Sneak Peek

Well, I’ve fixed the biggest issues I was having with IE on Windows, so I’ll give you a sneak peek at the front page for the website Steph and I are making for the CEA. The pictures are placeholders, and the links don’t go anywhere, but go ahead and take a peek.

At first, I thought to myself, “Why am I showing them this stuff? Most of them aren’t web designers,” and then I realized, it’s my blog, that’s why! 🙂

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Oh, by the way, IE (both 5.x and 6) messes up some things when rendering this page, and doesn’t support the PNG format of graphics that I’m using (at this point). Firebird on the other hand, renders it perfectly and beautifully. Did I mention Firebird is free? And better? And you should get it? Seriously, check it out in both browsers and you’ll see the difference. Download it here (6 MB) for Windows.

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8 thoughts on “Sneak Peek

  1. Not to be a wet blanket, but what are you planning to do about the IE compatibility issues? It’s one thing to not worry about it for your own site, but when you’re getting paid to be a web designer, compatibility matters, even if IE is stupid. IE 5.x and 6 is a big chunk of the market to ignore.

  2. I should clarify. I’m not ignoring anybody.

    I have all intentions of making it work, and by “work” I mean work really well on the most popular browser in the world. I would never want to leave anyone behind on any site I made, especially not one I’m being paid to create. I feel strongly about that. I mean, if I’m getting “left behind” constantly as a Mac user, and I have the opportunity to create something that is supposed to work for everyone, why would I want to revisit that same pain on someone else if it made me so angry when it happened to me? Right?

    However, the site may not be beautiful or pixel perfect in IE. The difference is important. The site will be perfectly usable and understandable, but maybe not perfectly adherent to what I want it to be. I would rather make a standards-compliant site without ugly hacks that is slightly less beautiful in IE than a cruddy site with horrible code that works well in IE and doesn’t work at all in other browsers. I figure we shouldn’t punish the good browsers for actually complying to standards. Plus, it reduces bandwidth costs and makes code changes and improvements easier and more powerful.

    The obvious caveat still applies: if the people paying for the site say they want something to change, I’ll do it without asking questions.

  3. Yikes. I… didn’t need to know that.

    So Josh, there’s no way to make it look good on everyone’s web browser? No happy medium that looks good everywhere?

    I’m still adjusting to Mozilla. It seems to load pics on any page slower than the IE 6 that I was running, and it’s setup seems to be basically the same as IE 6, it just looks a little fancier. Anyone else care to explain the differences, slow graphics, etc.?

  4. You’re running Mozilla? Did you mean Firebird? As far as loading pics or the other slower things, I can’t explain that. I haven’t experienced it.

    There are a few ways that you can create a website that will look almost exactly the same in every browser.

    One way is to use something called “browser detection” that presents different code to each browser depending on which browser you’re using. Then the coder just writes a different version of the site for each browser, and tweaks each version until they all look pretty much the same. The coder ends up writing three, four, maybe even ten times as much code to do that than he would doing it my way.

    Another way to make things look the same is to use images more. For instance, the Einstein quote could have been a JPG image, and that obviously would look the same on every browser since it’s a picture. It would have taken about 1000 times more bandwidth to download it as a picture that than it does the way I currently have it set up.

    Another way to make things look the same, at least for layout, is to use lots of these things called “tables.” When used a certain way, tables create a big grid on the webpage with lots of invisible rectangles, and you put your content inside the rectangles. I ended up using one table that isn’t technically necessary for compatability’s sake, but I could have used two or three, or ten or twenty for the complexity of that layout. Using tables tends to bloat your code, and make your page download a lot more slowly. I like my current way better. Less code = faster download = happier users.

    If those reasons aren’t enough, what it comes down to is the fact that Microsoft needs to get their act together. I’ve got no reason, as a web designer, to forgive them for being incompetent and design my websites with only IE in mind. I could easily make a site that would work really well in all versions of IE and look like junk in other browsers. And most people would never be the wiser because most people ignorantly use IE. But in my opinion, at that point it becomes a moral decision. And as I said before, don’t get me started. I’ll stick with standards and hope that other designers do the same, and eventually we’ll see Microsoft get it right or hang themselves in the process. Either way, we’re all better off.

  5. Just don’t be overhasty in your wrath at Microsoft. Face it, most of the people visiting the sites you design will be using IE. Especially if its a site you’re designing for someone else, or are hired to do.

  6. I believe I’ve already established that. 🙂

    The good part is that the book I mentioned before, written by Jeffrey Zeldman, sticks to the point that it’s possible to have your standards AND your “looks pretty good in every browser” at the same time. I’m not quite there on this site, but I’m approaching that. It just takes a little more skill. But I’m totally aiming to get there.

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