Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

Monday November 8th, 1999

Eric Krock has a request for anyone report DOM bugs:

"Please bookmark the below URLs!!!

If you hit a page that doesn't display well or has JavaScript errors in Nav5 (Mozilla) because the page uses MS IE4/5 DOM features, Nav4 Layer DOM features, or the LAYER/ILAYER tag, DON'T FILE A BUG in Bugzilla. Instead, use the below email creation templates to send an email to the page's owner asking them to upgrade the page to support W3C standards.

If the page supports IE4/5 but not HTML 4.0/W3C DOM:

If the page supports Nav4 but not HTML 4.0/W3C DOM:

If the page is breaking because of user agent detection problems:

(Use that one when a page doesn't work or has a JavaScript error because the client-side JavaScript isn't detecting the Navigator 5 Mozilla/5.0 userAgent string, or discover that a server-side CGI is returning the wrong page because it's not detecting the Mozilla/5.0 HTTP USER_AGENT string or is choking on its HTTP 1.1 CONTENT_TYPE string.)

Likewise, if you're examining a bug report in Bugzilla and realize it's caused by these issues, mark the bug INVALID. Then use the email creation templates to notify the bug reporter and the page owner of the need to upgrade. Bugs closed as INVALID in this way count half a point in the BugAThon!

Hint to avoid filing bogus bugs: if content on a page doesn't position correctly or there's a JavaScript error, do a View Source and look (or copy and paste and search in a text editor) for the strings document.all and layer (case insensitive). If you find those strings in the JavaScript or the HTML markup, think twice before filing a bug. Create a simplified test case without the proprietary features and see if the problems still occurs.

#1 Does this mean Mozilla will not support these?

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 2:57 PM

Most sites have support for both IE5 and Communicator 4. Rather than breaking these wouldn't it be better to choose either IE5 or Comm4 and support that for backword compatibility?

#2 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 3:24 PM

This is a dangerous decision to not support the NS 4.0 DOM. It'll mean that people switching to Mozilla (next March?) won't be able to use any dynamic HTML sites initially.

It'll also leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the developers who invested the time in learning and using the NS 4.0 DOM.

#4 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by sdm

Monday November 8th, 1999 4:13 PM

They're accepting patches...

#3 More info.

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 4:02 PM

This important link was missing from the article even though it was in the original message in the layout newsgroup.

Basically, implenting some of the old 4.x DOM would break standard compliant DOM due to tags with duplicate meanings. I am sure this is not the case all around. There was a discussion on all of this a few months ago and the bottom line is that the propriatary DOM is out and W3C DOM is in.

Here is Eric's before you email me link:

#5 WIll do nothing but IRRITATE webmasters

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 5:20 PM

Come on, Mozilla isn't in in Alpha, and there is no browser that supports the DOM standard out there, and you guys are expecting webmasters, who already have their hands full supporting umteen browsers, to include a nonexistant one?

There is simply no reason for anyone to deploy a DOM version of a site at this time. Research prototypes? Yes. A DOM version of Yahoo or Amazon? A waste of time.

Atleast wait until some browsers EXIST that support the standard before you lobby people.

And if the Mozilla team was smart, they would support both NS DOM and IE DOM as switches. You can't just "rip and replace". If you want to move the net from prioritary standards to open ones, you need to provide a migration path.

A Mozilla that chokes on Netscape/IE enabled pages is a non-starter.

#6 <slap>

by Marky

Monday November 8th, 1999 5:42 PM

This is probably the worst piece of advice I've heard from a professional developer.

If the pages don't display correctly in Mozilla, but they do in IE5, N4, that is a Mozilla problem - not the webmasters.

*Users do not care if this breaks your standards compliance.*

Fix it!

#38 <slap>

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 8:10 PM

Could you be anymore short sighted? Just because most users are ignorant to what goes on behind the scenes, it doesn't mean we need to follow their lead. The PROBLEM is the uneducated webmasters who deviated from the standard in the first place.

Plus, the sites may not totally break. It'll just be the sections where the web developer copped to the proprietary route. :)

#53 Re: <slap>

by queenmariam

Saturday January 21st, 2006 2:48 AM

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Dearest One,


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Best regards, Miss Mariam Mustapha. +225 07725768

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#7 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 6:42 PM

This is a very gutsy move. Or an incredibly stupid one.

