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RE: Standards Compliant = No support for NN4?

From: Andrew Johns <andrew.johns@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 11:30:05 +0100
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E266C1A@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Thanks for the advice.  This does sound more in the spirit of the whole issue.  I'm sure the links you've given will provide a better solution.

My page is viewable without style sheets, and is clearly readable (logo, navigation, content, etc all appear in order - tested in Lynx) so the ideal solution if it is possible is to disable style sheets - or at least remove the float and clear elements - and just leave in the font formatting for NN4 browsers.

The problem is that I am relatively new to CSS so I'm still learning the tricks and workarounds, and I want to avoid using browser-sniffing through javascript. Although it is a possibility that I could use server-side scripting for browser-sniffing, but I don't like browser-sniffing in any form so I wouldn't want to use it out of principle.



-----Original Message-----
From: Jukka Korpela [mailto:jukka.korpela@tieke.fi]
Sent: 19 June 2002 11:18
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Standards Compliant = No support for NN4?

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

> 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.
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)

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 

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Received on Wednesday, 19 June 2002 06:30:09 UTC

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