A few of our favourite DHTML sites

The information published in this post is now out-of-date.

—IEBlog Editor, 20 August 2012

Although most of the team does not spell favourite like this, I originally hail from England and occasionally enjoy antagonizing my colleagues with the British spelling. Here are a few sites that we believe are valuable to web developers.

I know many are concerned about the level of CSS support in Internet Explorer and we certainly hope to address some of these issues, in the meantime though there is Dean Edwards excellent work that helps here.

There are lots of great resources out there. Tell us the sites you find most useful for web development in the comments for this blog.

- Dave Massy

Comments (75)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here are a few sites that we (web developers) believe are valuable to IE developers.





  2. Anonymous says:

    If I’m supporting IE, this one can be invaluable during the "why is it doing *that*?" stage:


    And this one stops me from having to pollute my proper CSS with IE specific hacks:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the links DM 🙂 I’ve personally found Peter-Paul Koch’s site to be an invaluable resource when researching cross-browser compatibility issues:


    I too, do advocate firefox, but also recognize IE’s groundbreaking abilities:

    – the first web browser to support retrieving XML documents over HTTP

    – the first web browser to support a flavor of pre-standard HTML DOM and XML DOM, that made sense.

    – the first and only web browser to support XSLT processing

    all this since 1999, with IE5. The fine Moz folks have played catch-up since then as standards matured. Let’s at least be thankful. More good should come from collaboration than antagonism. sheez.

    Now if it wasn’t for those pesky security issues, grargh … Any chance you guys would ever look into yanking out ActiveX support? I’m pushing-it, aren’t I 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    > the first web browser to support retrieving XML documents over HTTP

    Err… every browser ever written supports that. Do you mean the first browser to support doing so from client-side code? Even then, I think the Java and Python browsers beat Internet Explorer there.

    > the first and only web browser to support XSLT processing

    I’m fairly certain Gecko supports this. I remember Internet Explorer was first though, as they followed a draft W3C specification that was subsequently changed, meaning incompatibilities. That’s why they label the W3C drafts with a big "do not use" warning at the top.

    Internet Explorer 3.0 was first with CSS too (Netscape put their energy into JSSS and then tried to catch up by converting CSS to JSSS on the fly – leading to the disastrous Netscape 4.x CSS support). However the first few revisions supported bits and pieces of CSS and did things like treat 1em as 1px. Quite frankly, I’d rather wait and have a 95% complete version than immediately have a 10% complete version that’s going to cause trouble down the line.

    This is a useful site when dealing with CSS deficiencies:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Jim: heh yeah first end-user web browser from client-side code. sheez. As in, as part of an HTML document, you could write and trigger a script that retrieves an XML document over HTTP and store it in an "XML island", which would let you access the retrieved data via XML DOM methods, even though DOM wasn’t quite ready as a spec. You could also trigger XSLT transformations.

    Well, according to this guy: http://builder.com.com/5100-6371-5195655.html you appear to be right, XSLT is supported in Gecko. And I think Dave Hyatt was looking into it for Safari, but I don’t know whether he’s made progress on this.

    Good info on the CSS stuff 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:


    This dhtml editor is great. But there should have been a xhtml tag for this function in every browser like:

    <htmlbox tags-allowed="br,b,image">


  7. Anonymous says:

    No Safari XSLT support quite yet — wouldn’t doubt it may make an entrance in Tiger’s release, but I have not heard anything just yet. There may be some more CSS 3 that would make an entrance though, short of the text-shadow that’s currently available in that browser.

    http://www.dynamicdrive.com is one of my more favorite sites — I credit them with getting me to code properly; and have taught XHTML/HTML/CSS and advanced graphic editing techniques in their forum that is linked http://www.codingforums.com — it’s a good place to get answers from some industry specialists from Accessibility to Javascript to Photoshop.

  8. Anonymous says:

    SiteExperts.com is one of my favorite places for getting quick answers (good developer forums) and some very useful articles (I also beleive it is run by the creator of DHTML).

