Explorer 3

I wrote this description somewhere early in 2000 and hardly updated it since that time.

Explorer 3 was the first Microsoft browser to support JavaScript. It wasn't quite as good as Netscape, so it was much maligned in its day.

Multiple Explorers on one computer.

Fact sheet:

Microsoft's first attempt at an up-to date browser, Explorer 3 is quite impossible. Its implementation of both CSS and JavaScript are flawed and frankly unworkable. Basically, Explorer 3 knows enough of CSS to make your styled pages a complete disaster.

Explorer 3 does not support document.images or window.focus. Don't expect Version 3 JavaScript capabilities in Explorer. Its JavaScript is basically at Netscape 2 level, although it supports enough assorted small stuff to formally qualify as a JavaScript 1.1 browser.

One particularly cruel feature of Explorer 3 is the Microsoft JScript Runtime Error. It is quite impossible to use them to debug a JavaScript, and since Explorer 3 is by far the most sensitive browser and may produce these errors en masse, this can be a real pain.

Apart from making sure that they can reach the content, I don't do anything for Explorer 3 users any more. It was already far too much trouble in the Version 3 Era, although sometimes something had to be done. Now, in the Version 5 Era, they should download a better browser.

I found a rare document that describes JScript/VBScript in Explorer 3 (75 K zipfile of a very large Word document).


This goes all the more for the Mac version of this horrible browser. The most stunning bit is that it does NOT support any event handlers: no onMouseOver, no onClick, no onSubmit. This means that common scripts like form checking or even the Select box navigation do not work.

Furthermore it is quite buggy: more often than not it crashes on my site, even on pages that have no scripts at all. It crashes on when you use the opener for cross-window JavaScripting. Finally it tells the world that it supports document.images but it can't actually do anything with this array (even if it supported onMouseOver). To partially make up for all this horror, it is one of the few Version 3 browsers to support Date.getFullYear() for use in date and time scripts.