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The Internet Internet Explorer Technology

CSS Support Could Be IE7's Weakest Link 575

Posted by Zonk
from the who-uses-that-css-stuff-anyway? dept.
Ritalin16 writes "Many web developers may be disappointed to hear that Microsoft decided to hold off on full CSS2 support with IE 7.0. As said by Microsoft-Watch: 'One partner said that Microsoft considers CSS2 to be a flawed standard and that the company is waiting for a later point release, such as CSS2.1 or CSS3, before throwing its complete support behind it.'" More commentary available from ZDNet. Generally related to the IE 7 Acid Test thrown down by Opera.
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CSS Support Could Be IE7's Weakest Link

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:39PM (#11965803)
    Support CSS 2.1 [w3.org]. We're really not picky. Anything is better than nothing.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tabkey12 (851759) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:46PM (#11965875) Homepage
      Has anyone ever justified these claims that CSS is a flawed standard? In slashdotters experience, is CSS flawed, and if so, how?
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Moonshadow (84117) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:51PM (#11965930) Homepage
        CSS2 has some flaws, but it's a far cry better than anything IE currently offers. Writing cross-browser CSS can be an exercise in frustration unless you resort to browser-specific stylesheets. I just want IE to support, you know, the standard.
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Maul (83993) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:01PM (#11966025) Journal
        There are certainly shortcomings in CSS, in my opinion, but CSS does a pretty good job when the browser supports it properly. Opera and Mozilla/Firefox currently seem to do an excellent job of supporting CSS.

        The only reason Microsoft doesn't support CSS properly is that they don't OWN it. MSIE supporting CSS properly would be a massive step towards web interoperability, which is definately against what MS wants.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:05PM (#11966067) Homepage
        I'm not trying to dismiss your question (I'd like to hear more answers), but even if we assume that it's flawed, I still really want to say, so what? It's still the standard.

        Is Microsoft seriously arguing that they've never thrown their weight behind an imperfect work-in-progress technology/standard before? Is the imperfectness of CSS2 made better by making IE render it improperly?

        Now, I'm not trying to keep people from discussing the finer points of possible improvements to web-standards, but can't we all agree that it's better to have all browsers interpreting the same standards the same way?

        • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

          by angrytuna (599871) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:20PM (#11966259)
          From a google cache [66.102.7.104] of a transcript with some members of the IE dev team:

          Host: Dave (Microsoft)
          Q: ali : Will the next release have full CSS 2 and CSS 3 support?
          A: Hi Ali, It's too early to make any commitments as we concentrate on implementing the features that make most sense to our customers. CSS2 is actually a flawed standard that nobody has full support for. CSS2.1 is currently in draft recommendation to fix this and we hope to improve out support there in the future.

          And from the W3C's page on the subject: [w3.org]
          CSS 2.1 corrects a few errors in CSS2 (the most important being a new definition of the height/width of absolutely positioned elements, more influence for HTML's "style" attribute and a new calculation of the 'clip' property), and adds a few highly requested features which have already been widely implemented. But most of all CSS 2.1 represents a "snapshot" of CSS usage: it consists of all CSS features that are implemented interoperably at the date of publication of the Recommendation.

          So it looks like they are intending at least some form of growth in this direction. They did fix the box model problem [microsoft.com] with IE 6, so I'm inclined to take this statement at face value.

        • by GunFodder (208805) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:26PM (#11967132)
          I think that the latest incarnation of CSS may be the "standard", but since IE is by far and away the most popular browser its method of rendering pages is actually the de facto standard.

          I don't know how many times I've read this statement from other people - "I like Firefox/Mozilla, but it doesn't render my bank/news/etc site correctly so I have to use IE." Or "I would use another browser but I support IE at work." A lot of people are stuck with IE because of its poor interoperability.

          Now why would MS decide to spend money on extra development effort on a project that earns no revenue in order to increase interoperability, thereby incouraging web developers to fix their web sites so that competing browsers can render them correctly? This loses them both dollars and marketshare.
      • Flawed? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Apathetic1 (631198)

        I dislike CSS because it makes the most common layout formatting (columns) hard to implement. I also dislike that it has no inheritance. Just as an arbitrary illustration, I get sick of writing:

        a {
        some formatting
        }

        a.somestyle {
        more formatting
        }

        a.otherstyle {
        yet more formatting
        }

        instead of, say:

        a {
        some formatting

        .somestyle {
        more formatting
        }
        .otherstyle {
        yet more formatting
        }
        }

        Great concept, mediocre execution. This "flawed standard" garbage, however, is just a lame excuse.

