JavaScript Section - 2002

The history of the old JavaScript Section, 2002. I disabled the internal links since they reflect the old site structure.

19 December 2002: Again for my Dutch readers: Jaaroverzicht 2002 op Naar Voren

16 December 2002: Some minor updates:
A new Explorer 5.0 Windows bug: an absolute layer inside a relative one is positioned wrongly. See the Test page for more information.

A reader sent me a solution to an Explorer 5.1 Mac problem. When writing to the innerHTML of an element that already has some innerHTML, the element's width and height are stretched considerably. Solution: first make the innerHTML empty, then write the new value. See the Writing into layers page for a practical example.

Another minor Explorer 5 Mac point: when you try to find the position of an element with padding, this padding is incorrectly added to the offset.

4 December 2002: For my Dutch readers: artikel in NetProfessional: "Geef de gebruiker meer controle", over de W3C DOM.

27 November 2002: Fourth "Keep it Simple" column: Simplicity vs. innovation.

19 November 2002: In my opinion the W3C DOM will radically change the way users will interact with a site. We can now write scripts that will allow the user to completely modify the site according to his desires.
I explain the theory in my What shall we do with the W3C DOM? article on Evolt. People who'd like a practical example should study the new Extending forms script.

18 November 2002: Opera 7! Definitely, Opera 7! A beta has been released and it supports the W3C DOM. No problems found yet (which doesn't mean they don't exist). Read the full report.
Over on the CSS2 Tests site it has entered the lists even above Mozilla with 41.5 out of a possible total of 45 points.

Added a test script to see which method of writing large amounts of content into a page is fastest. I use some pure W3C DOM scripts and some scripts that mess with innerHTML.
Conclusion: innerHTML with string concatenation is the best cross-browser way, even though it is slow in Opera 7.

12 November 2002: I've been interviewed for the first time in my life. By Carole Guevin, Netdiver.
Of course I completely forgot to mention my third Keep it Simple column: Client Centered Design.
New reasons why doctypes are bad, especially in Explorer 6.

30 October 2002: New article at AppleDev: CSS Bugs in Internet Explorer 5 on Mac.
If you're looking for new stuff on this site, see the Version 5 Browsers page. I update it regularly.

28 September 2002: At the moment this site is quiet. I'm updating browser notes and specific scripts where necessary, but I have no immediate plans for adding new pages.
The reason is that I quit my job at Valkieser Web Solutions and as from last Monday I'm a freelance web developer, operating only on the Dutch market for the moment. Great fun, but actually getting some work takes lots of time, time I can't spand on any of my sites.
To earn more money, I'm also slowly turning into a professional writer. For this reason I added a Publications page which contains all my writing from 1997 onwards. If you know of any commercial writing gigs I could do, please mail me.
As a proof of my writing, read my second "Keep it Simple" column over on Digital Web Magazine: Fluid Thinking.

17 September 2002: Over on my CSS2 Tests site: how to switch box models in Mozilla and attention for the outline property and display: marker.

11 September 2002: For your hacking pleasure: a brand new and very nasty Explorer security bug. Works only in 5.5 and up on Windows, but that's quite bad enough.

3 September 2002: Of course I forgot to mention that I write a column on Digital Web Magazine since last week. It's called "Keep it Simple" and a new one will appear each month.
Shirley Kaiser used my column as a starting point for some observations of her own. Interesting read.

31 August 2002: Solved a persistent CSS bug in Explorer 5 on Mac. Each absolutely positioned element turns out to have a secret extra margin of 15 pixels. See my test page for the code to get rid of it.
Unrelated fact: Mozilla 1.1 on Mac doesn't support resizeTo().

2 August 2002: Holiday. I'll be absent a lot in the coming three weeks. I will occasionally return home, but don't count too much on a quick answer to your mails. Expect me to reply somewhere around 24 August.

27 July 2002: Came across a trick to close windows that aren't opened by JavaScript in Explorer. Theoretically this should be impossible due to security but it turns out that you have to trick Explorer into thinking the window has an opener.

20 July 2002: Added a page about use of the this keyword in event handling.

18 July 2002: Major update of the Explorer 5 Mac bug list. I also made this browser a separate entry, since it has little to do with Explorer 5 Windows.

23 June 2002: The article summarizing my doctype research has appeared on Evolt.

18 June 2002: Added a results page of my research into properties of document.body, document.documentElement and doctype switching in Explorer 6. For the moment the page only contains the raw data, an article summarizing the experiment is coming up.

17 June 2002: And Mozilla 1.1 Alpha. Updated the Netscape 6 bug list. How many releases can Mozilla squeeze into one month?

