Re: Proposal of @ua

On Nov 21, 2007, at 2:10 PM, Rijk van Geijtenbeek wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 20:35:03 +0100, Boris Zbarsky  
> <> wrote:
>> Brad Kemper wrote:
>>> In other words, the consumer blames the site author, not the  
>>> browser-maker.
>> As a browser-maker, I must say that I think you have a very rosy  
>> view of who gets blamed.  Sadly, that's not how it works.
>> At least in part, because it depends on the site.  If some random  
>> little site doesn't work, the user might blame the site.  If  
>> Amazon, or Google, or Yahoo doesn't work, the user will blame the  
>> browser-maker.  Even if it's a problem with the site.  Seen this  
>> happen, over and over.  The difference seems to be that if the  
>> user can do without the site the site gets blamed.  Otherwise the  
>> browser gets blamed.
> And that from someone involved with the no 2 browser in  
> marketshare... Now imagine the situation for Safari, Opera and  
> Konqueror. At Opera, we get asked daily why "Opera doesn't support  
> Google Docs", etc.

Yeah, it seems pretty clear I shouldn't hold my breath hoping much of  
the software will come around to addressing the biggest, most obvious  
need of Web page authors. I guess I will just have to choose between  
continued use of hacks, or avoiding all CSS that is not supported by  
the big 3 or 4. That or use sliced up images and tables when I want  
to achieve an effect that would cause ugliness in one of the major  
browsers that didn't support a more elegant means to the end.

> That is not to say the frustrations of webdesigners aren't seen.  
> But the browser verdors should invest in making sure CSS support  
> converges in new browser releases, helped by better defininitions  
> in the specs and by better, more comprehensive, CSS Test Suites.  
> While IE 7 still has issues (as have all browsers), they are much  
> less dramatic than before. And IE 8 should be even better. It is  
> important to note that the @ua rule would only help for new browser  
> releases, it doesn't help one bit in coping with the differences  
> between the current (and past) crop of browsers.

I agree that IE7 is better, and I look forward to IE8. But since  
about 40% of the people visiting my pages are still using IE6 (and  
about 30-35% using IE7), I spend a huge portion of my time struggling  
to give them something approximating the sort of experience I can  
achieve fairly easily using the more advanced CSS of the non-IE  
browsers. And kudos to those responsible for advancing CSS so I can  
style things elegantly in the other browsers.

But looking at all the IE bugs I encounter on a fairly continuous  
basis, I don't seriously expect IE to catch up for years to come to  
where the rest of the pack is now. By then I expect the CSSWG will  
have published the Level 3 Extended Box Model, the Advanced Layout  
Module, Level 3 Positioning, and multi-column layout, etc. which will  
be implemented in most browsers, and the only way anyone will be able  
to use them is by making sure they serve completely different CSS  
files to IE 9 or 10 or by using hacks to hide large portions from  
various versions of IE.

The fact that MS recognized the need for browser-specific CSS and  
tried to address it via conditional comments gives me some hope (even  
as the rest of you are dashing it), as clearly it will be the  
catching-up versions of IE that will need it the most. And with their  
market share amongst the general population, they are the ones I can  
least afford to ignore.

Received on Thursday, 22 November 2007 06:16:06 UTC