אינטרנט ישראלי - משאירים את השועל מאחור
תרגום לאנגלית למאמר שהתפרסם לאחרונה בכלכליסט תחת הכותרת אינטרנט ישראלי: משאירים את השועל מאחור שנכתב על־ידי שי ענבל. התרגום לאנגלית אינו רשמי, וביצענו אותו כדי שחברינו בחו"ל יוכלו לקרוא את תוכן המאמר בצורה נוחה.
The Israeli Internet: Leaving the fox behind
Why even in 2010 the big Israeli websites still doesn't support the world-wide standards, and leaving out people who use Firefox, Chrome and Safari?
Every Israeli Internet user who tried to enter with his browser to the website of the Ministry of Interior office, the payment site of Social Security, Bank Leumi and Ossem, surely know that this mission is almost impossible. At best, these websites include confusing display, or some of the services are not available. At worst, the website just politely informs the surfer that there is no entry to his browser.
These are just some of the websites in a list that the Mozilla Israel organization, who is representing in Israel the Firefox development company, is publishing. The organization was pleased to announce that the flight schedule of Tel-Aviv (Ben Gurion) international airport is at last compatible, after years of complaints. On the other hand, the Sufersal website, still does allow browsing only with Internet Explorer, more than seven years after it was built. People browsing with Firefox, Chrome or Safari are getting a message requesting them to replace a browser or use IETab - a Firefox addon which uses Internet Explorer engine to display websites from within Firefox, which is not relevant to Linux and Mac users, and ridiculous in itself.
Firefox, a browser which only support the web standards established by the W3C Association, the international organization that deal with web standardization, is leading the revolution in this area. Until few years ago, the web was subject to Microsoft whims, which their browser, Internet Explorer have started to support standards only since its 7th version. As the leading browser, many developers adapted their websites only to Explorer. Today the world situation is different - A serious web developer can't afford himself to develop websites not by standards, as it will make the site compatible with every browser available in the market.
Drawing: Jonathan Vaksman
The statistics shows that IE no longer enjoys a market share of 95% of the world as it was eight years ago. Although it continues to lead with a market share of more than 60%, Firefox (23%), with browsers like Google Chrome (7%), Apple's Safari (5%), overlooking the others. In Israel the condition of Explorer is a little better, but a similar trend: Internet Explorer holds 77% of browser market compared to about 90% two years ago. Firefox has 12% (7.5% two years ago) and chrome on 8% (less than 1% two years ago).
Despite these data and user complaints, many businesses and government offices have not found yet the resources to adapt their sites. It is absurd that some are even not compatible with Explorer 8, which supports the standards. Even when the problems will by fixed and the sites will become compatible, for some users it might be too late. Non-compliance to Firefox is a death blow to sites abroad. Ignoring over 20% of Firefox users in the country for years is inexcusable.
Lack of compatibility not only affects people who use non-microsoft browsers. In Israel, about 3% of the Internet population doesn't use Windows but Mac or Linux. These are thousands of users who can't watch video in various websites just because they don't Have Windows Media Player. Transition to Flash players could oblige them.
Shufersal's response: "Shufersal direct website is through upgrades, and very soon Chrome, Safari and other browsers will be able to enjoy it". Social Security stated that "the outlook is that in 2011 the site will get compatible with all other browsers". Ministry of Interior said: "We are pleased to announce that during the next month a new version of the site will be launched, which will meet the standards and work correctly with Firefox". Ossem said: "a new website will be launched within four months, and will be compatible with Firefox and other browsers". Bank Leumi said: "Leumi websites were updated during the last year for Firefox compatibility and most of them are supporting. Leumi Mail, Leumi Pay and Leumi trade services will be adjusted in the near future".