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Inside Technique : Cross Browser BLINK Element
By Scott Isaacs

After a night of screen flickering due to a wind-storm in the Seattle area, I started thinking about a way to keep both browsers blinking all the time. In my experimenting, I found a way to add support for Netscape's BLINK element to Internet Explorer 4.0 and 5.0. While our solution is very simple and elegant, we do not endorse nor recommend the use of BLINK anywhere. We are providing this because... well, we can't think of any good reason for blinking text so let's get on with the demonstration :-)

The Netscape <Blink> element is sort of a joke feature added by Netscape to the HTML language. It allows you to create text that continually blinks on your page. Creating blinking text is done as follows:

<BLINK>This text will blink</BLINK>

This tag serves very little purpose and should almost never be used. However, for the sake of cross-browser completeness and our exploration into creative scripting, we went in search of a solution for adding the Blink element to Internet Explorer 4.0. (we are really trying to justify this article).

Normally, if an element is not supported by Internet Explorer, the tag would be parsed as an empty element. This means there would be no way to apply a style to the contents of the element. However, it turns out that Internet Explorer 4.0 and later parse and properly represent the blink tag in the object model as a container element. This means that the contents of the BLINK tag are properly associated with the element itself. This implies that Internet Explorer supports the BLINK element, just not the associated behavior of blinking the text on and off.

So with our unrelenting drive for scripting perfection, we set out to make the BLINK tag cross-browser...

Page 1:Cross Browser BLINK Element
Page 2:Scripting Blink
Page 3:IE5 Blink Behavior