These projects are retired. The development has stopped and we don't provide support for them anymore.

Chapter 1. Purpose, or how it got started

Initially we were trying to develop websites using the official specifications from the browser vendors and standardization organizations. When designs grew more complicated and versalite we gradually also grew more frustrated and displeased with the available options.

Being annoyed

This emerging annoyance about the current situation of standards, conformance and compatibility in the web development world made us analyze what issues had to be resolved before the development became more comfortable and pleasant again.

Visiting the DOMs

Everybody who has tried to design documents using Dynamic HTML [1]has certainly been annoyed by the differences in implementation amongst browsers. Over the years, a large number of proprietary functions have been designed. This makes it very difficult to create fully functioning websites, using state-of-the-art functionalities and remaining compatible amongst browsers.

Since the release of formal specifications for DOM[2] , CSS[3] and EcmaScript a light has been shining at the end of the tunnel and recently each vendor has shipped a version of their browser that implements those standards to certain degrees. However, without 100% conformance to the specifications, all this isn't much use since keeping track of all the little differences and variations still makes the web designer's task tedious as hell. Sadly also, we're probably still stuck with version four browsers until 2003[4].

Pleasing the public

When developing a public site, one should not forget that many visitors use different browsers and that new browser releases will appear in the future. Ideally a site should be consultable on every single one of them, otherwise valuable visitors are lost. However, since the DOMs are incompatible, it is a tedious task to develop and keep the information up to date in all versions of the same site.

Extending the toolkit

DHTML is a very nice technology and provides the foundation of a powerful design medium. The functions that interact with the underlying technology are however not versalite enough to be able to develop pixel-perfect designs that automatically adapt themselves to different resolutions by effectively using the available space in the browser-window (and thus don't leave the right hand side blank and unused).

Notes

[1]

DHTML from now on

[2]

Document Object Model

[3]

Cascading Stylesheets

[4]

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990418.html