Brow(ser)-Beating

Anyone interested in web design who is struggling with keeping the happy medium between great design and passing readability in Netscape (any version, but particularly 4 and earlier and now, 6) should take heed.

The pre-installed MovableType templates all use this as their document declaration:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”>
<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”>

Netscape 6 fights this every step of the way and it’s not a pretty thing. A web page (created with table hacks because they still are one of the few ways to get a three column layout to sit still) that looks great in Opera 6 and IE 5/6 looks like ^&%$#@ in Netscape 6. I won’t even go into what it looks like in Netscape 4 or earlier. Suffice it to say that whoever is still using any of those earlier browsers surely must recognize (and put up with) their browser’s woeful limitations.

In any event, changing your document declaration to this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN”
“http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/loose.dtd”>
<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”>

solves the problem. And it looks great!

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