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[P]
Browser war - do we still have a chance?

By krokodil in Internet
Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 03:16:44 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Imagine all online services gone: You could not check you bank account balance online. You could not file you tax return via IRS web site. You could not buy book at AMAZON. Your email could not reach customer support. You could not buy something on EBAY.


Here is what my bank wrote to me in response to my complaint that I am no longer able to access their online banking with my Netscape 4.X or Mozilla from Linux:

"Thank you for your message. Currently, Citibank Online does not support Linux or Unix operating systems. Please use another operating system such as a PC or Macintosh to access Citibank Online"

I see that as indication of serious problem all Unix community might face in near future. Even with superior operating system and great applications we will not be able to access online services if they decide not support us.

Just imagine getting such message next time you log in to EBAY or Amazon. Imagine your email to customer support rejected because it has not been sent with Microsoft Outlook. It is not happening yet, but might happen soon.

What could we do? Maybe some lobbying WWW site which lists all Linux/BSD-friendly services and maintains blacklist of services which are require Windows?. Maybe email campaign, sending bunch of messages asking to support our platform of choice?

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Browser war - do we still have a chance? | 82 comments (82 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Isn't this like (2.53 / 15) (#1)
by spacejack on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:26:11 PM EST

petitioning banks and shopping malls & so on for wheelchair access? Except that you're in a wheelchair by choice?

No actually... (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by tzanger on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 10:21:38 AM EST

petitioning banks and shopping malls & so on for wheelchair access? Except that you're in a wheelchair by choice?

No, actually it's more like driving up to an ABM drive-through and the system saying "You drive a chevy; we only allow Honda drivers to use our ABM.

The OS has nothing to do with the website's ability to convey information. They are locking in and using Microsoft-only browsers. (IE for Mac does exist.) As far as I know, Moz and Netscape both allow SSL, heavy java and javascript, style sheets and the like. There's no reason to use ActiveX or anything microsoft-specific on a goddamn web interface for a bank.

Personally I'd close out my accounts and go elsewhere. Vote with your wallet instead of whining to K5. And Yes, I do see the discussion of "What if the world were like this" and the answer is "It won't be. This is one bank fucking off customers; There are three dozen other banks which work just fine.



[ Parent ]
that may be so (none / 0) (#65)
by spacejack on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 01:47:33 PM EST

but look at all the fives and ones I got!

[ Parent ]
Any comment on how precisely it fails? (4.33 / 3) (#2)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:26:56 PM EST

Here is what my bank wrote to me in response to my complaint that I am no longer able to access their online banking with my Netscape 4.X or Mozilla from Lunix: [...]

Why is it that it fails? Is it because it uses some non-standard MSIE feature, or because of bugs/lack of features in the Linux implementations? Do the MS or MacOS versions of Netscape work?

--em

Hi. (2.42 / 7) (#6)
by Dolgan on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:51:19 PM EST

Also, what's "Lunix"?

Reference:

"... no longer able to access their online banking with my Netscape 4.X or Mozilla from Lunix ..." - Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jun 9th, 2001 (EDT), quoting a portion of the Browser War article.

Note, however, that the original line you were quoting said and specified Linux. I am curious why you have changed them around. I am aware of Linux, but what exactly is Lunix?

Sir, I am genuinely concerned, as I have already recommended that my family run Linux on their next computers in addition to Microsoft Windows (r), but if Lunix is better or if the Linux I have now is really just a bugged version of Lunix with typos in it then my credibility with them will be severely damaged.

Please clarify. Thank you.

[ Parent ]

Linux (3.66 / 3) (#11)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:28:19 PM EST

C64 UNIX.

No, really.

Scary.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Lunix (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by J'raxis on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:22:40 PM EST

LUNIX IS TEH SUPERIAR OPERATIGN SYSTEM!!@#$ Alas, the quote seems to be gone now, but I couldn't help thinking of Jeff. K. when I saw "Lunix."

-- The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Dude, *you* try quoting posts in Lynx, then. [nt] (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:27:45 PM EST


--em
[ Parent ]

bud detail (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by krokodil on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:39:00 PM EST

Windows Netscape works OK. I suspect it is some bug in theri Javascript code.

[ Parent ]
humor. (2.50 / 12) (#3)
by rebelcool on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:33:21 PM EST

I always laugh when I see these kinds of postings as they're either completely irrelevant (take the mozilla x.9.6.q.yarr released! of yesterday), or in this case, ridiculously alarmist and silly.

So, to continue my humorous take, I'm going to reprint this article, but use MY PANTS in place of 'Linux' and the like. For the ill-humored who might not understand, it's going to understate how preposterous and irrelevant some of the postings from the linux/unix/bsd/other-40-year-old-OS crowd are:

----------------------

Here is what my bank wrote to me in response to my complaint that I am no longer able to access their online banking with my Pockets or my Beltloops from MY PANTS:

"Thank you for your message. Currently, Citibank Online does not support YOUR PANTS or other PANTS legware. Please use another BRAND OF PANTS such as a LEVIS or GAP to access Citibank Online"

I see that as indication of serious problem all PANTS community might face in near future. Even with superior FABRIC and great POCKETS we will not be able to access online services if they decide not support us.

Just imagine getting such message next time you log in to EBAY or Amazon. Imagine your email to customer support rejected because it has not been sent with LEVIS JEANS. It is not happening yet, but might happen soon.

What could we do? Maybe some lobbying WWW site which lists all PANTS/CHINOS-friendly services and maintains blacklist of services which are require LEVIS?. Maybe email campaign, sending bunch of messages asking to support our LEGWARE of choice?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

So changing your OS is as easy as... (3.25 / 4) (#22)
by slakhead on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:26:22 PM EST

...slipping on a different pair of pants?

If only that were true. The issue isn't "boo hoo it doesn't work with linux." This is about corporations making decisions that affect their customers in ways they can't comprehend and there is little that can be done about it from the customer's side of the issue.

And it isn't just with unimportant matters. An example of this browser stupidity actually works the other way. Vision Service Plan (VSP) is an insurance company that does all their billing online but to use their website you have to be using Netscape 4.0 or better. Why? Because they have lazy javascript writers who would rather just write one set of code instead of actually making the site work for all browsers. You cannot use Internet Explorer or Opera (even with the browser faking on) because of the type of javascript commands they use.

