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Q&A

Q1:What's the point of having an HTML standard if none of the browser developers follows it to the letter?
A1: The idealist's answer is that Microsoft and other developers can be persuaded to begin complying with the standard. If enough developers insist on following the HTML standard and Web users support sites that adhere to it, the browser developers will start following the standardization process instead of trying to stay ahead of it.

The pessimist's answer is that the browser makers use new features to gain a competitive edge over each other, so HTML's standard will always be disregarded in pursuit of market share.

Frustrated Web developers who want to stop spending so much time dealing with incompatibilities have been lobbying both companies to standardize. One such effort is the Web Standards Project, at www.webstandards.org.

These efforts have made an impact: Current versions of the five most popular Web browsers—Internet Explorer, Navigator, Mozilla, Opera, and Safari—are closer than ever to the full, official standards for HTML and CSS.


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