        • Re:Flawed? (Score:4, Informative)

          by hsoft (742011) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:15PM (#11966202) Homepage
          Why not writing this instead?

          a,a.somestyle,a.otherstyle {common formatting}
          a.somestyle {specific formatting}
          a.otherstyle {specific formatting}
          • Re:Flawed? (Score:3, Informative)

            by DoctorMO (720244)
            Actualy,

            a {common formatting}
            a.somestyle {specific formatting}
            a.otherstyle {specific formatting}

            should work too.
            • Re:Flawed? (Score:3, Informative)

              by AkaXakA (695610)
              Actually, depending on what you want to do:

              a {common formatting}
              containing_element1 a {specific formatting}
              containing_element2 a {specific formatting}

              This decreases all the classes you need to add.

              PS. For those that don't read css: The last line reads: all the "a" located in the "containing_element2" have to recieve {specific formatting}. (and it overrides the common formatting too if you define, say, the margins again.)
          • Re:Flawed? (Score:3, Informative)

            by Apathetic1 (631198)
            The first part of my example above does accomplish that slightly less verbosely (the "a" common formatting will cascade down so you don't explicitly have to mention a.somestyle and a.otherstyle in the common formatting section) but I would like to be able to nest styles intelligently, which you can't do under the current CSS standards.
        • Re:Flawed? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered@hot ... minus herbivore> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:26PM (#11966345) Journal
          columns are easy, dynamic columns are a right bastard. CSS needs groups and referncing.

          myclass{
          width = grouped
          }

          myclass2{
          left = myclass.right
          height = id.height
          }

          etc...

        • Re:Flawed? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537)
          I dislike CSS because it makes the most common layout formatting (columns) hard to implement.

          I'd agree to that. In fact, I find a lot of the positioning control a little hard to deal with, but I wonder if some of that might be the browser implementations rather than the standard itself. You know, sometimes I try to place something, and I'm pretty sure I've done it the right way, but it takes a hell of a lot of tweaking to get it to show up where I want it. That might be browser issues, but it might also

        • Re:Flawed? (Score:5, Informative)

          by JimDabell (42870) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:34PM (#11966454) Homepage

          I dislike CSS because it makes the most common layout formatting (columns) hard to implement

          That's a common misconception. CSS has made that easy for seven years (display: table-cell), it's part of the CSS 2 specification.

          The reason why nobody knows about it is because even though Safari, Mozilla, Opera, Konqueror, Firefox, Omniweb, etc. implement it, Internet Explorer doesn't, which means it might as well not exist.

          This is why everybody is so keen for Microsoft to implement CSS 2. Or CSS 2.1, which is CSS 2.0 with the more difficult parts taken out and a couple of proprietary Internet Explorer properties thrown in.

          It's not "CSS making it hard", it's "CSS making it easy and Microsoft making it hard".

          I also dislike that it has no inheritance.

          For most purposes, grouping selectors is more than enough. The example you gave is a bit odd, because CSS lets you do that easily:

          a {
          some formatting
          }

          a.somestyle {
          more formatting
          }

          a.otherstyle {
          yet more formatting
          }
          • Re:Flawed? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Apathetic1 (631198)
            I'll admit my example was contrived but I don't have a real example handy just now. I wish CSS had nesting because I find it unnecessarily verbose.
            • Re:Flawed? (Score:5, Informative)

              by eggz128 (447435) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:45PM (#11967415)
              I'm not entirely sure this is what you are after, but did you realise you can combine classes?

              i.e. .style1 {color: red;} .style2 {background-color: blue;} .style3 {border: 2px solid black;}

              <p class="style1">I Have style 1</p>
              <p class="style1 style2>I have style1 and style2 combined</p>
              <p class="style1 style3">I have style1 and style3</p>
              <p class="style1 style2 style3">I have the lot!</p>
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shimbo (100005) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:18PM (#11966233)
        Has anyone ever justified these claims that CSS is a flawed standard?

