Informative Articles

The AOL browser doesn't represent the web the same way others do.

  1. Problems with bkg image handling causes it to tile in browsers with resolutions set larger than 640 pixels.
  2. AOL uses a proprietary graphics compression .art file which makes graphics display unpredictably.
  3. All users are behind a caching firewall that indiscriminently reads site meta data, and often delivers incorrect or obsolete content. It also does not properly support HTTP/1.1 the W3C standard.
  4. No support for windows-target meta tag causing problems with framesets.
  5. Inconsistant programming functions - each username gets their own cookie jar in Mac versions of AOL, but all users share one cookie jar in Windows versions.
  6. The AOL firewall makes it look like everyone is in Virginia, thus making it impossible to deliver localized content. Users also may receive outdated content, as AOL updates caching servers at odd intervals.
  7. Installation software corrupts existing network connections and overrides everything besides the installed AOL dialer.
  8. AOL e-mail software does not comply with RFC822, the standard that existed even before AOL was formed: it does not recognize mailto: links.
  9. AOL has told users to turn off mail from the internet to avoid spam, resulting in loss of all mail from outside the AOL walled garden.
  10. Users are typically unsavvy, partially because their advertising targets new users and partially because of the inertia of their massive user base. A webmaster needs to know how a quarter of the internet sees their site, and you can do this using BrowserCam.

Aid Compatibility:
AOL doesn't alter animated GIF files. You can animate one pixel to circumvent the dreaded AOL image compression algorithm and let users see what you intended. This adds very little to file size.