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Javascript Style Sheets



10:00 am on Mar 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's an area that I've had on the back burner for a few years.

Back when Netscape 4.0 was news, they included a development that gave JavaScript access to style sheet objects. Explorer's jscript soon did the same thing, but unfortunately the DOMs differed.

Although there seemed to be great promise from this technology, I never saw a JavaScript Style Sheet that worked cross-browser, and most attempts got lost with Netscape's document.layers or Explorer's document.all

Here's an old page [webdev.wrox.co.uk] that shows one kind of trick JavaScript Style Sheets (JSSS) can perform. This one's Netscape only. Note the code in the HEAD section: <STYLE TYPE="text/javascript">

That page shows an interesting layout trick. However, for me the exciting possibility was changing the style of a page interactively. Imagine the possibilities when a certain sub-set of information can become highlighted, or change color, etc, in response to a click or mouseover.

I bring this up because the current direction toward standards compliance may finally allow JSSS constructions to work cross-browser.

So I'm wondering, is it still too early? That is, are we still bug-infested? Has anyone been playing around in this arena with the newer browsers?


10:59 pm on Mar 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why can't everyone just use the same damn browser?

nuff said.


3:04 am on Mar 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

JSSS became a historical footnote when the W3C chose CSS as their preferred style system. Netscape then threw together a CSS implementation layered on top of the work they'd already done for JSSS. That's why NN4's CSS implementation feels like a quick hack--it is :)

I've seen lots of complaints about various NN4 features that aren't supported in Mozilla, but I've never seen anyone complain about the absence of JSSS. It was a powerful technology in its day, but it was never widely used.

As for why we can't all use the same browser, it's because nobody's been able to create a browser that met every functional, price, and licensing need of every user and developer on Earth simultaneously. As soon as somebody pulls it off, I guess we'll all switch.


9:45 pm on Mar 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

But I don't understand..what does NN have thats better than IE? Why do people use NN? When I use it I just find that it distorts pages and doesn't display certain sites properly..Does NN have any advantages?

nuff said.


10:51 pm on Mar 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A lot of Netscape users stay there through force of habit. No arguing with that, unless you want to lose them as visitors. Familiarity is a powerful force.

One big advantage to using Netscape is that virus writers today tend to target MS Outlook. Of course this is because of Outlook's market penetration, not because Netscape is superior. But right now, it's a lot safer to use Netscape for mail. Your address book is less likely to be exploited.

As a web designer, I also appreciate the fact that I can run many versions of NN on the same machine. Not so with MSIE. There are advantages to not being integrated so tightly into the O/S.

Certainly in recent releases, Explorer has been superior in many of the principal areas, and they clearly dominate the market. That still won't make everyone change their browser habits, so we code for both.


7:53 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

Add to that there are people who dislike Microsoft so much they will refuse to use IE.

I am guilty of that: before I purchased a Mac, I used OS/2 on my PC.



11:18 pm on Mar 19, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I use Mozilla for a few reasons...

The page display is very accurate.

The UI is simple, easy to understand, and doesn't eat up a bunch of screen space that could be used for the web page.

It's quite fast on my machine. C¦Net's benchmarks indicated that IE 5.5 and NS6.0 performed about the same in page-load times. Moz has gotten quite a bit faster in the months since NS 6.0 branched.

AFAIK, MSIE doesn't have built-in target and popup killers either.

The integrated mail client handles multiple accounts well. I haven't tried OE, but I'm told that it requires you to set up filters to put mail from different accounts in different folders. I don't know if it's even capable of putting the correct From: address on replies to messages from different accounts.

Some people seem to love ChatZilla (for Mozilla) and Netscape's integrated IM support. I don't do chat if I can help it, but that motivates some people to not use IE.

iCab has a page quality indicator that's popular with Mac-loving web developers.

I'm sure Brett can list some of the reasons some people prefer Opera over MSIE.


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