Critters Writing

A Tale of 2 Monsters Part 1: From the Legends

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Who is there that doesn’t love a monster?

What is a monster? One could say it is any creature bent on damage or destruction. This definition would then force us to include people in the category of “monster”.

However, when I think of “monsters” I think of the creatures of legends and tales, from the books and movies, and I think of the creatures that have entertained me for years. A definition of “monster” that I particularly like is from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary1:

Something of unnatural size, shape, or quality; a prodigy; an enormity; a marvel.

A marvel. That fits so well. We marvel at the unknown, we marvel at what may be around the door, under the water, out in space. With this definition, instead of a monster being something to fear, it becomes something that is really… marvelous.

This four-part Dynamic Earth article covers two famous monsters, the Loch Ness Monster and the giant squid: one creature known to be real, the other considered more myth than monster, depending on who you talk to.

Part One of the article focuses on what makes a monster, including an overview on what makes a legend, such as the tale of the great kraken, half octopus and half crab and large enough to destroy ships. Part Two then takes us from the realm of folklore to the realm of science, and discusses the controversial study of cryptozoology: the field of study devoted to investigating the possibility of the existence of animals from legends and folk lore.

Parts Three and Four then concentrate on the two stars of the article: the Loch Ness Monster and the giant squid. Both true marvels. Both true monsters.

The Monsters

Though covered in more detail in parts three and four of this article, I did want to talk briefly about Nessie and the giant squid, specifically as they relate to our topic of legends and legendary beasts.

The giant squid could originally be termed a cryptid — an animal based purely in legends and folk tales — but scientists now have physical evidence of these creatures, including entire specimens. Based on this, one would assume that the giant squid now fits comfortably within the more traditional sciences such as zoology and marine biology.

However, there is still much about giant squids that is unknown, including the size they can reach. General supposition is that the giant squid reaches up to 60 feet in length, weighing in within the 1-2 ton range. Nevertheless, eyewitness accounts of the giant squid have put it at sizes longer than 100 feet! Not only that, but the behavior of the giant squid is also based more in rumor and in legend than in scientific observation, with stories of these creatures attacking people in the water, as well as attacking whales and boats. Because little is known about squid behavior outside of these legends, the giant squid still maintains a foot, or should I say tentacle within the field of cryptozoology.

Studies of the Loch Ness Monster — or Nessie as it is affectionately termed — live solely in the realm of cryptozoology as there is no actual physical evidence of Nessie outside of some highly contested radar and other images in addition to eyewitness accounts. However, the eyewitness accounts of Nessie are numerous, the tales of Nessie have been told for years, and there is no direct physical evidence that Nessie does not exist. So the creature lives firmly entrenched in cryptozoology and not mythology as some would feel to be more appropriate.

Both Nessie and the giant squid are monsters in the truest sense. Both are large, much larger than people, both inhabit the world of water which is still foreign to most of us, and both are heroes of tales from throughout the centuries.

Tales of Monsters

We love to be frightened. We love scary movies, and ghost stories, and legends about evil beings, and movies with big monsters and aliens and other things that go bump in the night. Or day for that matter.

Does the best selling author of our time write books about romance or suburban angst? No, the best selling author is Stephen King, whose genre tends to be focused on horror. Is the favorite ride at an amusement park the merry-go-round? No, the favorite ride is most likely the roller coaster — the bigger, faster, higher, and the scarier, the better.

So, what scares us most of all? At least in that pleasant, shivery way we all seem to crave?

If you’re thinking a person wearing a mask, carrying an axe dripping with gore, you forget that I mentioned “pleasant, shivery”, not “grossed out and tense”. No, for the fun type of scare only one thing will do, and that thing is monsters. Preferably big ones that don’t stay in their own habitat but leave the water (ice, sky, ground, space) and come stomping with big oversize feet right at you. Well, not at you specifically, but the hero of the movie or book or story you are currently enjoying, the person who we can identify with because we are so caught up in said book, movie, or story.

How odd that we are frightened of these large creatures when we should be more frightened of the smallest creatures inhabiting the earth. After all, more of us die from disease and sickness caused by insects, bacteria, viruses, and mutated cells than from any other reason.

Very few people die from being *squished* by a large creature ala Godzilla.

