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Thread: IE vs. NS - CSS

  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict
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    I've noticed that some sites use a javascript browser detector, and then link to a specific stylesheet for the browser.
    I'm curious of the importance of this, and what are the major style differences between the browsers?
    (Should I start creating two seperate stylesheets?)

    Plus, I mainly operate in CSS-1, so maybe this has more to do w/ CSS-2? (positioning, etc...)

  2. #2
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    Netscape (4.X) has (almost complete) support for CSS-1 and partial support for CSS-2, while IE supports both almost completely, though not perfect either.

    You'd therefore better not use stylesheets for Netscape when it's about aligning page elements, but (plain) HTML.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm jaded, but I would code for IE and ignore NS. NS is almost never compatible with the latest stuff. Almost none of my visitors use it.

    The more sites that don't work well with NS, the faster it dies. LOL!
    Jim Lewis
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    Team SitePoint AlexW's Avatar
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    Personally I think coding for stylesheet incompatibilities between the various browsers is probably the hardest part of finishing a web site.

    I could talk about Netscape and it's quirks for hours but to cut it as short is practical.

    - Decide early on whether Netscape 3 is and important audience for you. It has NO style sheet support at all so requires hard-coded font tags which is a considerable overhead

    - Since Netscape 4's style support is limited I tend to use stylesheets to 'flavor' my garden variety HTML rather than using it position elements on the layout.

    - Netscape 4 always renders text about 70%-80% smaller than the equivalent in IE (or the new Netscape 6 for that matter) so that is why its best to detect for browsers and customise the stylesheet for each one. If you're expecting Mac users to use the site you'll need another stylesheet for them as the mac renders fonts even smaller than Win/NS

    - Life for Web developers is getting easier all the time as Netscape users take up Netscape 6.0. While it's not without it's own quirks, in general it renders pretty close to IE. I wouldn't advise developing for only IE unless you are building something like an Intranet where you can enforce a browser choice. Forgetting arguments about heathly competitive browser markets etc.. keep in mind that almost the entire Mac userbase and the ever growing Linux userbase are almost entirely Netscape-bound (there is no IE for Linux and the MaC version is buggy). To discount these users can be asking for trouble.


    Hope that helps

    Alex
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Perhaps I am a little jaded too, but some of the more cutting edge sites that take advantage of DHTML make sure their scripts work well in IE and Netscape. It takes more work, but it certainly marks professional developers from others.

    Simply put, Netscape 4.x had poor and inconsistent support (NS has used three JavaScript engines from 4.0 to 4.75) for CSS. IE 5.5 has increased its support from version 5. It is not fully in support, but it offers a lot more support then NS 4.x. On the other hand, Netscape 6 is a new beast all together. It offers nearly full support of CSS level 1 and DOM level 1.

    One other thing, if you are currently using detection for IE and NS, you should take note of the following article. NS 6 will also need browser detection since it has some variances from its predecessors.

    http://www.webreference.com/js/column72/index.html
    Westmich
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    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Well, I'll give a brief layout of what I know about the differences.

    1) Netscape 4 doens't support ShortHand Properties
    This shorthand properties is supported in Netscape 6 and IE. Shorthand reduces the filesize as specifying properties for elements like font etc. is compressed.

    2) Netspcae doens't support the height element
    3) Background Image support is unstable..

    Lotsa more. I advise separate style sheets.
    Sorry, I'm in a rush...
    Hope that Helps
    Lotsa more of incompatibilities though...but Netscape supports CSS1 =)
    <Edited by lynlimz on 12-15-2000 at 11:01 PM>
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot Atirez's Avatar
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    Just a quick of the topic question!

    One other thing, if you are currently using detection for IE and NS, you should take note of the following article. NS 6 will also need browser detection since it has some variances from its predecessors.
    My detection script is beyond simple i wont need to change it will I??

    var BrowserName = navigator.appName;
    var BrowserVer = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);

    function CheckBrowser(){
    if (BrowserVer >= 4 ){
    window.location.href="http://www.the-list.f2s.com/4/index.php3";
    }else{
    window.location.href="http://www.the-list.f2s.com/3/index.php3";
    }
    }
    Thanks for any help.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Atirez
    Just a quick of the topic question!

    One other thing, if you are currently using detection for IE and NS, you should take note of the following article. NS 6 will also need browser detection since it has some variances from its predecessors.
    My detection script is beyond simple i wont need to change it will I??

    var BrowserName = navigator.appName;
    var BrowserVer = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);

    function CheckBrowser(){
    if (BrowserVer >= 4 ){
    window.location.href="http://www.the-list.f2s.com/4/index.php3";
    }else{
    window.location.href="http://www.the-list.f2s.com/3/index.php3";
    }
    }
    Thanks for any help.
    I would reccomend reading that article. Many scripts are written so that Netscape viewers use certain properties and IE users use other properties both are proprietary and are not supported by NS6.
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
    http://www.mindscapecreative.com


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