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Re: [css-d] An Outsider's View

Sent by Arlen P Walker on 30 January 2002 09:09

>Our company, during a recent platform switch for our private website,
>attempted the cookie-cutter, 3 column layout in CSS. After 2 weeks of
>banging our heads against the wall to get Mac IE to match Windows IE (The
>latest Netscape seemed to get it right all of the time), we decided to
>everyone the grief and just go tables. We are using stylesheets for
>formatting, just not layout.

Yeah, I can sympathize. IE5.x/Win's broken box model has caused a lot of
grief for everyone. Still, there are ways to do it, with some compromises.
Especially if you're willing to accept a little extra whitespace in some

>Also, a corporation cannot allow
>their site to look perfect in 70% of browsers, and broken in 30% of

Define "perfect" and "broken." Speaking for myself, I've never designed a
site that looked "perfect" in any single browser. There's always something
that would make it better, but that can't be added for one reason or
another. Maybe it's because I work for a manufacturer, but I've taken to
looking at a design in terms of "manufacturing tolerances," allowing for
reasonable variations from one browser/platform to another. When I take
that view, I realize while I can take steps to reduce variances, I can
never completely eliminate them. So I try to let them happen where they
don't hurt me, and design within the limitations of the tools. For example,
you'd never design a part that needed +/-0.01mm precision to manufacture,
if your tooling could only support +/-0.05mm. You'd redesign the part so
the reduced precision would be acceptable. (There's always the option to
try to buy better tooling in manufacturing, but in this case you can't make
everyone use a better browser, so you change your design.)

It's sort of an adaptation of constraints to web design. You accept where
the constraints are and get creative in working the rest of the design.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.
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