Now that is complete horsecrap. No company should be doing that if they require their customers to use their website...so the question now is what can be done about it. Just because it seems irrelavant to you doesn't mean another people aren't affected by it. That is why you have the option of voting "I don't care."

[ Parent ]
you miss the point. (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by rebelcool on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:38:37 PM EST

as expected. It was about how ludicrous some linux zealot posts on k5 are. Were this better written, without the alarmist "LETS BOYCOTT THE BASTARDS!" tone, perhaps I wouldnt have poked such fun at it.

As for browsers working, there *are* standards. Browsers should abide by these standards and not introduce their own 'extensions' to this. IE has done this yes, but netscape was (and still is) atrociously bad when it comes to following standards. Therefore, write a browser that supports known standards.

As the open source folk love to say, 'if it doesnt exist, build it'. Don't bitch to some website just because they utilize a standard that your linux browser doesnt. Fix the browser.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Again (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by slakhead on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:48:37 PM EST

From my original reply: The issue isn't "boo hoo it doesn't work with linux."

And for the record Opera is standards complient and available for Linux and Windows with Mac support in the works so why would I want to write a browser?

I don't care about browser wars or open source communities bitching about things. I just don't want people to make an inferior product because they can get away with it.

[ Parent ]

My understanding... (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by _Quinn on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 12:57:35 AM EST

   ... was that IE less than 5.5 didn't support standards well enough to be worth the bother to write to them. Is Netscape any better? I don't know. It just makes me jumpy that a /banking/ app is using JavaScript.

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
Umm.. (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by nebby on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 12:49:13 AM EST

The reason that their site isn't cross-browser compatible isn't because they're "lazy programmers." It's a company, making it cross browser compatible will take additional time, and as we all know, time = money. The time that the programmers would have been using to make the site cross browser compatible (and hence increase their usage by a tiny bit) is better spent on other tasks which the higher up's deem more beneficial to a larger chunk of customers.

If Netscape didn't suck nuts, more people would use it and this wouldn't be an issue (since they would be losing money in the long run by blocking them out.) The total amount of cash they save by not having the programmers do the work is seemingly larger than the cash they lose to Netscape folks.

It's not like you have them chopping off a browser that 50% of the market uses, Netscape is a statistical outlier right now. This might change if Mozilla ever gets deployed and convinces enough people that it's worth installing in Windows even though there's a browser just as good already (something I don't think will happen.)

Cutting out the ability for Netscape'ers to use their services was their decision. It's the customer's decision if they still wish to remain their customer.. I'm sure that there are banks with online services which are Netscape compatible.


Half-Empty: A global community of thoughts ideas and knowledge.
[ Parent ]

FUD: "compatibility is expensive" (none / 0) (#79)
by chickenhead on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 01:50:02 PM EST

It's a company, making it cross browser compatible will take additional time, and as we all know, time = money.

Bullshit.

Making it incompatible takes time and money. Nothing could possibly be easier than using normal, standards-compliant HTML throughout the site. How you choose to implement the server-side stuff (CGI, servlets, whatever) doesn't bear any relationship to making a standards-compliant user interface.

[ Parent ]

Important (4.00 / 3) (#4)
by Xeriar on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:36:18 PM EST

I typically use Windows, which makes me a part of this problem (although I still use Netscape)

However, even from a Clueless Windows User who thinks Linux is a brand of facial tissue perspective, this is bad. Companies really do need an incentive to make their products better, and letting them lock down a market (as Microsoft has here) allows them to enforce 'other agendas' - it doesn't matter whether or not that they will, just that they can.

To be realistic though, the only real solution (as far as I can see) is a release of Mozilla 1.0 that can convince at least one major institution (Dell, Compaq, AOL, Earthlink, IBM, etc) to both support and promote it.



----
When I'm feeling blue, I start breathing again.

hee hee (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by John Milton on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:59:13 PM EST

<flamebait>use solaris. microsoft releases their browser for solaris.</flamebait>

Seriously, I was wondering about this. Microsoft releases IE for solaris, but they won't for linux. Obviously they could, but they'd die before they did that. Both solaris and linux use the elf format. Is there any way to get IE running on linux. I haven't been able to find any solaris emulators.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Probably... (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by Anonymous 6522 on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 04:17:12 AM EST

...if someone has put together a Solaris binary compatability package for Linux, although I'm sure something like this would require you to have a Solaris license. If MS has only released sparc binaries, then you'll need to be running linux on a sparc too.

Someone needs to do this. This someone needs to show off their handywork at some major trade show. They also need to take a picture of the Microsoft rep shitting their pants when they see it.

[ Parent ]

Internet Explorer on Solaris... (4.50 / 2) (#40)
by Amorsen on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:07:18 PM EST

IE is available for Solaris on SPARC, not for Solaris on Intel. Someone could write a BOCHS-like thing that would execute SPARC code on other platforms, but then it's probably easier to just run Windows in BOCHS.

[ Parent ]
Or WINE (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by Scurra on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 08:59:00 PM EST

Is there any way to get IE running on linux. I haven't been able to find any solaris emulators.

Of course you could just try using WINE to run the windows/x86 binaries on linux... I did this with an old version of IE a while back and it was useable-ish, although not the most stable thing in the world. Even though it's linked into the core OS quite strongly, I'm sure that support's improved by now...



[ Parent ]
OT: IE under WINE (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by simon farnz on Tue Jun 19, 2001 at 01:07:50 PM EST

IE5.5 Platform Preview worked fine under the then current WINE snapshot; a friend's website crashed Win98 with NS4.5 or IE5.5PP, crashed NS4.6 under Linux, but worked with the above combination!
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]
Not just browsers! (3.00 / 9) (#5)
by www.sorehands.com on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:50:15 PM EST

I ran into the same sort of problem with AT&T/Media One/RoadRunner.

"We don't support Linux" To which I respond, "Did I ask you for any Linux command?" Also, I tell them that they said "Windows 98 or better.", so I installed better -- Linux.

I told them that "I ran my Linux system on RoadRunner for more than two months at a time without rebooting. Can they do that with Windows?" And that I am unfriendly and don't want to be part of the network neighborhood.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.barbieslapp.com
Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Well... (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by Dolgan on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:00:49 PM EST

"I told them that 'I ran my Linux system on RoadRunner for more than two months at a time without rebooting. Can they do that with Windows?'"

