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Chapter Three. The Trouble with Standards > Bad Browsers Lead to Bad Practices

Bad Browsers Lead to Bad Practices

Then came the 4.0 browsers. Although still buggy and incomplete, IE4 greatly improved on IE3's CSS support. Netscape 4 offered CSS for the first time in a last-minute implementation so broken and foul it set adoption of CSS back by at least two years.

To be fair, Netscape 4's CSS support was far better than IE3's had been (http://www.webreview.com/style/css1/leaderboard.shtml). But while almost nobody today uses IE3, tens of millions still use Netscape 4. Thus, many site owners feel compelled to support Netscape 4—and mistake “support,” which is a good thing, with “pixel-perfect sameness and identical behavior,” which is a bad thing because it ties developers' hands and forces them to write bad code and dumb markup.


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