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Have you validated your HTML and CSS?
Netscape has a browser archive from which you can download some pretty historic versions! :)
I just checked out one of my new pages at browsercam.com and was startled to see that Netscape 4.78 displays an empty page!
I'll agree with tedster that it is probably a code problem. The most prevalent one is a missing </body> tag which causes NN4.x to display a blank page. Other browsers are more forgiving.
Also, I believe this is an artifact from older versions of FrontPage. I've seen this problem numerous times over the years and 9 out of 10 times it was an FP user who had a missing closing </body> tag.
Tedster and pageoneresults, my code validates at w3c.org:
I have my </body> tag in place and all the code looks right to me; anyway, it validated! :)
I'm also not using FrontPage; all this was done by hand in a text editor.
Downloading some previous versions of Netscape now . . .
If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them!
I'm using a lot of CSS, but I have no idea what version it is. How can I find out? I plan to put the CSS into an external file eventually, but for now it's just in the head of the page to make it easier for me to change it as needed, since I'm still developing it. I'm also using some inline styles, including some in the body tag itself. Will try removing some of that and see what happens.
All else failing, how do I setup a stylesheet that will only be read by Netscape 4.x, but will not affect the stylesheet intended for other browsers?
Also, does anyone have a link to some older Netscape browsers? I went to the Netscape browser archive, but could only get one of the browsers I wanted to download. The rest timed out.
Thanks for your help everyone. Looking forward to the time I can pass some of this along to others!
I'm also using some inline styles, including some in the body tag itself.
I've run into multiple problems with NN4.x and inline styles in the past. I found that moving the inline styles to the embedded or external style corrects those issues.
Best thing to do is create a test page. Strip all the styles and then start adding them in one by one and see which one causes the problem. I think removing the inline styles and adding them to the embed or external would be a great first start since I've seen numerous bugs with inline styles.
Another consideration here is to just forget about the NN4.x users. If they are few and far between, one of these days they will get the general message that they need to upgrade their browsers to experience the web now and not as it was 5-7 years ago!
...will sniff out all Netscape 4 and only Netscape 4. Normally I wouldn't recommend sniffing for an object when you really want to sniff for the browser/user agent; but in this case it works well and it's the shortest code.
Is there any way I can make some sort of custom message, visible only to NS 4.x users,
Matthew, one option might be to link to an external stylesheet using the @import statement instead of <link rel>, then NN4 won't get any CSS at all, they will get a totally unstyled page but they will see the content.
Then you could add in a hidden div (display: none; ) so it won't show in any browser with CSS support and have a friendly explanation message in there.
with styles even Netscape 4 can't screw up (font colors and the like)
and if you like, you could add a message like so:
<div id="hidden">This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device. <a href="/explain.html">What does that mean?</a></div>
This sentence comes from A List Apart. You can of course use other words to explain. Most users wouldn't know what "web standards" are, anyway.
The ID "hidden" will be in the imported stylesheet, like so:
That way, only browsers that can not handle the @import will display the div. The trick is, browsers who can not handle @import cannot handle sophisticated CSS too. Netscape 4 is one of those browsers.
Not only strip out all the CSS but take out each part of the page and add it back slowly until you find the culprit. I've done this many times in the past, unable to see where an error was on a page. Often it was something simple like '</a>' left in when a link was removed earlier.