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Chapter Fifteen. Working with DOM-Based ... > Where It Breaks: The Not So Grand Ol...

Where It Breaks: The Not So Grand Old Opera

As suggested earlier in this chapter, the DOM sniff breaks with old versions of the Opera browser that think they understand the DOM. Instead of following the “else” path hewn for nonconformant user agents, these old versions of Opera blip by getElementById and then choke on a page they cannot properly parse.

How can we solve for this equation? We can't resort to old-fangled browser detection because Opera by default identifies itself as Internet Explorer. If we are using the DOM sniff to lead Netscape 4 users to an alternate page, one thing we might do on our “standard” page is include a note linking to that alternate page and inviting “Opera folks” to visit that page instead. Such a solution is as graceful as a Mack truck, and the comparison is unfair to Mack trucks. It intrudes on the consciousness of all visitors, disrupting user experience with awkward browser awareness and making your site appear unprofessional. Not only that, a “click here, Opera folks” notice might wrongly prompt Opera 7 users into leaving a DOM-based page their browser can actually handle.


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