Well, I'm not sure if they can. But I can. Of course, the difficulty in such does indeed depend on several factors:

  • First, Windows 9x (95, 98) is vastly different from Windows 2000. While it may be possible for Windows 98 to achieve a two month uptime, I have never done it. I have, however, with Windows 2000.
  • Second, it depends on the knowledge level of the person attempting the two month uptime. I have personally noticed that many relatively smart, experienced Linux users, for example, tend to be under the arrogant illusion that they also have such experience and knowledge with Windows. They do not. As a result, when they break things, they complain about Microsoft.
  • Third, it depends on the circumstances. I know that I often have to reboot my Windows system in order to change into FreeBSD when I so desire since I dual boot. However, they may possess the knowledge necessary for accomplishing the same feat using a single system without rebooting. This also applies to hardware updates and other things that require the system to be disabled temporarily.

    Unfortunately, the above does indeed limit things. If you want to be absolutely sure that your system will be capable of working with RoadRunner but never have to be rebooted, I recommend turning on the system and then pressing "POWERM" once.

    [ Parent ]

  • Re: Well... (3.60 / 5) (#10)
    by Dolgan on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:01:50 PM EST

    Also, if pressing "POWERM" once does not work, then you could consider pressing "POWER" once instead.

    In fact, I recommend this method over the other one.

    Good luck.

    [ Parent ]

    OT: Windows uptime (3.00 / 1) (#48)
    by roystgnr on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 11:01:44 PM EST

    While it may be possible for Windows 98 to achieve a two month uptime, I have never done it.

    It is indeed possible for Windows 98 to achieve two months uptime. However, if you don't want it to crash after 49.7 days, you'll need to install the updates available from Microsoft here.

    I'm sorry, I know this is off topic, but I can't seem to be reminded of this mind-boggling fact without being flabbergasted all over again:

    • Windows 95 had a stupid integer overflow bug (a 32 bit milliseconds counter) that would crash the computer hard after 49.7 days.
    • In the three years of development they put into Windows 98, not one of their programmers discovered the bug.
    • Hundreds of millions of people used Windows 98 for four years, without a single one of them having uptimes regularly long enough to discover that there was something special about that 50 day mark.

    Initial friends' and coworkers' experiences with Windows 2000 suggested that maybe Microsoft got it right this time; I've since been disappointed. At least they're getting better.

    [ Parent ]

    I even hit preview... (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by roystgnr on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 11:05:26 PM EST

    That should be "used Windows 9x for four years", of course.

    [ Parent ]
    still OT: to be fair... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ajf on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:45:42 AM EST

    I think it's unlikely they would have a machine with a development version of Windows up for 50 days. The developers probably have to restart every time they recompile a system DLL.

    That doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't have been aware of the potential problem, but things fall through the cracks, and if their typical user wouldn't leave a computer on for seven straight weeks, I wouldn't expect them to test it extensively when they've got other bugs to worry about.



    "I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
    [ Parent ]
    OT: I'm using AT&T's @home... (3.00 / 2) (#28)
    by _Quinn on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 12:56:25 AM EST

       in Linux. It was actually less work to set up than in Windows, because I could give dhcpcd the magic numbers directly, rather than having to install @home's silly dhcp client adjuster thingamajig to do it for me. The guy that dropped off the cable modem was really nice -- he said 'we don't support Linux, but we don't care what you run, either,' and sat around and waited for the 180 seconds it took me to read enough the dhcpcd man page to find the magic commands. (send hostname, request ip)

       Something funny happened to me with regard to Windows vs Linux networking recently, too: I was in a hotel with ethernet jacks for internet connectivity. I changed linux from dhcpcd to dhclient (at some point, I should figure out why I had to... :)) and ran fine, then decided it was time for some half-life. Two hours later, I concluded that either (a) the instructions for how to connect a windows machine were broken by design or (b) I had somehow managed to make sure that no windows box would ever be able to use the network jack in that room again.

    _Quinn
    Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
    [ Parent ]
    The simple solution (4.00 / 3) (#7)
    by kmon on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:52:07 PM EST

    The easy solution is to modify one of the fields in Netscape's (or Mozilla's) DOM to make the server think its serving to a Windows or Mac machine. MS did this with early versions (they may still do this today) of Internet Explorer, by reflecting the browser type as Mozilla.

    This is what bothers me about open source advocates. First they say, "We can make our software do anything!", then they say, "Well, it can't do that, lets boycott company X". If open source or free software or whatever you wanna call it is so powerful, get off your duff, figure out why you aren't able to view the web pages you want, and modify the software. Isn't that the "power of open source"? As for me, I'll just keep browsing with IE.
    ad hoc, ad hominem, ad infinitum!
    it is javascript pb. (4.00 / 2) (#12)
    by krokodil on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:36:00 PM EST

    It is not a problem of browser detection. They do allow to log in with Netscape 4 (not mozilla though), but it dies with some Javascript error.

    [ Parent ]
    back up (4.00 / 2) (#13)
    by majcher on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:36:02 PM EST

    The even easier solution (in this particular case, anyway) is to use Citibank's automated phone service. Gives you exactly the same options, minus one or two computer-specific ones like printing statements, and you don't have to deal with their bloated and broken web front-end. Sometimes the old ways are the best.

    Sure, they should support any browser but I've seen the development side of web-based applications like this one. When you're working with a budget like Citibank probably has for this project, your biggest problems are insane feature creep from the client's side, and bureaucratic bloat on the developing team's side. Until the real-life lessons of the Big Web Bubble Burst sink in - "yes, you *can* develop a working, robust, usable application with a small, inexpensive, team" - we'll continue to see crap like this.


    --
    http://www.majcher.com/
    Wrestling pigs since 1988!
    [ Parent ]
    This isn't a problem with open source software (3.00 / 2) (#41)
    by 0xA on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:15:34 PM EST

    This is what bothers me about open source advocates. First they say, "We can make our software do anything!", then they say, "Well, it can't do that, lets boycott company X". If open source or free software or whatever you wanna call it is so powerful, get off your duff, figure out why you aren't able to view the web pages you want, and modify the software. Isn't that the "power of open source"?

