Those not involved in website design and development may not know where I am coming from (and therefore not care), but I found something incredibly interesting today.  During my lunch break, I was making some updates to my blog, specifically adding links and images of the various browsers that are friendly to the design of my site (pretty much everything worked except the devil [IE 6], thank you very much).  Of course, I went first of all to the ol' standard browsers–Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, Opera.  No problems.  Then, I decided to see how Safari and Camino–both Mac browsers–handled it.  No problems either.  Woot.

Feeling pretty good about myself, I went off in search of some good-looking logos that I could use to provide links to said browsers that no one will actually ever use.  After finding all of the ones I wanted, I finished by searching for a great image of Safari's logo on Apple's site (not hard, since it is Mac and, therefore, necessarily wonderful).  To my surprise, I learned that Safari 3 is now in beta…for Windows!  Finally, a great Mac browser is coming to the devil's computer…it's about time.

Intrigued by my new discovery, I decided to see what other *new* browsers are extant and immediately checked out W3C's website stats.  Not surprisingly, the devil [IE 6] is still on top, but is quickly losing ground to IE 7, Firefox and (to a MUCH lesser extent) Opera.  Toward the bottom of the list, I saw something unexpected: Netscape.  

Now as far as I knew, Netscape was completely dead, surviving on only the most deprecated of machines being kept alive by who-knows-what manner of black magic and voodoo.  Nonetheless, I was quite intrigued, so forthwith I visited Netscape's site.  To my utter bewilderment, there is a spanking-brand-new version of Netscape out, Netscape 9.  Chuckling under my breath at the ironic absurdity of it, I downloaded and installed it.

My jaw is still dropped.  It is as clean, elegant and fast a browser as one could hope for.  Far and away from the clunky cluttered-ness of Netscapes of eras now long forgotten, NS 9 is one sleek mother.  I absolutely love it!

I share this story because it has a moral, at least for geeky web designers.  It is quite easy to get comfortable in the designing for the big 2 (or 3) browsers out there, just as it is incredibly easy to become comfortable in the suspiciously convenient self-justifying circularity of Reformed theological categories.  Not that Netscape 9, Flock or Safari 3 are going to steal huge marketshares anytime soon.  Nonetheless, browser comfortableness is–like Reformed theology–a sign of a mind wanting to go to sleep.  Personally, I would like to be awake (i.e., have a job) for just a bit longer; therefore, I will embrace these new technologies that I might not be unconsciously relegated to the abyss of online irrelevancy and absurdity.