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A What are purposes of Web standards

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Common

How Internet browser designers should develop their products? The basic idea of the Internet was, that the web is platform independent and wide accessible. Designing, which purpose it to prevent the information to be read from certain browsers and accessed only with a certain browser, is against the main principle of the original idea of the Internet.

If the main content should be accessible, that doesn't mean that everything is represented at the same way in all browsers. Originally browsers have freedoms how to represent tags. Web authors should use new features, if they help reading the content in some browsers without violating the accessibility from other browsers.

Additional technology, Java and so-called plug-ins applications should be easily added to any common used browser. In order to maintain the accessibility, authors and browser designers should use as standard techniques as possible. That's why exists W3C (= Word Wide Web Consontium: it has developed for example HTML, XHTML and CSS specifications) and other standardizing organizations like ECMA (it creates standard scripting languages).

I appreciate the work of the Webstandards organization to keep the web common accessible. Actual teaching and extra pages in the CSS-site use 100% standard-compliant XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS encoding (only framesets and a navigation frame use a little bit non-standard features). It can work as an example, how XHTML 1.0 and CSS can work together.

Standards: W3C, ECMAScript.
Other sites: Webstandards.

Netscape

I like HTML 4.0 + CSS in order to make documents into the Internet. Netscape 4.04 was terrible disappointment. Its CSS-implementation is awful bad! I have however succeeded to avoid some problems. It is reasonable to define own style sheets for Netscape 4.x (instructions[S]).

I though that this means the end of Netscape, but now I don't think at the same way. I have much tested Mozilla Gecko rendering engine. It does have almost flawless CSS1 level implementation and wide CSS2-implementation, much better than in any MS IE browser. Netscape 7.0+ could even work as comparison application to all other browsers, how CSS1 should work according to the CSS2 specification. If Mozilla organization fix some tiny problems, it could work even like a validator application.

I give now a public congratulation to the main designers of the CSS-implementation in the Mozilla organization. Mozilla Gecko is the first application, which support all CSS2 level matching patterns including attribute selectors.

Main problems have been related with the generic functionality, but newest Mozilla Gecko browsers work quite reliable. I don't hope today, that it should be "scuttled like a ship into the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean" as I hoped before. Mozilla organization has made a real remedy! Because new Mozilla/Netscape browsers are highly standard-compliant, Mozilla could even save the Internet demanding also from other browser designers standard-compliant implementations.

The Mozilla Organization: FAQ.

Opera

Mean while I wanted however to find a browser, which have a good CSS-implementation. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 has terrible flaws too even if it is not so bad as Netscape 4.x. I read about Opera. Opera 3.51 was a bad disappointment. Also that browser had bad bugs. I though to put the whole application into the trash and newer download that application into my hard disk.

But I found that Opera improves the browser whole time and I has released much new better versions. Because it is today available as ad-sponsored version, I hope that Opera could get much users.

Opera is quite standard-compliant. All Opera browsers have however incorrect handling of nested frame sets[S]. Opera can render complex nested frame sets almost properly only at 1024x768 with full screen - in all other situations it displays them incorrect!.

Opera is fast, handy and the security is at the top level. The newest version is quite reliable and fast. Even if Opera supports few proprietary features, Opera Software respects however highly web standards. If Opera could be more common browser, web standards could be more appreciated. These matters make it a highly recommended web browser.

When many Web-designers use proprietary features of MS IE, the user of Opera might get incorrect impression from the browser (the user might accuse the browser in situations, where he should accuse the author of the page[S]).

The chief engineer of the Opera Software is a former worker of W3C, Håkon Wium Lie, the main architect of CSS1-CCS2 specifications. He really understand the importance of specifications. But in a situation, where people don't get Opera (or new Mozilla Gecko browsers, for example Netscape 7.0) much enough, MS can dominant and finally almost totally destroy the original ideas of the Internet. When one company has monopoly state we are far from the original ideas of the Internet. The aims of Opera Software base clearly to the original ideas of the Internet:

Why do some Web pages render incorrectly in Opera?

