>....So are you suggesting there is no hope for large web design companies,
>(such as the one i work for) that create pages that look different on a
>minority of people's browsers?
As long as you confuse pixels with ink and CRTs for paper, you will not
exploit the medium of the Web to its fullest extent. The strong point of the
web is its ability to deliver content to any hardware/software setup.
During any given week, what percentage of your customer's possible visitors
go away because your insistence on a certain look frustrates their chosen viewing
style (I have certain fonts and colors set, for visibility, graphics off for speed,
and if I can't see your customer's site, they have competitors with more flexible design).
The most popular accessory where I work, and at other local high-tech
is a palm-top computer with a text-only browser. It can show images, but it's
running LYNX for speed because its target market is the busy executive. When
they want pretty pictures, they'll fire up the desktop.
Intel will introduce the "net-ready" automobile that can READ the web to
the driver. Prototype van is already touring the world. Once again, it can't
read some pages because of the vision-oriented design.
There are various devices for the visually impaired (to totally blind) users of
the web - text-enlargers, braille readers, etc. These are also growing in popularity
with persons who have normal vision - they can do one thing and have the software
reading the web page from a minimized window.
CSS, which was planned for inclusion into HTML 2.0 (or 1.x - it's been proposed for
longer than Netscape has had BLINK), give you the best of both worlds: pure structural
HTML for non-visual browsers (readers and Braille converters), no appearance-altering
kluges to get in the way of the search robots and text-only user agents, and the ability
to specify not only appearance, but alternate appearances, for a multitude of user agents.
It's not 100% there, because the browser developers got into a enhancment war over whose
proprietary features were whizziest instead of putting their efforts into supporting the
standards ... however they seem to have seen the light and have >80% compliance with the
CSS standards. Netscape claims their next release will be 100% CSS compliant.