  9. Anonymous says:


    Some more links on HTML editing in a web page – Clay Shirky has some nice comments (linked)

  10. Anonymous says:

    one of my favorite:


    please do not use IE to browse this, as IE does not render it correctly according to w3c.

    also another good one


    I know there’re words saying IE-SP2 does not promote text/plain to a more dangerous types, but I still didn’t find it’s doing the correct thing.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Dean’s IE7 is really useful but unfortunately tends to slow IE down to the point where it’s generally better to use hacks. Nevertheless I will be using it for future sites I do, hopefully the speed difference will get more users onto faster, more comliant browsers 🙂 Any word on when the next IE rendering engine update will be yet?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Those WebFX menus are quite cool, I must agree. But, why would anyone want to implement a menu system that doesn’t work with all browsers?

    IE has some very nice behaviors, filters, and transitions, and I would love to use them on my sites. Get them (or a similar implementation) adopted as a standard so that other browsers can emulate the same effects, and then it might be practical for us to use them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dean Edwards also has a cool site that adds CSS2 support to IE, as well as Behavior support to Mozilla browsers.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Oops.. sorry, I missed the mention of Dean’s site. However, you may still want to check out the behavior support. Pretty sweet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good to hear that the IE team is looking into improving CSS support. I think a lot of the complaining here will go away if this new open approach actually starts to show some results. Until then, it’s likely to be met with a certain amount of skepticism and/or hostility (and in the more extreme cases, accusations that the lack of standards support is purposeful, to cause vendor lock in). I personally dislike IE, but I keep a close eye on this blog to see if there’s really going to be some change for the better. It’s a pipe dream, I know, but I still hope that one day the web can look like CSS/Edge and csszengarden. Good luck, IE team, with helping that happen.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dave, I think you should stop mentioning enabling PNG transparency in IE using the stupid filter. You’ve received enough critics in your blog after you discuss that in August. Did anyone there comment this is a fantastic way? All the praise I’ve been reading there is that people appreciated that your team were finnally facing this problem, not the way you make it work with the silly IE-only filter. Personally I found less and less websites use those filters because it IS NOT the standard and IS NOT supported in other browsers. Meanwhile, PNG transparency is supported in *ALL* browsers except IE, currently.

  17. Anonymous says:


    nice cross-browser DHTML grid component 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    Interesting Finds this week

  19. Anonymous says:

    Loads of great DHTML here, from games to tools and all things between:


  20. Anonymous says:

    http://rod.rant-on.net <- some cool dhtml doobrees here

  21. Anonymous says:

    Check out some of the amazing stuff I found on this guy’s sites!

    http://www.scottschiller.com and http://www.schillmania.com

  22. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering. For IE in Longhorn, would it be possible to have the renderengine as a separate module that can be updated outside the Security Packs?

    As it’s now, the only patching IE gets it’s through Security Packs.

    If the render engine could be modulised in some way it’d enabled posibillity to do bugpatches and upgrades for the render engine without haing to wait for a Service Pack. At one point the OS won’t get any more service packs because it’s not beeing maintaned anymore, but people might still use it for quite a while. (Still people using Win98 🙁 ).

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thomas, that sort of modularization is already done. It’s how we release security patches for IE.

    And we support IE security patches for platforms that won’t get any more service packs, like Win98. Our last security update, for instance, supports IE on Win 98. See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS04-038.mspx

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s quite funny that you link to Dean Edwards site, it has a button to browsehappy.com on it (a site that promotes the use of any browser other than IE!)

    No doubt Dean created his ‘IE7’ out of frustration because the Microsoft developers didn’t do this themselves. So as part of the IE team you should really be ashamed that other people have to do your jobs for you.