The Opera browser is the strictest supporter of the W3C's technical standards in the browser market today. This is done to ensure interoperability between browsers and hardware manufacturers, meaning that a Web page made in accordance with W3C's recommendations is viewable with whatever browser-application an Internet user chooses. Unfortunately some Webmasters have been lead astray into making their sites specific to one or the other browser's proprietary standards. The result is that some sites effectively shut other browsers out, or their pages may look strange in them.

However, this is a transitional problem. With the advent of the wireless Internet, Webmasters must start complying to W3C standards, or else their pages will not be accessible to the majority of the Internet population. The two dominant browsers on the PC's are too bloated to fit into small, handheld devices. Why does Opera always emphasize that it follows W3C's standards? Because we at Opera believe in an Internet where everyone can meet, innovate and thrive. For this to happen certain international standards must be followed by everyone. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) [www.w3c.org] develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) that make this possible. We don't want to own or monopolize the Internet, we prefer an open Net where everyone is granted access and can thrive. For more information on Opera's values, take a look at Opera's Mission.

Indeed Opera supports some proprietary encoding of MS IE. Especially Opera 7.0 Beta 1 supports much proprietary JavaScript extensions in order to avoid situation, when some site is not accessible by Opera. The problem of Opera is that it is not so well-know browser. It is primary delivered by the Internet and many people are not ready to get it.

Opera Software: Press FAQ, , Opera 7 for Windows Beta 2, What's new in Opera 5.10, Web specifications supported in Opera 5 - the details, XML in Opera.

Microsoft

MS IE 4.0-5.5 for Windows browsers have been disappointments. I expected that Microsoft would have fixed main bugs of MS IE 4.0 in the 5.x series. Microsoft has fixed in this series some minor bugs in CSS1 level implementation, but MS IE 5.5 doesn't have at least flawless CSS1 implementation.

Finally MS IE 6.0 for Windows is a real trial to make a browser, which follow concerning supported features quite strict the CSS2 specification and it has almost flawless CSS1 implementation. Indeed it strict only in the standard-compliant mode[S].

Microsoft: CSS Enhancements in Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview.

MS IE 6.0 for Windows has still much missing of important CSS2 features. Some of them are supported in MS IE 5.0 for Mac. They have a long way to full CSS2 implementation.

I know pretty well, that Microsoft is more interested about XSL. For XSL(T) is necessary to supports only partially CSS. But also XSL(T) might suffer of missing features (read about my thoughts[S]).

Especially features, which are important for XML are missing. The property display would be easy way to manipulate document structure without making double structure with XSL-templates. I was disappointed also the fact, that except some pseudo-classes MS IE 6.0 doesn't support advanced CSS2 level selectors and property values of the property display (MS IE 6.0 for Windows supports one into proposed CSS3 value (inline-block)).

But even if MS IE 6.0 for Windows and MS IE 5.0 for Mac support quite well CSS2, that doesn't mean that MS honors generally the basic principles of the Internet. Microsoft also violates seriously the original idea of the Internet developing proprietary system in order to "steal" the whole Internet into its hand and at that way destroy possibilities of other browsers to work in sites. This is extremely evil and arrogant "steal and destroy" designing politics.

Microsoft use much non-standard implementation is MS IE and other products. In addition in MS IE has always implemented features, which are under construction and which are only public discussed. As an example we can take XML data islands (I handle them in a HTML note[S]). XML data islands like some attributes (I handle them in the page Help for HTML ALL menu[S]) were thought to implement in future HTML specification like in the possible HTML 5.0 specification. HTML 5.0 newer published because XHTML 1.0 became instead of it. MS IE 5.x implements then partially just an imaginary specification. Supporting of proposed features MS tried to make MS IE as an advanced browser compared to competitors, but those implementations are today just non-standard (proprietory) implementations, which work only in MS IE 5.x+.

I appreciate that Microsoft develop new systems. But in my mind those half-ready applications should be only experimental releases. They could be delivered commonly like official versions and, but all users should know, that the system is just half-made.

