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Browser differences

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One of the most maddening situations we face when developing browser based applications is the difference in browser behavior. Even though our apps are internal facing, we still have 5 different browsers to consider in our development(when versions are included). We cannot dictate the browser version to our users, even though that would solve some challenges.

We are strongly considering GWT, though haven't gone there. Yet.

Does your book address this challenge in any way? Tips? Techniques?
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Absolutely. Browser differences are one of the strongest reasons to move to a standards-based regime. It is much easier to make clean, semantic XHTML with CSS stylesheets work reliably across modern browsers (say IE 5 and later) than malformed HTML. The fancier your site is the more this is true.

The one exception to this rule are layouts. IE still doesn't get CSS quite right, so table-based layouts are easier to implement across browsers than CSS-position based layouts. However, even there, the simplest approach is just to not lay the content out at all with CSS or tables. Just let the entire content of the page flow naturally from top to bottom with no sidebars. If speed of development is your overarching concern, that's the way to go.
[ July 16, 2008: Message edited by: Elliotte Rusty Harold ]
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