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Web Servers

Q

Why is there not standardization on what Web servers UCAR/NCAR uses?
Division A, for example, supports Mozilla only, which is fine until
Division B comes out with information that an employee needs to know but
that is supported by another browser, i.e., the new telephone systems user
information. When attempting to read the UCAR training documentation in
html format, I got the following message: "This presentation contains
content that your browser may not be able to show properly..." I am unaware
of what other divisions support, but it sure would be nice if they were all
standardized on one server so all employees could see the information.

Answered on August 04, 2004

A

First, just a point of clarification. What you are referring to are the
Web browsers, not Web servers.

The Web Advisory Group (WAG) provides recommendations for Web standards at
UCAR. The WAG's Web browser recommendation is to use an up-to-date version
of either Netscape or Internet Explorer. As of July 2004, those versions
are Netscape 7.1 for numerous platforms and Internet Explorer 6 Service
Pack 1 for Windows XP. These are the current standards-compliant browsers
that most Web professionals develop for and test their sites with.

However, bear in mind that the WAG is an advisory body to the Web
Engineering Group hosted in SCD. The engineering group is responsible for
the infrastructure to run the UCAR/NCAR centralized Web services. While the
WAG is composed of divisional -representatives, they do not impose
standards upon the divisions.

Since UCAR employees enjoy the freedom to follow their personal software
preferences, they can also choose to use another browser. Examples include
Mozilla 1.7 and Safari 1.2.2. The WAG simply recommends that only current
standards-compliant browsers be used and issues the caveat that browsers
other than Netscape 7 and Internet Explorer 6 are not officially tested or
supported. Users of other browsers may encounter occasional bugs and
display problems with UCAR Web sites.

-Marcus Stobbs, SCD Web Engineer

From a security administration point of view, the personal recommendation
of the UCAR security administrator is to skip Netscape in favor of its
slightly lighter cousin Mozilla, running alongside Internet Explorer 6 on
Windows and Safari on the Mac OS.

-Al Kellie, SCD Director