Re: HTML Programming vs. PDF

Subject: Re: HTML Programming vs. PDF
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 07:44:22 -0500

I was being a little extravagent when I said simply that "IE doesn't read
JavaScript". A more expanded form would have been "The same JavaScript
script doesn't always run the same way in IE and Netscape", which is true,
as you've noted.

Our business isn't in websites, which are unfortunately low-margin affairs
except for the high-end sites that use search engines and database back
ends. We get into HTML mostly in the context of help files or other simple
intranet uses. There we seem to be inundated with advice to jazz up the
pages because people have seen the Web and want the same bounciness. They
don't, alas, understand the days of development and testing that have to be
undertaken to produce the effects. This sort of thing is too costly for
everyday use. I've typically found it more useful to find some energetic
techno in the client's company and let him/her do the fun coding. There's
always a volunteer. For ourselves, though, we can't make money on it so we
don't indulge in it.
>You did say that IE "doesn't read JavaScript," which is not true regardless
>of the extent.
>I do understand your reluctance, especially given your client base. I write
>JavaScript that must work with IE 3.x, Netscape 3.x, and also on a Win3.1
>platform. It's not easy. But learning the object/event models supported by
>each of these browsers allowed me to quickly rule out the few unsupported
>objects/events in each.
>Overall, I have found that IE 4.0 interprets JavaScript better than Netscape
>4.0. For one thing, objects in an HTML page are global rather than local,
>making the code easier to write. This means I don't have to explicitly pass
>the object around from function to function as a parm. With Netscape, this
>doesn't work. Now you could argue that IE violates strict encapsulation, and
>I couldn't disagree with you on that point.
>BTW, if you get a chance to browser one of Microsoft's web sites, view the
>source and note the usage of language="javascript" in their scripting. You
>might be surprised (as I was) at how prevalent it is.
>kolberg -at- actamed -dot- com
>kris -at- olberg -dot- com
Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
Creators of the Clustar Method (TM)
An out-of-the-box methodology for fast task-based documentation
that's easy to port to paper, WinHelp, Acrobat, SGML, and other media.

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