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Delorie aims to be seen by all

Dec 08, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Delorie's helps sites to be viewed by nearly all browsers

While most Web application designers are willing to ignore the minority of the Web browsing population – that is to say, anyone who doesn’t run Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – there are organizations that for one reason or another absolutely must ensure that their Web content is accessible to as near to 100% of browsers as possible.

If you work for one of these organizations then you might want to check out the Web authoring services offered, for free, by Delorie Software (see links below).

Among Delorie’s tools for backward compatibility are the Lynx Viewer and the Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer. The Lynx Viewer shows an approximation of how a given page would be seen by the text-only Lynx browser – you just enter the page’s URL and the tool emulates the presentation and constraints of Lynx.

The Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer is a more extensive attempt to allow you to explore what the consequence of a browser not rendering a specific content type would be which could be the result of an older browser, a browser setting (such as image display switched off), or a corrupted data transfer.

In the Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer you specify the URL of a page to load and select whether images, tables, blink, frames, font, body (bgcolor, link, etc.), center, applet, javascripts, style sheets and marquees are to be shown.

The Search Engine Simulator attempts to show what a search engine would see excluding the META tags. The HTTP Header Viewer and the HTTP Request Viewer display the HTTP request header returned for any given URL and the HTTP request header sent by your browser, respectively.

The site’s final developer’s tool is the Web Page Purifier, which is arguably more of a compatibility analysis tool than the Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer. You give Web Page Purifier a URL and specify which HTML level you want it rendered in (HTML 2.0, HTML 2.0 + Tables, HTML 3.2, HTML 4.0 Transitional, HTML 4.0 Strict, and webtv 1.1). What you get back is how that page looks restricted to that level – the results can be surprising.

And to cap it all, Delorie provides the Perl source for the CGI applications for each tool.

Let me know at if you care about backwards compatibility and if you find tools such as Delorie’s useful.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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