Do we want to support a company, which use much proprietary encodings, platform and browser dependent components and half-made specifications in order to monopolize (and that way "steal") the Internet? Proprietary solutions destroy also possibilities to render Web-pages properly such browsers, which follow stricter existing specifications. Also partial or buggy implemented specifications are bad matters (indeed CSS2 is hard to implement and there is not any browser, which has full visual implementation of it). All of these matters violate the original idea of the Internet to be an open, platform independent and common standards using global net! Supporting of common standards creates stability and breaking them continuous unstability and increasing chaos. This is the reason, why it is not good, if over 90% of web browsers are made by Microsoft.

Indeed also Opera and the Mozilla Gecko browsers support a little bit proprietary encoding (you can look proprietary CSS features from a special page[S], which handle non-standard and non-standard HTML from a table[S]). But according to my experience new AOL/ Netscape/ Mozilla org and Opera Software try to create browsers, which support existing specifications more strict than MS IE. If these browsers would be used more Microsoft could not behave very arrogant and it should develop its browsers to follow stricter existing specifications.

Web authors should avoid using such feature in MS IE browsers, which promotes this aim. Supporting non-standard systems, authors create in the long run total chaos to the Internet. When this happens, Internet is dead, if we judge it according to the basic principles of the World Wide Web. I hope that Web-authors could use those features, which belongs to existing recommended specification, neither proprietary nor half-made proposals.

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Some questionable encodings

In the WWW used official recommended specifications are primary designed by W3C (there is also some other standardization organizations). In addition of official specifications, there are extensions, which have almost standard positions. These extensions should be judged according to the original purposes of the WWW:

  1. Extensions should be platform independent.
  2. They should be able to use in any browser.
  3. Common security problems of WWW has been taken account.

On the base of these principles Java applets fulfil quite well the original principles of the WWW. The half-official position of Java applets can been seen from the fact that they have in (X)HTML-specifications a special element (APPLET). Indeed to run Java applets some browsers need a plug-ins application.

Some commercial extensions don't fulfil these principles. The fact, that some feature belongs to the official recommendations doesn't make it problem free. If some feature works only in certain browsers and missing of supporting that feature prevents functionality in some browsers, using of that kind of feature is problematic.

I list some such encodings, which are questionable because of the security problems or they work only with certain browsers:

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Fair play

Authors may favor either fair or unfair competition between browsers. It is possible to slow down the good development of the Internet by designing sites according to eldest browsers. The healthy development can be destroyed by using solutions, which works only in the dominant browser, MS IE.

Microsoft itself is an example of bad way evil Web-site designing. MS has been detected in its own site MSN-site Opera browsers and gave for them on purpose CSS, which cause bad result in Opera browsers. Microsoft works criminal way trying to stain the reputation of one competitor - the "moral" of Microsoft resembles the moral of virus designers.

Opera Software: Why doesn't MSN work with Opera.

In my mind more inconvenient feature is to Visual Basic scripts instead in the MSN site instead of standard scripting languages just the reason that pages would work as designed only by using MS IE browsers.

Because the healthy development of the Internet needs standards, the fair play means such completions, where browser designers have demanded supporting standards and using them in fair ways.

I have designed my sites quite strictly according to existing What are purposes of Web standards. There isn't any browser, which can render them exactly I have designed. One reason for this is to promote fair completions.

In my sites users of Opera 4.x+ and Netscape 6.1+/ corresponding Mozilla browsers can enjoy fixed navigation bar and always pleasant width of pages. Visitors, which use MS IE can enjoy quick menus.

When some solutions, which is made according to existing standards doesn't work in some browser, it could give an inspiration to improve the product. When visitors see different working browsers, they could learn to appreciate several browsers. At this way the existing situation, which promote the dominant position of Microsoft could get healthier features.

Using such features, which might become in some day as standards and which don't cause any harm to other browsers could be at some level used - I shun them. I give in the extra page, which handle What kind of non-standard (proprietary) CSS browsers support[S] some moral principles. Even if the author knows, who are the main visitors of his site, he should be aware, that his site might be found with some search engines. The author can't know exactly, which browser or which platform visitors have. Sites, which are primary designed for some certain browsers should work at least at some level with as many browsers as reasonably possible.

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CSS-guide has been last edited 07.08.2004