        CSS 2 is clearly a flawed standard; it had pages of errata [w3.org], then CSS 2.1 got released as a maintenance release. You can't implement a standard fully when it isn't self-consistent.

        The big problem was that, for once, the standards people were some way ahead of what was supported by the browsers. That's dangerous, because you really want at least two independent implementations of a standard to see if there is any ambiguity.

        The problem is self-perpetuating. If you take the attitude of not starting on implementing a standard until it's finish, then you're providing no feedback to the standards process.
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tesmako (602075)
        All W3C standards are heavily flawed. One can in general say this much about the situation, if something (the WWW) has been around for >15 years, and despite this:
        - The user experience is only so-so.
        - The standards are so numerous that it is hard to even have a general idea where all fit into the big picture.
        - Writing a reader for it is such a huge undertaking that not even the largest and most successful businesses manage to pull it off well then something has gone very wrong.
        then something is wron
        • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:38PM (#11967297)

          All W3C standards are heavily flawed.

          You've read them all? And tried implementing them all? And written documents using them all? If not, then you aren't qualified to make such a statement.

          Writing a reader for it is such a huge undertaking that not even the largest and most successful businesses manage to pull it off well then something has gone very wrong.

          Blame the browser vendors. If they hadn't engaged in an arms race to build the most complex error workarounds, then it would be a much simpler matter to build a user-agent (that's the correct term for what you call "a reader").

          The underlying problem is not that hard, it is just a continuos pie-in-the-sky standardization effort ripping everything invented at any point apart in the next revision

          HTML, CSS, HTTP, ECMA-262 have all been incrementally improved while remaining backwards compatible. The core specifications that web browsers implement have not been "ripped apart" even once since their conception.

          Don't believe me? Go ahead, write an HTML (as in 1.0) document and you'll find that web browsers understand it just fine. Talk HTTP 0.9 to Apache, and watch it respond just fine. Hell, you can link CSS 3 stylesheets with HTML 2.0 documents and have it work exactly as you would expect, even though HTML 2.0 predates CSS by years.

          Make a presentation format that separates content from layout.

          HTML describes the content of a document. CSS gives presentation.

          Allow textual information with embedded images and external plugins/objects.

          HTML does this.

          Include some basic scripting

          ECMA-262

          some basic widgets (buttons, textfields, drop-down boxes).

          HTML does this

          See to that it is decently easy to screen-scrape, use with screen-readers

          HTML does this

          and is resolution independent

          CSS gives you the option of writing resolution independent or resolution dependent stylesheets.

          Does anyone really feel that this has to be so complex that one can't complete it in under 15 years

          Funny, all of the above has been working in browsers for years.

          one can't make it simple enough to actually make it possible for a hobbyist to implement a reader for?

          Plenty of hobbyists have written browsers. The original WorldWideWeb browser was little more than a hobby project.

          Sure the W3C has standards for a lot more, but that is part of the problem, the core is too huge.

          I fail to see how much smaller it could get. HTML for content, CSS for presentation, HTTP to retrieve resources across a network, URIs for addresses, and ECMA-262 for client-side scripting.

          By all means, please point out which one is unnecessary or too complex, because at the moment, you sound like just another W3C naysayer who doesn't know what he is talking about.

        • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

          The web used to be easy to implement readers for, back when it was first created. Then it got interesting and useful.
      • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Elwood P Dowd (16933)
        1. I have no idea if CSS is flawed, or what the problems might be with it.
        2. According to Dave Hyatt [mozillazine.org], "Sometimes trying to support the standards can be a real pain."
        Yes, in that article some of his woes may have been caused by IE6 and lower, but IE7 will have to deal with the precedent set by IE6 just the same.
  • Spare Me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by filmmaker (850359) * on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:40PM (#11965812) Homepage
    "One partner said that Microsoft considers CSS2 to be a "flawed" standard and that the company is waiting for a later point release, such as CSS2.1 or CSS3, before throwing its complete support behind it." If MS were so concerned about quality standards, they would embrace the best thing we have: CSS 2. And then, when 2.1 or 3 came along, they'd support that promptly.
  • Well, it probably does *help* to be doing acid when trying to get IE to work properly ...