Monsters have scared and entertained humanity since we first started drawing pictures of them on cave walls and telling stories about them around campfires. We liked stories of monsters so much, we even created legends about some of them, legends that survive to this day.

The thing about monsters, though, is they are best savored behind a curtain of ignorance. Once a monster is viewed up close, and looked at with the looking glass we call reason, it no longer has the power to scare us and we wonder that it ever did.

Imagine for a moment that you are an ancient sailor, sailing in a small boat about 20 feet or so in length. All of a sudden next to you appears this large behemoth of a creature, of a size that could make splinters of your boat and most likely of yourself.

The behemoth is a whale, a gray whale to be exact. Are you frightened? I’m asking the modern you this question. How can you be frightened of something that you might pay a ton of money to go see in boats as small or even smaller. But to that sailor of long ago — that’s you, too, remember — the whale must seem as a monster sent by the gods themselves to drag you to a watery death.

So you pray to the gods and you ask for salvation and forgiveness from whatever evil you had done to be sent such punishment. Lo and behold, the behemoth slowly moves away! You in this modern day and age know that the whale has moved away because you a) aren’t food, b) aren’t an enemy (yet), and c) aren’t very interesting. But to you the sailor of the past, you know in your heart of hearts that you have been saved by divine intervention.

You also know that you have a real kicker of a story to tell when you get into shore, and a legend is born.

How Legends Begin

What makes a legend? In the previous section we can see how legends are born whenever we are confronted by something outside our experience. However, there are other factors that go into making a legend.

First, many of our earlier events in history were not originally recorded in writing, but were, instead, told verbally, as stories. Sometimes accuracy was maintained…and sometimes the story teller embellished the telling, making the story more interesting to the audience or perhaps more flattering to the story’s subject.

For instance, Alexander the Great was a real person, a key figure in history. We know this is true. However, there are an enormous number of legends about Alexander, of which my favorite is the legend of the Gordian Knot.

The legend of the Gordian Knot is that there existed in the town of Gorium, in the ancient land of Phrygians, an ox cart tied to a post with a knot so complex, with both ends of the knot hidden, that no one person could untie it. Legend also has it that it was foretold that whoever would loose the knot would be conqueror of Asia.

Alexander the Great heard of the legend and decided to take a hand at undoing the Gordian Knot. After looking at it he takes his sword out and cuts it in two, thereby “loosing” the knot with one simple, clean cut. To this day coming up with a simple, clean solution to a supposedly complex and unsolvable problem is known as “cutting the Gordian Knot”.

Alexander the Great was taught by another well-known person of his time: Aristotle. One can’t help wondering what the teacher would have thought of the student’s solution. Would he have admired the innovative approach? Or would he have deplored the loss of a perfectly good rope.

Is the story true? Possibly. Or the story could have been fabricated as a form of propaganda from Alexander in order to provide popular justification for his aggressive tendencies. Regardless of its truth or not, the legend of the Gordian Knot remains to this day.

Another factor in the making of a legend is that humanity has never been especially graceful about admitting a lack of knowledge when faced with a new unknown, and can sometimes come up with the most outrageous explanations of an event or object.

As an example of dealing with an unknown, our earlier ancestors didn’t always have an understanding of planetary orbits, so an eclipse of the sun didn’t occur because the moon’s orbit brought it between the earth and the sun, blocking the view of the sun. No, the eclipse occurred because dragons were eating the sun. To stop these hungry reptiles, these same ancestors pounded on kettles and pots, making noise to chase the monsters away. If you think this is silly, think on this: the noise making worked and the sun did re-appear. Our ancestors may not have understood planetary orbits, but they did understand cause and effect.

The reason why our ancestors assumed dragons were eating the sun, or that gods controlled the weather and the seas is that they knew little about the world around them. Folks in the past didn’t understand that forces deep within the earth were responsible for earthquakes and volcanoes, and that weather was influenced by something such as the temperature of the ocean waters. To them, it would seem as if some external force was responsible for all unexplained events.

Consider some poor sailor in one of the small sailing craft that plied the sea centuries ago. The boat is moving along nicely and passing to one side of an island when all of a sudden, the island seems to be much closer than originally thought. Not only that, but huge teeth and arms seem to be reaching out of the water, grabbing the boat and dashing it into a million pieces.

