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#1
"This site runs best with..."
Posted January 1st 2011, 8:36pm
No matter where I go on the vast World Wide Web, as a software developer there is a phrase that always catches my eye.

"This site runs best with..." (insert your favorite browser)

When I see that phrase, I usually start laughing, and after taking a quick look around the site, it's unlikely I'll ever visit it again. Why?

Because that phrase tells me a lot about those who designed the site. It says one of two things, sometimes both: either the designers were fixated on a particular feature set of a browser, or the designer was too lazy to do what it takes to make their site run on all current-release browsers.

The first reason happens all too often with people I call Webkit Freaks. These are people who have become enamored with certain features built into browsers using Apple's Webkit rendering engine. These features do not work at all in some browsers, or work poorly in most other non-Webkit browsers. (CANVAS immediately comes to mind.) Since I'm an equal-opportunity developer, when I see such a site (they're VERY easy to spot), most of the time I quickly move on to another site and never return. After all, why spend time on a site that works properly for maybe 25% of the viewing public?

The second reason is unfortunately all too common. The typical cause is Internet Explorer (IE), which prior to the 8.0 release (IE8), had all sorts of compatibility problems. The problem for a developer was that IE was the dominant browser for years, and not supporting IE was at best a poor decision, and at worst financial suicide. That all changed with the release of IE8, which fixed most of the compatibility issues, but unfortunately did not implement state-of-the-art features like CSS3 and HTML5. Because its feature set is limited compared to other browsers, I hear people all the time calling IE8 things like "garbage". It's not "garbage". It's actually a pretty good browser. It just doesn't have a rich feature set.

The thing is, it is easy to design a site that looks fine in IE8 but will look spectacular in superior browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and Safari. That should be the goal in website design today, but it does take a little bit of homework to design a site which meets those goals. You want to use CSS3 features like border-radius, box-shadow, and text-shadow? Great! Just make sure the site looks fine BEFORE you add these enhancements!

IE version 10 has now been released, and it does have a rich feature set. But people should continue to support IE8, at least for now, because IE9/IE10 will not run on Windows XP. Since almost half of all Windows users are still running XP, IE8 isn't going away anytime soon!

Now I have no problem whatsoever with a site that says something like "This site requires the current versions of all popular browsers". This is particularly true with IE, since versions prior to IE8 had so many CSS and Javascript compatibility issues that they truly were "garbage".

The Dion Designs site runs equally well on the current-release versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and SeaMonkey. Those using IE8 will not see the rounded corners nor the embossed/engraved text, but everything else will be the same as in browsers that support those CSS3 features.
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#2
"This site runs best with..."
Posted February 10th 2012, 7:16pm
I have a question: Would it annoy you to see a website that says something like, "This website does not support Internet Explorer 6 or older." After all, I don't know anybody that uses anything less than IE7.
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#3
"This site runs best with..."
Posted February 10th 2012, 9:56pm
It wouldn't annoy me at all. In fact, I would go one step further and use something like this:

<!--[if lt IE 7]><script type="text/javascript">alert("Unfortunately, you're using garbage for a browser.\n\n Read closely what you see next.");window.location='http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new';</script><![endif]-->

You would add this to anywhere you can add HTML.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted July 14th 2012, 6:53pm
Dion said:
That all changed with the release of IE8, which fixed most of the compatibility issues, but unfortunately did not implement state-of-the-art features like CSS3 and HTML5. Because its feature set is limited compared to other browsers, I hear people all the time calling IE8 things like "garbage". It's not "garbage". It's actually a pretty good browser. It just doesn't have a rich feature set.

The thing is, it is easy to design a site that looks fine in IE8 but will look spectacular in superior browsers such as Firefox, Opera, and Safari. That should be the goal in website design today, but it does take a little bit of homework to design a site which meets those goals. You want to use CSS3 features like border-radius, box-shadow, and text-shadow? Great! Just make sure the site looks fine BEFORE you add these enhancements!

I wanted to come back to this topic and address the part I quoted, and particularly the part boldfaced.

I have seen many, many examples recently of so-called web designers/programmers saying that Internet Explorer, any version, is bad/defective/whatever. If you come across such people, they are either lazy or incompetent. If that person cannot make a site look good when using IE8, they are incompetent. If they can but choose to not spend the time, then they are lazy.

Keep this in mind if you are looking to hire a web designer/programmer. If that person cannot do something simple like making a site look good when using IE8, do you want them working on your site? If they are too lazy to make their own site look good when using IE8, will they spend the time to make your site look good when using IE8?

Please feel free to quote my comments elsewhere.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted July 14th 2012, 7:39pm
You are right Dion, but I still agree with those who say that IE8 is garbage.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted July 14th 2012, 9:24pm
OK. :roll:
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 10:19am
Dion said:
OK. :roll:
I mean, yes, you should attempt to make your website look good on any browser, and IE8 is not an exception. What I mean is, I find it annoying that you have to go out of you way to make IE8 happy. Most web browsers are easily made happy, but IE8 (and all previous versions) runs on its own set of rules. I can't wait for IE8 to die, because IE9 is actually a good web browser.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 10:32am
My latest IE incident was an empty anchor tag rendering as display:block and a height of over 30px ... it can be fun when your browser is making up the CSS as it goes. :P
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 12:59pm
LGforum said:
My latest IE incident was an empty anchor tag rendering as display:block and a height of over 30px ... it can be fun when your browser is making up the CSS as it goes. :P
My latest IE incident has not been fixed yet. The stupid AJAX-Chat-in-an-IFrame issue.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 2:02pm
IE7 and earlier had all sorts of problems with CSS. But when run in Standards Mode, I've not really encountered problems with IE8 and CSS, other than its lack of support for CSS3 properties.

AJAX Chat will have problems running in an Iframe on all browsers unless its CSS is modified.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 3:35pm
Dion said:
AJAX Chat will have problems running in an Iframe on all browsers unless its CSS is modified.
I know. I have my installation of AJAX Chat hidden in an IFrame, and it is making Internet Explorer really angry. LGforum has tried helping me with it, but he can only help so much, and I have no idea what to change so that it will work, so I have just temporarily disabled the AJAX Chat button from loading in Internet Explorer until I can fix the problem.
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"This site runs best with..."
Posted August 27th 2012, 5:51pm
Wouldn't it make more sense in IE to have the button open a full-screen AJAX Chat in a new window/tab, as opposed to completely disabling the chatbox?

I still don't understand why you want AJAX Chat in an iFrame. Its design doesn't lend itself to such an application, and some (many?) of your members will experience slowdowns on pages which have active content...
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