Over the past 10 years, there has been the adoption of four major versions of
the HTML specification, ActiveX® Controls, Java applets, cascading style sheets,
various scripting languages, and numerous Web browsers.
All of this change has caused headaches for Web designers and developers who
want their Web sites to look the same and function properly for all users
regardless of browser. As new technologies are unveiled, there are still older
browsers in use for which these technologies are meaningless. And even though
HTML is a standard, not all browsers support HTML in a consistent manner.
Consequently, that means it is nearly impossible to support all browsers without
sacrificing functionality. To make things even more complicated, what our users
see depends on their operating system, screen resolution, browser type and
version, installed fonts, and other factors. Unfortunately, the only way to
really know how a Web page is displayed across this matrix is to open the
browser, load the page, and view what you get on as many different systems as
you can manage.
With that in mind, our school website has been designed to work well in Internet
Explorer, as this is the browser used by the Department of Education and
Training. It has also been tested in 30 other browsers and, although the
formatting was not perfect in all of them, the pages were still easy to
understand and navigate. The most important thing found in testing was to ensure
the browser being used was current and up to date (latest updates installed).
Some browsers tested displayed our website badly until they were brought up to
date, after which the problems disappeared.