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Just One Question for Glenn Davis
Dec 31, 1997 :: Michael Sippey

Glenn Davis invented "Cool Site of the Day," and is now spearheading Project Cool, a website for webheads that offers tutorials on whiz-bang stuff like cascading style sheets and dynamic HTML.

With all the recent handwringing over Disney's decision to build a site that only works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0, I thought it would be interesting to find out what the Web's progenitor of "Cool" thinks about browser-specific sites...

MS: Under what circumstances would it make sense to develop an IE- or Netscape-only site for a client?

DAVIS: Why such an easy question?

There are several possible answers to this one.

First: When your audience is composed of that browser user. This is likely to happen in an Intranet scenario more often than an Internet one. This response really boils down to "Know your Audience." That, perhaps, is the most important rule in web publishing.

Second: When you just can't do something in the other browsers. Face it -- there are, for example, things that IE can do that Netscape can't. DataBinding (doing real time manipulation and display of a database) would be an example. If you needed that capability in your site then designing for IE would be the only way to get it. Sure it limits your audience but then this ties back into the first example.

Third: When you just wanna suck up to BrowserX Manufacturer. Some people will do anything for a prime link and designing a good Netscape or IE centric site can win you one of those most sought after positions. These people often don't care about their audience.



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