IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

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11/28/2010 2:18:03 PM
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IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

This is just me Ranting and has nothing to do with mojoPortal, which I love.  I rant here because you people understand.

IE 9 went from a preview to a beta in the last week.  So I installed it today.

My Web Sites viewed in IE 9 beta...  What a mess.  drop shadow borders are gone. Other borders and divs don't line up.  Yuck!!!

My mojoPortal Sites all use Artisteer Skins and Telerik controls and look great using IE 7, IE 8, Firefox and Google Chrome.

I'm really getting concerned with the new complexities of HTML 5, CSS 3, the 20 year ongoing browser war and the combinations of tools I use. I do some work for Government here in Canada and currently IE 7 is the standard today.  When I visit friends and neighbors who are non IT, they all use IE 8 (actually they use whatever MS pushes them in "windows update").

When I changed one Web Site to a non-Artisteer skin and viewed in IE 9 it looks ok now. MMMmmm...  But I like Artisteer skins.  Artisteer will be releasing a new version 3.0 in a few weeks.  Will V 3.0 move closer to industry standards? Will it fix my IE 9 beta mess?  Probably not.  Why would Artisteer code for a beta? Is the mess Artisteer, IE 9, my HTML or those Telerik controls I added?

This all reminds me of an old saying. "With great power comes great responsibility".  Who is responsible?  I have always tried to make my Web Sites look good in 95% of the available browsers.  As a Web developer I can recommend to my clients to use Firefox.  But what browser do all the visitors to my clients Web Sites use?  Unfortunately, most non IT visitors will use IE 8 today and IE 9 tomorrow.

So... who is responsible to fix my IE 9 beta yuck?
I know. it's beta.  Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow.

The bottom line is...  I am responsible for my clients Web Sites.  Not Microsoft, Artisteer, mojoPortal, Telerik, etc.
I'm responsible?  Now that's scary!

Rick, it's just a beta.  Calm down!

There...  I feel better now.angry

Rick
 

 

11/28/2010 3:43:53 PM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

I feel you man, I have exactly the same problem. IE9 is fast, but screws up everything! FireFox beta is also screwed up, but is still a lot better than IE9. Let's hope MS get their sh*t together very fast :D.

11/29/2010 3:36:50 AM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

As you say Rick, this is a problem that has been ongoing for some time and now with the advent of 2nd generation smart devices it is only likely to become worse.  My wife has just started a new job and the company asked her which new high-spec laptop she would prefer, when it arrived (two weeks ago) the company IT department had installed IE 6 on it.

mojoPortal does go someway in addressing CSS/browser compatibility issues, but it really is a problem when many clients are design driven.  It is relatively easy to fork between devices, but it is more difficult for CSS and HTML compliance.

One strategy might be to develop a mojoPortal  HTTP request module that loads the core CSS and then a "very" browser specific CSS, it would then be up to the developer to decide which browsers they wanted to support, a matrix for the "core" CSS would allow mojoPortal developers to select colours and fonts etc.  and then each browser specific CSS file would override or extend the CSS.

In the case of a browser that is a complete bag of toffee, it may be necessary to fork to a different page, of "tables" perhaps....

Best Regards,

 

Vince.

11/29/2010 9:42:47 AM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

I'm not going to worry about IE 9 until it comes out of beta, many things may change between beta and the final release, for someone like me it makes no sense trying to code against something that will probably change because my time is my most precious resource and I don't want to do the work twice. I imagine Artisteer also has to be careful where they put their efforts, though I have no doubt they will support IE 9 when it comes out.

Really the big problem with IE 6 and why it still remains in use in lots of corporate environments is because people built intranet apps using IE specific features and now it is difficult and expensive for them to rework those apps in a more standard way so they make their employees continue to suffer with IE 6 while the population at large has long since moved past IE 6.