  • Just like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turtled (845180) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:41PM (#11965820)
    See, that's the problem. It's just like Microsoft to say "We'll wait til later ( point release, such as CSS2.1 or CSS3) before throwing our complete support behind it" I don't understand! You have to plan for the future, no plan after the fact!
  • Oh The Irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:42PM (#11965831)
    from the who-uses-that-css-stuff-anyway? dept.

    Certainly not slashdot, it seems. In fact, they don't seem to be adhering to any standards at all.

    Funny how that open source superiority give slashcode cruddy HTML code and horrible, outdated design.

    • by M.C. Hampster (541262) <M.C.TheHampster@gmail. c o m> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:58PM (#11965999) Journal

      Can we get the parent modded up? It's ridiculous for any employee of Slashdot to be criticizing anyone for their lack of support for web standards.

    • Re:Oh The Irony (Score:5, Informative)

      by jm92956n (758515) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:52PM (#11966719) Journal
      Check out Taco's latest Journal entry [slashdot.org], dated March 8 (excerpts below):
      One of the most common requests I get today is to bring Slashdot up to date with modern web technologies like CSS & XHTML.

      The truth is that bringing Slashdot into the modern era of web design would please me beyond measure. It is unfortunately, non-trivial to do this.

      Fortunately for us, Wes, OSTGs super HTML pimp is going to take a crack at actually making a proper CSS/xHTML layout for Slashdot.

  • by bdigit (132070) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:42PM (#11965833)
    Even when you design a standards compliant webpage you still need to use hacks to get things to work and validate correctly. And because of IE who refuses to fully support CSS it just makes life more miserable for web developers wasting time on figuring out how to hack together their code to display correctly on all web browsers. I hope companies start designing webpages for Firefox only and it will display a message when you try to access the site in IE saying please use firefox to access this website.
  • more on css2 (Score:4, Informative)

    by dmf415 (218827) * on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:42PM (#11965834)
    This specification defines Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 (CSS2). CSS2 is a style sheet language that allows authors and users to attach style (e.g., fonts, spacing, and aural cues) to structured documents (e.g., HTML documents and XML applications). By separating the presentation style of documents from the content of documents, CSS2 simplifies Web authoring and site maintenance.

    CSS2 builds on CSS1 (see [CSS1]) and, with very few exceptions, all valid CSS1 style sheets are valid CSS2 style sheets. CSS2 supports media-specific style sheets so that authors may tailor the presentation of their documents to visual browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices, handheld devices, etc. This specification also supports content positioning, downloadable fonts, table layout, features for internationalization, automatic counters and numbering, and some properties related to user interface.

    more here:
    http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/ [w3.org]
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:42PM (#11965836) Journal
    Microsoft has once again decided that it's going to go its own way, and I'm sure this means more crippled MS pages that other browsers can't read. I'm going to start making it very clear to my customers now that MS has no intention of playing nice on the web, and recommending Opera or Firefox.
  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck (752151) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#11965847)
    Michael Cherry, senior analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said he believes the software giant's biggest focus will be on security issues with features and standards support taking a back seat.

    I guess that's not THAT bad.. Sure it would be nice to have CSS2 support, but security seems to be the #1 thing everyone bitches about around here and is probably more important.

    Then again, I can't really see why they don't do both...

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#11965849) Homepage
    MS complaining about broken standards.
  • Boo... Sort of (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MankyD (567984) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#11965853) Homepage
    Agreed, CSS needs some work, but its a hell of a lot better than nothing at all (or flawed support, anyways.) What gives?
  • This is silly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#11965855)
    Yesterday I had to make a page.
    I made it in firefox with no problems. Then, I looked at it in IE and it was terrible. If I code to standards why can't microsoft make their products support standards?
  • Flawed logic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wileynet (779280) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#11965856)
    We consider the standard to be flawed. So instead we will continue with our flawed support of the previous standard.
  • by room101 (236520) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:45PM (#11965863) Homepage
    Microsoft considers CSS2 to be a flawed standard
    In other news, Microsoft considers every standard to be flawed. You know, no innovation and such.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:45PM (#11965864) Homepage
    We don't want to support your flawed standard so we can have a chance to push our own flawed standards.
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:46PM (#11965868)
    People will use IE7 because windows update will automatically put it in place of IE6 one day. It will fix some bugs and create others. It will not change how web developers create sites, it will not derail Firefox, it will not make people salivate for Longhorn.
  • Wait till CSS2.1/3? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by critter_hunter (568942) <critter_hunter@h ... m ['otm' in gap]> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:46PM (#11965871)

