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Poor CSS work processes

Sent by Andrew Gregory on 23 September 2005 06:06


Hi all,

Here's a quote from a recent post, which I've modified to make a point.  
I've removed the attribution, as my intention is not to single out any  
person in particular, but to make an observation about something I've seen  
with disappointing regularity:

> I recognize the frustration with browser A. Who here hasn't finisheda  
> beautiful layout in browser B, and then screamed obscenities and 
> frightened coworkers and family when you saw how browser A mangledyour  
> beautiful and validated work? I know I have!

Browsers A and B can be *any* browser. The problem is the work process by  
which a design is only checked in one, maybe two browsers while the  
development proceeds, then when everything is "finished" it is checked in  
more browsers.

Software engineering has been slowing moving towards a maxim of "test  
early, test often". It's taken many years to get there, but unit testing  
is now a common practice. Perhaps it's because a lot of web designers are  
more "artist" than "engineer" that that doesn't seem to be happening in  
this field? Not that I have anything against artists! :-)

Most people will have a list of browsers they'd like their sites to work  
with. The exact list is not important. What is important is that if you're  
going to check your site in browser X, then you start checking right from  
the beginning, not at the very end!

As a user of a minority browser (Opera), I perhaps see the results of lack  
of testing more often than others. I've lost count of the number of times  
I've found a one or two-line fix for a web designer oversight.

Many studies have found that the earlier bugs are found, the cheaper,  
quicker, and easier they are to fix. That applies to web design too.

I hope more of you might consider earlier testing. I expect the result  
would be happier web designers, and more robust cross-browser designs.

Thanks for reading!

-- 
Andrew Gregory, <URL: [EMAIL-REMOVED] >
<URL: http://www.scss.com.au/family/andrew/ >
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