    So do you think you’ll actually have a decent browser ready by the time Firefox 2.0 is released?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Over at IE Blog, Dave Massy lists the team’s favorite DHTML sites. The comment thread contains more site suggestions from readers. I was pleased and suprised to see DynamicDrive is still around and often re-release their more popular scripts to…

  26. Anonymous says:

    I deleted two posts asking for IDN support because posting the same exact comment to two different posts is spam. There was also a similar comment two weeks ago, same IP, different name.

    We hear the request for native IDN support in IE. We’re not going to announce our schedule for supporting it via this blog.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Bruce, what’s the point of this blog if all you do is say "we hear the request for [feature/standard] but we are unable to announce when we’re going to support it"?

    The idea of this blog is to create an open dialog between the IE devs and the public, right? Just like the open source people do, right? But you’re unwilling to talk about future plans! I mean, it’s not going to give your competitors any advantage telling them when you’re going to implement this is it? They’ve already implemented these features and support for the requested standards so telling them when you’re planning to implement it isn’t going to make a difference to them, but it might make a difference to the web developers who have to design for your product.

    Either be open or be closed, just don’t have the pretense of being open.

    Dave Massy, if you’re so fond of real English why is there no UK English version of IE like there is of Firefox?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Dave, if you go back and read our very first post at http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/07/21/190687.aspx, you’ll see:

    "Our goal in this blog is to be a good place, direct from the source, for information about IE. What are we working on? How do we make decisions? Why does some part of IE work the way it does? What keeps us up late at night? What are we thinking of around security, extensibility, and other key areas? Hey, any good tips and tricks?"

    If you go back and read our posts, I think we’ve done a fair job of doing what we said we were going to do.

    I don’t think we’re making a "pretense of being open". We’ve said from day 2 (http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/07/22/192138.aspx) that we’re not going to discuss unannounced features, etc. We’ve maintained that position the entire time. We’ve talked about other things, like SP2 features, our attitude toward backward compatibility, some stuff about our organization, and the like.

    When we (finally) announce more detailed plans for IE, it’s not going to be on the IE blog and it’s certainly not going to be here in the blog comments. Then here on the blog we’ll talk about those plans and features.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This guy practically invented it and continues to innovate beyond comprehension. Proabably for the last 7 or 8 years now.

    Unbelieveable work:


  30. Anonymous says:


    it seems that you are happy to step in and answer developer questions directly in the comments. So, I’ve got a question. How about publishing some information about IE’s rendering engine?

    I’m not asking for an explanation of why certain decisions were made. Instead I would like detailed information on IE’s rendering "quirks". How "layout" affects page flow. How are margins collapsed? Factors that affect the float model etc. With this information developers can at least know the consequences of some of their layout options. If you reveal this kind of information then you will at least belie the recurring idea that this is a closed shop with only approved information slipping out.

    I realise that this is off-topic but I haven’t found a suitable topic to post this question to so far.

  31. Anonymous says:



    90% of the browsers have JS enabled. What DHTML?

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’d be very interested to know what percentage of IE5+ users have disabled javascript. I would think it is a lot less than 10%.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dean, that’s a great subject.

    We have several mechanisms for IE documentation – MSDN API-type documentation, MSDN articles, white papers, and samples. Your question might be a good post, or the basis for a deeper MSDN article.

    One thing you should know is that our resources to apply to these types of tasks are limited, and questions like the ones you just asked are non-trivial to answer fully and accurately.

    Dave Massy has been hard at work improving the state of IE’s docs on MSDN, removing the feeling of staleness, updating for SP2, reviewing it to determine which areas need more content and which should have archiac content removed, that sort of thing. He wrote a post on that a while back that you may have seen (http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2004/11/03/251900.aspx)

    Feedback on MSDN docs can go to MSDN’s feedback center (which admittedly can seem like a black hole, but that’s another subject) or you can always contact me (and thus the IE team) via the contact link above. Comments posted via that page (in fact, all comments on the IE blog) are delivered via email into one of my Outlook folders.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hello Bruce,

    as you posted above:

    >We hear the request for native IDN support in IE.

