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Appearances...

...are probably fairly primitive in your browser, and if so that browser is very likely Netscape Navigator 4.x. It might not be, of course-- there are after all hundreds of Web browsers running around out there-- but odds are you're on good old NN4.x. And you're probably wondering why this Web site looks like 1993 all over again.

The answer is simple: this site is structured to protect older browsers from the advanced styles used in its design. This isn't a "you don't deserve to see my genius" kind of thing, either. The truth is that some of the styles being hidden from your Web browser are known to cause severe page mangling in NN4.x, and (in rare cases) crash the browser outright. I prefer to avoid crashing the browsers of my visitors, in much the same way I try to avoid punching people who come over to my house. I just feel like it would be impolite to do otherwise.

So, rather than kill your browser or keep the content from being readable, I've set things up so you can see the content. It might not be pretty, but the content is still there for you to read. The obvious rejoinder is, of course, that I could have avoided using those kinds of styles. It's true, I could have done that, but that would have left me with two options:

  1. Have an entire site that looks more or less like this page.
  2. Go back to table-based design.

I did at one time seriously consider the latter, as this site was table-based for much of its life. But it's 2003 as I write this, Netscape 7.x and IE6 are out, Konqueror looks darned good and Opera does too, and frankly it would feel a little silly if someone like me-- someone whose name has been known to appear in sentences that also contain the words "CSS" and "guru"-- had a Web site that didn't make creative use of CSS.

This particular design approach also makes the site highly accessible both to handicapped users and to the Google indexing robot, which in this day and age just seems like a good thing.

So that's the scoop on the site's appearance. I hope you still find the site to be useful and usable. Thanks for your understanding, and I hope you enjoy your travels on the Web!

Eric A. Meyer

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