What drives standards? Software. The W3C could write paper standards until the cows come home, but it wouldn't make a bit of difference if those standards were not supported in a working browser used by a lot of people.

But it's that last bit that makes the difference. How many users are using Mozilla NOW? Why would a webmaster care about a product that isn't even in beta yet?

If MSIE had not supported standards, Netscape would have forced JCSS down our throats (as they did with CENTER even though DIV was already decided upon) and few web pages would be using standards-based CSS. Mozilla's impact on the web (and MSIE) will be determined by it's timeliness and it's popularity.

As for current web pages, there are actually very few that use the DOM. It's so complicated, and it works so differently in each web browser that most people have just stuck to HTML for the basics and used Flash or Java for the interactive stuff.

#8 Bad HTML

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 6:53 PM

Back in old days, Arena, the W3C's old web test bed, would flash a "bad html" message in the upper-right-hand corner if it was used to view a page with bad html. Several people suggested that Mozilla do this in the "Dave Whitinger on Mozilla's Importance" thread. I think it would be an even better idea now that Mozilla requires more strict HTML compliance.

Besides, when users actually know when web pages are non-compliant, webmasters will care enough to write compliant web pages. Who wants a customer to see "Bad HTML?"

#46 Bad HTML

by Anon

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 3:45 PM

I think thats a gread idea. However, a 'compatibility' mode would also not hurt :)

#51 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by SailorV

Wednesday November 17th, 1999 1:54 AM

One of my work computers came with Internet Explorer 5.0 preinstalled, but no Netscape or Mozilla. I went to a couple of websites and got alerted by IE5 (via a modal dialog box, of course) that the page I was about to see had "bad HTML," and the entire time I was at the site, the little piece of paper with the blue E on it was replaced with a little piece of paper with a yellow triangle alert icon on it, and the words, "Done, but with errors on page."

The error? Javascript by Yahoo that's perfectly fine for other browsers.

-Sailor V

#52 Oops. Title should've been "IE5 already does

by SailorV

Wednesday November 17th, 1999 1:57 AM

Oops. Title should've been "IE5 already does that"

#9 Awesome

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:02 PM

This is what most of us wanted. Kill all the non standard code!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, now that I got your attention, from what I have been seeing this past year, Mozilla developers have been putting lots of work into parity with the 4.x browser. I think they just ran into problems with certain outdated functions and like they should decided to go with the spec rather than support the non standard method.

It looks as if (and I would not hold your breath) that IE 5 Mac will probably be more standards compliant. So, who knows how things will work out.

#10 Why are you complaining?

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:09 PM

Webmasters have been upset ever since the 4.x browsers hit the market because to take advantage of new features they have to write pages twice basically one for Nav one for IE just because the same code does not work on both browsers.

Developers at Mozilla have been pounded with letters from the Web Standards group and even the outside contributors like myself have been helping them by checking the browsers ability to support standard based web pages.

In the end, I think this is great. At least everyone will be able to stop blaming Netscape for the Standard problems and start pointing their fingers in M$.

#11 The W3C Members

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:12 PM

You know, Netscape and Microsoft are members of the World Wide Web Consortium and as such signed off on the standards their browsers fail to implement.

I think this change is Netscape and the's way of trying to live up to the commitment they made as memebers of that organization to implement its non propriatary standards.

#12 Time for standards

by ERICmurphy

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:20 PM

The reason why we have new versions of web browsers is so people can upgrade.

Supporting only standard DOM will be another reason for people to upgrade to Moz.

#13 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:41 PM

This is ridiculous. IE 4/5 have like 60-80% (depending on who you believe) market share. By not supporting the dominant player it will reduce the time it will take for NS 5 to gain market share. Embrace and extend stupid! :-)

#14 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:45 PM

This is ridiculous. IE 4/5 have like 60-80% (depending on who you believe) market share. By not supporting the dominant player it will reduce the time it will take for NS 5 to gain market share. Embrace and extend stupid! :-)

#15 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 7:52 PM

And it will remain small, and fast to download and install. And it will be fast to cruise creative and demanding sites. It is a win-win situation for webmasters and Mozilla developpers.

#16 Ugh

by Ben_Goodger

Monday November 8th, 1999 8:19 PM

Mozilla supports STANDARDS. It is under no obligation to support the proprietary crap introduced by any of the other browsers in the past. Only the incredibly dull minded web masters will be irritated by this, as it was at the request of a huge number of developers that Mozilla went down this road in the first place.