    This doesn't have anything to do with the browser being unable to view the page. I would put big money on the line that all they are doing is parsing the user_agent and deciding that because its' not Windows or Mac OS that you can't use the site. I'd be really suprised if there was something that Netscape 4.x or Mozilla does that would keep you from using the app, they're just bouncing people out just in case. That is really damn stupid but unfortunately not all that uncommon.

    [ Parent ]
    There are work arounds ... (4.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Begbie on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 07:58:53 PM EST

    ... and most involve defeating browser detection.

    In most cases it's a case of some manager saying "Netscape 4 sucks. Let's tell the users to use IE and then we won't won't have to deal with 4.x browser issues. Hell, everyone has IE, right?"
    The thought that some users may have a non-IE browser that is capable of browsing their site never crosses anyone's mind. Browser detection code is written, and anyone not using the prefered browser is redirected.

    An easy way to defeat the browser detect is to use Konqueror .. it allows you to choose which browser to identify itself as. I'm sure that there is a way to do this for Mozilla too, a quick search on google should bring up a how-to.

    The only case where this strategy might fail is if the site uses a lot of activeX, but the only sites that I know of that use it extensively are certian corperate intranet sites (I work in web dev btw) whose users run a standard platform anyway (developing for an audience who only have IE 5.0 is such a joy .. so easy).

    Now, if people would ditch their 4.x browsers it would be really simple to write cross platform code that would run in the major 5.0 browsers (IE, Mozilla, Opera). *Sigh*.

    partially true (3.66 / 3) (#16)
    by majcher on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:44:55 PM EST

    In most cases it's a case of some manager saying "Netscape 4 sucks. Let's tell the users to use IE and then we won't won't have to deal with 4.x browser issues. Hell, everyone has IE, right?"

    Is some cases, yes, this is exactly what happens. Only it's not just the manager saying this - it's the project lead, or lead engineer. Scheduling and scope, based on requirements and accurate feedback. "Well, we could make it work on 85% of the browsers out there in two months, or we could make it work on 95% of the browsers out there in four months, or we could take six months and shoot for 99%..."

    The thought that some users may have a non-IE browser that is capable of browsing their site never crosses anyone's mind.

    Totally not the case. Sometimes compromises must be made in the interest of money and time. If you're in the minority of users that pisses off, feel free to take your business elsewhere, and make that five percent count a little bit more.


    --
    http://www.majcher.com/
    Wrestling pigs since 1988!
    [ Parent ]
    faking browser identity (3.60 / 5) (#15)
    by mboedick on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 08:43:59 PM EST

    Opera has the ability to pick which browser you are identified as (choices include MSIE 5.0).

    It's right in the main window (right next to the big ugly banner ad), so you could easily and quickly change it from one site to the next while browsing.

    Maybe Mozilla could included the ability to configure a list of sites and what type of browser to report to those sites, similiar to their cookie and image settings.

    Faking It (4.33 / 6) (#18)
    by Monster on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:09:09 PM EST

    My browser of choice is Opera, because I care about standards compliance and Netscape's speed is best measured with a calendar (on my ancient hardware - YMMV). I like this feature, but there are two problems with it:
    1. As you allude, it's an all-or-nothing proposition. I have to remember what to change it to for each site.
    2. It causes webmasters to get bogus stats on their browsors' preference in browsers (I coined this terminology a while back, and gratuitously spew it whenever possible). This only feeds the perception that "everybody uses IE", and therefore encourages web developers to target it as the "standard".
    But, then again, I'm kind of an old-school browsor; just a few minutes ago, I followed a link to a site that informed me I need Flash 5 to view it. No, I don't need your steenking plug-ins, because I really don't need to access your site. If my bank pulls that on me, I'll inform them that I not only have a choice in browsers, I have a choice in banks. Like they'd have a sign at the drive-up window that says it's for GM cars only, so I can't use my Chrysler?

    Where it really ticks me off is when it happens on a government site. There is no competitor to irs.gov, or state.ks.us (well, I can move across the line to Misery, but it's not as easy as changing banks).
    SVM, ERGO MONSTRO
    [ Parent ]

    Opera's real idenfity (3.00 / 2) (#47)
    by static on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 09:07:50 PM EST

    Even when set to IE, there's still information in the raw agent string to identify it as Opera. Of course, many of the automated agent filtering tools wouldn't care...

    Wade.

    [ Parent ]

    faking browser identity (3.75 / 4) (#20)
    by John Thompson on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:18:29 PM EST

    Junkbuster (http://www.junkbuster.com) allows you to change the "user_agent" field reported to the remote machine to anything you like. You can, for example, prentend to be using IE v5.5 under Win98 when you're actually using Mozilla 0.9 under linux, but that doesn't help if the remote site uses that information to feed you some proprietary code that Mozilla can't understand. You do bring up an interesting idea, though: if the proxy could selectively change the user_agent string depending on what site is being accessed it might be rather interesting. Junkbuster already does this for cookies; perhaps it could be extended to this as well.

    -John

    [ Parent ]
    Re: faking browser identity (3.00 / 2) (#53)
    by mauftarkie on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 12:16:32 AM EST

    Mine, for instance, currently says:

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11R7; U; Commodore VIC-20 6502A; en-US; rv:0.9+) Gecko/20010502
    I don't want anyone knowing what I really use. That's my business.


    --
    Without you I'm one step closer to happiness without violence.
    Without you I'm one step closer to innocence without consequence.


    [ Parent ]
    Problem with setting the user agent (4.50 / 2) (#51)
    by ttfkam on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 11:43:38 PM EST

    A thought just occurred to me; Are we shooting ourselves in the foot? By changing the user agent string, the web server's logs (and agent counting engines) will show a disproportionate number of IE clients. All of the Opera users and Mozilla users and Konqueror users will be showing up on the radar as MSIE 5.

    This will cause companies including financial institutions to be more inclined to support IE to the exclusion of other browsers. And as soon as the company puts some code on the sites that is IE only (ActiveX, VBScript, and document.all to name a few), changing the user agent string will provide exact nothing. At that point, once the page REALLY stops working for everyone on a non-IE browser, the company will look at their logs and say, "We don't show any more than 5 accesses from non-IE browsers in the last siz months. Since this is the case, we have decided to fully embrace the IE development platform." And they would feel completely justified.

