All Web Browsers Are Not Created Equal
Updated: Wednesday 31 January 1996
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When the least-common denominator isn't enough
To paraphrase what George Orwell didn't exactly say in his novel Animal Farm  (but he would have): "all web browsers are created equal, but some are more equal than others."
What George meant is that while all web browsers are able to interpret and lay out the standardized HyperText Markup Language (HTML), some do a piss-poor job of it, while others are able to do a magnificent layout with a very simple language.
Why are you here?
You've arrived at this page because you've clicked on
- one of the "HTML extensions used here. Is your browser up to the job? Find out." links that appears at the top of my web pages, or
- the Netscape Navigator 2.0 icon in the button bar at the bottom of my web pages, or
- you were shown an error message because your browser is completely unable to deal with certain HTML and you clicked on the "Get more information" link.
What's this all about?
To understand why your chosen web browser is in need of replacement you'll need to understand a bit about the HTML that web page authors are using to create cutting-edge pages on the web. This isn't technical, so please read on.
There are several levels of HTML present on the World-Wide Web. HTML 1.0 and HTML 2.0 are correctly understood and processed by almost all web browsers, HTML 3.0 is the current cutting-edge, and befuddles all but the most current web browser. (HTML isn't the only way browsers differ; some are unable to process and display special characters, such as a non-breaking space.) New forms of content on the web require that your web browser be adaptable; third-parties are providing plug-in modules. Does your web browser accept plug-ins?
So what web browser should I use?
If you want to share in the new frontiers of the web, you'll have to pick a web browser that understands and properly displays the latest proposed extensions to HTML, is flexible and can be made more powerful by the use of plug-ins, etc. Currently only one web browser fits the bill: Netscape Navigator. The current version is 2.0. Earlier versions of Navigator (and all other web browsers) are underpowered and unworthy of your attention. (This includes Microsoft's half-baked Internet Explorer, NCSA Mosaic, Spry Mosaic, TCP/Connect II, etc.)
(I'm sorry if you're chosen a web browser by a company that has no moxie, and I really feel for you if you've chosen some goofball all-in-one service that has an integrated web browser that's far behind the times, but those are your choices. So it goes.)
[Made with Macintosh]
[Built with BBEdit]
Michael Sattler <firstname.lastname@example.org>