Extending a site to support legitimate standards is a wise move. Why? Well, IE supports a fair bit of DOM/CSS stuff, so for many people, a DOM version might also double for an IE5 version. And if IE5Mac's "standards compliant" Tasman makes it into IE6Win32, developing DOM compliant pages will be developing for Mozilla/Communicator AND IE.

Furthermore, developers have been developing multiple versions/compatible versions of their javascript for ages now. Another one won't hurt them, especially not when they find out what a joy it is to program with DOM. Besides, no serious website uses DHTML for anything more than eye candy, given that a lot of people still use Netscape 3.0. Hopefully what they'll do is ditch their 4.x versions altogether, and provide plain content for all "old browser" users, providing dynamic content only to IE5/Mozilla/Communicator 5.0 users. This way scripting is a whole lot easier, and given the marketing impetus behind IE5 and the projected marketing behind future Mozillae, this seems like a good plan.

In other words, its not going to be hard. If you still think it will be, either pull the Classic tree and finish that yourself, or build IE/NN4 emulation into Seamonkey.

"We are not those who are frightened by change."

#18 Ugh

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 10:45 PM

"another one won't hurt them?"

Get real. Why should developers support DOM *NOW* when no browsers xeist that can handle DOM. There is ZERO, absolutely, ZERO demand from users for ths.

Mozilla can support all the "standards" it likes, but it will be speaking Esperanto while the rest of the world will be speaking English.

It *better* support backwards compatible broken DOM/HTML/old tags, otherwise it is doomed.

#22 Ugh

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 3:25 AM

Given the information already in public domain, I doubt I have any chance of convincing you of the Way Things Are if you have not figured them out already, so I'll just concede defeat.

#23 Ugh, but...

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 5:18 AM

If support for broken DOM/HTML/old tags is included, then it *has* to come with some of "Bad HTML" (or whatever) indicator that other people have suggested (it was indeed the only useful thing that Arena had !).

Even better might be to allow the "Bad HTML" legend to be clicked on and a pro-forma fill-in form (Web URL, document title, standard "you are serving a page containing bad HTML" blurb, plus a space to put the Webmaster's e-mail address in) appears which can be used to send negative feedback to the offending Website.

That way, people can browse broken sites without taking a blind bit of notice of standards compliance, but those who care can easily put pressure on the Webmasters to get them fixed.

The "Bad HTML" indicator is a wonderful thing - not only does it pick up bad sites on your travels, but it acts as a syntax checker for your own Web pages too (so no more out-of-date Weblint or equivalent needs to be used to validate your pages).

#24 Support DOM Now

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 6:34 AM

Currently I'm designing all of my pages to work in Mozilla and the I load them in Nav4/IE to see if they display everything (I don't really care what they look like. IE is close some of the time. Nav - well... it displays it). I do this because what I type in actually shows up in the Mozilla Daily Builds as I expect it.

Its just so much easier to get the page to display properly.

The only reason I go back to Nav4 to do some developing is for Javascript, as its javascript consol is still much better than the one in Mozilla (Too many developer messages and the errors keep scrolling off the screen)

To get the JavaScript working in all 3 browsers its simple. There is a www page on which tells you how to properly detect the 3 types of dom.

#25 has the web become so conservative already ?

by RvR

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 7:18 AM

the web is a rather young technology, but people like you seem to be conservative as if it was dozens of years old... i'm disappointed and worried about such a behaviour. is innovation already dead on the net ?

#30 has the web become so conservative already ?

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 1:27 PM

Fortunately, I don't think what we have here is indicative of all web developers.

Anyone with semblance of a clue know that Standards are a good thing, and anyone reasonably talented with JavaScript should be able to upgrade pages without much difficulty - in fact the standards may offer greater ease. (if not carpal tunnel through typing long function names like "getElementsByTagName" ;) Should people have to? YES! For the same reason people shouldn't be developing pages with LAYER and MARQUEE.

Developers, let your DOM version serve as an IE5 version (avoid IE idiosyncracies where possible, and if need be make a few tweaks when Mozilla is released) until Mozilla is released. Then its both an IE5 and Mozilla version, and everyone else can get vanilla.