We understand about things such as currents and lower tides exposing rocky shores, but our earlier ancestors may not have been as aware of such things. To them, it would look as if the island or sea was alive and a monster has suddenly grabbed the boat to tear it apart. If at least one seaman escapes with his life and tells this tale, he plants the idea in other seaman minds and a legend begins to form. Sound silly? Well, the legend of the creature as large as an island is real and the creature is known as the Kraken.


The Kraken


His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep,The Kraken sleepeth

So goes a poem by Lord Tennyson titled The Kraken.

Depending on the source you read, the Kraken is fabled to be the last of the Titans as well as a Norwegian sea monster. It is described as having a thousand tentacles and being a cross somewhere between a crab and an octopus, but on a much larger scale.

The Museum of Natural Mystery 5 includes a reference to an earlier written description provided by a 16th century Norwegian Bishop. This description states that the Kraken is a “floating island”, over 1 1/2 miles wide! Now that would be a monster to see.

Later tales of the Kraken have shrunk the creature down to a more palatable size, but still maintained its ferocity and stories about the creature attacking ships, sometimes pulling the ships under water, have continued even into the 20th century.

Conjecture at this time is that the Kraken may actually have been a giant squid. If this seems farfetched consider that rumors exist that the giant squid can reach lengths of 100 feet or more. If so, a squid this size, weighing a couple of tons, could easily capsize a smaller sailing vessel. Even a squid 60 feet in length, the largest scientifically proven size, would not be something one would want to meet while going for a swim in the moonlight.

The Kraken has all the makings of a truly great monster. It’s large, it lives in the ocean, in the deepest parts of the ocean, and legends say that it has attacked people. Tales of these attacks aren’t frequent enough to become truly intimidating, just enough to give us that pleasant, shivery sensation.

Now if the legends of the Kraken are attributable to the giant squid, we haven’t lost anything in the exposure. So little is known about these creatures that they might as well exist in legend as outside of it. In fact, we are so attracted to the legends about the giant squid that we have made it a star. Or should we say that Jules Verne has made it a star in his classic tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And it is tales such as Verne’s and movies based on these tales that keep legends of monsters of the deep alive today.

Modern Day Legends: The Movies

Considering what was said earlier, that legends sometimes grow out of humanity’s ignorance as well as our fear of the unknown and you can see the basis of many of the old science fiction movies of the 50s. Two common themes dominate these movies: the first is our fear of The Bomb; the second was our fear of what exists in regions hostile to man — the sea and space.

Interest in science grew enormously in the 50’s, especially interest in outer space. The race was on to put the first man into space and we all dreamed of a time when we, humanity, would ride large ships to other stars, preferably uninhabited stars. And that was the contradiction of the times — as much as we wanted to explore the unknown, we were also afraid of what we would find.

So, we had movies such as the extremely well done War of the Worlds6 and the not so well done Plan 9 from Outer Space7. It is a wonder we could sleep at night, our movies had creatures from every corner of the galaxy ready to fly in and wipe us all out.

Even the plants were dangerous.

If you are a serious fan of science fiction then you also had to have seen the original Thing8, with a pre-Gunsmoke James Arness appearing as plant shaped like a man, strong, nasty, barbed, and with a thirst for human blood. This movie was an excellent example of the belief that if it was different, than it had to be evil and out to get us, us being relative. The movie also included subtle digs about scientists and their search for knowledge at the cost of endangering mankind.

The Thing highlighted the ambivalent attitude we had towards science in the 50s. As much as we loved science, we were also a bit frightened of it and those who were its practitioners. After all, if it was science that would send us into space, it was also science that brought us the very real horror of nuclear war.

Not all visitors to the planet had hostile intentions. One of the best movies made during the 50s was the Day that the Earth Stood Still9 , with the alien out to save us from ourselves. Our parents liked the message, we liked the big robot that could zap everyone to ashes.

It was the Bomb and our fear of the Bomb (at least in hands other than our own), that became the second major theme of most sci-fi films of the 50s. We, the general populace, didn’t know exactly what side effects could be generated by this deadly weapon so we made a few up. With a little help from the movie makers, of course. The two most common effects of the Bomb used in movies at that time were common creatures grown to a monstrous size, and extinct animals, primarily dinosaurs, being awaken.

