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  1. #76
    gimme the uuuuuuuuuuu duuudie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    using server side coding to feed browsers alternative style sheets is just as bad as using so called hacks.
    each one its own. I fully respect your choice of not using scripting to handle cross browsers problems.
    What happens if a new browser that comes out says its ie5 to the browser detector script?
    The people behing all the browesrs [...] are not complete dumbasses.
    lol. Do I have to point out the logical error in your thought?

    just teasing you

  2. #77
    gimme the uuuuuuuuuuu duuudie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B
    After all I can see both sides of the argument but it always seems as the argument works both ways in most situations so there doesn't seem that there can be a winner. Just a matter of personal choice
    yep, you're right Paul.
    Now I must confess that being fascinated by PHP has probably biased my judgement when it comes to handle this problem.

    And after all, we have to put this whole discussion in the following context: most things people do don't require hacks/scripting solutions.


  3. #78
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duuudie
    lol. Do I have to point out the logical error in your thought?

    just teasing you

    Lol, I will just shut up now, as I don;t seem to be making any sence tonight. And agree with everyone that it's a personal choice.

  4. #79
    SitePoint Addict xDev's Avatar
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    Relying on another language to solve ie's CSS quirks isn't a good idea, imo. I code in PHP and I would never do such a thing. What of all those who use static pages, and especially on your home pc? Not everyone has (or uses) dynamic pages and not everyone has a web server at home for development purposes. I wouldn't use php or asp to serve hacks, same thing goes for using js. A few lines in a site-wide stylesheet is all that's needed. Adding a programmatic solution doesn't solve anything and only complicates the situation, needlessly.

  5. #80
    SitePoint Addict will_'s Avatar
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    An important thing to consider when talking about CSS 'hacks':

    We have to use them because of faulty browser implementation of CSS, not because we *want* to. So really, they are not hacks at all, rather, they are more like "whips" to whip the browser into behaving properly.

    I think that makes my $0.08 now.

  6. #81
    gimme the uuuuuuuuuuu duuudie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xDev
    Relying on another language to solve ie's CSS quirks isn't a good idea, imo. I code in PHP and I would never do such a thing. What of all those who use static pages, and especially on your home pc? Not everyone has (or uses) dynamic pages and not everyone has a web server at home for development purposes. I wouldn't use php or asp to serve hacks, same thing goes for using js. A few lines in a site-wide stylesheet is all that's needed. Adding a programmatic solution doesn't solve anything and only complicates the situation, needlessly.
    argh it was written that I would be misunderstood...
    once again my point is: a scripting solution should be mentionned when it comes to hacks and (and this is my personnaly choice) it is preferrable to hacks. Now... if you use static pages, this doesn't even come to be discussed.
    btw: does anyone know a library using scripting solution (server-side) to serve hacks? That would be an interesting link.


  7. #82
    SitePoint Addict xDev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duuudie
    btw: does anyone know a library using scripting solution (server-side) to serve hacks? That would be an interesting link.

    No, and you won't find one either. First of all you would need to identify which elements need the "hack" in the first place. Then you will have to implement it with CSS. So in essence you will need to have the solution already coded into your CSS. It's done, leave it in the stylesheet! PHP is not going to detect whether an element needs a hack dynamically on the fly. In order to use php to serve up the hack, the one you have already implemented, you would need to cut out the solution from your stylesheet and insert it into a php string, use $HTTP_USER_AGENT to detect the browser and do a stristr or Reg Exp equivalent to find substrings of the agent's name and version. After you have identified those, you set up conditionals based on it and alter the same css file and insert the same string you have cut out to begin with! Nice method, have fun

    Edit: Actually no browser detection is needed because the hack was already coded before hand and takes care of that in the first place. Basically you will only be telling PHP to echo out the hack, at the predetermined spot in the file you have already identified, instead of serving the browser a static CSS file.
    Last edited by xDev; Jul 1, 2004 at 08:10.

  8. #83
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    Thumbs up Is CSS Cleaner

    I am a novice website designer but a few months ago I redesigned my personal web site eliminating tables and going 100% CSS. I like the way CSS allows you to do things and it appears to me to be a more standard way. My personal website is www.carlbeck.com

  9. #84
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    One of the "problems" with css is that it gives you scope for more elaborate layout. Then when you have trouble working it out (usually due to IE stupidity) you curse it.

    We have to face the fact that hacks are only required for IE. If you could forsake IE somehow (js sniff n direct it) and give the REAL layout to your non-IE customers, whist leaving the IE version as bland alternative, change would happen. People would switch and designing would be so much easier.