    This makes me wonder if the stats that we hear about IE having 80% of the market are even a little inflated. Probably not, but altering the user agent fields definitely isn't adding to Mozilla's, Opera's, and Konqueror's respective shares when people tally the browser usage.

    ...just a thought.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]
    Skewered browser statistics (4.50 / 2) (#58)
    by WWWWolf on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 03:27:04 AM EST

    A thought just occurred to me; Are we shooting ourselves in the foot? By changing the user agent string, the web server's logs (and agent counting engines) will show a disproportionate number of IE clients. All of the Opera users and Mozilla users and Konqueror users will be showing up on the radar as MSIE 5.
    Yep. This is what I thought of a couple of weeks ago...

    So currently, "90% of people use MSIE". But how do we know for sure? No, we don't, and never will... Especially when browsers like Opera lie about their identity by default, and proxies like Jungbuster allow you to set the user-agent string to whatever you want.

    User-Agent: Bond/007 (James Bond; 007; UK; Licence to Kill)

    -- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


    [ Parent ]
    Their stats will be skewed anyway... (none / 0) (#70)
    by ajf on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 11:08:33 AM EST

    ... because users of other browsers will either use IE or stop visiting the site.

    So either way, if a site insists on a particuar user agent string, they're going to see what they wanted to see coming up a lot in their logs.



    "I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
    [ Parent ]
    They want a war? ;) (2.66 / 3) (#19)
    by J'raxis on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 09:14:33 PM EST

    Order allow,deny
    BrowserMatch MSIE bad_browser=1
    Allow from all
    Deny from env=bad_browser

    -- The Raxis

    [ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

    Re: Browser problems (1.50 / 2) (#26)
    by PeterV831195 on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 11:17:01 PM EST

    I expect $Bill to end up the first geek president of the planet. The poms are having similar browser problems, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/19239.html
    I'm only here to look at the pictures.
    Your Bank is your Choice -- for now (4.00 / 3) (#30)
    by turtleshadow on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 01:17:20 AM EST

    This argument is about 2 deep issues
  • Consumer choices in banking
  • Standards being driven by markets or by some other means.

    Banks, believe it or not make money on keeping money working. It used to be, allowing the typical consumer access to their accounts was the price to be paid for "gaining" the pool of money needed to loan out at X% while still keeping some just in case.
    The bigger the pool the more loans you made, the more you made on the loans, etc...
    Thats banking barring the 300,000+ or so niche businesses created by financial instruments and institutions.
    Banks are unhappy it takes more than toasters to get us to pony over the dough. Now its "free" chequing, or nice locations or convienent ATMs.
    Banks in general like electronic banking simply for the resource --read people-- reductions.
    Take heart there will be Banks to support the off-brand transactors like Linux Users. Just like Banks that cater to Koreans, Irish, Japanese, Blacks & Latinos... but that's progress in adding just 1 to the niche categories. You can still Bank wherever u want-- however if Gov. doesnt act soon everything will be CitiBorg -- thats a separate article

    Secondly Standards are typically good things. Banks like them a lot. They do not like being "out there" to deeply in front of the pack. Most, after all just want to sit on a big nest egg of rotating loans and other instruments. Being daring isn't a bankers life... perhaps a stockbrokers.
    Banks grew up with FedNet, Hogan, and other things for which they were told to become compliant or not do business with Gov. or other banks. If the standard isn't there by law there is no incentive for them to perform to it. Its a mess for them to Audit Linux, its to them is a standardless practice in terms of Legal definition.

    Until someone that can come up with a profitable, umutable binary for Linux that has a Corp or Gov behind it there will be less & less support for non Apple/MS platforms in consumer banking.

    Your saving grace will be Quicken for MacX.

  • Strange... (3.50 / 2) (#31)
    by MattGWU on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 03:44:14 AM EST

    Why would they not support *nix for their customer online transactions? Every other box in the place is running some *nix-oid flavor, from the teller's terminals to the ATM, to the water-cooled (overclocked, obviously) Cray cluster in the back room using that number from Pi to predict the stock market.

    I mean...if I ever found out that my bank was using Windows for anything more signifigant than Ian the Intern's game of freecell, I'd stick my $2.56 somewhere else to accrue that magical 1.45%.

    Eh? (3.66 / 3) (#33)
    by DoubleEdd on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:40:13 AM EST

    Please use another operating system such as a PC or Macintosh to access Citibank Online

    Well, I'm using Linux on a PC. Tell them that. And if they still complain, get a Mac and install Linux on that. Monkeys...

    My bank has no trouble supporting me using Netscape 4 from Linux, so perhaps you might like to point Citibank to HSBC and ask them what they are doing so wrong that makes it worthwhile for them to insist you withdraw several hundred dollars from your account in order to purchase overpriced commercial software?

    Lastly, take your business somewhere else. That's your only real way to make a stand. Most banks ask why you wish to close an account with them. I'm sure they'd take notice of the statistics if a large number of people left due to the ineptitude of their online division.

    Good for Citibank! (3.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Robert Hutchinson on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 07:27:14 PM EST

    Please use another operating system such as a PC or Macintosh to access Citibank Online
    Well, I'm using Linux on a PC. Tell them that. And if they still complain, get a Mac and install Linux on that. Monkeys...
    No, no, you don't understand. Read the quote again: the bank suggests using another OS, such as a PC. I think this is a great achievement, myself. As large a bank as Citibank is supporting the heretofore unheard of PC-OS. They really care.

    Robert Hutchinson
    No bomb-throwing required.

    [ Parent ]

    Unix & IE6 (3.00 / 2) (#34)
    by caine on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 06:52:35 AM EST

    My bank supports Netscape on amongst other, Linux, but not IE6 on my W2K. Go figure.

    --

    So use a different bank. (4.00 / 9) (#35)
    by Eivind on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 08:00:06 AM EST

    Seriously. Your bank is in effect saying they don't want you to use their services. Fine. Select another bank then, one which does want you as a customer.

    Then send a response to the bank, explaining why you've cancelled all accounts, and tell them to send you a mail should they change their mind.

    Seriously, aslong as you're a customer of them, you're paying for this bullshit. You're paying the salaries of the programmer who puts in the "No Netscape" thingies on their website. Why bother ?

    Voting with your wallet is rather effective, especially if enough people do so. Personally I'd never dream of bothering with a bank which doesn't make all their service equally accessible from Linux as from Windows.