If you grew up in the 50s and 60s, you were exposed to some wonderful movie monsters. By today’s standards the monsters probably seem clumsy and pretty fake, but in that time it seemed to be so simple to suspend your beliefs and let your imagination roam. A special favorite was Them!10, with its full size monster ants. Them! was far superior to another movie of the time called Tarantula11, with its images of real life spiders blown up and superimposed with the movie actors. However, both movies did share a common theme: insects growing to an enormous size because of radiation.

The monsters didn’t just crawl around on the ground. Another of the better movies of the time, It Came from Beneath the Sea12, featured a giant octopus that attacks San Fransciso, courtesy of special effects master Ray Harryhausen. In this movie, the creature surfaces to seemingly try out the munchies on dry land for a change in diet or some such thing. And guess who the munchies, were, hmmm? Just call us Octo-Crunchies!

Another Harryhausen movie, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms13, was about a pre-historic creature that was awakened from a frozen state by the detonation of an atomic bomb in the Arctic. This beastie decided to visit New York, taking in the sites, tearing down a few buildings, noshing on one of New York’s Finest instead of pretzels in the Park.

With many of these movies, the special effects used was the best available, but the real key to the enjoyment of the movies was not the effects so much as it was the suspense, and the ability to generate that pleasant, shivery feeling. Particularly effective was the use of the music. There is a distinctive sound that these old movies used when a creature was approaching our heroes, one that can’t be described but if you hear it, you know it. By providing “hints” of what is about to happen, the film makers built anticipation, but also provided a gentle warning so that the movie viewer was surprised by the appearance of the monster, but not so surprised or startled as to pass from pleasure to discomfort.

Lest you think great monster movies were only created in the 50s, some current movies also have created wonderful monsters. Steve Speilberg’s Jurassic Park is one of the best movies of all time with its incredible effects, excellent story line and adherence to some of the older movie formulas — most specifically by not being too graphic. In addition, as with the 50s movies, man rather than beast is the true culprit, this time the scientists messed with DNA rather than the atom. The end result, though, is pretty much the same — big critter eats smaller critter, smaller critter is us.

Oddly enough, out of all the movies that feature “monsters”, the most plausible movie monster is probably the giant squid from the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea14. Based on the Jules Verne book of the same name, the movie features a giant squid attacking the submarine that is the focus of both the book and the movie.

Though fictional, the squid shown in the movie and discussed in the story is not so large as to actually be outside of reality. Based on folk lore and legend, the giant squid can reach sizes of 100 feet or more. Add to this eyewitness accounts of giant squids attacking submarines and other ships, and you move much closer to fact than fiction with this story.

In fact, Jules Verne himself had heard a story of a giant squid attacking a military ship and based his monster on this story. A case of legend possibly becoming fact, which is as good a lead in as any to Part Two of A Tale of Two Monsters, covering Cryptozoology.


Adding dynamic content for multiple browsers & versions

Originally published in Netscape World May 1997, archived at Wayback Machine

One concern facing all Web developers when Microsoft or Netscape release a new version of Navigator or Internet Explorer is how to incorporate some of the new technologies of the new versions, but still offer Web pages that are readable by older versions of the browser. The developer could consider forcing those people who view their pages use the newer versions of the browser, but this approach limits your audience, something most Web sites want to avoid.

Neither is it feasible for a Web site to limit their pages to those viewable only by one browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer has been steadily gaining market share since the release of IE 3.0. Most Web sites will need to develop content that will work with at least two versions (the current released version, and the version that is in preview release) of each of the major browsers. The good news is that there are techniques to use to enable this cross-browser, cross-version capability. The bad news is that each of the techniques will require additional and, at times, extensive effort.

This article demonstrates two techniques to manage browser and version differences at a Web site. The first uses scripting to determine the type and version of the browser, and re-directs the browser to load a specific page. The second uses scripting and style sheet techniques to generate content, in one page, viewable by different browsers and versions. The article will also detail some rules of thumb to follow when creating a browser friendly Web site.

There is more than one way to re-direct browser input. One tactic is to create a separate Web page for each browser and each browser version that they want to support, and then have a CGI program load the appropriate Web page based on which browser and version is accessing the page. This is not a bad approach, and it works well if you want to support browsers that don’t handle scripting.

