anyhow, we feel that that thinkquest judging criteria as far as breath of use and general attitude of many people on the net is really unjust and illogical. First, we would like to say that everyone in their right mind should use netscape 3.0. Netscape 3.0 is the fastest browser available, it is smaller than the closest competition, it is widely supported, and takes advantages of features that make the internet the internet. If netscape hadn't have come along, many of the graphical advances in the www would be non-existent. We are not saying you owe netscape any due credit, but we do suggest you use this browser. Why, because it is the standard of the past and the present. Why would anyone use an 8088 with a cga monitor to do graphics when they could use a pentium with svga? In certain cases, there are reasons, mainly money, but for the majority of users, this is not the case. We like to accomodate the individual, but it is obvious and tacit that we are here to serve the masses. What do the masses want? It seems apparent that the masses desire the latest technology or something close to it, hence forth continual advances. We did not stop when we developed the microprocessor, we continued to make better and better processors. Likewise, even though the cray computer is one of the most powerful machines on the planet, the cray was not designed for home use, therefore, the pc, a midpoint was developed. This is where netscape comes in. Netscape gives you all the power of high end software for your computer, available for free to the masses. Why use anything else? If your provider supports ppp, slip, or even ppp emultators and shell ppp programs, you can use netscape 3.0. If you have any kind of graphical account and your provider will not let you use netscape 3.0 or doesn't have the capabilities, you are being duped. Get a new provider. These days just about anywhere in the U.S. and the world you can get a good internet provider at a low cost. Anything more than $30 a month is a complete waste of your time.
Rescent surveys have showed that only about 7% of all internet users do not have graphical accounts in most areas, and among them 50% of those users do use the world wide web at all. Why should authors have to change their pages so much to make a few people happy? Sure, we like to make everyone happy, but must people have no excuse not to use netscape 3.0. So who is it that we are accomodating, people too lazy to download one file. There are some exceptions, but hey, if you have that kind of account, life is hard. In my opinion, you do not belong on the internet if you do not use at least netscape 2.0 and a 386/40+. It is insane to even consider using the world wide web with anything like a 386/20, 4mb ram, 14.4 modem, a standard vga card, and any kind of account. Learn to live with ftp, telnet, ect. and avoid the web until you can get/afford new hardware. The web is just not built to handle this stuff. Software will crash or be unbareable if you run it on obsolete equipment, too bad this isn't true for the web. A small percentage of users are holding back the technological age in web design. No more shall authors have to limit themselves to all text pages with plain ugly design. It is products like netscape navigator 3.0 that help technology move forward. In my opinion, it is unfair to judge a page in any way by obsolete standards. It is similar to putting an older sgi demo that most people would think was average these days and compare it to an ega demo from the 80's. Obviously the ega demo would look much worse, but the question is, why should anyone limit themselves to make their demo work on an ega machine when they could tap thousands of times more power from a modern day computer. No one in their right mind would still support ega for anything, so why should web authors have to support ancient history like mosaic and lynx?
The web will never move forward unless some are left behind. Sure some people still own 286's (me for instance), but we realize that there is and never will be anymore software being made for them and they are obsolete junk now. Yes, it angered me that everytime I tried to play something I would get the message "386 processor required to run this program." Well eventually, I was basically required to go out and buy myself a new computer, a 486. So just why don't we do that with the web. At least set a bare minimum. If I could put anti-lynx, mosaic, internet explorer, ect. tags I would, but it is not worth the time and effort. I may have insulted a small portion of users, but for the vast majority of us, and the web designers mainly, this is a pain that are coerced to deal with for no logical reason if we want our sites to be good. Why should my site loose points if I have great info, but for some darn reason I decided that I only wanted netscape extensions so my page was very inaccesible to other browsers that were years old and that were out of date with the current technology. Think of netsape as a free upgrade to your computer. I am not a walking netscape add, however, if netscape communications paid me to do so, I would be one.
Anyhow, this is the reason why I am STRONGLY against support for sub-standard obsolete garbage like lynx. Sure it was the beef in its day, but now it is simple refuse. As for internet explorer users, this page will work under internet explorer 3.0 final, but the alignment is TOTALLY wrong, the music player doesn't work right, and the look of the page is ruined. If you can run i-net explorer, you can run netscape. You can even run both, but netscape 3.0 far outperforms i-net explorer. Internet explorer is a cheap rip-off attempt of netscape 3.0 just like those bad alternative bands copying off Nirvana you hear about. Microsoft's own site is actually slower with their own product than with the competition. That's pretty sad. I beg you to use netscape 3.0 for the last time. For the love of god, for the love of web designers, for the love of yourself, for the love of humanity, and most of all, for the love of the internet.
You must be insane if you don't follow this advice. The internet will become a much more enjoyable experience this way and be faster even too! I'd like to add that we suggest to the thinkquest staff not to judge on performance under different browsers next year, regardless whether this page wins or not. As we stated and proved, you unfairly penazlize designers for being innovative and taking advantage of new technology at their disposable. It is hard to be creative and develop a quality site when you are worrying about meeting demands for sub-standard software that most people don't use in the first place. I sincerely hope that the look on a different browser does not keep a quality page from winning any sort of awards. Such an action would be an assault on a designer's freedom of choice. Other than that, the thinkquest internet contest is a fair, just, and excellent contest, however, the browser aspect seems to be a major flaw that is at the least counter productive and anti-freedom of expression. Although the thinkquest officials and advanced internet services make the rules, graciously hold this contest and provide the funds, we hope to improve their cause and contest so it may achieve an even higher pinacle of excellence. We might have made another page for lower end users, however, time and ethics did not permit that. You cannot possibly expect high school kids especially who have jobs and vacation in the summer to design multiple pages for such a futile concept when the time can be spent improving the educational quality of their pages. We hope that you, the reader understand our views completley and either agree or would like to logically compete with our views and that you mail us at (email link disabled). Thank you for your time and if you are a reader, support the spread of educational web site movement by putting up your own site or sponsoring this one or any others.