Not all browsers are created equal

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops the standards that govern the internet. Unfortunately some companies do not follow and implement all standards and guidelines in their software. It probably won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that I think Microsoft is one of these companies. All versions of MS Internet Explorer up to, and including version 6 have major support issues with CSS2. The new IE7 is a major improvement but still interprets some of the CSS code in a different way than most other browsers. Microsoft has also written their own non-standardized code that can only be rendered in Internet Explorer. When creating a website with MS Frontpage, quite a few features will use this code without any notification that it isn’t supported by any other browsers than IE.

It is my opinion that Firefox is the browser that is best implemented conform the W3C standards. It will therefore be the reference browser for this website. It would be foolish to ignore IE users however I will not go through great lengths of effort to optimize it for IE6. It is not reasonable to expect webmasters to be mindful of previous versions of IE when the author, Microsoft, no longer provides any support on these products. Browsers are downloadable for free. Windows XP Automatic Update will upgrade to IE7, and Vista has IE7 preinstalled. At the time of this writing, more than half of the IE6 users have already upgraded to IE7. Naturally If most of your visitors are from countries where most users are still running Windows 98 with IE5, you must make sure it is presentable and accessible to these people. Remember, the visitor is king.

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