A scripting approach based on browser and version, is to trap the onLoad event for the browser page, and re-direct the Web page output to another page. You trap the onLoad event in the <BODY> tag, using the following code:

<BODY onLoad="change_document()">

The change_document function uses the navigator properties of appVersion and appName to find out which brower and version are being used to access the page. This is then used to create a string containing the URL of the re-directed output:

<SCRIPT Language="JavaScript">
   function change_document() {
      var MS=navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")
	var MSVER = parseInt(navigator.appVersion.substring(MS+5, MS+6))
    	var NSVER=parseInt(navigator.appVersion.substring(0,1))
	var locstring
	if (MS > 0) 
		locstring = "diffie" + MSVER + ".html"
    	else if (navigator.appName == "Netscape")
		locstring = "diffns" + NSVER + ".html"

	window.location = locstring

To see an example of script re-direction, try this diff sample.

The downside to this type of browser and version difference handling is this: if you want to support Netscape Navigator 2.x, 3.x, 4.x, in addition to Internet Explorer 3.x and 4.x, you will need to create five pages for each Web “page” at your site!

However, this approach is effective if you wish to apply it selectively at your site. Perhaps you want to have an interactive product page that makes use of all the fun dynamic HTML techniques each browser is implementing. This approach could be used for this product page only, giving you the freedom to use the specific browser/version technology to its fullest.

Another technique to handling browser/version differences is to use scripting and style sheets in one page and ensure that the scripting is directed at the appropriate browser and version.

I will demonstrate this with the next sample code. The example will change the background color for all of the browsers and versions. This is all it will do for Netscape 2.x. For Internet Explorer 3.x, a CSS1 style will also re-define the appearance of the <H1> tag. For Netscape 3.x, the image that displays when the document first opens is changed. For IE 4.0, the image is changed and the style sheet definition for the <H1> tag also changes (both the font size and color). Finally, for Netscape 4.0, the <H1> tag is also changed, but this time using Dynamic Style Sheets (DSS), meaning that JavaScript has been applied to JavaScript Style Sheet (JSS) elements.

First, I apply some style sheet definitions for the Web page. A JavaScript style sheet and a standard CSS1 (Cascading Style Sheets) definition are created:

<STYLE TYPE="text/JavaScript">



<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
	H1.newstyle { font-size: 18pt ; color: red }
		margin-top: -.05in ; margin-left: 1.0in } 
	H1 { font: 24pt ; color: green }


These style sheet definitions provide for new formatting for the <H1> tag, and will be used in JavaScript functions that will be created a little later in this article.

Next, global variables will be defined that contain the type and version of the browser accessing this page. As these are global in nature, they will be available anywhere that JavaScript is used in the page:

<SCRIPT Language=JavaScript>
var MS=navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")
window.isIE4 = (MS>0) && 
    ((parseInt(navigator.appVersion.substring(MS+5,MS+6)) >= 4) &&  

var NSVER=parseInt(navigator.appVersion.substring(0,1))

isNS4 = false
isNS3 = false

if (navigator.appName == "Netscape") {
   if (NSVER == 3) {
	isNS3 = true
   else if (NSVER >= 4) {
	isNS3 = true
	isNS4 = true

The next script is a function, change_doc, which will change the background color for the Web page for all versions of the browsers that access it. Additionally, if the browser is Netscape 3.x or 4.x, it calls another JavaScript function, change_document3:

function change_document() {

    	if (isNS3) 

The next JavaScript function is change_new which is only called by IE 4.0. This function will apply the new style definition for the <H1> tag that has an id of “myheader”, using Microsoft’s own version of Dynamic HTML:

function change_new() {
	var chgh1 = document.all.myheader
    	chgh1.className = "newstyle"

The scripting block is closed as the other functions will be creating in different versions of JavaScript. First, using JavaScript 1.1. we create the change_document3 function which will change the image shown in the  page. At the end of the function the value of the isNS3 is tested, and if true the function change_document4 is called. Note from the global variable section that isNS3 is set to true for both Netscape 3.x and Netscape 4.x:

<SCRIPT Language="JavaScript1.1"> 
function change_document3() {

    	if (!isNS4) 

Using the JavaScript 1.1 specification means that any script within this block will only be executed by a browser that is capable of processing JavaScript 1.1 script. This includes Netscape 3.x and 4.x, as well as IE 3.0x and 4.x.