6 June 2002: Studied Mozilla 1.0 final. It seems to be pretty much OK, I didn’t find any bugs. Made some slight changes in the Netscape 6 description. This description needs some updating, not least because AOL in its infinite wisdom now suddenly calls it Netscape 7. Don’t let it confuse you: the new Mozilla/Netscape/whatever-you-want-to-call-it seems to be ready for actual use.

3 June 2002: Added the Mouse events page.

23 May 2002: Added a page about Iframes.

16 May 2002: Added the Event order page. I added the Event properties weeks ago but didn’t send out the news (I’ve been very busy and didn’t have the time or energy to update this site).

20 April 2002: Added two new Events pages: Advanced models about the W3C and Microsoft event registration models, and the Event accessing page.
Also rewrote a large part of the General introduction.

16 April 2002: A special report about the worst problem I encountered in my Events research has appeared on Evolt: Mission Impossible - mouse position. A cross-browser script for finding the mouse coordinates during an event must necessarily use a browser detect, something I truly loathe. The problem is, believe it or not, that Explorer correctly follows the standard.

If you like this site and want to do something to thank me for my years of JavaScript research and publication, please link to this article (at

5 April 2002: Added a page about the basics of communication between ActionScript and JavaScript.

7 April 2002: Added two Events pages: one about the events themselves and one about the very important traditional event registration model that works in all Version 4 and higher browsers.

5 April 2002: Added a page about the basics of communication between ActionScript and JavaScript.

1 April 2002: Started to publish my Introduction to Events. As yet it consists of three pages: the general Introduction to events which mainly deals with browser compatibility problems and how to solve them, the Event compatibility tables which give the details of the compatibility problems, and the Early event handlers page where I describe the oldest way of registering event handlers. More pages to follow.

20 March 2002: Finally. After the longest silence in the history of this site I have lots of news.

First of all I changed jobs. For the past three years I have worked as head of Client Side Programming of Netlinq Framfab, but at the end of February I quit this job. For the past three days I have been CTO of Valkieser Web Solutions, an as yet small website agency that’s part of a far larger company.

For you, reader of this site, this matters in one important respect. I have to re–create the browser test environment I had at Netlinq and there are some problems.
First of all I don’t have a Linux test computer at the moment so my Konqueror research is stalled. This will be solved later.
A worse problem is that I have not been able to install Explorer 3 on my new Windows computer. the problem appears to be that this computer runs Windows 98 instead of the Windows NT 4 that I succesfully installed this browser on twice (next to 4 and 5). I’m afraid I cannot offer Explorer 3 compatibility information any more, unless a reader has this browser available and is willing to do some tests now and then.
the flip side is that Valkieser is very Mac–minded so I didn’t have trouble at all installing OS X next to OS 9, which means I can once again accurately report Omniweb compatibility. For starters I studied 4.1 beta.

I updated the Object detection (formerly Support Detection) and Browser detect pages. No real new content, merely some edits that make these pages clearer.

You may have noticed the gap of three weeks between my quitting at Netlinq and starting at Valkieser. I have not been idle during that time, I wrote an Introduction to Events, which is not yet available.
However, to get in the mood you can study the new mouseover script that uses modern techniques to script an ancient effect.

Here I changed jobs.

29 January 2002: Busy, busy. Apart from some professional stuff that I'll explain later, I'm also working on the last of the Great Introductions. It'll take me at least another week to finish it, maybe longer.
I have founded an announcement list to which in the future I will send short messages when this site is updated.

13 January 2002: Had a brilliant, yet very simple, idea that makes the Find position script much easier. See the page for details.

12 January 2002: First time I ever heard of a JavaScript virus. Frankly, I doubt the story (not the virus) because normal JavaScript simply cannot do the things described on this page. I suspect it goes through Explorer-on-Windows add-ons like document.execCommand() and such, which strictly speaking makes the virus JScript, not JavaScript.
Unfortunately browser compatibility information is missing from the report, so I'd like to study the virus for myself. If anyone could send me a 'tamed' version of the virus, I'd be grateful. (And no, I don't use Outlook or mIRC so I should be safe).

No one reacted to my request above, so if you still have a copy, please send it.

3 January 2002: Finally: Browser time! I discovered a brand new one and it even supports the W3C DOM better than Konqueror: the Ice Storm browser.

I decided to examine a lot of browsers I haven't had time for at the end of last year: Mozilla 0.9.7 (with some bad bugs!), Explorer 5.1 on Mac (little change) Opera 6 for Windows and Linux and Opera 5b5 on Mac (some change for the good), Konqueror 2.2.2 (good, but one new bug) iCab Preview 2.6 (little change) and finally WebTV Viewer 2.6 (which I assume reflects changes in the real WebTV, some things have changed).

Of course I updated compatibility info wherever necessary (and it took me 2 days). Happy browsing.