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DHTML Basics

DHTML is not so much a new technology as it is an integration of existing functionality with the capabilities of the Web browser. Essentially, DHTML combines the features of HTML with Java scripting and a modified version of the Web browser that offers some new display capabilities. These new capabilities include the display of multiple overlapping layers of media and animation of layers over time. Although it can be written one line of code at a time, DHTML, which combines HTML and Java scripting, is more difficult to create than standard HTML is. If you plan to create a DHTML-enhanced site, you almost certainly need to use a WYSIWYG DHTML authoring tool that provides standard animation and multimedia authoring interfaces, as well as the capability to export projects in DHTML format.

Unfortunately, DHTML currently is a moving target. The problem is due to Microsoft's refusal to join the club, and adopt industry-wide standards, and has been particularly painful for web developers. The Microsoft and Netscape Web browsers support different, conflicting DHTML functionality, which means that you can create a DHTML page that works in one browser but not in the other. You have to make one version for Netscape browsers and another version for Microsoft browsers; then you have to make sure that users get the right version of the page.


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