What is your favorite source of information on various browsers?

As you might have noticed, we are now shipping intellisense/validation schemas for XHTML and HTML 4.0. It is easy to obtain information for standard schemas from the W3C Web site. However, with specific browsers it is more difficult. What is your favorite source of browser information? Blooberry? O'Reilly books? MSDN? Netscape DevCenter? Netscape seems to have pulled information on Navigator 4 from their website though...

Or do you think it is sufficient to simply target XHTML Strict? Did you see many incompatibilities between modern browsers in the XHTML support? How do you figure out what works in IE6, NN7, Opera and Safari? How's about CSS support? Is CSS1, CSS2, CSS2.1 and CSS-IE6 enough or should we add more browser-specific schemas? How's about JavaScript? Should we target W3C DOM (DOM1? DOM2? DOM3?). Currently we provide linked triplets such as XHTML Transitional (markup) + CSS2.1 (inline styles) + W3C DOM1 (javascript). Shall we provide a way to choose each of them separately? If no, which is a good set of combinations?

We would like to make our schemas better so pointers to reliable sources of information as well as general feedback are very appreciated.

Comments (10)
  1. Oleg says:

    So you make schemas better and keep IE outdated. What’s the point ? Bring IE up to the right standards and then come back and talk to us about schemas…

  2. Phil Scott says:

    Personally, if I was the king of all geeks I’d just target CSS1, CSS2 and tell the IE team to get their ass in gear and support CSS2 fully and fix all their bugs. But that’s not going to happen. So what I’d be tempted to do is have a drop down with: CSS1, CSS2, IE5 CSS2, IE6 CSS2.

    As for a chart or something, this isn’t all that bad for figuring out what browser can do what: http://www.westciv.com/style_master/academy/browser_support/index.html

    XHTML is a different story. If a browser says they do XHTML, well, they better do it right. One of the purposes of XHTML Strict is having markup that isn’t browser specific (or at least only works in some browsers)

  3. David Maier says:

    Yes, I like the MSDN too.

    I really wish every page didn’t HAVE to have those damn frames though 🙁

  4. MSDN Library works extremely well for IE, though I rarely use the Web site — I prefer having it installed locally. Devedge works well for Netscape. As for the rest, it’s Google.

    For the "Mort" persona, you probably realize that a lot of the code will be pasted from the "cookbook" resources, such as alistapart.com. In these cases, validation may cause more confusion and frustration than anything — your user uses your tool to quickly slap together some pages and validation is not an issue.

    Now, there’s a lot to discuss on whether you should let your users to get away with creating stinky code, but that’s another story.

  5. Mikhail Arkhipov (MSFT) says:

    I don’t own IE so I can’t comment on what will and will not get fixed, sorry.

    The question, I guess, is if people need schemas for specific browsers such as NN7 or Safari of XHTML schema is enough.

  6. Phil Scott says:

    I feel that if a specific schema for XHTML is needed for Safari, NN7 or Opera, they’ve got a bug in their XHTML immplementation and they need to fix it.

  7. Yes, but how soon is it going to happen? Meanwhile you have to make you web page work…

  8. How soon? It is impossible to say but keep in mind that, unlike IE, most browser are being actively improved and newer, better builds are released a LOT more frequently than IE. And, not only that, but with every browser besides IE, you can assume that it WILL be fixed.

    With IE, we have to make this choice: do we assume IE will never be fixed (I’m leaning this way) and we write for IE instead of W3C or do we assume that IE will eventually be fixed and we write for W3C instead of IE.

  9. I used to get info about browsers from http://browsers.evolt.org/ (there are lots of articles on the issue on this site). IMHO, it is enough for VS to support IE and Mozilla only. Netscape is outdated and is based now on Mozilla several versions ago. Opera is based basically on IE old versions speaking about rendering. BTW, Mozilla rendering development is coming towards IE rendering and looks now very much alike. The common opinion is that IE does not support CSS2 well, but it is not true, though there are several issues such as min/max-width. Concerning schemas I think it is sufficient what you do now in this area.

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