UNITE FOR CHILDREN-- UNICEF

About This Web Site: Browser Compatibility

There is no support for GUI (Graphical User Interface) browsers older than the fifth generation.

In the past, differences in the proprietary DOM (Document Object Models) of the popular Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer browsers (around version 4 and earlier) meant that pages had to be written to suit users of one application or the other. The only way to circumvent the problem was to either develop a different version of a web site to suit the behaviour of each browser or to simply accept the fact that layout was not going to look the same from one browser to another.

Although most manufacturers have been involved with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the development of web standards since its inception in 1994, the common practice of releasing browsers that fail to uniformly support web standards has needlessly fragmented the Web to the detriment of all concerned -- users, organisations, businesses, developers and designers alike.

The problem is becoming less of an issue since most modern browser applications comply to varying degrees with standards set by the W3C. Most of these applications are available for download on the Internet for no extra cost. So the best solution to the issue of browser compatibility -- upgrading to a better, more standards-compliant browser -- is in the hands of the end-user.

The traditional alternative -- production of several different versions of the same web site to accommodate various browser requirements -- tends to strain resources and the risk of variations or omissions of content is high. Many users distrust text-only versions, even when they are well-maintained, because it is too often the case that they are not updated as regularly as they should be.

Popular browsers such as Internet Explorer before version 5.0 and Netscape Navigator before version 6.0 cannot render pages on this web site because of the required xml declaration <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> at the beginning of all documents. Internet Explorer 5.0 will also fail to render these documents on Apple systems.

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