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  1. #1
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    Question Is it really possible?

    Can a person truly try to solve all problems in all browsers? Is it possible to design a site that looks good everywhere, on every system, every resolution size, etc? I've been finding it a time consuming process...any one have any suggestions? Also, is there a way for a site to detect the browser being used and then adjust accordingly?
    Zwall
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    MultiMedia Technologies Design Firm | Changing Things
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  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    if by "looks good" you mean "looks exactly the same", the answer is yes - if you use html4, table based layouts. as soon as you start moving towards xhtml+css and table-less design, you won't be able to recreate exactly the same look in each browser (well, in modern ones you will, but not old ones).
    however, it's possible to design sites that use all the latest standards and degrade nicely, allowing for the limited capabilities of older browsers.
    www.glish.com/css is a good starting point, i feel...and make sure you read up on the IE box model hack and the compatibility issues with NN4.x
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    if by "looks good" you mean "looks exactly the same", the answer is yes - if you use html4, table based layouts.
    Except in every other browser that doesn't support tables, in which case it'll probably be crap, not just plain or un-prettyfied. I'd suggest, zwall, that you pick up Opera (you can turn off tables and styles and so forth--fast and v customizable) or a text browser to check out what your pages look like without the bells and whistles. If then, all the links work, the page is easy to understand and so fourth, the I guess you'd be fine. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by zwall
    Is there a way for a site to detect the browser being used and then adjust accordingly?
    Yes, but it is a baaaaaaaaaaaad idea. Many of the smaller browsers out there are routinely cut out by over-zealous sniffers, and have been put in the unfortunate position of masquerading as another browser make, or be unfairly denied access. You can't keep with each and every browser out there; you can't trust user agent strings; invariably, your sniffer will be broken. If you must sniff, sniff for a browser's capabilities not its make.

    ~~Ian
    Last edited by Ian Glass; Mar 9, 2003 at 11:57.

  4. #4
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    No, you cannot design such a site because user-agents come in so many forms and not just visual, scrolling, desktop or JavaScript enabled, etc.

    However, as was previously mentioned you can create a site that will probably function in the leading mainstream market-share browsers that were created this century and not look too dissimilar if you apply Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and eXtensible Markup Language XML - most likely in the form of eXtensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML).

    But then you'd have to wrestle with the common CSS bugs; it's a no win situation so I would try to aim for the following: Netscape 6.0+, Mozilla 1.0, M$ IE 6.0 and Opera 7.0 testing by creating a W3C XHTML 1.1 compliant page then start testing the CSS.

    Obviously that's only a small section of browsers, but try to focus on your target audience.
    Last edited by xhtmlcoder; Mar 10, 2003 at 09:11.

  5. #5
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    Thnx a bunch guys for your help. I'll be looking into those suggestions further.
    Zwall
    Director of Operations
    MultiMedia Technologies Design Firm | Changing Things
    www.mmtdf.com

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhtmlcoder
    by creating a W3C XHTML 1.1 compliant page
    I'll disagree with this particular point on the basis that you have to break the standard, and fiddle around on the server's configuration to get it to work *at all* in IE. XHTML 1.1 must be served as application/xhtml+xml, but IE will ask you to download the page, rather than display it since it's confused by the MIME type. Better to go with XHTML 1.0 or even HTML 4.01 (I'd suggest the Strict variety). What a world of alphabet soup, eh, Zwall? ;-)

    ~~Ian
    Last edited by Ian Glass; Mar 10, 2003 at 19:56.

  7. #7
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Glass
    Better to go with XHTML 1.0 or even HTML 4.1 (I'd suggest the Strict variety). What a world of alphabet soup, eh, Zwall? ;-)

    ~~Ian
    Minor technical detail there Ian; there is no HTML 4.1! HTML 4.01, Zwall.

    PS: Ian, not trying to get your goat or anything, but it's rare to trip you up and I have to take the opportunity .

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I have nooooo idea what you're talking about, Vinnie...

    ~~Ian

  9. #9
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwall
    Can a person truly try to solve all problems in all browsers? Is it possible to design a site that looks good everywhere, on every system, every resolution size, etc? I've been finding it a time consuming process...any one have any suggestions? Also, is there a way for a site to detect the browser being used and then adjust accordingly?
    Since my site is text based, I decided to keep it simple and go with HTML 4.01. I tried to make the design flexible as possible - it can expand or scrunch into a very small window. I have a css layout ready to go if and when the time is right but right now I have too many visitors using older browsers. Why don't you guys test it in as many browsers as possible and see if you can break it! I'd be curious to know. Thanks.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earther
    Why don't you guys test it in as many browsers as possible and see if you can break it!
    OK ;-)

    ~~Ian
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Well XHTML 1.1 does not have to be served as 'application/xhtml+xml' http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-media-types/#summary since it doesn't possess the "MUST NOT" label and I cannot help if Micro$oft IE is riddled with bugs...

    I will not bother testing to break that particular page in something like Amaya, I could probably just run Lynx but it depends upon what you mean by break - I assume you mean upset the layout.

  12. #12
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Glass
    OK ;-)

    ~~Ian
    Oops. How did you do that Ian? Some details would be appreciated. Thanks.


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