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Chapter 12. Dynamic HTML and JavaScript > Why Do Differences Exist Between the ...

Why Do Differences Exist Between the Browsers?

A question often asked by newcomers to Web development is, “Why are there differences between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer?” The short, simple answer is that there just are differences. The longer answer involves looking at the history of the browsers and the manufacturers. Just like every other software package you use, each browser manufacturer has a different way of doing things and adds their own bells and whistles to the browser. Take two word processors, for example. The interface will be different, and so will the file formats. The buttons and hot keys will also differ, and as a result, people will have a favorite word processor they will use on a regular basis and will dislike changing brands. If all word processors were the same, the only thing that would make them unique would be their flaws.

The same thing happened with browsers, with both Netscape and Microsoft adding their own features and developing their own technologies. A race was on to create a browser that users would like, with technologies that developers wanted to use. However, what wasn't important was compati- bility, and it has only been in recent years that companies have seen an advantage in following standards to make the developers' and the users' lives a little easier.


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