Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Cross-Browser Development Tips (or how to make CSS work in IE8) (tinfoilsecurity.com)
21 points by angelirizarry 1486 days ago | hide | past | web | 8 comments | favorite

Looking at their usage "graph" (if the relative visuals indicate actual percentages), it appears that IE overall is a very small percentage of their views - perhaps 3-5%. Within that small percentage, IE 8 makes up what appears to be around 20% of all IE users. So they are spending time to optimize for around 1% and maybe 2% of their total views.

I'd suggest that it probably isn't worth it to spend a significant amount of time to support an audience that small. To determine if this is true, the company should track conversions from those using the IE browsers. If they have an average or higher than average number of conversions, one could argue that it is worth the time spent.

Otherwise, you are probably wasting significant engineering and design resources to solve problems for laggards who probably won't give you any money.

That's normally very true. What we didn't say in the article was that we have some customers whose corporate IT departments haven't upgraded yet and we didn't want to drop them on the wayside :)

I think the latter point of his argument still stands. Presumably you're able to justify the cost of testing for and dealing with IE8 problems because enough of your revenue and conversions come from IE8-bound users. If that's not the case, why would you still support IE8?

You're correct. Large corporations take ages to upgrade.

Sometimes a small portion of users can represent an outsize amount of value. As the OP's response to your comment would imply.

And now I feel old. I remember when I was writing articles like this for IE6. Though I'm betting there are a few of you out there who remember writing articles like this for IE5 or Netscape.

This article is obviously written for beginners, so I won't be too hard on it for lacking comprehensive detail, but I will make a few recommendations.

In the reset section, showing the * reset is okay, but I think it would be good to mention a few of the more popular/established/supported ones - like the Eric Meyer reset or normalize.css, and link to those. Beginners can obviously google "css reset", but it may be hard for them to discern which results are good and which are bad. Showing a few that are popular or commonly used will help them move forward on this point.

For the vendor prefix area, I would also recommend including a paragraph about checking sites like caniuse.com to see if the CSS property that you plan on using is even supported in browsers like IE8 or IE9.

Since the article is for beginners, too much detail within the article may be overwhelming for them, but links to resources they can use to expand their knowledge on the points you mention would be nice, as it would allow them to build on top of what you've written at their own pace.

It's interesting to see how the milestones shift. I started out making websites in IE3 and NS3, and you were glad just to get some sort of basic navigation going across browsers. It wasn't really web "design" back in those days. Then we had the IE4 / NS4 period, where you could actually do design in the browser, provided you built it twice, once for IE and once for NS. I wrote my first web app for NS4. It was a horrible browser, but it was good for its day. Then IE 6 happened, and it was the best browser by far and set a new baseline. It's funny to think back how at the time of its release IE 6 was an amazing browser, with fantastic standards support and stellar performance. The mozilla guys were playing catch-up churning out iterations of seamonkey, until firefox rose from seamonkey's morass, while all that time netscape users kept suffering on with NS 4. And inexorably IE 6 got old, and people like you were writing articles about how to bend back your code to support it. IE 8 was the first MS browser where I felt they really got their standards support right, and where you could build for it without major hackery. I was of course sorely mistaken, and now IE 8 is the old stuff that doesn't support the new hotness. It keeps shifting.

One good thing that happened were auto-updating browsers. You don't see these articles anymore about supporting old versions of firefox. Microsoft has to get onto the auto-update bandwagon, and we can finally stop bending code backwards.

instead of the "nuclear option" of reset proposed by the author, i would go with normalize...


also, an issue that never fails to rear it's ugly head in IE8 and below - trailing commas in javascript. JSLint/Hint will help avoid this

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact