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IE's lead over Netscape lengthens with new version [news.cnet.com]
maybe the five of them can get together and have a party
Review: Web users will welcome new-look Netscape [cnn.com]
Too much development time goes into compatibility testing, and the lack of W3C compliance borders on arrogance at times. This adolescent browser warfare has undermined the ability of developers to create more enjoyable, feature rich sites.
The safest path is still to program basically for version 3 [that's sad] and the costs involved with anything more, both directly to the client and in lost audience, have made the web a very frustrating medium, for all its promise.
One of the above article had a footnote about IE 5.5 falling short on HTL4 compliance. This just kills me, at a time when Netscape and Opera have raised the level so nicely.
Right now, Microsoft certainly has the market share and power to cripple the W3C standards for a bit longer. How foolish if they actually choose that path, just because they can.
True, I've seen several publisher articles in the past that basically said just that. I'm writing V3 with an added large dose of JS 1.2 --I'll probably stop there. Beyond that, it requires a heavy-duty code hanger to keep up with the cross-browser issues.
Overall, the wisest approach would be to study one's target market. If it's known, or server logs indicate, a strong showing from Webtv and AOL users, then to keep them coming back, the pages should be welcoming and work for them. This would include ecom sites, auctions, online shopping, and malls. B2B, which is more industry oriented, is likely to find high end equipment in use.
This presents a constant headache for site developers who are part creative artist and part technically oriented. The creative voice is usually screaming bloody hell for some room for expression!
The marketer part of me screams the loudest for some of the more advanced capabilities. Any message can be delivered so much more effectively with judicious use of the many bells and whistles.
I'm using document.write to code whole chunks of pages, nav bars, adverts, cross-links, you name it. BUT, if you do this, you'd better cover yourself in the <noframes> section, because doc.writes aren't spidered.
Also, since these external.js files are cached by the browser, you can build up some huge capabilities by the time the user gets to the page you want to display all the function calls --sort of like image preload.