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Chapter Eleven. Working with Browsers Pa... > The Saga of DOCTYPE Switching

The Saga of DOCTYPE Switching

In the late 1990s, as leading browser makers recognized that complete and accurate support for web standards was important to their customers who designed and built websites, they asked themselves how they could fashion new browsers that supported standards correctly without ruining old, noncompliant sites in the process.

After all, existing versions of Netscape and Explorer had persuaded legions of designers to learn their particular quirks, including proprietary extensions to HTML, partial and incorrect CSS implementations, and manufacturer-specific scripting languages. Microsoft and Netscape were willing to do a much better job of supporting standards, but not if it meant breaking billions of dollars worth of existing sites. For a browser maker, that would be suicide.


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