Webmaster in a Nutshell

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8. Browser Comparison

Internet Explorer HTML Exclusives
Netscape Navigator HTML Exclusives
Tags of Contention

This chapter lists the discrepancies in HTML tag support between Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. These two browsers, which are in competition with each other, are both striving not only to be the better browser but to improve the quality of Web documents. There are many different features between the two, such as scripting language support and extra media "plug-ins." This chapter will focus on HTML support, because it is the most crucial element in designing and authoring documents for the greatest number of users to see.

For the most part, the browsers support the same set of tags. In cases where an element is not supported by the other browser, workarounds are easily accomplished. For example, the floating frame tag from Internet Explorer (<iframe>) uses an opening and closing tag. Browsers that don't recognize these tags ignore them, but anything between the tags is read as a regular part of the document. Therefore, you can place the same content between the tags (albeit in a different format) and not worry about withholding any information from the reader. This scheme works the same for many elements, such as <noframes> and <multicol>.

8.1 Internet Explorer HTML Exclusives

The following tags are supported only by Internet Explorer:

HTML Tag or Attribute Description
<bgsound> Inserts background audio file in page

<body> bgproperties=value

Sets "watermark" background, which does not scroll with the document

<body> leftmargin=n topmargin=n

Sets the margins around the document body

<caption> valign=position

One way of setting vertical position of table caption

<col> Sets text alignment for table columns
<colgroup> Groups table columns
<comment> Place a comment in the HTML source file

<form> target=name

Specifies a target window or frame for the output of a form

<frameset> framespacing=n

Sets amount of space between frames in the <frameset> tag

<iframe> Creates floating frames

<img> dynsrc=url controls loop=n start=action

Settings for embedded video and audio clips

<isindex> action=url

Provides URL of the program that will perform the search

<link> src=url rel=relation type=text/css

Various different ways to support Cascading Style Sheets

<marquee> Places scrolling marquee text in page

Inserts Java applets, OLE controls, other objects into page

<span> Specifies style-sheet formatting
<style> Groups style elements


Sets colors for 3-D table borders in the <table>, <td>, <th>, and <tr> tags

<table> frame=value

Controls the display of outer borders of a table in the <table> tag

<table> rules=value

Controls the drawing of table rules in the <table> tag

<tbody> Indicates table body rows
<tfoot> Indicates table footer rows
<thead> Indicates table header rows

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