Throwback Thursday: An Interesting Look Back at the Stats Page

For this Throwback Thursday, I decided to have a bit of fun with the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Stats Page and decided to try viewing the current and old versions of the Stats Page from a view vantage points.

When I was developing the three versions of the Stats Page, I never really targeted and tested it against text-based web browsers, including Lynx and W3M. Sure, I viewed the page for kicks here and there, but never took it to be a key demographic. With that said, I decided to see how the current version of the Stats Page looks like when viewed on the aforementioned text-based web browsers.

Current WWDTM Stats Page Viewed in Lynx
Current WWDTM Stats Page Viewed in Lynx
Current WWDTM Stats Page Viewed in W3M
Current WWDTM Stats Page Viewed in W3M

In this case, W3M’s rendering engine does the Stats Page a bit more justice by properly handling table cells and spacing between each block of shows. Now, for grins and giggles, I decided to view an cached copy of the older Stats Page in Lynx.

Older Stats Page Viewed in Lynx
Older Stats Page Viewed in Lynx

The wall of text that is the previous version of the Stats Page is even more of a wall of text when rendered by Lynx.

I also decided to see what the current version of the Stats Page would look like in, at one time, the most prevalent web browser on the Internet: Internet Explorer 6. I was curious to see how poorly the browser would render the page, considering how poorly IE 6 supported standards of any kind (outside of Microsoft “standards” that is).

Internet Explorer 6 Meets the Current Stats Page
Internet Explorer 6 Meets the Current Stats Page

The very first thing that popped into my head was surprise at how well IE 6 actually rendered the page. Keep in mind that the current Stats Page targets the latest HTML5 and CSS 3 recommendations, while IE 6 barely handles CSS 2.1 properly. Sure, it renders each show block as one long string, rather than as individual blocks. Color me shocked and impressed. Just to show what it should look like, below is a screenshot of the Stats Page rendered by IE 11.

Current Stats Page Viewed in Internet Explorer 11
Current Stats Page Viewed in Internet Explorer 11

And since it is Throwback Thursday, I decided to revive a snapshot of the previous version of the Stats Page just to show how far the Stats Page has evolved over the years. I took the code of previous version of the Stats Page and generated a static page with the latest data as of this morning and have made it available at: http://wwdt.me/tbt/. Below is a side by side screenshot of the two.

Old Versus New
Old Versus New

I will be leaving up the snapshot of the old Stats Page as if it were an item retrieved from a freshly opened time capsule buried deep down, somewhere within the Internet.

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