Writing A Web Browser (Part 1)

A while ago, I wrote an HtmlViewer component for the Palm. It was hard, and I made a lot of assumptions on the basis that we would be getting our data from a server that we would also write, so it made more sense to have the server do anything that was necessary to the input stream to make it easier for the small device to display. (Things such as figuring out the widths of table cells, and making sure that any start tag also contained an end tag. You know, simple stuff.) The problem came when we started using my HtmlViewer to display content that we got from a client. The content was a complete mix of tags, and had no hope in hell of validating. As well, the server guys were swamped with other requests, and didn't want to write the code it would take to fix the html up. So my component broke. Colin (a co-worker) suggested that we just modify what I had to do what we wanted. After some discussion, I convinced him that it would be faster to re-write what was there so that it didn't make the same assumptions.

(To be continued...)