    >We’re not going to announce our schedule for supporting it via this blog.

    do you have a date when you are going to annonce when you are going to announce native IDN support in IE?



  35. Anonymous says:


    thanks for replying. It would be great if you could provide some of this information via the IE blog. That way developers can ask any follow-up questions they may have. I realise that explaining IE’s rendering engine is not a trivial task. However, explaining "layout" and other Microsoft oddities, would alleviate a lot of development headaches. We’d all love you if you did this! 🙂

  36. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I for one as a web developer would also love to see such information via this blog. Knowing a bit about how IE works inside can really help in developing web sites that work in IE as well as other browsers and eliminate the guesswork I find myself doing while working with IE. In addition, allowing for discussion and answering questions on the mechanics of IE would further help developers understand how to make IE work for them, not the other way around.

    Any information you could provide would be helpful, I’m sure… and I would appreciate it! 🙂

  37. Anonymous says:


  38. Anonymous says:

    Dean’s request is a very good one, and just because you’re resources are limited, should not restrict you from answering questions or posting information that you wouldn’t class as trivial.

    For most developers, I would imagine that their time was also limited and they would benefit from some facts from the source that could help understand why half their page isn’t where it is supposed to be. After all IE is your creation, you guys and gals are responsible for it.

    So are you saying yes it "might be a good post, or the basis for a deeper MSDN article" but don’t expect us to do anything about it because it is non-trivial, but email and contact via our blog anyway? or that there is a great post on the dominating force of the internet updating their docs because they are so old and stale.

    Dean asked a question, is the answer yes or no? As far as I can tell, you answer is maybe, but with more than a strong hint of no, even though you clearly see the importance of the information being made available.

    Please relive our headaches and realise that it is not just the docs that are stale, it is also the product every developer has to code for and more info as to what is actually going on with your product’s rendering would help all developers immensely.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we’ll try to cover Dean’s request for more details about the layout engine. Or is that still maybe?

    I mentioned the MSDN post because that would have been a "suitable topic to post" such a question. I could certainly have been clearer about that.

  40. Anonymous says:

    How about BrainJar.Com

  41. Anonymous says:

    Re: Franz

    Please boot up IE and try again : http://www.dhteumeuleu.com

    Not particularly impressive, apart from the fact that he seems to be acknowledging that IE is an OS in disguise.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Aankhen – I take it you sat there looking at the site expecting something to happen.

    Perhaps tapping your foot and clucking while you waited?

    >not particularly impressive


    Try using your mouse and all of its functions next time, you won’t find it so confusing.

  43. Anonymous says:

    "I take it you sat there looking at the site expecting something to happen.

    Perhaps tapping your foot and clucking while you waited? "

    an IE only site can be a lot of things but certainly not a WEBsite

  44. Anonymous says:

    How strange. It’s the Internet Explorer Blog and the people who run it are discussing their favorite DHTML sites. Not websites, not construction sites, and definitely not eye sites. Where exactly do you see the word WEBsite?

    And where exactly do you see Firefox in this sentence: "IEBlog the Microsoft Internet Explorer Weblog" Perhaps what you’re really upset about is that there are no java applets on the site. Is that it? Or maybe pr0n is what you’re really after. Or more than likely goofy little pictures of dinosaurs?

    IE Blog + DHTML + SITE = "Not particularly impressive,an IE only site can be a lot of things but certainly not a WEBsite"

    Let’s try to stretch it even further guys, that way it will snap and whip back and sting a clue into face.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Is there a DHTML trick for making blogs with flat comments nested? It would be useful when there are a lot of comments, I often find it difficult to follow the thread of conversation.

