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Re: [css-d] What happened to design?

Sent by Andrew I. Mutch on 25 January 2002 18:06


Gene,

I think part of the issue was a matter of timing. A year ago, IE 6 wasn't
available, Mozilla was still in its early beta stages and CSS support
in the most popular browsers, IE 5 and Netscape 4.x, ranged from flawed to
downright atrocious.  Now if you check the server stats at many web sites,
Netscape 4.x is usually less than 10% of the traffic. That means that the
vast majority of people are using a browser that won't completely mangle
your CSS.  

Being in libraries myself, I can attest that the other big issue is your
need to support such a wide range of browsers with a consistent interface.
Netscape 4 is still widely used in libraries for OPACs and Internet
access. That means a lot of sites designed with CSS2 won't display in
their full glory in Netscape 4.  While that isn't unique to your work, for
many sites, people can get away with a graceful degrade in Netscape 4.x. I
have a feeling that won't work for you. Your product is dependent on the
interface look-and-feel. Unfortunately, it is still going to take some
time until the baseline of browsers is fully CSS compliant. Until that
time, I'm afraid you are going to be limited in what you can do.

Andrew Mutch



On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, Gene LeFave wrote:

> I don't know what constitutes a great design versus old fashioned.
> 
>   My company designs library automation software. About a year ago I 
> tried to redesign all the pages using CSS.  After months of effort I 
> found that many many  browsers would fail in verious ways, and 
> finally I ripped out most of the CSS and went back to tables.
> 
> I'd love to know what can be done in CSS other then basic font and 
> color controls that will actually work in the field. Every time I 
> start to try too add even simple things like borders via the CSS I 
> get burned.  Every time I try to get just a little clever with the 
> selectors I get burned.   Every time things get a little busy in the 
> stylesheet I get burned.  Every time I actually try to rely on 
> "cascading" I get burned.
> 
> I think that NS and MS have pretty muched killed the promise of CSS 
> by releasing code that just doesn't work right, at least some of the 
> time. (some of the time being worse then all of time in this context)
> 
> I'd love to be able to offer different styles to my clients.
> 
> But right now I can't risk the problems with CSS.  I think that I'd 
> literally have to detect the browser OS combination and use a 
> different page/css for each.  Which is the exact scenario CSS was 
> supposed to eliminate.
> 
> Gene
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