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Old April 28th, 2005, 04:05 AM
joefawcett's Avatar
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Default Designing for cross browser site

I have been asked to re-design a site using CSS rather than tables etc. and need some advice on overcoming the differences between different browsers.
I have purchased Accessible XHTML and CSS Web Sites to help me but wanted some advice.
My initial thoughts (the site owners have few statistics but only want to target the latest browsers) is to design for IE and "all other Mozilla browsers". I know that IE and Opera have their own peculiarities but are the other main ones, Netscape, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla and other Mozilla based ones similar in their rendition, or do I need to target more specifically?


Joe (Microsoft MVP - XML)
Old April 28th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Hi Joe,
The compatibility between Netscape, Mozilla Suite, Mozilla Firefox, et al (the gecko family of browsers), all depends on how far back you want to go.

NS 6 is based on something like Mozilla Suite 0.9.
Netscape 7.0 = Mozilla Suite 1.0.
Netscape 7.1 = Mozilla Suite 1.3.
Netscape 7.2 = Mozilla Suite 1.7.

Firefox 0.9 = Mozilla Suite 1.7
Firefox 1.0 = Mozilla Suite 1.7.5
(Upcoming Firefox 1.1 = Mozilla Suite 1.8 beta)

Then Firefox 1.0.1, 1.0.2 and 1.0.3 are minor security patches, and of course the NS 8 beta is based on both FF 1.0 and IE Trident.

AOL for Mac OS X is based on Gecko as well, but I don't know which.

I'd recommend compatibility with Mozilla 1.7, Netscape 7.2 and Firefox 1.0. These can be expected to behave identically where rendering capabilities are concerned. Versions prior to this are virtually non-existent from a statistical standpoint, and well unless you're doing something really bleeding edge whatever you do will probably work well back to at least Mozilla 1.3.

I don't have a Mac around, but in my experience things designed for gecko tend to work either perfectly or reasonably well in the KHTML browsers (Safari and Konqueror), I test in Konquorer on occasion and it usually gives me the same output as Gecko.

So really the only browser that you should have to target specifically is Explorer. As far as Opera, it's always given me mixed results. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I don't lose any sleep over it.

Hope that answers your questions.


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Old April 30th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Thanks, I maybe returning with more questions over the next few days :)


Joe (Microsoft MVP - XML)
Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:09 AM
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