The next function is change_document4, which is created in a JavaScript 1.2 scripting block. This function will be called only for Navigator 4.x. The script uses a <LAYER> tag to encapsulate the original contents of the page. When this function is called, those contents are hidden, and new contents are created using a new LAYER object:

<SCRIPT Language="Javascript1.2">
  function change_document4() {

	// note with following...another technique would be to 
	// create a second layer, set to invisibile, and use 
	// conditional comments to block for non-layer browsers...
	// not implemented, yet
	newlayer = new Layer(600)
	newlayer.document.write("<img src='sun.gif' width=76 height=76 alt='sun'>")
	newlayer.document.write("<H1 class=class2> Header for this example page </H1>")

I close the <HEAD> section. In the <BODY> tag, we trap the onLoad event for the Web page. This event will check to see if the browser and version is Internet Explorer 4.0. If it is, the change_newchange_document, and change_document3 functions are called. For the other browsers/versions, only the change_document function is called. Additionally, I create the image definition and <H1> contents:

onLoad="if (window.isIE4) {change_new(); change_document(); change_document3();} else change_document();">
<img src="rain.gif" width=76 height=76 alt="rain" name="thisimage">
<H1 id=myheader> Header for this example page </H1>

Let’s take a look at this sample page in action.

This approach is just one of many that could be taken to determine the browser and version, and only execute the appropriate scripting. Different scripting blocks were used for the different versions of Navigator as there will usually be other functions and event handlers that will be coded and that are only implemented with the specific version. As an example, a new object for Navigator 3.x was the IMAGE object, for Navigator 4.x, it is the LAYER tag. Enclosing the code in these scripting specific versions ensures that a browser that is not capable of processing the object does not process the code.

One nice feature that Netscape implemented in Navigator 3.x, and I hope it continues to implement with version 4, is the ability to provide overloading of functions based on versions of JavaScript. As an example, I created this test page that splits the functionality completely by JavaScript version. Each version has a function called change_document(). Navigator 2.x and Internet Explorer 3.x will access and execute the script it finds in the topmost “JavaScript” block. Navigator 3.x will go for the section with the <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.1"> tag.

As I write these words, Navigator 4.0 does not go for the section for JavaScript 1.2, but I will continue to test for this functionality and hope to see this in a future preview release, or the final release. IE 4.0 does execute the script in the JavaScript 1.2 section. Add in a little use of navigator.appName and you can duplicate the functionality created earlier by having the browser execute the right script by default.

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not seem to support the concept of versions with the use of VBScript (if it does, please let me know).

Browser-friendly Web page rulesHere are some good rules of thumb I use when creating browser-friendly Web sites.

1. Know your audience
Most of the people that visit my site are Web page developers, and I can alter and play with the contents knowing that most people viewing my site will be using the newest browsers, and most likely are using Navigator and Internet Explorer. If your Web site is for a bank, or a book company, or other non-computing related company, you may not want to use too much new technology.
2. Make a decision on browser support
After stating rule 1, I will now extend it by saying that you can’t please all the people all the time. You will want to make a decision as to whether the cost of providing support for a specific browser is worth the possible loss of visitors to your site.
3. Integrate new technology unobtrusively
If you create one page for multiple browser/versions, make sure you use technology carefully, and in such a way as to not take from the overall style and meaning of the page. With the example shown in the last section, the page dynamically changes based on the browser, but the overall content (what there is of it) is not changed. Reserve your wilder instincts for special fun pages and then implement the first technique given in this article to load browser specific pages.
4. Always provide at least one text based page for your site, if not for each Web page
On pages where navigation is crucial, make sure you offer text-only links for users of obscure or non-graphical browsers, such as Lynx. Again, though, balance this with your known audience.
5. Be aware of those with special physical challenges
Do not use image maps without providing a text-based menu. Always provide an ALT property for any images you use. Do not rely on the newer technologies as the only method for communicating an idea, a product, a service, or for site navigation.
6. Test your Web pages with your target browsers and versions
Once you decide which browsers and versions you are supporting, always test your Web pages with all of them. This may mean you have to use multiple machines, or a system with dual-booting operating systems.
7. Have fun
If you find yourself becoming incredibly frustrated with trying to get something that works easily with one browser or version, to work with another, you might want to stop, walk away, take a break and then try approaching your scripting challenge from a different perspective. If something will not work, then find what does work and find a way to apply it to your current problem.

Happy scripting!