    What a load of crap! CSS3 builds up upon CSS2.1, and even though CSS2.1 is still a candidate recommendation, it's being pushed as the standard by the W3C (as evidenced by the fact they are linking to CSS 2.1 in the navigation menu of their CSS page [w3.org])

    Of course, some people are actually in favour of IE not supporting CSS any better than it currently does - with IE7 being unavailable on platforms older than XP, and any attempted improvement to CSS being likely to add more than it's share of CSS bugs, it would just make another browser developpers need to work around. The evil we know might just be better...

  • by Onimaru (773331) * on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#11965887)

    Once upon a time, this would have worked. Take the emerging layout standard that doesn't use your bizarro extensions and strange layout tactics, decide not to support it, and force everyone who wants slick new layout features to write for either you or everyone else, or else write every page twice.

    But I'm not so sure this is a good idea now. The fact is that more and more people are getting to the point that they would rather write for everyone but IE rather than just IE. I think falling behind on standards while steaming ahead with the next generation of crappy proprietary extensions just isn't going to work again. In fact, I think this might accellerate the death of IE.

    Bottom line: bad move. The correct response to more competition is to compete, not to stick your fingers in your ears and scream "LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING!"

    • The fact is that more and more people are getting to the point that they would rather write for everyone but IE rather than just IE.

      True. I usually make sure a layout works in standards-compliant browsers first, then add in CSS hacks [w3development.de] to make it work in IE. For personal projects, if a particular feature (e.g. adjacent sibling selectors [w3.org]) isn't available in IE, IE users will just have to live without the extra pretty. For work-related projects, I have no choice but to implement bloated workarounds to mimic w
  • Stylesheets and MS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#11965891) Journal
    Didn't MS introduce their own "standard" for stylesheets at one point? Perhaps they're just gunning to introduce a new "MS standard" to blow off browsers using the real standard?
    • by JimDabell (42870) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:39PM (#11966543) Homepage

      Didn't MS introduce their own "standard" for stylesheets at one point?

      You're probably thinking of JSSS, which was a stylesheet language based upon Javascript, introduced by Netscape 4, that competed with CSS. Internet Explorer has had a partial implementation of CSS since 3.0 (it was the first browser with CSS support).

  • IE7 & Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tpengster (566422) <slash.tpengster@com> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#11965896)

    Let's put two and two together:

    • Google is gaining a huge foothold on the web. Alot of Google's new sites (gmail/maps/suggest) depend heavily on Javascript
    • Microsoft decides to release a new version of IE

    Perhaps the new microsoft motto will be "IE's not done till Google doesn't run"

    This won't be a huge problem since Google can simply update their code. However, I wouldn't be surprised if alot of JS functionality that would be very useful to google either now or in the future is simply "missing" on IE7

    There has been alot of talk of Google launching a new era of computing with the web as the OS. But Microsoft controls the web (through IE), and they won't allow the web to become a competitor to Windows.

    • Re:IE7 & Google (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the pickle (261584)
      Yeah, but would most people rather have a working Google or a working IE?

      I submit that the unwashed masses would now prefer the former to the latter.

      p
  • by NoSuchGuy (308510) <do-not-harvest-m ... dot@spa.mtrap.de> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:49PM (#11965900) Journal
    Rename CSS2 to CSS2.1 or CSS3

    It doesn't matter what's inside the documents.

    MS only supports what it want's to support.

    Think about it!
  • Weakest link? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:49PM (#11965904) Homepage Journal
    I read the title and thought, "CSS will be IEs weakest link? Something doesn't sound right."

    This sounds like typical Microsoft logic. "Just wait a bit longer and something better will come out." CSS2 is here now and people are using it. Support it instead of forcing web designers to put in loads of ugly hacks just to make your bloated software work as it should in the first place.

