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Chapter 1. The State of the Art > A Fragmenting World

1.7. A Fragmenting World

As you will see throughout this book, implementing Dynamic HTML applications that work equally well in both Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 4 can be a challenge unto itself. Understanding and using the common-denominator functionality among the various pieces of DHTML will lead you to greater success than plowing ahead with a design for one browser and crossing your fingers about how things will work in the other browser.

One more potential gotcha is that the same browser brand and version may not behave identically across different operating systems. Navigator 4 is pretty good about maintaining compatibility when you open a document in operating systems as diverse as Solaris and Windows 3.1. The same can't be said for Internet Explorer 4, however. Microsoft readily admits that some features (detailed in later chapters) are guaranteed to work only on Win32 operating systems (Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4). Even features that should work on non-Win32 systems, such as style sheets, don't always translate well to, say, the Macintosh version of IE 4.


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