Dynamic 4:s Era

Also with Internet Explorer 4 and Netscape Communicator came Dynamic HTML. A powerful tool for web designers, introducing exciting ideas such as layers and cascading stylesheets, all accessible to scripting through the document object model. But DHTML was also a heavy burden on web designers, since the two browsers' support for it were not identical. Now designers had to make a separate website for IE4, another for NS4 and yet another targetted at people using older browsers OR new browsers running on any of the many new handheld devices and other digiphernalia.

The concept of cross browser scripting was born, meaning difficult and limited programming in the intersection of Netscape supported javascript features and IE jscript.

The newly concieved XML technology seemed to provide a solution. Had webmasters adopted XML as the publishing format of choice, there would be no need to have multiple sites. You just provide a separate XSL template for every different browser or device in which you want to control the appearance of your information.

This was not happening, though. XML has since become extremely popular and useful for different purposes. But it has not become the language of everyday web publishing. Not even XHTML, which is an XML-ization of HTML, has been widely adopted. Rather, XML is the default format for the communication of structured data - everywhere except in web pages!

Next... Fifth generation and beyond