Is Flash really Netscape 4 compatible?

We ran into a Flash problem today with our largest client. The client brought up our site which requires flash, it gave them a page that explained our site uses Flash and they need to go to Macromedia’s site to download an install it. Then they click on the link to take them to Macromedia’s Flash Download page.

This is where the problems begin. The client is using Netscape 4. Our site is fully Netscape 4 compatible. Flash itself is fully Netscape 4 compatible, right? Well, the Macromedia web site doesn’t work in Netscape 4, so they can’t download Flash to install it.

23 thoughts on “Is Flash really Netscape 4 compatible?

  1. The macromedia site works fine on my NS4 copy. The styles are hidden from the browser, but the content and links to download the flash player are still accessible.

  2. In NS4 I see a few scrolling pages of links down the left side and lots of “document.getElementById is not a function” errors. While it may be feasible to use the site, it doesn’t look like anything that would be remotely acceptable as a delivered web site and the average user is going to look at it, think it’s just messed up, and give up–which is what hapenned in the case I observed.

    I have reported this to Macromedia several times and their response was that Netscape is not a supported browser. The vast majority of public sites still support Netscape 4 and are workable on Netscape 4. I personally would like to see Netscape 4 wiped from existence, but as long as it’s still around and clients are demanding compatibility, it needs to be supported.

  3. Hi Sam, I just checked that link in NS4.5/NT and see what you mean… it’s not a nice layout, because all the navigation that’s usually rolled-up into the menubar is now written in single-line links that run down the page. I didn’t see script errors, but I could definitely see how you’d have to scroll to find the “download” button on the page.

    fwiw, here are some current browser stats… the Macromedia number lumps all Netscapes together:

    If you know people who don’t update their player because they haven’t updated their browser and get lost during that scroll, then passing that feedback to the web team itself would be the best path I’d see, sorry.

  4. Sam, I can see just fine (albeit without formatting and graphics) in NN 4.08. I appreciate MM’s decision to use CSS and leave this version for old browsers.

  5. This question is bothering me for days already.
    Look at the website: (snipped by editor)
    I really want to understand what is their secret, but of course don’t dare to as those people. I am sure they are not willing to reveal a profiessional secret. I really want to know how their website is fast and compatible with Netscape 4.
    Please share with me your thoughts.

  6. That’s got to be the most interesting blog spam I’ve seen. I’m going to leave it just ’cause it’s targeted, but I removed the link.

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