[thelist] the RIGHT way to build a browser.

James Aylard evolt at equilon-mrc.com
Thu Apr 5 16:03:13 CDT 2001


> Why didn't Netscape do this?
> http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/01/14/index0a.html

    Actually, it did. Netscape 6 uses a doctype-switching mechanism, as
well. Documents that use either a Strict dtd or a Transitional dtd with a
URI will be interpreted in Netscape's "standards" mode; documents that lack
these will be interpreted in "quirks" mode.

    My biggest gripe with Netscape 6's "standards" mode is how it has
interpreted the CSS 2 box model, and the impact this has on pixel-precise
table layouts (I wrote an evolt article on this a couple of months back [1]
which included a workaround, although my understanding of the issue is much
better now). Without going into the minutiae, some of which gets very
archane, in "standards" mode Netscape assigns a line-height value to all
table cells whether or not they contain text. So, for example, your
pixel-precise cell, which contains an image 5px high, could be inflated to
20px high or more. (You can see the result of this here [2].)
    Netscape insists that this is in compliance with CSS 2. But it clearly
breaks with traditional rendering in HTML, and some web developers
(including myself) have argued -- so far, unsuccessfully -- against
Netscape's interpretation. Fortunately, IE 6's standards-compliant mode does
not seem to share Netscape's interpretation of the CSS 2 recommendation.

James Aylard

2. http://www.equilon-mrc.com/dev/N6_Anim.gif

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