10 Out Of 100 Sample UK Websites Fail To Work Properly With Firefox

 by Martin Belam, 23 June 2005

I'm sure the printed press will follow suit, but The Register and BBC News, who both should know better, faithfully reproduced a press release line from SciVisum that:

One in 10 UK websites fail to work properly on the open source Firefox web browser
BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4115806.stm

one in ten UK websites still fails to provide proper access to anyone not using Microsoft's default offering
The Register - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/22/firefox_access_limited/

The thing is that the sample size was 100. Now I agree that it is a poor show that leading companies in the UK can't make accesible code, but 10 in 100 isn't the same as saying 'One in 10' of all UK websites don't work in Firefox. If that was truly the case then Firefox wouldn't be gaining market share due to the attrition of finding sites that don't work properly.

In fairness to SciVisim, their press release was actually more geared at arguing that people should use proper code, although I guess they knew that the figures would make the headlines:

"When webmasters design first for Internet Explorer and not standards-compliant browsers, they so often end up restricting user access to the website which has detrimental affects for a company. Surprisingly, after all these years, users of standards-compliant browsers are still faced with sites that do not support their browser or with a link suggesting they download Internet Explorer, a browser they had presumably chosen not to use," said Deri Jones, CEO of SciVisum.

Oh, and one of the culprits singled out was naturally the Odeon's site. This travesty of a "web" site always causes an outburst of swearing in the currybetdotnet household when I go to access it and then remember that once I get past the splash I end up with a blank screen. Sadly, neither the BBC or The Register saw fit to add that a while ago Odeon put the legal juju on Matthew Sommerville's accessible version of the Odeon site that re-purposed it just so people who didn't use Internet Explorer either by choice or by necessity could use it.

Still, it was nice to see the Firefox logo on the BBC News homepage

Firefox logo on the BBC News site


The Odeon website has pissed me off so much that there have been times I've thought 'fuck it' and gone to Vue instead.

To their credit, the Odeon has now launched a text version (how difficult was that), but the main site still goes blank in Firefox (are they're whizzy menu graphics really THAT important?)

I'm always really insulted when it's suggested that I 'upgrade' my browser to IE.


You need to upgrade your website for this century please.

I see that these web site testing firm scivisum have making studies before about inaccessible websites - and WAI guidelines.

Here in Spain we need more web stress testing because many times they break when many people will use them.

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