    Wells Fargo (3.66 / 3) (#37)
    by Jebediah on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 11:53:01 AM EST

    If my bank told me to use Windoes I would be irate. First off I would have to go into a lecture about my aloholism while I used Windoes, and how a poor college student like me doesn't have the time, money, or patience for it.

    I use Wells Fargo for my bank, and everything I have needed to do online with them has worked fine in Linux. I view my current balance and my freind borrows my machine to transfer funds. I have never had a prob with them and Linux.

    [ Parent ]
    Support Unix? What does that mean? (4.33 / 3) (#36)
    by ScottBrady on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 10:13:19 AM EST

    This isn't about supporting Unix. This is a website we're talking about not a fucking banking application. If a bank didn't want to port an application that provided online banking capabilities I could understand but locking out web browsers that aren't "popular" is simply stupid.

    If this was more about an issue of support for wizbang EmcaScript/CSS2/etc. then I would understand but that's not the issue. What are the requirements for online banking?

    • Support for SSL
    • Support for authentication

    That's it. Once you meet those two requirements you have access to your financial data. If the bank is so incompetent that they can't provide encryption, authentication and output of formatted data by standard means then I wouldn't give them my business.

    As a closing thought, I've had personal experience with online banking. For the most part I can access my account information in Mozilla running on linux. Problems arise, however, in the way that the account data is formatted. Namely, proprietary IE-only dynamic data output and god awful HTML (I've seen geocities websites with better HTML).

    --
    Scott Brady
    "We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed."
    YHBT. YHL. HAND.

    Yeah, great. (4.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ghjm on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 09:03:18 PM EST

    But that's not the point, is it? The point is, lots of sites are doing this. Important sites. Sites many people can't live without.

    In fact, I personally am already beyond the point of no return on this issue. My main desktop at home is a dual-boot box. I used to do nearly everything from Linux, booting to Windows only for games. Now I find myself booting Windows if I think I want to do Web browsing. Not necessarily because of the sites that don't work at all under Linux. Mostly, that's just an irritant, and usually you can trick them into working - if it doesn't work in Netscape, it may work in Mozilla or Konqueror. The real issue is that generally, systemically, everything is just worse. Even k5 and /. look better and work better in IE.

    I think at this point, Linux has won on the server and lost on the desktop...and Internet Explorer is 80% of the reason why. And it's not hard to think of ways that Microsoft can use their control of the desktop to push Linux out of the server space.

    We need a browser as good as IE5, soon, or we're dead. That's the bottom line. The good news is, Mozilla isn't that far off. Maybe if it gets finished someday soon, we'll have a chance again. Although, the big red tyrannosaurus head just has to go...

    -Graham

    [ Parent ]
    Have you used the site? (4.00 / 1) (#73)
    by /dev/niall on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 04:02:24 PM EST

    Have you ever used the site? It's not an online statement -- it is a web-based application.
    If CitiBank hasn't tested their application on a certain platform, they would be risking their customer's data.
    This isn't a weblog we're talking about here -- it's a web-based application. Applications need to be tested. No test - no deploy.
    --
    "compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
    [ Parent ]
    128 bit encryption? (2.66 / 3) (#38)
    by octos on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 04:38:22 PM EST

    Do any of the *NIX browsers have 128bit encryption? That level is required to even have online banking now. If that is the case, they should have stated it better, but you can't get around federal regulations.

    Yes (4.00 / 2) (#39)
    by fluffy grue on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 04:46:41 PM EST

    Netscape does, and I'm pretty sure Mozilla does too. I know Konqueror has encryption support, though I don't know how strong it is.
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    Opera, too. (4.00 / 3) (#45)
    by static on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 09:02:51 PM EST

    Opera has always supported 128-bit encryption because it was developed outside the US.

    Wade.

    [ Parent ]

    Konqueror (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by dgwatson on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 11:56:07 AM EST

    According to www.fortify.com/sslcheck.html: 168-bit Triple-DES, which is considered to be "very secure".

    So yes, Konqy is fine. I use it for my online banking, but I had to bookmark the login page in Netscape because they use some JavaScript menu thing that doesn't yet work in Konqy. But it's not a deliberate thing, just the fact that Konqy doesn't yet support DOM2 mousy stuff.

    [ Parent ]
    It's the critical mass thing (3.00 / 4) (#43)
    by prostoalex on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 07:40:18 PM EST

    This is just temporary, you are in the same position that computer owners were several decades ago, when only few people on this planet had computers, it was not expedient for banks to implement the computer-access server-client systems at all.

    As linux community grows and this OS becomes more of everyday commodity, more people will start using it, and then the businesses will follow to provide access for that as well. They are, after all, after money, not after the conspiracy against certain users.

    Generally, the OS shouldn't matter, i think, the transactions on the Internet should go through their own layer of encryption and information transfer that should be browser- and OS-independent.



    Temporary? (3.66 / 3) (#57)
    by WWWWolf on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 03:14:50 AM EST

    This is just temporary, you are in the same position that computer owners were several decades ago, when only few people on this planet had computers, it was not expedient for banks to implement the computer-access server-client systems at all.

    But the problem is, back then the systems were built to be incompatible. Today, the WWW is built to be cross-platform by default - if someone implements a platform-specific website these days, we have full right to frown!

    Mostly, I suspect the banking sites have problems with JavaScript - and I personally want to complain about JavaScript use in bank websites, because those sites shouldn't rely on that sort of insecure stuff.

    -- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


    [ Parent ]
    Javascript? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by /dev/niall on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 03:52:37 PM EST

    What most folks think of as "Javascript" is actually a scripting language based on the ECMA standard (see ftp://ftp.ecma.ch/ecma-st/Ecma-262.pdf for specs), which is an ISO approved standard developed in coordination with folks like the w3c and the WAP forum (snigger).

    That being said, what's the problem with ECMAScript? How else are we supposed to manipulate the DOM in a manner that can reasonably be expected to work on different platforms?

    The fact is your bank's website is not a collection of documents; it's an application and deserves a rich interface that can only be brought about by adherance to standards. It's entirely likely it would work just dandy in Mozilla, bt if your bank has not tested it in Mozilla they are doing the right thing by not allowing their customers to access it using platforms they have not tested. Who knows what could go wrong? And why should they test unreleased software configurations?

