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Designers: the browser war casualties

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1 Author(s)
Phillips, B. ; Moss Landing, CA, USA

As Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator battle for dominance of the browser market, each company is adopting different versions of some important technologies: Microsoft and Netscape are innovating along paths that reflect their business goals. In the process though, Web site developers and even Web surfers are paying a price. Microsoft and Netscape disagree over several key Web standards under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), including several key aspects of Dynamic HTML (DHTML). Internet Explorer and Navigator will thus use formats that differ in some key ways. Therefore, to develop a Web site that can work with both browsers, a designer must create either two sets of sites, which costs additional time and money, or one site that satisfies the elements that both browsers have in common, which limits the capability of the site to take full advantage of each browser's strengths. This, in turn, has limited DHTML usage to a small subset of the capabilities that would be possible if there was no standards conflict. In addition, the disparity in browser features makes hand coding HTML in text editors difficult, especially when working with HTML 4.0's new features, such as DHTML and cascading style sheets (CSS). This will make life difficult for tool vendors whose business hinges on visually authoring pages that work well with both Internet Explorer and Navigator

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 10 )