W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2002

RE: Standards Compliant = No support for NN4?

From: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 13:18:19 +0300
Message-ID: <621574AE86FAD3118D1D0000E22138A95BDD3A@TIEKE1>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Andrew Johns wrote:
 
> I'm currently attempting to build a standards (in terms of 
> accessibility AND valid code) compliant page, using div tags 
> instead of tables for layouts, etc, using float and clear CSS 
> tags to position elements.
> 
> This works great in standards compliant (e.g. newer) 
> browsers, but it looks a mess on Netscape 4.7 (and probably 
> any other variations of NN 4.x)

That happens very often, since the implementation of some essential CSS
features, like border and margin properties, is seriously broken on Netscape
4.x, see e.g. the long list of bugs at
http://css.nu/pointers/bugs-nn.html#NN4

> An author on "A List Apart" suggests that I shouldn't bother 
> attempting to make it compatible with NN 4.  They suggest 
> hiding the site content from them, - -

They give bad advice.

What you can do, and normally should do IMHO, is to protect your pages from
the broken implementation of style sheets on NN 4. This means that you
associate your style sheets with your HTML documents in a manner that is
correctly handled by compliant browsers but is ignored by NN 4.0; thus, two
wrongs make right here - NN 4 will then display the page as if the author
had not supplied any style sheet. There are different techniques for this,
see e.g.
http://css.nu/pointers/point-tip.html
http://css.nu/pointers/liam-tip.html
My favorite is a simple method: in your style sheet, use
@media all { ... }
where ... contains the desired style sheet rules. You could even use this
for "NN 4 unsafe" features only and use "NN 4 safe" rules (e.g., color and
font-family) normally, without that "protection". 

Naturally this means that the page must work without style sheets too, but
this is a WAI requirement (and an obvious requirement for other reasons too)
anyway.

-- 
Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
http://www.tieke.fi
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
Received on Wednesday, 19 June 2002 06:18:38 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:14:05 GMT