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DHTML Today: A Mess!

This, as I said, is the ideal. In the real world, DHTML is a mess of confusing standards, improper or deficient support for those standards, and the maddening tendency for some companies to constantly dream up proprietary extensions to the standards. The good news is that some progress is being made. Netscape 6 has excellent standards support, as does Internet Explorer 5 (particularly 5.5 and up). The bad news is that as I write this, 15 to 20 percent of surfers still use the major version 4 browsers that have only limited or proprietary DHTML support.

When I was deciding how to structure the DHTML portion of the book, I came this close to simply ignoring the old version 4 browsers and concentrating solely on those objects and techniques that are 100% standard. I was pushed in that direction by the fact that Internet Explorer 5 and up currently enjoy about a 75% browser market share, which is hard to ignore. What changed my mind, however, was the poor reception given to Netscape 6. This browser might have excellent standards compliance, but most people view it as a real dog of a browser that's just too slow and buggy for everyday use. The proof was that, as I write this, despite Netscape 6 being available in its release version for over half a year, it has managed to garner only a fraction of 1% of the browser market.


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