Buzz Archive: September 2002

IE Only? Not necessarily.

KPMG Canada recently earned the wrath of Mozilla and Opera users for blocking the latter and presenting the former with incomprehensibly unusable visual garbage in place of a layout. Though the site’s markup is poor, that’s not the problem; the problem is outdated, brain-dead browser detection and related scripting. Eric Meyer has posted a fix, showing that the site could easily welcome non-IE users.

XHTML 2 and You

Among the unknown but probably smallish percentage of front-end designers who know and care about and use web standards, the announcement that XHTML 2.0 will not necessarily be backward compatible with XHTML 1.0 has caused some alarm. An article in IBM’s development zone claims this lack of backward compatibility is actually a Good Thing. Worth reading and pondering.


The Commonwealth of Kentucky is making a serious effort to Do The Right Thing as regards their Web presence. Check out the templates page. It's good to see the public sector being public-spirited.

Extinct: IE for Unix

Cam Barrett reports that Internet Explorer has been discontinued for Unix. Pity. If you can't bear to part with the *nix, perhaps now is a good time to take Mozilla 1.1 out for a test drive.

Standards and Usability

The W3C and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have issued a call for papers for the NIST Usability Workshop. The workshop is interested in the usability of W3C specifications, how W3C specs affect the usability of software based on them, and how to improve the overall usability of the web.

Flash for XHTML?

Here's some weird convergence: DENG is a W3C compliant XHTML/CSS/XForms rendering engine written entirely in Flash MX Actionscript. Accessibility issues aside, the concept of an embeddable, standards-compliant browser that renders XHTML and CSS with better accuracy than most desktop browsers is an exciting one. A week ago I had the pleasure of meeting principal DENG developer Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer (who is, among other things, a co-chair of the XForms working group and founder of Mozquito, the company developing DENG) who informed me of a number of intriguing plans for this project. I'll be keeping my eye on this.

One Man's Journey

Randal Rust's Alphabet Soup: A web designer's journey to standards and accessibility describes how one man came to understand markup, css, and accessibility techniques. An informative, enjoyable read, especially for those new to standards.

Yay Lycos! (We Think)

This showed up on a public W3C list back in July and just came across our radar.

Obviously good news if true. I can't find an example deployed anywhere else but Anyone have an update for us?

Browser Upgrades, Netscape Style

Visit Netscape’s homepage using Netscape 4, and you may be asked to download Netscape 7 before proceeding. (You may return to the homepage if you prefer.) Netscape’s homegrown browser upgrade campaign targets Windows users but ignores N4/Mac—possibly because N4/Mac users are already redirected to a combination Netscape/Apple homepage.

It has architecture?

W3C has a Technical Architecture Group (TAG) that's supposed to worry about corner cases and consistency. Last week marked the publication of the TAG's first cut at an overview of the Web's architecture.

It's not light reading, and it doesn't say a thing about design or style or HTML, but those who care about the machinery in the back rooms might want to check it out.

WaSP at Digital-web

Digital Web, a darn fine webcentric pub, has WaSP stuff this issue, including a state-of-the-art Zeldman rant and a nice three-way conversation with Steven Champeon and Shirley Kaiser. Check it out!