Specific designs for specific browsers, esp IE?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by eclipse, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. eclipse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    One of the tutorials I'm doing is from February 2006 and tells us that this particular designer ran about 6 extra paragraphs of CSS just to keep IE happy. (The specific problem was discussed at Lynda.com on the "Gemination" theme at CSS Zen-Garden, and is also discussed in this other thread I googled up.)

    This made me wonder whether IE has actually improved since then, and whether or not anyone here has to run designs specifically for specific browsers? What sort of things do you implement for them if you do?

    I note the wiki states:

  2. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    I TRY to always do the following ---> design based the latest best practices for all browsers within last 2 major versions using CSS and DIVs, not tabular layout. I always use the correct DOCTYPE and validate everything. In terms of code, my Javascript is written to DOM specifications and I only use frameworks of the same quality. In terms of CSS, I avoid CSS3 as if it does not exist because technically it doesn't - it's still in draft status as per the W3C, and remember the rules of cascading, class vs. id and proper selector syntax. Get the idea?

    My point is, I don't design for a specific browser if that constrain isn't in the contract - I do all the above to be as *close* to cross platform compatible as possible. Then I add the necessary tweaks after testing across various platforms. Such tweaks by this point are fewer in number than those designers might endure who don't follow various standards from the very outset or rely on WYSIWYG tools, third party software, copy/paste code from a forum without checking it out first, etc.

    Of course it takes experience and alot of mistakes and research over the years to be able to accomplish this quickly and without too much added stress. So, being honest with you, remember I put it in bold that I TRY because each job, client, content type and target audience is different. And so is my skill level from day to day. And so do the frameworks, standards and browser versions change.

    But if you basically stick to standards, you might not have to resort to "6 extra paragraphs" of whatever. THAT is the point I am making and my comment on that article.

    As to MSIE, version 8 is supposed to be more standards compliant, meaning it's alot more like FF and Opera and so on. But, as usual, don't count on it. Even in beta 8, Microsoft has a special meta tag developers can include in their HTML, plus toggle options in the browser settings for the user, to revert its behavior like version 7 (plus quirks mode; can we say "bloatware").

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" /> (Wonder if some people thought I was kidding!)



  3. Photomax macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    I see this kind of question a lot: "how do I do design for Browser X?"

    A better question would be: "how do I design for all browsers?"

    Some designers would get stuck with IE issues then add a lot of IE hacks and workarounds. Followers would then pick up the same practices. But most of the IE issues are well documented and its better practice to build the site structure code and CSS with the IE box model in mind. Most of these issues are with the containing box itself. IE just does the math differently.

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