Scripting can even go further if the page author desires. For example, the author may include a preference screen that lets the user determine the desired background and text color combination. A script can save this information on the client in a well-regulated local file called a cookie. The next time the user comes to the site, scripts in its pages look to the cookie info and render the page in the color combination selected previously. The server is none the wiser, nor does it have to store any visitor-specific information.
Fragmentation of the installed base of browsers will only get worse. By definition, it can never improve unless absolutely everyone on the planet threw away their old browsers and upgraded to the latest gee-whiz versions. But even then, there are plenty of discrepancies between the scriptability of the latest Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The situation makes scripting a challenge, especially for newcomers who may not be aware of the limitations of earlier browsers. A lot of effort in my books and ancillary material goes toward helping scripters know what features work in which browsers and how to either workaround limitations in earlier browsers or raise the compatibility common denominator.
Designing scripts for a Web site requires making some hard decisions about if, when, and how to implement the advantages scripting offers a page to your audience. For public Web sites, I recommend using scripting in an additive way: let sufficient content stand on its own, but let scriptable browser users receive an enhanced experience, preferably with the same HTML document.
Return true if the argument is not a number.
Use window.opener to refer to the main window from pop-ups.