    I feel your pain, but if I ran CitiBank's web presence I'd probably do the same thing. Why take chances with your customer's money and financial data? The possible risks outweigh the gains by far.

    --
    "compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
    [ Parent ]

    Webmasters take note... (4.00 / 2) (#75)
    by simon farnz on Tue Jun 19, 2001 at 12:46:53 PM EST

    1. If a browser bug can foul up my financial data, then the bank's systems should be reimplemented. I can write a HTTP agent that pretends to be MSIE, and does something bad quite easily; the bank's servers should be set up so that my agent has to actively try to do something bad.
    2. Blocking browsers because you don't know if they work is not good. I doubt CitiBank has tested all released IE5.5 setups; to do so would require a huge amount of resource, as any installed plug-in or ActiveX control can alter the behaviour of the browser. Rather, the correct attitude is to divert the user to a page stating that their browser/OS is unsupported and untested, and use of the site is at their own risk (with appropriate legalese of course). That way CitiBank are in the clear if it goes wrong, and you can use the site anyway

    --
    If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
    [ Parent ]
    re: Webmasters take note (none / 0) (#77)
    by /dev/niall on Tue Jun 19, 2001 at 05:09:29 PM EST

    If a browser bug can foul up my financial data, then the bank's systems should be reimplemented. I can write a HTTP agent that pretends to be MSIE, and does something bad quite easily; the bank's servers should be set up so that my agent has to actively try to do something bad.

    Well and good, and I completely agree.

    Blocking browsers because you don't know if they work is not good. I doubt CitiBank has tested all released IE5.5 setups; to do so would require a huge amount of resource, as any installed plug-in or ActiveX control can alter the behaviour of the browser.

    I think this is a totally unreasonable statement, right up there with "they should take into account the phase of the moon". Plugins and ActiveX controls do not affect normal browser usage unless the page in question is utilizing said plug-in or control. That's why they're called "plug-ins".



    [ Parent ]

    Why? (3.33 / 6) (#50)
    by maarken on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 11:08:19 PM EST

    Ok, before you go getting your underwear all in a ruffle, *why* can't you access their site? Simply a User-Agent filter? No 128bit SSL? Java? If it's a User-Agent thing, then yes, by all means get pissed off, but remember that setting is easy to change in most (all?) Linux/Unix browsers, and all browsers when used with proxy. If it's a valid problem with that browser then it's not the bank to whom you should be complaining to, now is it?

    Until *nix have the same features as Win/Mac ones you don't really have much of a leg to stand on.

    --Maarken
    Flip the symbols in my email.
    Problems with the platform (4.00 / 1) (#52)
    by ttfkam on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 12:00:47 AM EST

    Are they using client-side XML/XSLT? I guess there's an area that IE has the early lead. Somehow I doubt that a bank's web site would be using them right now.

    HttpXMLRequest? Same story as with XML/XSLT. It's overhead that's probably not needed on a bank website when simple form data will more than suffice and be easier to implement and maintain.

    Usage of document.all in the page's client-side script could cause a problem, but then why are they using it? DHTML? On a finacial web site?

    ActiveX? And they're worried about needing 128-bit encryption for security? Isn't this like putting a deadbolt on the door, but leaving a crowbar under the porch?

    Java could be a valid option, but like document.all, why would you use it on a financial website? So that you can see an updating graph of your savings account in realtime?

    Flash works on most browsers, but see note regarding Java applets.

    Client-side form validation doesn't require any browser-specific extensions. Even Konqueror's lame JavaScript engine can handle it. ;-)

    The alternative browsers all support 128-bit encryption, SSL, and basic and digest authentication. If a buggy or unsupported browser can cause you to loose money in your account, there is a far more serious problem than your choice of browser. This means that your bank's account data can be tweaked in an undefined manner from a remote source.

    So can anyone tell me the useful advantages that IE brings to a bank web site that other browsers cannot handle? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]
    There's usually two reasons for such a move. (4.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Trepalium on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 12:24:32 AM EST

    Usually, the reason they've blocked it out is either because there's known bugs (in that browser, or in the browser that the site's designed for) that cause the site to fail to work properly, or they decided that they were getting too many calls from people using unsupported browsers that were unable to use their site and decided to enforce their selection of browsers. As I understand it, Netscape on *NIX doesn't work with this particular site because of a javascript problem (konqueror would probably have the same problem if it weren't for the lockout).

    Most of this probably has to do with support cost reduction more than anything else. I don't think they're on a holy mission to destroy all non-Microsoft platforms -- it's just cheaper if you only have to train (and I use that term very loosely) your support people on two different OSs with only one or two different browsers.

    [ Parent ]

    Supported and explicitly denied (4.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ttfkam on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 12:33:25 AM EST

    There is a difference between a tech support person saying, "I'm sorry, but we don't officially support that browser/platform/voodoo doll," and a web site that puts up a message saying that no access will be given because you don't have the "correct" user agent string.

    You are right about cost reduction for the former. Who really wants to check if Netscape 2.0 still works nowadays? But while it is not a "holy-mission" to keep others out, it is definitely misguided. After all, laziness would dictate that they wouldn't bother putting in the browser block.

    This is like RedHat ammending their hardware compatibility guide. Where today they say that untested or unsupported devices are not their responsibility, it would be like them saying that you are not ALLOWED to try devices that they haven't certified.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]
    Java & Stability (3.00 / 3) (#61)
    by maarken on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 10:32:11 AM EST

    Java is used on one site that the HQ guys use 2-3 times a month. I think what it does it connect via !http to the bank mainframe and directly interact with the database. Rather slick really, but it does take a nice new JVM.

    Keep in mind that in this case maybe it was just a personal checking account, but there are *lots* of web based systems that are for multi-million dollar payroll or wiretransfer, so the companies have to be sure that a browser won't do something wonky and drop the transaction halfway.

    --Eric
    Flip the symbols in my email.
    [ Parent ]
    Not good enough (4.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ttfkam on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 01:00:26 PM EST

    ...so the companies have to be sure that a browser won't do something wonky and drop the transaction halfway.
    An external client should NEVER be able to hose a transaction. ACID belongs on the server. If a client can botch data on the server, this means that the server and/or its data is vulnerable to network attack.

