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Re: Question from novice

From: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 16:20:32 +0000
To: Jaffe <jaffer@earthlink.net>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050128162032.GD27227@us-lot.org>

On Fri, Jan 28, 2005 at 10:21:31AM -0500, Jaffe wrote:
> I am  a trying to find out how you can find if a web page is supported 
> by more than one browser?  Is there a universal code that all browsers 
> accept.

In theory all browsers should be able to handle HTML to a level
represented by the standards published before the release of the
software (given some time to implement that standard). HTML 4.x is
about a decade old now, so all current browsers should be able to cope
with it.

In practise, however, browsers tend to fail to implement the complete
spec, and/or have errors in their implementations. Internet Explorer
is typically the worst offender in todays crop of graphical browsers.

This doesn't mean that standards should be ignored, they are still a
lot better then the chaos of vendor specific extensions.

> The reason I am asking is I am a teacher in a school that uses 
> firefox to access certain Board of Ed sites.  I am denied access to   
> certain places because the site says must have IE

Some websites make use of heafty JavaScript routines which only work
on specific browsers, however there is rarely a good reason to do this
- especially for Internet (as opposed to Intranet) websites.

Other site authors, it seems, just can't be bothered to write cross
platform code. Scottish Power, for example, used to (they seem to have
fixed this now) block non-IE browsers to their entire site. If you
spoofed your User-Agent string so your browser pretended to be IE you
could still get in ... to read the "What to do in the event of a gas
leak" information which (according to SP) wouldn't work except in IE.

>  and it just says 
> initializing   http://www.managedservices.nycenet.edu/default.asp.

As a .edu site, would that have been created using any Federal
funding? If so, I suspect it will be in violation of Section 508.


> I am on a Mac and IE is not supported anymore.  Can you give me any
> further info on how I can bring this to their attention so the code
> is improved.

<http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/> and
<http://webstandards.org/learn/faq/> might be of some use.

David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Friday, 28 January 2005 16:20:35 UTC

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