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WebStandards.org: The State of the Web: Browser Incompatibilities Undermine Web's Foundations

Apr 07, 1999, 12:48 (0 Talkback[s])

"As the Web grows far beyond the dreams of the people who created it 10 years ago, its foundations are becoming increasingly shaky due to browser incompatibilities, The Web Standards Project announced in a 'State of the Web' report today.

'Imagine if every brand of TV set required a different kind of signal to receive your favorite show,' said WSP Project Leader George Olsen. 'It sounds ridiculous, but that's close to the situation on the Web because browser makers have failed to implement a common set of standards.' "

"...In fact, nearly two-thirds of top 100 consumer Web sites are now built in multiple versions, according to a recent report by Jupiter Communications. Working around browser incompatibilities adds at least 25 percent to the cost of Web sites.

'The sad thing is that the browser makers who helped W3C develop the standards are the very ones who've repeatedly failed to implement these standards -- some of which are more than two years old now,' Olsen said."

"Instead of putting all its efforts into attempting to fully support these standards, Microsoft put considerable effort into partially supporting the still-experimental Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). Unfortunately, since XSL is still under development by W3C, Microsoft runs the risk of Internet Explorer 5.0 being incompatible with the actual XSL standard when it is finished."

"Netscape has promised to fix these problems and achieve 100 percent compliance with these standards in Netscape 5.0 by using its new Gecko (ne NGLayout) rendering engine - which converts HTML and other code into what users see on-screen."

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