#34 Ugh

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 5:55 PM


Have you developed for the Netscape 4 DOM? It's not pretty and has some annoying quirks. I have no reservations saying that I much prefer IE 4's approach to DHTML over Netscape 4's. I've spent many painful hours working with Netscape 4 and I'd not wish that on anyone (there *is* some logic behind the implementation, but it can be rather inconsistent).

At the moment the best way support IE4/5 and Netscape 4 at the same time is to use a crossbrowser API (Dan Steinman's DynLayer is well known) and I've developed my own one to support the work I do (we are writing a servlet-based application that has a full DHTML interface - pull down menus and the like). As my API evolves I intend to support IE4, NN4 and DOM1 (which should work in IE5 and Moz) and to make the API available for anyone to use. The biggest limiting factor will be Navigator 4 because it supports fewer CSS properties and provides relatively limited access to all the objects on a page.

The DOM approach - explicitly adding nodes to a tree - is somewhat different to the approach used in version 4 browsers so I anticipate current crossbrowser APIs will have to evolve a little... but an anticpiate many of them will be ready by the time Mozilla is released as Navigator 5. In a few years time we should see DOM Level 1 compliant browsers having 80+% market share and the need for these crossbrowser APIs will start to disappear thanks to the wonder of standards compliance.

I support the move of the Mozilla team to break with the past and not implement support for older DHTML because the DOM1-based approach is much more theoretically sound and offers more features to the developer.

XUL should also give Mozilla an advantage for organisations planning to implement intranet applications.


#35 Ugh

by Ben_Goodger

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 7:15 PM

Yes, right through 1998 I was designing dynamic elements for websites of mine initially for N4.x, and later for both N4.x and IE, so I understand as well as the next person the pain involved in doing something as fundamental as an expanding menu ;)

You raise good points, and I'm sure Mr Steinman will update his script with W3C DOM support (if he has not done so already). I think there should be some sort of stamp that a browser has that identifies it as fully <x standard> compliant so scripts can check ;)

What someone might like to do is develop emulation functions, e.g. create a function that searches through a document for an element with a specific ID (scanning through each level of layer in NN4.x, for instance, and each element in the all collection in IE4) and return the object. What you'd then do is attach this function to document with prototype:

document.prototype.getElementById = myGetElement;

You could then bundle this into a JS file. The function would be run on non-Mozilla/IE5 browsers (using the Devedge browser sniffer, say) which would emulate the appropriate function. This has been done the other way too, someone wrote a function a while back for Mozilla that imitated IE's innerHTML attribute.

Neither am I against the implementation of native code to do this, my point to the "doom and gloom" posters is that time does not permit the implementation of workarounds that may cause problems with the code most web developers want. I'm sure would welcome an implementation of this if someone provided the code.

#17 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by danielhill

Monday November 8th, 1999 9:40 PM

The dude who mentioned the "Bad HTML" thing is the man. I FULLY agree with that proposal. MS and webmasters need to be taught a lesson. Do what the spec says or get BURNED!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

#21 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 12:11 AM

BTW, IE4/5 are much better at support of these standards, then say NN4.x. So I think not MS should be taught a lesson but Netscape, which finally got it right.

#29 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 1:12 PM

Yeah, sure - I'll believe that the same day Microsoft can keep itself out of a courtroom. ;)

#19 Demand is FIXED!!!

by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 11:20 PM is a primary candidate for fixing to use with Mozilla.

I suggest everyone use this page:

to send a message to:


by Anon

Monday November 8th, 1999 11:23 PM

I use Netscape Navigator 4.08 with Java/JavaScript/StyleSheets enabled.

Your button onSubmit DOES NOT DO ANYTHING!

How silly is that? I guess your script to detect user agents does not itself work correctly?

God, Netscape sucks.

#26 Whatchew talkin' 'bout, Willis?

by RvR

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 7:52 AM

er... could you be a bit more specific ?)

#27 Not a smart move.

by ess

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 10:10 AM

"We are going to break compatibility with all previous products. It is the user's problem." This kind of thing is exactly what's turned me off of Java. And remember Commodore? Others' suggestion to support a wider range of (non-)standards is good. Get that "Bad HTML" light blinking, sure, but make the browser useful on pages that work for NS 4.x and MSIE. If you don't, Mozilla will just become "that screwed-up browser that shows pages wrong."