  46. Anonymous says:

    One oddball but very valid note I’d like to leave is that the extra features such as cursor url and scrollbar css enhancements should have some sort of W3 validation and Firefox passover… IE should have a way of obtaining this code without breaking standards… sort of an under the table way of letting us use those enhancements without W3 and others crying Quirks. 😉

  47. Anonymous says:

    Franz, thank you for stating that your conception of a DHTML site is something that is designed specifically to only run on IE and not follow common standards. I hadn’t noticed that this site you like so much was in fact the extension of a controlled extranet, there is probably a security hole somewhere since I was able to connect to dhteumeuleu through the web with a non microsoft UA (actually too, firefox and Opera). Fortunately, most DHTML developpers now live in the 21st century and make cross-browser javascript.

  48. Anonymous says:

    What’s this dhteumeuleu.com? It doesn’t work in FF or Opera, so I presume it’s not a website at all.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Dear Sirs,

    It seams that when IE encounters inline script that it reconizes as being VBS, it automatically changes the default language to VBS and, therefore, eventually even display syntax error messages when later find another inline script wrote in JS ( which then requires — in cases where the syntatic elements are stranges to the VBScript, as ";", parameters enclosed in parentheses; etc — the property "language=javascript" to be correctly read ).

    Why this occur?…


  50. Anonymous says:

    Hi Markus,

    The script element as documented at http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/author/dhtml/reference/objects/script.asp will assume the specified language for all subsequent script entries in the page unless an alternative language is specified. So if you specify VBScript at the start of a page then VBScript will be the language for all subsequent script entries unless an alternative language such as JScript is set.

    Hope that helps. If that isn’t quite what you mean maybe you can point to an example.



  51. Anonymous says:

    In fact, I’m talking about "inline script", which is placed in a object inside the body. Example:


    <script language="jscript">

    <script language="vbscript">




    <span onclick="vbsFuncA()"></span>

    <span onclick="jsFuncA([param])"></span>

    <span onclick="jsFuncA(); jsFuncB()"></span>


    In the first SPAN ( where there is a poiter to a vbs procedure ) it’s impossible determine exactly what is the language: it can be VBS or JS ( and JS is the default, right? ). But, in the second, IE displays something like "It is not possible to include parentheses in a Sub Call", what mean that it treated the inline script as being VBS. In the third SPAN, IE would display "Error Sintax: invalid character ‘;’", again treating the script as VBS.

    Sorry my English…


  52. Anonymous says:

    Dave, does Internet Explorer honour the Content-Script-Type HTTP header and meta element as described in the HTML 4.01 specification?


  53. Anonymous says:

    Hi Markus,

    This is expected behavior for the script element at The script element as documented at http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/author/dhtml/reference/objects/script.asp

    Because the previous script declaration was for VBScript that language is assumed for all subsequent script in the page. As a result the JS syntax is rejected as it is hooked up to the Visual Basic Script engine. If you wish to mix two scripting languages in the same page then it is advisable to be specific with declarations for the language being used or this type of confusion will result.

    Jim, I believe we do the same as other browsers I’ve tried and ignore the metatag specified.



  54. Anonymous says:

    Pascal, my final word. Before knocking a site, go there. May I suggest you and your friends, block your noses, squint and with one hand over your face, launch IE6 and visit the site, failing that go to your less than clooood up friend’s house and view the site on his machine. Wear latext gloves if you must but do view the site in its entirety and then come back to me and state it is a shitty site. If you appreciate art in any form, you’ll appreciate this site, if you don’t then that’s your loss and no one can help you.

  55. Anonymous says:

    It’s not just CSS that IE does badly. There are times that it doesn’t seem to adhere to any standard at all. I had a site recently that contained a form with multipart/form-data encoding and a ISO-8859 charset. In that form there was a textarea, if the user types in any non-8859 characters, such as a euro symbol IE would send back a malformed post to the server – the first field was completely missing the boundary header. Unsurprisingly, the form worked in firefox, opera et al. I realise that the charset should have been set to UTF-8, but I find it very odd that IE would screw up the request so badly and that I couldn’t find any information on this bug from Microsoft…

    Sorry by the way… I accidently posted this to the wrong thread earlier. Maybe tabbed browsers aren’t so great sometimes??!