    But who has the (collective) balls to do it?
    all code tested in:
    FireFox0.9, Opera7.51, Mozilla1.7, InternetExplorer5+6

  10. #85
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    IE7 is already out. It's just not a Microsoft product.
    http://dean.edwards.name/ie7/

  11. #86
    Are You There? KDesigns's Avatar
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    I believe CSS is much cleaner when it comes to code. However, it seems that many who haven't used it before think of it only for positioning and site structure. (*note: this is only from reading this thread)

    CSS is used for a variety of things that include positioning. You control backgrounds, fonts, headings, borders, lists, links, and a HUGE list of other things with CSS.
    ChooseDaily.com - Follow on Twitter
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  12. #87
    SitePoint Addict xDev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDesigns
    I believe CSS is much cleaner when it comes to code. However, it seems that many who haven't used it before think of it only for positioning and site structure. (*note: this is only from reading this thread)

    CSS is used for a variety of things that include positioning. You control backgrounds, fonts, headings, borders, lists, links, and a HUGE list of other things with CSS.
    Your absolutely right, its a very powerful "language" that is entirely used for precise control over every element's style and position in an html/xhtml document. The reasoning behind the disdain for table layouts is that tables were never meant for layout purposes. Back in the early 90's designers discovered that the border="0" attribute, when applied to the table tag, allows you to create interfaces that look the same as print brochures. Once that pesky border was conveniently put out of it's misery .... the rest is history. I read a quote once that the guy who worked on the table tag for the W3C had said something to the effect that "I have broken the web" ... not sure if it's true. The markup used to create these pages didn't mean anything semantically, most of it was images and spacer gifs inside of endless nested td tags.

    Web standards design is an attempt to take back the web and rid it of the table-montrosities of the past. Start with clean, semantic, markup and use the power of CSS for style and position. Accessibility and usability are added bonuses when you code with complete separation of content and style. Its a noble attempt and I subscribe to it fully. Once you start coding in this manner, assuming you code by hand, there's no going back to the days of table-hell!

  13. #88
    gimme the uuuuuuuuuuu duuudie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xDev
    Edit: Actually no browser detection is needed because the hack was already coded before hand and takes care of that in the first place. Basically you will only be telling PHP to echo out the hack, at the predetermined spot in the file you have already identified, instead of serving the browser a static CSS file.
    this is what would actually avoid the use of hacks as you would echo the proper css for the proper browser, and this is exactly my point: this practice can no longer be named a hack. It is about managing one of the many users input that developpers have to deal with. Using that, you don't actually need hacks, you just create blocks of code and choose which one to display according to the browser viewing your page.

    But, as mentionned above, I really think that it's a matter of preferences.


    I somehow have the efeling that, in the last posts of this discussion, there was a reluctant mood to nest server-side and client side and make them work both together.
    Designing layouts, to me, is the art of serving content to the user to improve as much as possible his/her experience. The best is your layout, the best the subject of the website is received by the user (this doesn't always include sites whose subject is design itself as you can have more freedom in your layouts approach). In this context, mixing a bit of server side to your style file can be a key to success. Let's take an example: the four vBulletin release candidates had a fixed layout (something like 750*700) in a pure blog style. I just loved that. I am not trying to trick you for the purpose of my explanation, that really improved my reading of members posts on forums using this fixed layout. The Gold release uses now a 100%, full screen liquid style and the reason was something like: "this is going to be the default style as most boards use it", which is a proof that a large amount of users had different tastes of mine in this situation.

    Using a bit of server-side and a little cookie, you can serve your user what he prefers using a little if/else line. You check the cookie, if he likes fixed style, give him a width of 700px, if he is a 'full-screener' set the width value to 100%.

    This is really a little example. There are much much more preferences that can be offered to your users, improving their experience and giving them the feeling that their needs are understood. Learning PHP madem e learn some CSS and XHTML and I couldn't live without this knowledge. Going server side seems totally scary for my designers friends, even for such easy tasks as improving the options of their layouts.

    But I am offtopicing here and, this time, this is true: this is not a scripting forum and this subject should not be brought here. However, I still consider that if you start adding a bit of server-side salt to your client-side work, using a bit of scripting to check which browser is lookng can be a good solution.

    However I must admit that my relationship with hacks is a bit better now thanks to the explanative post of Paul. At the end of the day, do what you consider as being the cleaner and most effective solution.