#28 P.S.: Conspiracy Theory

by ess

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 10:15 AM

Redefining some browser bugs as flaws in others' HTML will knock the bug count down, making it more likely that the project can go into open beta testing sooner.

#32 Thats not what they're doing

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 5:40 PM

They are not trying as you put it to "Redefining some browser bugs as flaws in others' HTML" they want us to let other websites know that their code isn't conforming to the standards.

#31 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 5:27 PM

It'd not be too hard to wrap WC3 DOM into a document.layers type of thing, would it? Creating objects, that sort of thing...

Even if it was dog slow, it'd work, and still would be DOM based. Keeps page compatibility

#33 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 5:41 PM

Actually, it isnt that easy. Netscape 4.x and IE4/5 both uses tags that are in standards, but do non-standard things. There is no easy way to support the legacy code in Netscape without breaking the good code in Mozilla.

#36 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 8:03 PM

That was exactly what the point was. Even developers want Platform Parity with the 4.x browser. But not at the expense of the DOM or any other negotiated web standard.

#37 Stop supporting the best HTML tags?

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 8:04 PM

I do not agree with the non-backward support of NS4 tags. LAYER tags are one of the best HTML tags ever, they make the page dynamic with easy HTML stylish and so as document.layer in JavaScripts. Do the Mozilla team ever consider that a lot of pages are LAYER powered?

#48 Stop supporting the best HTML tags?

by Anon

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 6:49 PM

Lists your alternatives.

Its not that support was not wanted. The problem was that to implement the standards many of the tags mentioned in the standard were implemented in a propriatary way that is not in compliance with the standard.

The developers have taken lots of fack from webmasters for propriatary tags and have decided that if a propriatary extion breaks a standards extension, that the propriatary goes.

#39 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 8:39 PM

Here's some news for ya to nibble on:

I guess ol' Jessy doesn't think much of Netscape & Co.

#40 'Bersting' out with laughter

by url

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 9:10 PM

I just finished reading the article and thought it was funny. . .sort of.

Jesse spent so time reaching his conclusion that Netscape is dead & buried and that IE has now won the browser war, towards the end of the article he then tossed in a mention of the upcoming Navigator 5 being released as if it were an afterthought. I mean, if you're on that much of a negative roll then why bother? I expected as much, I guess.

#41 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by FrodoB

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 9:20 PM

When he writes uninformed tripe like that (no support for XML? Nice to see his head is still firmly embedded between his cheeks [and I don't mean the ones on his face]), it's small wonder most of us don't think much of him.

That was even less informed than the average C|net/ZDnet article.

#43 it's clearly "disinformation" !

by RvR

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 2:35 AM

it's just another step in the info-war.

#44 it's clearly "disinformation" !

by RvR

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 3:43 AM

it's just another step in the info-war.

#42 Dear Jesse

by michaell

Tuesday November 9th, 1999 10:10 PM

Your story is inaccurate. The browser war is far from over.

1. Netscape 5 does support XML. Mozilla already has it working. In fact, the whole user interface of Netscape 5 is specified in XML, CSS and Javascript. This revolutionary technology is known as XUL. Download Mozilla at and try it for yourself.

2. Giving over Java development to Sun is a good thing. It means Netscape will always have the latest version of Java integrated. Netscape has an "Open Java Interface" and users can plug in any Java Virtual Machine they want. As Sun releases each new Java version, users can download it and plug it straight into Netscape 5 (something Microsoft IE can't do).

3. AOL hasn't made Netscape their official browser, yet. I guess we will have to wait until Netscape 5 is released and see what happens.

4. Netscape 5 is a year late, but then this is because they decided to rewrite the browser from scratch. Netscape 5 will be a far more modern and standards compliant browser than IE 5. It will also introduce a very powerful technology for building cross-platform user interfaces using XML, CSS and Javascript (something Microsoft IE can't do).

5. It is good that Netscape has opened its source code to the outside world. Everyone but Microsoft will be the better for it. Users will especially benefit because they will gain a browser with far fewer bugs (due to the widespread scrutiny of the program by people outside Netscape), and with extra features written by non-Netscape developers.

Netscape may have trouble regaining its market share by the time Netscape 5 is released, but it certainly won't be because Netscape 5 is technically inferior. Microsoft has a huge advantage in the market share war by forcing IE onto all Windows user's desktops by bundling it with Windows. Microsoft has needed to use these and other (probably) illegal practices to gain market share from Netscape.