  56. Anonymous says:


    > Jim, I believe we do the same as other browsers I’ve tried and ignore the metatag specified.

    It’s much less of an issue in the other prominent browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera, Safari), as they only support a single scripting language.

    It’s an acknowledged bug in Mozilla:


    Is it an open issue in your own bug database? Any progress on the suggestion for a public bugzilla for Internet Explorer that was made a while back?

    I assume what you say about the meta element also applies to the HTTP header?


    > Before knocking a site, go there.

    If you had paid a little more attention, you would have noticed that he *did* go there. In multiple browsers. And it was broken in all of them. That’s hardly a high-quality DHTML site, is it?

  57. Anonymous says:

    Boy you people are dense. Had you, Jim paid attention, this is the IE blog discussing IE dhtml sites. I have submitted what I consider to be the best dhtml site on the planet. I strongly believe I submitted this site to the "IE blog discussing IE dhtml sites". Not the Mozilla blog. Nor the Opera news groups.

    If anyone is capable of creating dhtml that is better than what this site offers, I’ll give them a big kiss!

    What numbskull then goes with Opera, Mozilla, Firefox, Lynx and complains it doesn’t work.

    I repeat muster up the courage to launch IE6 and go to the site and reviewing its offerings in its entirety, then come back here and complain. Otherwise no one is interested if you still complain that you telneted to the site and found the dhtml didn’t work for you.

    Grab a clue people otherwise keep your stupid yaps shut.

  58. Anonymous says:

    > Had you, Jim paid attention, this is the IE blog discussing IE dhtml sites.

    DHTML is not Internet Explorer only. Nowhere in Dave’s post is it suggested that we would be talking about Internet Explorer only DHTML sites, if you follow the links, they all work in other browsers. In fact, it’s repeatedly mentioned that we should post what is useful for web developers, not Internet Explorer developers. You are the only one equating DHTML with Internet Explorer, and it seems you are only doing so because the site you are promoting is Internet Explorer only.

    > If anyone is capable of creating dhtml that is better than what this site offers, I’ll give them a big kiss!

    No thanks :). But practically any DHTML is better than what that site offers, because most people don’t want their sites to break for lots of people.

    > What numbskull then goes with Opera, Mozilla, Firefox, Lynx and complains it doesn’t work.

    A person that assumes "DHTML" means "DHTML" and not "Internet Explorer only DHTML".

    > I repeat muster up the courage to launch IE6

    I don’t view untrusted documents in Internet Explorer if I can help it. Plus it’s a pain to boot up Windows just to view one website.

    Perhaps if you told us what was so great about it, you might find a few more people willing to check it out.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Jim, I suggest that it is quite a far stretch for you to suggest that the IE Team on the IE Team blog is indicating their preferred DHTML sites in order for web developers to learn and benefit to ensure that Opera and Firefox work on the web developer’s site.

    I’m assuming that reference to DHTML from the IE developers on their IE blog is in reference to the usage in their browser and not anyone else’s. Of course I could be wrong but what do I know.

    BTW – quick checking of one the linked site’s demo reveals:

    function writeNotSupported() {

    if ( !ie55 ) {

    document.write( "<p class="warning">" +

    "This script only works in Internet Explorer 5.5" +

    " or greater for Windows</p>" );


    confirms to me that the links or the dhtml content therein does not work on all browsers as you claim. As does the site I recommend inform you at the front door it cannot be used without IE, it is not as if the author breaks anything, he politely informs you what is going on.

    Really, it is difficult to explain but if you want to see the power of DHTML in IE for all its worth, go to the site yourself and even go so far as to port it all to other browsers if you can, but kindly do me and everyone else the courtesy and stop pretending that you don’t know what I mean.

  60. Anonymous says:

    FYI – I deleted some spam posts.

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