Re: What's allowed in table cells? (fwd)

Matthew James Marnell (marnellm@portia.portia.com)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:12:37 -0400


Message-Id: <199609251612.MAA20449@portia.portia.com>
To: "Carl Morris" <msftrncs@htcnet.com>
cc: "MegaZone" <megazone@livingston.com>, "WWW HTML List" <www-html@w3.org>
Subject: Re: What's allowed in table cells? (fwd) 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Tue, 24 Sep 1996 22:10:13 CDT."
             <199609250314.WAA22305@inet.htcnet.com> 
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 12:12:37 -0400
From: Matthew James Marnell <marnellm@portia.portia.com>

:>I have been coding for 6 months... there is a point, as you said in
:>your last message, when it becomes appearent that things aren't
:>needed...  I have not found validators do do me much good... they only
:>pick on code that is there for a reason ... I want something to detect
:>my mistakes...  and further more 100% validated code doesn't display
:>worth crap on MSIE... I constantly have to doctor the code between MSIE
:>and netscape due to their such different rendering ideas ... that alone
:>breaks HTML ...  until that day where code will display reliably on all
:>platforms... then we'll see about taking out the props...

No, rendering ideas between browsers and their difference do not break
HTML, they break your idea of HTML as a rendering language.  Because
you have decided to write to specific browser you must break HTML to
get the effects that you desire, but HTML isn't broken.  The reason
that HTML is there is so that any browser coming along can get the
same content to the user in a device independant way.  MS and NCC have
taken this and twisted it to their own personal needs/wants independant
of what HTML was brought about to accomplish.  The most recent fighting
between MS and NCC to specify the NextBigThing(tm).

You can't really trust features from any single browser to remain the
same from version to version, or in Netscape's case from platform to
platform.  The more you pigeon-hole yourself into a particular
browser's pocket, the more likely you are to have to change with each
major and minor version to keep the pages looking as you want them.
If you're writing for rendering sake, don't forget to test your
pages at every possible resolution, with every font at every size
as well.  Those pesky users could change their font, and all your
hard work to make your page look just right, just went out the
window.  Darn those users.

What you might really want to do is set up your web pages as 
dynamic pages that serve up different pages depending on browser
and browser feature.  Of course, you have to be careful of MSIE
who has been known to masquerade as someone else.  This can be as
simple as cobbling together a script to serve certain pages to
NN and MSIE and everyone else, or as complicated as keeping track
of which browser version handles what.  Of course this is probably
more trouble than it's worth.

Your other option is to write HTML independant of the users device,
validate, or not, and don't worry so much about things are rendered
and accept the fact that no single person, at least that I know of
knows everything about every browser or bot, and can test every page
against every browser, bot, browser verrsion, platform, font, style,
screen resolution.  Nah, that's too easy to be any kind of solution
for this perplexing problem.

Matt