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Netscape 6

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 20:45:42 -0700
To: "WAI Interest Group \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000101c00021$f6ae1b20$3d79b6cc@aries>
I downloaded the preview release of Netscape 6 today and was astonished to
discover that it is still broken.

I don't know how many other people on this list build websites for a living
or have any idea how frustratingly bad Netscape 4 is when it comes to HTML,
CSS, and even JavaScript, but I estimate that having to kludge things all
over my sites to make up for Netscape bugs probably adds 10-20% to my

So understandably I'm aghast at this latest release. Just a preliminary
review discovered the following:

1. Nothing from the Body element seems to be inherited by child elements. If
I set the body element to text-align: right, nothing happens, even though
the child elements do not have text-align attributes set. Adding
margin-right seemed to do nothing at all either. Does the Body element even
work in Netscape's CSS implementation?

2. One of my sites (I'm embarrassed to admit) uses images in a table to
create a rounded-corner effect. The text then appears in a white rectangle
with rounded corners on a black background. For this trick to work, I need
the table cells to fit precisely to the images. And that works fine on every
browser that tables work on... except NS 6. On NS 6, extra space is added to
the cells, despite the lack of newlines, spaces, or anything else in the
cells except the images. I have no idea how I'm going to get around this.

3. MOST AMAZINGLY, the problem with exaggerated width form inputs (about
twice the width that they should be) is not fixed. WORSE, it now appears to
affect textareas as well! I've already got workarounds built into all my
sites to deal with the problem on NS 4. Now it appears I'll need to add yet
another workaround to deal with NS 6!

Am I the only person in the world having trouble with Netscape products?
Every now and then I hear others complain, but given the enormous hassle
it's been for me, I'm surprised I don't hear more about it.

ALMOST ALL of my sites will need work. These sites work fine on IE 5.5 and
on Opera 4. I figured that when NS 6 came out I could just set my servers to
deliver "Opera" pages to it and they should work fine. But no.

Not only is this bad for designers in general, it's a tragedy for
accessibility. IMHO, getting browsers to the point where they comply as
closely as possible with HTML 4, XHTML 1, CSS2, etc. is a very important
step toward making web sites accessible. Netscape's apparent lack of concern
for the quality of their product is a giant step backward. And didn't they
PROMISE that this next release would be standards-compliant?

If I am wrong about any of this, I'd love to be corrected. Is something
wrong with my version? Does NS 6 actually work on other people's computers?
Please... say it ain't so.

Charles F. Munat,
Received on Sunday, 6 August 2000 23:41:29 UTC

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