When I'm surfing the web, I don't like to do anything that I don't have to. It makes for very efficient surfing. If the site requries a plugin, unless I really
want to see it, I don't bother.
Website Blueprints/ pg. 8
CHAPTER 7: COMPATABILITY
Even if your site is great, the best in the world, if your audience can't see it, then what good is it? One important factor for good design is compatability.
Using too many types of new technology can create beautiful, intereactive, stupendous webpages. But if the reader can't use those technologies, then what good is using it? Your reader won't be able to see those wonderful elements you put in.
Even if you put a hyperlink to a website where they can download the browser/plugin that they need, the reader will be so annoyed from installing the thing that they won't even remember your lame old site. Or even worse, they won't even take the time to get the plugin.
By "straight-out" HTML, I mean HTML that has been approved in the W3C standard. Don't include any browser specific tag, such as <blink> or <marquee>. Two reasons: first, both of those tags are just plain ugly (as are many browser specific tags), and secondly, they won't work with any other browser besides the proprietary one; the <blink> tag is only supported by Netscape Navigator, while the <marquee> tag is only supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer.
You really don't need to use advanced plugins for a small webpage; HTML and a bit of dynamic effects will do very nicely. But should you decide to add some extra programming, each type has their own functions.
Pop quiz: What was Java's original name? Answer: Oak. According to urban legend, it was named that when a bored programmer looked out the window. The name didn't stick because there was another language with the name.
With a knowledge of compatability issues, you can save your readers a headache. So how can you do things with just plain ol' HTML. Take a look at a few tips and tricks.