  14. #89
    SitePoint Addict xDev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duuudie
    this is what would actually avoid the use of hacks as you would echo the proper css for the proper browser, and this is exactly my point: this practice can no longer be named a hack. It is about managing one of the many users input that developpers have to deal with. Using that, you don't actually need hacks, you just create blocks of code and choose which one to display according to the browser viewing your page.
    As far as the purpose of CSS "hacks", and the fact that it only takes one or 2 lines of css to target the offending browser, your method of serving whole other blocks of code based upon browser detection is flawed. Its a step back in the opposite direction. If there wasn't a method already worked out to target the offending ie browsers with css alone, then use php or js or asp or whatever method will do the job. As of right now we have many working methods that only takes few lines in the stylesheet ... and it works. No need to reinvent the wheel. The whole reason for inventing a css-based hack in the first place is so we don't have to resort to what you are proposing!

    Now if you wish to serve up different styles, whole stylesheets or added snippets in existing stylesheets based upon a user's cookie preferences, then sure go ahead. Its an entirely different matter. It has been done many times before and only a server-side language can do that. Well, javascript can do it too but if the user has js disabled your out of luck.

    When you speak of browser detection, it reminds me of the days when your javascript code had to detect every browser out there on the market and serve up different code to each. As soon as the 5th generation browsers came out, and we decided to stop supporting 4th generation, instead of the dozens of lines of code that we used before we could now replace it with a simple object detection:

    Code:
    if(!document.getElementById) {
      return; // sorry pal you get nothing
    }
    It has the simplicity of a css-hack, in my mind. Most of us designers have giving up on 4th generation browsers anyway so the analogy is warranted.
    Last edited by xDev; Jul 2, 2004 at 09:22.

  15. #90
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    Haven't read all the latest responses as my lunch hour is well past up, but just wanted to mention this...

    CSS hacks are the realm of the site's designer. By trying to use a scripting (PHP as mentioned above) solution, you are moving design problems into the realm of the developer/programmer.

    Also, it eerily reminds me of the days when you almost had to double-serve Javascript because of all the different implementations. It's not fun and let's stay away from that!

  16. #91
    SitePoint Enthusiast Jenny McDermott's Avatar
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    Angry more design agony caused by Microsoft - haven't they done enough to us already?

    [QUOTE=wwb_99]Simple-you make it to default to the "new" way of doing things. Basically match for the bad rather than the good, as one can feed Opera/Gecko/KHTML the same CSS and they tend to render similarly.

    Note this is not the decision Microsoft made for .NET, which has embedded server-side browser detection. It presumes an unknown browser wants HTML 3.2 code. Of course, the company tha was supposed to be updating the <browsers> list is too busy selling browser hawk for ASP.OLD to update it, so the 7.0 series browsers get treated as if they were NS4. Ugh.

    WWB[/QUOT

    Is there actually an IE 7 that is a stand-alone browser? I thought Microsoft said it wasn't going to build any more standalones, it will embed the user agent in the OS from now on. Anybody know if there is a currently released Windows OS (XP, maybe?) with an embedded user agent? If so, do you also know how similar it is to IE6?
    "Nobody ever went broke by underestimating
    the taste of the American public." -- H.L. Mencken

  17. #92
    SitePoint Zealot Aonghus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    I think the power of CSS IS the pixel precision that you can use. 100% layouts are the devil anyway. I really hate that the Sitepoint forums are so wide.
    That's all very well, until you design a 800-pixel wide site, and someone tries to look at it on their 320-pixel wide pda!

  18. #93
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aonghus
    That's all very well, until you design a 800-pixel wide site, and someone tries to look at it on their 320-pixel wide pda!
    Almost all PDAs will break down a site and fit it to screen. My P800 does that, my Pocket PC did that, and if I recall correctly, palms do it as well. Even if we don't consider that, your page will most likely break down on a 320px screen anyway, dynamic width or not. Also, designing a page for both mobile and desktop browser is not very smart (huge understatement). when designing for mobile browsers, you have to consider that they almost never download images (it costs incredible amounts of money to do that) and that they have very slow connections, so your page size should be kept to a mini-mini-minimum. Forget tables and layout data - it takes up way too much bandwidth. Stick to very simple formatting (line breaks, italics, and bold) and no more when making sites for PDAs and smartphones.
    Mattias Johansson
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  19. #94
    SitePoint Zealot Aonghus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Also, designing a page for both mobile and desktop browser is not very smart
    Point taken, but there are always going to be cases where someone has a higher resolution screen, or a lower resultion screen. Unless you intend to make different versions for all the possibilities, pixel-precision designing will usually lead to sites that are less usable for at least a small number of visitors. It's important to strike a compromise between aesthetics and usability. That's just my opinion. (even though I often do exactly what you're talking about! )

  20. #95
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aonghus
    Point taken, but there are always going to be cases where someone has a higher resolution screen, or a lower resultion screen. Unless you intend to make different versions for all the possibilities, pixel-precision designing will usually lead to sites that are less usable for at least a small number of visitors. It's important to strike a compromise between aesthetics and usability. That's just my opinion. (even though I often do exactly what you're talking about! )
    Ah, tis true. I personally consider 800x600 a fair compromise, though. People with high resolutions are often more annoyed with non-fixed width than with fixed, as it makes text incredibly hard to read. And 640x480 are at below 2% nowadays.
    Mattias Johansson
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  21. #96
    SitePoint Addict jtresidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    100% layouts are the devil anyway. I really hate that the Sitepoint forums are so wide.
    If people don't like any particular 100% layout, they can view them in a narrower browser window. By coding them fixed width you remove the choice for those who think that fixed width layouts are the devil, myself included.

    Obviously the design of the particular site makes a difference, but in general why force viewers to adapt to a site designer's own preferences?

  22. #97
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtresidder
    If people don't like any particular 100% layout, they can view them in a narrower browser window. By coding them fixed width you remove the choice for those who think that fixed width layouts are the devil, myself included.
    Constantly resizing windows is a complete pain. It also limits tabbed browsing. You will always limit the choices and/or inconvinence someone no matter what design choices you make.

    I really fail to imagine a scenario where you'd want a design that scales down to 800x600 resolutions in a 1280 resolution or higher.
    Mattias Johansson
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  23. #98
    SitePoint Addict jtresidder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Constantly resizing windows is a complete pain. It also limits tabbed browsing.
    How does it limit tabbed browsing? (Switching between sites that suit different widths?)

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    You will always limit the choices and/or inconvinence someone no matter what design choices you make.
    Granted, but the degree of inconvenience can be a factor. And, yes, I freely admit that I normally err on the side of my personal preferences!

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    I really fail to imagine a scenario where you'd want a design that scales down to 800x600 resolutions in a 1280 resolution or higher.
    I personally like to widen the screen when reading listings to keep as many items on one line as possible (or get as many thumbnails on the visible page as possible etc.) which speeds up my scanning of the page. That covers a huge range of sites, but I'm sure there are more. It's only personal preference, but I like to be able to make the choice.

  24. #99
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtresidder
    How does it limit tabbed browsing? (Switching between sites that suit different widths?)
    Making the browser window smaller allows for fewer tabs in the "tab bar".

    I personally like to widen the screen when reading listings to keep as many items on one line as possible (or get as many thumbnails on the visible page as possible etc.) which speeds up my scanning of the page. That covers a huge range of sites, but I'm sure there are more. It's only personal preference, but I like to be able to make the choice.
    Ah, in those cases, it might be very useful, I agree. I'd still want to keep text mass at a fixed width, though.
    Mattias Johansson
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  25. #100
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    Also, designing a page for both mobile and desktop browser is not very smart (huge understatement). when designing for mobile browsers, you have to consider that they almost never download images (it costs incredible amounts of money to do that) and that they have very slow connections, so your page size should be kept to a mini-mini-minimum.
    I'm not entirely sure I agree with you here, depends on the implementations of the mobile browsers. If a mobile browser encounters an image which is hidden with CSS, will it load that image? I don't have a mobile browser to test with, bare with me. If it doesn't load the image then I'd say that developing one page for both mediums is a very wise thing to do (since it's no more than using seperate CSS files applied to different media='' options), but if it does load the files then I'm in total agreement with you, loading images is expensive on both the pocket and the processor. If you know how most mobile devices handle that, I would greatly appreciate a response.


    Constantly resizing windows is a complete pain. It also limits tabbed browsing. You will always limit the choices and/or inconvinence someone no matter what design choices you make.
    It does limit tabbed browsing on browsers like Firefox/Mozilla, but not for those which use a multi-document interface like Opera's (tabbed browsing isn't the same as multi-document browsing). Opera allows you to drag a "tab" (page) off of the tab-bar and into it's own window (child window turns into a parent window). Firefox's attempt at tabbed browsing is half-arsed, in all honesty.

    I really fail to imagine a scenario where you'd want a design that scales down to 800x600 resolutions in a 1280 resolution or higher.
    Web-based applications, SVG-enabled pages (for example: you have an SVG-chart which is embedded in the page and uses javascript to download an XML file every 5 minutes, parse it, and resize the bars in the chart in real-time, allowing an up-to-date sales analysis chart which could be projected onto a TV or a second monitor in the office), slide shows (you could be sending the slide show to a TV which has an extremely low resolution or a computer screen with an extremely high resolution), etc. should be completely resizable and shouldn't limit themselves in size because it would create more problems than solve. Although, those situations are fairly uncommon to those designing personal pages or doing common webdesign work in which case I can understand using the fixed-width layout.


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