2005/04/26

Take My Mac, Please

A couple of entries below I alluded to a new project I'm on which is taxing both the Windows AND Macintosh sides of my brain, and it was really starting to make my head hurt. It's like the very notion I might not win my war against these browsers made me more determined to get it done. The browser war is hardly over, and if you think the casualties in this war are the specific browser manufacturers themselves you are sadly mistaken.

The common practice in standards-based web markup is to separate content from presentation, and to develop for the most compliant browsers first, adding hacks to fit the quirks of more rebellious browsers. That way we can use one style sheet with a couple of tweaks as opposed to a different stylesheet for each browser. However my problem was that while Mozilla Firefox and IE6 rendered my CSS/javascript code perfectly, Netscape 7 didn't. NS7 was the standard to base on, and it didn't work.

On the Mac, Safari was even worse. I had some hidden layers that appeared when you rolled your mouse over sections of the screen, but there seemed an invisible box in the middle of the screen obstructing the view when they popped up. Like what was up with that? At least ie5.2 worked not too badly. Strange, considering ie is supposed to be the rebellious middle child on all platforms.

I was just about ready to give up all hope and post a generic version of my lament to my favourite CSS forums, when in my quest to simplify my scripts I stumbled on the position: static descriptor. To this point I had only used absolute or relative. Little did I know that static is what I needed for this to work.

Armed with this new weapon, I regained my courage and waged war yet again, and with even more determination plugged in my position: static descriptors and I WAS VICTORIOUS. My CSS and javascript now worked on IE5.5 (wow), IE6, NS7, MozFF1.x, IE5.2/mac, AND Safari!

(*** BIG APPLAUSE, CHEERS, HOOTS HOLLARS, AND OTHER CELEBRATORY SOUNDS HERE ***)

But as I said earlier, the casualties in any war are rarely the leaders of the countries, but the civilians. Some (like me) who set out for battle, and others like yourself who are faced with rebuilding from the damage. The enemy wasn't aware the war was over and they lobbied yet another attack. Macintosh IE5.1 - my javscript doesn't work, and the positioning of certain elements looks plain terrible.

Well, time to suit up again...

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