I don't think it is clever to scream about Netscape's imminent demise just because 60% of companies recently choose IE over Netscape. It wasn't all that long ago that these statistics were reversed. Things change very quickly in the computer industry. Netscape will soon have a browser which matches and in many ways will be superior to IE. Netscape is still the most popular browser on Linux, and as the open source development community snowballs behind Netscape, we will see an acceleration of Netscape's browser development. We still don't know what will happen as a result of the Microsoft anti-trust trial, and the results of this may too have a substantial benefit for the ability of Netscape to regain it's lost market share. Netscape is far from dead. The newly rewritten code, and a growing community of outside developers will give Netscape the edge over Microsoft in the coming years as it seeks to regain what has recently been lost.

Please spend more time to write a more accurate story next time.

#45 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by kalperin

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 9:04 AM

AS a web developer I feel everyone's cross-browser pain. I consider the holy grail of standards complience important enough to re-write all of my pages from scratch if I have to. Perhaps someone with more experience using Moz can point us to a primer in migrating from older proprietary systems to newer standards. What methods, properties or even tags will break? What common tricks will no longer work? What are some easy to use work-arounds for these problems? I imagine that this sort of document does not yet exist. Anyone with more experience than I with the new standards care to write one? I'd be happy to lend my assistance in any way that I can.

#47 Reporting DOM Bugs? Be Sure to Read This!

by Anon

Wednesday November 10th, 1999 6:45 PM

Has the answer you are looking for.

But, to write a standard page, just use the validator at the w3c to point out what code is not valid.

Netscape 5 and Mozilla 5 will support the same non-standard code the 4.x browsers supported. That is unless, like in the case of the DOM's, that backwards support breaks the standards support.

#49 Upcoming API?

by Anon

Thursday November 11th, 1999 6:40 AM

I'm glad you pointed me to this page, since I've been looking for a guide to the practicalities of DOM use in NS5 - I've read the W3C documentation, but like plenty of webmasters this sort of thing measn little to me, what i needed was a guide to how I can refer to elements etc that I ahd discovered were screwed by Gecko when I checked out my own pages. Now I have it, sort of. I'm all for standards implementation, by the way, but in order to ensure that there are at least a few sites out there that can use the standards by the time the new browser is finally released, there is a need for more in the way of cross-browser coding guidance. A start might be updating the API library linked by Krock from the cross-browser DHTML technote at (when he gets a chance...) The whole thing needs a new browser branch for compliant browsers. A resource like that could stop a lot of complaining from people like me. Any chance of that?

#50 Good Idea, Bad Idea?

by Anon

Monday November 15th, 1999 3:41 PM

As far as I can tell, the problem here is not that proprietary pages will break in Moz. After all, it is actually the BROWSERS which are broken.. every proprietary tag on every proprietary page is nothing more than a bug workaround. The problem is that users, being stupid (spare me the PC rhetoric, it's true and you all know it), will immediately blame the browser for the failures of the page. And indeed, who DOESN'T cuss at the TV when the cable goes out, hmm?

This isn't a good enough reason to support all of the cruft that's out there, though, IMO. Mozilla has dispensed with all of the old proprietary code on the inside, and is far superior to anything else as a result.. let's finish the job and clean up the code on the outside as well.

I think that the "Bad HTML" warning would be an excellent idea even if it didn't double as a validator. I might even take it one step further and add an error dialog which briefly explains that the page is broken, forcing the users to recognize (if not necessarily understand) why pages seem to break and whose fault it is. (I envision the dialog as having a "Don't Show Again" and a "Tell Me More" button. The function of the first should be obvious; the second could dismiss the dialog and open a local file which briefly explains how broken pages came to be and why standards compliance is important.)

As for designers and acceptance... Having worked with both Mozilla and N4, I can confidently say that anyone who wants to keep the old code is insane, as well as a masochist. The "new" code is not terribly difficult to pick up, and few things compare to being able to get a piece of code right on the first try with little or no experience, only references. I have little doubt that anyone who gives it a try will quickly see the shameful folly of their past and adopt the standards wherever possible.. and lest any of you forget, it is the designers, not the users, who shape the growth and evolution of the web. Where we lead, they WILL follow.. they have no choice.