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Test your templates with Netscape Navigator

Test your templates with Netscape Navigator
Johnathan Pokress

This tip is excerpted from a presentation by Jonathan Pokress, President of Houston-based Bluenote Consulting Group, Inc.. The presentation is part of "Web Enabling your SAP Systems", a seminar sponsored by SAP Professional Journal. This event is coming to Chicago, Atlanta & San Francisco this summer. For more information and registration visit- http://www.sappro.com/webseminar

When developing an application for Web-enabling your SAP system, or any Web-based application for that matter, it is very important to identify the browsers you intend to support. Differences abound between the various vendors and browser versions; some will impact the rendering of your page only, but some, such as the distinctly different event models between Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer may render your site unusable.

A reasonable baseline for Internet applications today is Navigator 4.0 and I.E. 5.0. Beware, however, that Navigator 4.0 has limited functionally, and is *very* picky about syntax. Any missing tags within your page will be rendered quite creatively by Navigator.

For Intranet environments, I generally rejoice when I can target a purely IE5.0+ installed base. IE is generally quite forgiving about minor HTML syntax errors (e.g. missing tags). Developers of Internet applications will not have this luxury, however.

As a strategy for cross-browser development, test all your Web templates with Netscape Navigator 4.0 first (i.e. before Internet Explorer) if you are going to support Navigator. In fact, even if you're only targeting Internet Explorer, you may want to exploit Navigator 4.0's "bugginess" to reveal certain HTML "errors" that would otherwise go unnoticed. This will minimize development headaches and go along way to improving application robustness and upgrade-ability.

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This was last published in May 2001

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