May
23

A quick update

Ok, here’s the news. I spent quite a long time playing with the CSS and the WordPress templates. Wonderful, I thought; the blog template just about matches with the rest of my site. Well, I loaded the page in Internet Explorer under VMWare only to be horrified at what I saw. It had butchered by design! Ive had to rework some parts just to make it look acceptable. Actually Im still having problems (which I suppose will be pretty clear if you’re browsing using IE right now). My logo with its beautiful PNG transparency, oh dear….. Ive not done much HTML/CSS coding for quite a long time and Im not used to the browser quirks yet. Ive decided that IE is sort of like a friend that you don’t really like, but you have to invite him along to all your social events because all your other friends like him.

Well, Im holding off including PHP browser detection, but the thought of sticking in a GIF logo instead of a PNG just to support IE makes me cringe. Also, the side bar is non existant in IE. One solution to all of this, although radical, is to stop IE from using the site at all and encourage users to “upgrade” (See Explorer Destroyer). Im not really sure how to feel about this. First of all I think its very funny, but on a more serious note, its extremely aggressive and is likely to annoy lots of innocent web surfers. I know Ive been frustrated with Microsoft products in the past, but is this really the answer? I know that there are lots of users, especially in corporate and educational environments that do not have a choice of browser. I think that it could even give some users negative associations with Firefox, especially as it can be misinterpreted as being officially supported by the Firefox developers.

There are 3 levels of “encouragement” available. The first displays a bar at the top of the page suggesting the user upgrades. The second shows a similar message but requires the user to click “Continue without Firefox” to then view the site. These could be effective, and aren’t too irritating. Its option number 3 that really makes this scheme interesting. The user cannot use the site at all when using Internet Explorer!
What ever happened to taking the high ground and advancing a product based on its merits rather than forcing users? If Microsoft started a scheme of their own, paying users to block their web content and paying them for each “convert”, what would happen then? Clearly this would be an anticompetative move and would not be tolerated. What is does mean however is that those of us who supported this scheme would have to keep our mouths shut and hold back from saying that “it’s not fair”.

2 Responses to “A quick update”

  1. Steffen says:

    You may give Dean Edward’s IE7 a try: http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/

    It will give you lots of stuff, but especially transparent pngs for IE 5 and 6.

  2. jim says:

    Genius!!!! I tried it out and despite a few quirks I was amazed at the results. Thanks for telling me about this Steffen, its really made my day.
    I was feeling quite dispondent after first converting my logo to a GIF. The overall shape looked like it had been cut out with a hacksaw (or perhaps an axe) and there was no shadow. Then I checked out this link and gave it a go. Amazing, not only is my logo now shown with a nice shadow, but the transparency suddenly started to work on my menus (which I really wasn’t expecting). Sweet!

    There are still a few issues to iron out with the sidebar, but Im slowly making progress with it.

    Oh, just one thing that I noticed, which was really strange with IE was its support overlapping DIVs. If I have a DIV and another DIV inside. If the inner DIV floats and has say a negative margin so it pops out of the container DIV, it works fine. If however we put the containing DIV inside another DIV and try the same thing, the top level DIV clips the floating inner DIV.

    A diagram would be very nice at this point, but it will have to wait until a later post. It seems that the support for overlapping DIVs only is supported through one level of overlapping. This caused me some headaches, but all is fixed now 🙂

    Thanks again for the link!