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The Road to Stupidville

In early 1997, it was a common practice to write JavaScript for Netscape browsers and JScript (a JavaScript-like language) for Microsoft browsers. It was also common practice to use JavaScript (which worked only in Netscape) and ActiveX (which worked only in IE/Windows) to send each browser the code it needed. That's what we did for 3.0 browsers.

This practice didn't do a bit of good for “off-brand” browsers like Opera, and it didn't function correctly for users of Internet Explorer on the Macintosh platform, but it worked for “most” web users and quickly became the industry norm. If we wanted to create active web pages that did more than sit still and look pretty, we had no choice but to follow these procedures.


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