Documents with impact so low that up to 1/6 of potential viewers may receive something unreadable!

[]This document describes how to create low-impact documents for use with the Netscrape Navigator and other browsers (the documents may be so low-impact that other browsers may see nothing at all!). The concentration is on features of Netscrape Navigator that allow document authors to significantly control layout of their pages, however contrary this may be to web philosophy and multi-platform compatibility. Browser compatibility issues are dealt with in several places.


Some bullies on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html may urge you to provide alternate markup for those using non-graphical browsers or those with image loading off. Ignore them. If they aren't browsing with Netscape, simply provide conspicuous logos text telling them to download Netscape 3.0 now! After all, there aren't nearly enough people spreading the word about Netscape.

This will also weed out those pesky Lynx viewers; after all, who cares about them anyways?

Another alternative, and the one preferred by David Siegel, is to use cryptic ALT text to confuse your users; for example, on David Siegel's starting page, all four pictures/links have the alt text CASBAH. We at Netscrape like this approach, and urge you to get in the habit of using words that have little to do with the actual image. We recommend the following words: SPAGHETTI, BRITANNICA, and PEANUTS.

If complaints persist, presumably from crazy Lynx users, simply euphemistically refer to your site as a 'third generation site'. Again, we owe this fantastic approach to David Siegel.


Due to some bugs.. er, features, in Navigator, it's possible to indent paragraphs in Netscrape. Here are three ways we've found people (ab)using HTML to do this.

  1. Use   or  
  2. Use a single pixel GIF
  3. For a block indent, surround the paragraph with <UL></UL>

Some people might argue that using &nbsp; throws off some browsers because there's nothing to indicate that multiple non-breaking spaces, as they're called, shouldn't be collapsed. If you see someone on a newsgroup saying this, simply reply calling by them a purist! This incredible put down will elevate you several notches in the eyes of the newsgroup's readers.

David Siegel favors the second approach, which involves making a single pixel GIF and stretching it using the VSPACE and HSPACE attributes. By doing this, he says, you can control spacing. Of course, for the many NS users browsing with image loading off, all this results in is an ugly logo.

The third method is our favorite; we loved it so much that we included it as part of the second toolbar in Netscrape Gold. It involves telling the browser that what's inside is an unordered list, even though it's really just plain text. Since this is inaccurate markup, browsers have every right to ignore what lies between those tags. Then again, do you really care; everyone's using NS anyway and it looks good on your system!

HTML purists would like you to believe that there's nothing in HTML that prevents paragraphs from being indented; it's the browser manufacturers that choose. This would mean that using any of the methods outlined above might result in an extra indent, looking worse than the paragraph would have with none at all! What we recommend is that everyone use Netscape; once again, we encourage you to place the logos prominently on your page and spread the word!


Good question. This is why Netscrape doesn't support them in Navigator 3.0. Despite our commitment to open standards (see below), we have consistently refused to implement certain things. These include the full table specification, FIG as proposed in the HTML 3.0 spec (that we still 'remain dedicated to') and, of course, Style Sheets.

Basically the purists would like you to believe that Style Sheets will allow you to suggest layout while preserving structural markup. While we can't argue with them on this point, we can put these purists down -- we recommend you do the same if they disagree with you.

As an alternative to style sheets, Netscape is proposing several innovative new tags (read: hacks) like MULTICOL and SPACER. These say absolutely nothing about document structure, but hey, they sure make your page look nice.
As we said before. we support proprietary extensions that have little to do with what should be in an HTML document. After all, the purpose of HTML was to markup structure, not presentation. However, since everyone's using Netscrape Navigator anyway with your software settings and your hardware, who cares what the original purpose was?
Since you want your web pages to look good, you'll want to use our excellent extensions that allow you to markup how your pages will look. David Siegel has done an excellent job with this; he recommends the following.

Never use the standard HTML constructs. Instead of <P>, use two <BR>s. While this may not collapse on some browsers, and thus leave little space at all in your document, it is still quite useful as it catches the eye either way. Instead of <H1>, use <FONT SIZE=+3>. This will, of course, render your documents virtually unreadable on earlier browsers; the solution is, of course, to continually assault your viewers with Netscape now logos!

Occasionally you'll receive a letter from someone who is having trouble viewing your page. Just put them down! If an irate HTML purist e-mails you saying that you've missed the point, send them back a nasty letter telling them to get a real browser. Rest easily knowing that the inaccessibility of your site will only lead to more curiosity regarding it and consequently more visits.

I s n ' t this great? Now, with the new attributes to the FONT tag, you can even display text in colors and fonts of your choice. Of course, if the user doesn't have the font in question, it doesn't work out quite as nicely...

Again, irate HTML purists may say that you aren't producing platform independent code. Follow the usual procedure and send them slanderous e-mail. Ignore any documents they may have from the W3C or any arguments they may make. Ignore the fact that W3C documents specifically say that HTML should not control these things!


Netscrape remains committed to open standards. While one may examine our actions and find little or no evidence, we say we are (would we lie to you?). Besides, we have a whole page with questions about open standards and our commitment. Here's an important question and the answer taken from that document's conclusion.

Q: Someone said that Netscrape is proprietary or is creating closed systems. Why shouldn't I believe them?
Fundamentally, we are an open standards company in an open standards market. Deviation from that path would violate the fundamental commitment we make to all our current and future customers to support open standards and work within the open standards process.

[ The page and the above excerpt actually exist; you can find it at http://home.net scape.com/newsref/std/standards_qa.html ]

In layman's terms, you shouldn't think we're lying to you because if we were, we'd be lying. This conclusive reasoning should settle the debate once and for all.

You can find further proof of our commitment and our dedication to the HTML 3.0 spec by looking at our proposed HTML 3.0 extensions page. While there, you'll see that we loved the proposed specification so much that even though most of the tags were already in the proposed HTML 3.0 draft ( <BIG>, <SMALL>, <DIV>, <SUP> and <SUB>), we decided to list them as our extensions for no apparent reason whatsoever!


This parody is Copyright © 1996, Paul Pollack