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Backward Thinking

Peel the skin of any major 2003-era site, from Amazon to Microsoft.com, from Sony to ZDNet. Examine their tortuous nonstandard markup, their proprietary ActiveX and JavaScript (often including broken detection scripts), and their ill-conceived use of CSS—when they use CSS at all. It's a wonder such sites work in any browser.

These sites work in yesterday's mainstream browsers because the first four to five generations of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer did not merely tolerate nonstandard markup and browser-specific code; they actually encouraged sloppy authoring and proprietary scripting in an ill-conceived battle to own the browser space.


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