Cross Browser Java

Gunther Birznieks <>
Last Updated: June 29, 1998
Table Of Contents


The two flaws that seem to most pervade the consciousness of would-be Java programmers is that Java doesn't have performance and that Java has not stood the test of "Write Once, Run Anywhere" motto.

Performance has been getting better. At the same time Java virtual machines are getting embedded in a lot more OSes and Browsers. Unfortunately, this means that there are a lot of differences in how they were implemented and the bugs they pose.

Worse, not everyone in the browser community upgrades right away. The likelihood is still high that when someone visits your site, they may still be using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator 3.x instead of the 4.x version. For an estimate of browser percentages, try looking at

It almost seems like a daunting and impossible task to write a decent Java applet that works on all these platforms. And to get information on the differences between browsers can be equally frustrating.

JavaSoft only really tracks bugs general to the JDK. It does not track Netscape or IE bugs. Not all IE or Netscape bugs get reported in their "official" databases. Other members of the Java Community have written snippets about various bugs and cross browser behavior, but usually only covering a single topic.

It is the goal of this site to focus on bringing all these "Cross Browser" sites together. Instead of just bringing bugs to light, this site also focuses on providing workarounds and sample source code to show how to get around these problems.

It is the intent of this site to provide knowledge about Cross Browser bugs and differences and more importantly, to provide a positive influence and encourage people to use Java in browsers by providing workarounds for those same issues.

General Cross Browser Differences

Cross Browser Bugs And Workarounds

Other Cross Browser Related Links


Web98 Cross Browser Java talk given at Web98 West in PowerPoint 95 Format (zipped).

Web98 Cross Browser Java talk in Adobe PDF Format. Use Adobe Acrobat to read this document.


There are many sources that have contributed to this site. Generally, if someone submits a bug or workaround to me, your name will go under the references/acknowledgements section for that bug.

The people who have contributed most directly to my efforts here are Peter Chines, Anthony Masiello, Joseph Ryan, Mark McDonald, Erik Ferlanti, and Selena Sol.

Gunther Birznieks <>