Shyru's World

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Webdevelopers times change

When i started developing webpages 5 years ago the available browsers where totally different to what is available today. At that time Internet Explorer 5.5 was out and the top notch browser. Web-pages where developed for IE 5.5 with some compatibily-hacks for Netscape 4.7. Netscape 4.7 was the limiting factor. Most of the Features of IE 5.5 where not usable because Netscape 4.7 would not understand them.

Then in 2001 when i did the webpage for the company i work at, we decided to not support Netscape 4.7 on our website. - What a relief. With a brandnew Mozilla 1.0 and IE 6.0 developing webpages started to make fun.

In theory this situation did not change since then. But something different changed since then: My knowledge of HTML/XHTML and CSS. Discovering the cool CSS 2.0 selectors had a real impact on how i did webpages. Using :hover on arbitrary tags eliminated a lot of javascript and produced cleaner pages. And that was only the beginning. The advanced selectors openend even more possibilities.

But the disillusion came fast. Even IE 6.0 did not support this CSS features. *bummer* So now the times changed again. Suddenly IE got the limiting factor and you have to build quirks to work around it's lacking standards support.
At this time i started to work on a next-generation webinterface to our windows-based software. And it is no fun to develop a next-gen webinterface if you cannot use CSS 2.0. In the middle of this situation some people of Micro$oft announced that they work on IE 7. *hooray* - Finally light at the end of the tunnel.
But the big surprise came yesterday. I discovered IE7. This is not IE 7 from Micro$oft but a javascript-library which brings next-gen features to IE 6! *woOOow* - With IE7 you just have to include one javascript file on your page, and IE 6 is instantly a more standards-compliant CSS 2.0 browser!
Did i say :hover? - They work on every element!
Advanced CSS2 selectors? - They work!
Transparent png's? - Of course they work!

This is a really great and useful piece of javascript code. The downsides? - Well it's kinda slow on my Athlon 1000, but it's usable. Thanks to Dean Edwards I'm able to build a next-gen webinterface! Great!


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