Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Web standards and browsers

I'm a freelance web designer in my spare time so I was ecstatic that one of the assignments for my Computer Science class was to create a Web site. In a matter of hours I had the general layout and a day or so later the site was what I would call finished.

Well, or at least I thought it was.

I tested it in several different browsers. And by several different browsers I mean a ton. Firefox, Opera, Flock, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 Beta, Maxthon, Safari, and even Swiftweasel. Frankly, the site looked terrific in all of them.

Unfortunately, I still had to consider Internet Explorer 6. For some odd reason GVSU has chosen to not upgrade the lab computers to IE7.

IE6 simply tears the site apart. PNG transparency support is flawed, and for some reason I cannot seem to get the site to center itself.

The Internet is the exact same no matter which computer you access it from. On modern hardware there should be no reason for web designers to have to code around browsers. It is ridiculous how much grief designers go through trying to get pages to look the same across browsers and platforms.

Thankfully today's newest browsers are about the same. Microsoft finally decide to wise up and fix Internet Explorer.

What makes no sense is that GVSU has not upgraded to IE7. And I believe the main reason is because of the BlackBoard software that the campus uses. We should get with the program and upgrade -- BlackBoard's terribly coded software should not stop us.

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