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Re: DHTML Standards

From: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 10:32:54 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Dhar, Amit (CTS)" <DAmit@chn.cts-corp.com>
cc: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.990707102156.12354C-100000@wasabi.hesketh.net>
On Wed, 7 Jul 1999, Dhar, Amit (CTS) wrote:
> 	Can you please let me know, whether DHTML standards have been fixed?
> We have been hearing the news that W3C has adopted the Microsoft standards
> for DHTML.
> Is that true? Does Netscape support the DHTML tags, which IE 4.0 or higher
> support?

Hi, Amit -

'DHTML', or 'dynamic HTML', is just a buzzword for the use of CSS-1 and
CSS-P with HTML and Javascript/Jscript/VBScript/ECMAScript, along with
the various Document Object Models implemented in the various browsers.
There is no W3C standard for DHTML, nor is there a Microsoft standard.
It's a marketing term, nothing less, nothing more, for client-side 
interactivity without streaming media :)

There are W3C recommendations for CSS, HTML, and the DOM, but so far
none of the browser makers has seen fit to implement the W3C DOM in any
truly usable fashion. Mozilla.org is supposed to support the W3C DOM in
its next browser release, and signs are promising that they will in fact
do so. Microsoft has its own DOM, regardless of how much of the W3C DOM
they support, and it appears it will remain so.

The current situation is more complex - Netscape's browser uses an ancient
DOM developed three or four years ago, and uses CSS-P (the use of layers
with CSS absolute positioning to allow for cross-browser document objects).

I wrote a book, published in May, about some of the tactics you can take
to address the cross-browser incompatibilities; feel free to take a look.
My best advice to you is to learn something about the components that
make up the conglomerate commonly referred to as 'DHTML', and focus on
CSS, Javascript, and the W3C DOM, but you'll need to know something about
the proprietary DOMs as well, they don't look like they're going away very
soon. Even if the newer browsers abandon them altogether we'll have three
to five years of legacy applications to deal with.

Oh, and BTW - you may want to adjust your mailtool so that it doesn't
send HTML-encoded messages, if you're going to post to public mailing
lists. It just tends to irritate the people who might otherwise want to
help you out.

business: http://hesketh.com ...custom medium- to large-scale web sites
the book: http://dhtml-guis.com  ...Building Dynamic HTML GUIs from IDG
punditry: http://a.jaundicedeye.com       ...negative forces have value
personal: http://hesketh.com/schampeo/  ...info, projects, random stuff
Received on Wednesday, 7 July 1999 10:33:38 UTC

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