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Re: [css-d] Divergence between compliant browsers

Sent by Jeffrey Zeldman on 29 January 2002 13:01


Dave Strus [EMAIL-REMOVED]) wrote:

>It only affects sites with a strict DOCTYPE,

Alas, though often said, that is untrue. It affects any site using a 
*complete* doctype (i.e., a doctype with URL), even HTML 4.01 
transitional.


>and anyone writing strict code ought to be willing to do
>  what it takes to make the site behave properly in a
>  standards-compliant environment.

Again, what's actually happening is that unwanted visual gaps may 
show up in table-based layouts on any site using a complete doctype, 
strict or transitional, html or xhtml.


>Mozilla is correctly implementing W3C recommendations in this case.

Not to get into religious arguments, but Mozilla is interpreting the 
spec per one of two possibly correct interpretations, one of which is 
per the description in Eric's article; the other is that images in 
table cells should default to the long-established approach in HTML 
(no styling unless the author chooses to specify img alignment, 
padding, etc.).

While both interpretations have been well stated elsewhere, and both 
seem reasonable to a non-theorist like me, the Mozilla interpretation 
may break existing layouts authored to transitional specs.

Now that we know of this behavior, it should be fairly trivial in 
most cases to add a Style rule to new sites ensuring that they look 
as desired in all compliant browsers, regardless of interpretive 
differences.

But this presumes sophisticated developer knowledge, which is not 
always a safe assumption. As visual web editors used by many 
increasingly include doctypes, new sites authored in these tools may 
also look broken.

Assuming developer knowledge, working around this difference via 
additional Style rules  also only works for new sites; old ones may 
look "broken" indefinitely, with negative consequences for site 
owners and visitors.

Just clarifying.

jeffrey

http://www.zeldman.com/
http://www.alistapart.com/
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