HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
to produce highly interactive web pages. This became known as
Dynamic HTML (DHTML) .
Unfortunately, the DOM s implemented in Navigator and IE were very
different—far more incompatible than the implementations of Java-
Script in each browser. This meant that coding DHTML in a cross-
browser—compatible manner was something of a challenge; develop-
ers had to produce two versions of their application code, one for IE
and one for Navigator. The extra code made it more likely that devel-
opers would make mistakes. Sites that made heavy use of DHTML
tended to be unreliable and slow in at least one, if not both, major
browsers. As a result, DHTML and JavaScript gained a bad reputa-
tion. On the other hand, JavaScript was often the only way to work
around the incompatibilities between browsers. This is a purpose for
which JavaScript is still used extensively today. The W3C stepped in
with the DOM Level 1 standard in late 1998, and Microsoft provided
partial support for it in IE5 . Netscape planned to add support in its ver-
sion 5.0; but as Netscape struggled to compete with the far greater
resources of Microsoft, that plan never saw the light of day. When
Microsoft released versions 5.5 and 6.0 of IE , version 6.0 claimed “full
DOM Level 1 support,” although inconsistencies in the standard meant
that not everyone agreed. Meanwhile, Netscape faded into the back-
ground, was bought out by AOL , and eventually gave up on browser
development. The code for Navigator was donated to the world as
open source and eventually was reborn as Firefox.
W3C standards process in 1999
In November 1999, an update to the “World Wide Web Consortium Process” doc-
ument added an additional stage to the process: the Candidate Recommenda-
tion. This recognized the need for implementation feedback prior to the
standard being published as a Recommendation:
Working Draft (WD) The initial publication of the standard, used to gather
public feedback. A standard typically has several Working Drafts before
advancing to the next stage.
Candidate Recommendation (CR) After the specification has stabilized, it
becomes a CR. At this point, browser vendors are expected to begin implementing
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