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Netscape and IE Questions

From: Joel Sanda <joelsanda@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 13:48:27 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20000303214827.18023.qmail@web2203.mail.yahoo.com>
To: (wrong string)  Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I have some general "philosophical design questions"
I'd like some feedback on - based upon my experience
as a webmaster. I've built several site that meet WAI
Level A recommendations, and several that do not. What
I'm most interested in, based upon my experience, is
some feedback from developers on these questions.

Building an accessible site for Internet Explorer is,
in my experience, a piece of cake. With IE's support
of style sheets, I've created sites that don't use
tables for layout.

But when that same site is viewed in Netscape, the
whole thing falls apart. In fact, I immediately
noticed two problems: the "resize bug" in Netscape
destroyed the site's layout if the window was resized.
Of course, the second is Netscape's poor support of
CSS-P.

Further, in many cases, the <TITLE> tag was either
ignored by Netscape and/or destroyed the positioning
in the DIV tag.

Several of us worked on the site for about two months,
trying to reconcile these differences. We eventually
did, but are still exhausted from the effort of having
to recode portions of the site when we tested it in
one of the many versions of Netscape 4.x versions.

The upshot is this: we had to "water down" our code to
make it work in Netscape, which meant is was less
accessible according to WAI recommendations than
before. While we could have sniffed for browser
version and redirected, that means twice the
maintenance and essentially creating an accessible and
a non-accessible site.

What are your thoughts on this? I don't think
accessible web design is that problematic for
developers. What is problematic is Netscape.

While this sounds like Netscape bashing, I think the
discrepancies between IE and Netscape in their support
of W3C and WAI recommendations means developers either
have to build two sites, or build one that is not that
accessible - a rock and hard place.

Any thoughts?

Thanks - Joel Sanda
joelsanda@yahoo.com
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Received on Friday, 3 March 2000 16:48:32 GMT

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