    The MSJVM may be relatively stable, but not stable enough to guarantee the integrity of data the way that you describe.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]

    Vote with your money... (3.80 / 5) (#56)
    by lovelace on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 02:15:02 AM EST

    The only proper response to this is to respond by not doing business with Citibank, and let them know why you are taking your business elsewhere. If enough people do this, they will get the idea and change, but as long as you support them with your business, they have no incentive to actually do anything for you (sad, but true).

    Penguin friendly (3.40 / 5) (#59)
    by salsaman on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 05:32:14 AM EST

    There is already a site which lists bad (i.e. platform specific) sites. It can be found at: www.penguinfriendly.org

    I suggest you get in touch with them so they can add citibank to their list.



    Citibank Online works with UNIX...here's how..... (4.66 / 3) (#62)
    by danimal on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 10:53:58 AM EST

    I had the same Citibank problem you have. what I found works is that you select the user name, enter your pin, and then in the select box under the pin entry box you select "Account Info" but not "your financial center."

    This has worked for me for about 2 months now.

    -dan


    Mozilla isn't a Linux browser. (4.00 / 2) (#66)
    by scsiboy on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 02:03:28 PM EST

    Mozilla is available for Linux and most unixes, sure. It's also available for Windows and MacOS. It's also available in source form for anyone with a C compiler to build on any platform they like, including an OS they wrote themselves. None of that is of any relevance to the bank, as long as Mozilla speaks HTML and SSL (and maybe CSS or something). If Mozilla under Windows or MacOS also don't work that's entirely different from "We don't support Linux or Unix".

    I'd also like to second something someone else has already said: close your account and make sure they know why you're leaving. Maybe they'll figure out what a stupid issue it is and won't want to lose any money over it.



    Citibank problem, web standarts (4.00 / 3) (#67)
    by antv on Mon Jun 11, 2001 at 06:34:18 PM EST

    Well, with Citibank Online specifically, the problem is lousy HTML coding. Go to "Task->Tools->JavaScript Console" in Mozilla, and you'll see about 5 security exceptions
    /* btw, if you select "Account Information" from pulldown menu it works. IE has no problem with security exceptions, we all know why.*/

    The general problem with IE-only sites is either bad webmaster or proprietary formats like Shockwave Director, etc.
    If it's bad webmaster, tell them how to fix it - I always do it, sometimes it still doesn't work, but it's more efficient than just telling them that site doesn't work. Remember, web sites written in standart HTML work properly in Mozilla.

    Proprietary standarts are worse, but you could petition software manufacturer AND webmaster. Macromedia, for ex., have Linux Flash player, and there's Free /* as in speech */ player available.

    To summarise, don't ask them to be Linux-friendly or Mozilla-friendly, ask them to be compatible with open standarts

    Mozilla is still only for testing. (3.50 / 2) (#68)
    by nhems on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:12:55 AM EST

    Using mozilla is still using software that is for testing purposes only, there are features, esp those todo with ssl etc. that are still unsupported. There are still stubs in the code with the NS_FEATURE_NOT_IMPLEMENTED return code specified.

    I think I read somewhere on mozilla.org that ssl may not be fully implemented even until some time after Moailla 1.0 is released. Looking at the JS console, I get a Method not Implemented exception, when I load up the page. This is with WankBest in Western Australia. This indicates to me that some banks may just be using features not implemented in Mozilla.

    the thing that _really_ pisses me off is that is still cant view all my account action online, I have to pay 6AUD to get them sent to me, the BASTARDS!!
    nic_h

    Mozilla is no longer for testing (none / 0) (#74)
    by Fred_A on Sat Jun 16, 2001 at 12:13:47 PM EST

    I'm writing this with Galeon, which is my browser of choice (mostly because of the convenient on the fly text resizing) and which I use daily. It is built on top of the Mozilla rendering engine (Gecko) and works perfectly with SSL websites.

    SSL is an add on to Mozilla which requires a bit more tweaking to get it to work but it runs just fine (on Unix, never tested on other platforms).

    Now JavaScript, that sometimes still causes problems.


    Fred in Paris
    [ Parent ]

    Grrrr (3.66 / 3) (#71)
    by Lizard on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:36:31 PM EST

    First off, I'd recommend not using CitiBank for any reason. Mostly this is just me being bitter because I have been badly treated by them in the past. Also I don't see much point is dealing with nasty multinational corpotations intent on buying out everyone else in the world. I'm sure that there's a good credit union in your neighborhood that offers internet banking service as well as friendly people in an actual office that you can actually talk to who might even remember your name. A much better environment for doing important business if you ask me.

    As many others have mentioned, it's generally possible to fool sites into thinking that you're using a different browser than you really are. I generally browse in Konqueror with the string set as "Why the fuck do you care? If it matters, your webpage is broken(Mozilla 4.0/Compatable)". I doubt that my contribution to the weblogs of the world really matters all that much, but it makes me feel better.
    ________________________
    Just Because I Can!

    Let a thousand flowers bloom! (none / 0) (#78)
    by LQ on Wed Jun 20, 2001 at 06:00:21 AM EST

    This IE restriction will be only temporary. E-business will soon realise that they have to support access from ps-2, xbox, web tv, whatever replaces wap etc etc. M$ is big, but capitalist competition is bigger. With variety, the community-orientated software writers will find their niche.

    errr.. (none / 0) (#81)
    by QuantumG on Sun Jun 24, 2001 at 03:52:47 AM EST

    I love the way 2 out of 4 of those examples are microsoft platforms, the last of which is likely to become a .net initative and when the ps-2 crash and burns everyone ends up running an x-box anyways.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    All you need is a special plug-in (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by cable on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 06:06:54 PM EST

    one that changes your browser identification to say IE 5.5 with Windows 98. Then you might be able to sneak on in.

    Man this stinks, I don't deal with Citibank anymore since I canceled my card with them. They want me back, but I refuse to go back to them now. Not unless they support Linux and BSD and Mozilla/Netscape.

    ------------------
    Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!

    My first 2 thoughts.. (none / 0) (#82)
    by trommaster on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 02:49:59 AM EST

    upon reading the bank's reply
    -Why
    -Get screwed

    I mean, it's our os of choice, right?
    imagine having to boot into that other os just to check your bank balance. I shudder at the thought....

    Browser war - do we still have a chance? | 82 comments (82 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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