I do see a potential for the same problems to come in the future because HTML 5 is still just a draft and not a final recommendation so browser vendors are doing their own thing to implement the things they think will be and want to be in the final standard. So it could happen again if people jump into building html 5 apps on IE 9 before the standard is finalized they could end up with apps coded specifically for IE that need a lot of re-work when the standard is final.

I think the IE team is trying very hard to follow standards and has hopefully learned form the past, but to me it would almost be better if IE 9 would not ship until after html 5 is a standard, but that is probably far enough in the future that they will not wait, because they are losing browser market share and other browsers are doing the same thing in terms of implementing pieces of html 5 they think will and should be in the standard. This is why the w3c is warning people that html 5 is not ready for production app development. Those early adopters who go full steam ahead on using html 5 will probably have a lot of work to do later. In some cases the additional cost of having to re-write apps later when the spec is final might be worth it but for small dev shops/teams it is probably better to wait. One can use the html 5 doctype with no problems but using new features of html 5 before it is a standard and while browser support is scetchy is something to be wary of in my opinion.

One thing I definitely do not want to do is use "very browser specific css" as Vince suggests. That is a huge amount of work and is like giving up entirely on standards and it is not necessary in my opinion. If you stick with xhtml (for now) and you do your design work in Firefox and Chrome (never ever design first in IE), then it is very easy to add css that is specific for IE to correct problems of IE that are not problems in more standards compliant browsers. You can use IE comment syntax as we do in mojoPortal to add extra CSS for IE versions to compensate for their problems, like this:

<!--[if lt IE 7]>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://www.mojoportal.com/Data/Sites/1/skins/mojo_v25/IESpecific.css" type="text/css" id="IE6CSS" />
<![endif]-->
<!--[if IE 7]>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://www.mojoportal.com/Data/Sites/1/skins/mojo_v25/IE7Specific.css" type="text/css" id="IE7CSS" />
<![endif]-->

and we can add more conditions for other versions of IE if needed in the future.

Naturally if your client uses IE then you need to make sure you have done all the IE tweaks to make sure the design looks right in IE before you show the design to your client.

Best,

Joe

11/29/2010 10:24:03 AM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

Comprehensive response as usual Joe. 

What I was thinking is that we have a core CSS file (style.css) that can be configured via a tabbed form page, check boxes, drop-downs etc.  Then have a browser specific CSS load to style the differences. I suppose I was thinking along the lines of a CSS parser that would take a standards compliant file and then produce browser specific CSS that only held the quirks.

I'll get right on it!

Best Regards,

Vince.

11/29/2010 10:42:55 AM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

Rick, you might find this post from the Artisteer forums useful. I hope this problem with Artisteer is a temporary anomaly that will be corrected with the final version of IE 9. I was very happy to see that IE 8 made great strides forward in standardization, and am hopeful that we will find that IE 9 is as standards compliant as, say, Firefox or Chrome.

Jamie

11/29/2010 10:45:27 AM
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Re: IE 9 beta - Don't fix anything today and hope MS buys Firefox tomorrow

Hi Vince,

While I appreciate your spirit and willingness to volunteer, the solution you propose does not scratch anything that is itching for me and would add a lot of complexity. I see no need for it and I certainly have no interest in maintaining separate css per browser for all the skins I maintain and ship with mojoPortal and I don't want to introduce this complexity in mojoPortal.

There are issues always often with IE but we already have a solution for it, I do not really run into much issues with other browsers like FF, Chrome, Safari because they are more standards compliant. Even IE 8 was less of a problem than IE 6 and 7. People create problems for themselves if they design using IE and then try to fix problems in other browsers (because now their main CSS is using IE specific stuff), but if you don't do that then IE is really the main exception (and it is easy to fix after the design work is done in other browsers), other browsers are mostly compliant to standards.

We combine. minify and cache the css both on the server and it is cached in the browser (except for the IE specific files since they have direct urls they are only cached in the browser). I do not want to cache different versions for different browsers.

Of course nothing stops you from implementing your own solution and plugging it into your skin, you are free to not use our included csshandler and implement your own solution.

Best,

Joe

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