Handling compatibility requires a two-pronged attack: readership strategies and technical tricks.
- Do you control the browser version? In an Intranet application used only within one company, all users may have the same browser. It's then safe to use all features of that version, provided you are willing to upgrade your work if the browser version changes.
- Ignore really old browsers. In late 1999, according to one poll, less than 1% of Web surfers use Navigator 2.02.
- Support latest browsers only. This will cut down testing to one browser per vendor, but loses you a significant part of the readership, especially if latest versions are newly minted.
- Advocate one brand only. This cuts compatibility to one (or more) version. If your subject matter appeals mostly to users of one browser, for example Unix or Macintosh, don't bother with the others. Maybe you prefer a particular browser vendor.
- Support the most popular browsers. You can still reach about 90% of Web surfers if you support only the version 4.0+ browsers. Adding version 3.0 support, which means no Dynamic HTML tricks, and you have 95% or more of the market. Web sites like www.yahoo.com have Browser Statistics sections you can be mystified by, although www.statmarket.com could be more useful.
Supporting Ancient Browsers
Shown earlier, comments hide script source from browsers that don't know <SCRIPT>.
Detecting Scripts are Ignored
Created: April 23, 2001
Revised: April 23, 2001