Chapter 5: Coding and Browsers
"What you code is not always what you get"
Visitors to your web site see finished web pages. What the browser "sees," however, is just the HTML code. Thus, each time the when a browser is pointed to the URL for your page, it actually creates the page "from scratch" using as its guide the HTML code you have written. What is rendered on the screen may not be exactly what you intended. The type of browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL), the version of the browser, the operating system (Windows, Mac OS), the browser window size, and any preferences set by the visitor all can make a difference in how the page is actually rendered. A good discussion of these and other constraints on web page design can be found at www.lava.net/~dewilson/web/thumb.html.
For a sample of the impact of one of these elements, browser window size, follow this link to the Big Nose Bird site. The link takes you to a discussion of gif and JPG formats. Resize your viewing window so that it is rather narrow, as it might be on a 14" monitor. Next, scroll about one-third of the way down the page. There you will see two pictures, one stacked on top of the other. The text below the pictures, however, refers to "the picture on the left" and "the picture on the right." What's going on here?
Resize your viewing window to make it wider. You will find that you have to move the right margin of your viewing window as far to the right as you can before the two pictures are displayed side-by-side.
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