    Yeah, I'm bashing Microsoft but it is deserved in this case.
  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bonch (38532) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:50PM (#11965916)
    "I'm Microsoft, and I'm a big monopoly, so I'm arbitrarily deciding not to support standards I don't like. For no other reason than I don't like them. Secretly, it's just because I don't want to adopt standards that compete with my own, but my managers have told me to tell everyone I just think it's a buggy implementation. I never make any of those..."

    Someone should start an organization that publicly hands out awards to companies that severely hinder the progress of technology. Microsoft would win every year. The web has been held back for seven years now because IE won't properly support CSS2. That's like someone developing an improved version of gasoline that costs and pollutes less, and then none of the gas stations adopting it for close to a decade even though it's cheap and available. You look back and shake your head that all this time, people could have been saving money and polluting the air less and they have no idea.

    The general public doesn't even realize the web would look and interact much better than it does now. We should have been visiting more advanced websites years ago. But the web still looks and functions the way it did in 2000, because the majority browser IE doesn't adopt technological progress. It's times like these I wish I was rich enough to run public service commercials that stated all this, just to inform people how they're being hindered without even knowing it.
    • Why was I modded "flamebait?" Internet Explorer's broken support of CSS2 has hindered its full adoption for years. Microsoft now controls the standards of the Web unless web developers speak out VERY loudly to drown out their press releases.
  • by acomj (20611) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:53PM (#11965952) Homepage
    Someone should make a ie "plug in" that handdles ccs. We have a couple open rendering engines (geko/khtml)..

    Could this be done?
  • by psyklopz (412711) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:00PM (#11966012)
    I'm surprised it hasn't been said:

    Wouldn't supporting CSS 2.1 or CSS 3 imply support for CSS 2? These standards are backwards-compatible, right?

  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:07PM (#11966102) Homepage
    Many web developers may be disappointed to hear that Slashdot has decided to hold off on full CSS2 compatibility in the Slashcode product line....
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:09PM (#11966119) Homepage Journal
    I've decided that from here on out I will invoice my CSS time for IE seperately. Being that I create most browser interfaces in XHTML and all layout is 100% CSS, I will now isolate the huge chunk of time I must spend on each project for IE compatability. I will also make it clear UPFRONT by making an accountance in my proposol for just how my design time will be devided up and how much time I estimate to spend on IE compatability vs supporting the rest of the world.

    Why single IE out on my invoices and proposols? To let companies know where that extra $2,000.00 went for 20-30 hours of my time. That's why. And in hopes that they will opt not to engage in that expenditure.

    I'd urge all other UI designers and developers to do the same.
    And if the client decides that they wish not to support IE, a small victory shall have been won.

    It was fine 5-6 years ago to say "Ooops -- you're using that Netscape piece of shit, please come back using a real browser"
    I say it's time we start doing this again, but for IE and for the exact same reasons.
  • by Caspian (99221) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:13PM (#11966173)
    It's "flawed" because (A) it isn't in their patent portfolio, (B) they didn't invent it, (C) they don't make money off of it, and (D) it doesn't improve their marketshare or "mindshare". In other words, it's "flawed" because it isn't a Microsoft product.
  • "* html" hack (Score:4, Informative)

    by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@noSPAm.annexia.org> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:16PM (#11966219) Homepage
    I'm using the so-called "star html"/"* html" hack to make developing for IE slightly more tolerable.

    What I do is build the site in Firefox so it renders perfectly. I know it'll likely render fine in Mozilla (obviously), Safari and Opera. But IE is likely to screw up positioning.

    So I then add extra lines: * html div#content { top: 100px; /* hack for IE */ } just after the correct code to move things around on IE. IE is broken and interprets the "* html", whereas other browsers correctly ignore it.

    In a very few cases I simply disable features in the IE version until it works - IE users get a slightly less nice looking site, but that's their problem.

    Rich.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:19PM (#11966253) Homepage Journal
    I think maybe we're stuck on the assumption that Microsoft is out to force its own technology on us, when they don't actually have that much control over events. The last time we talked about IE7, I made the assertion [slashdot.org] that CSS2 support was technically trivial. One guy came back with an interesting and thoughtful post [slashdot.org] pointing out the problems with IEs rendering engines and how proper CSS support would break a lot of web pages.

    People tend to assume that every Microsoft action is part of some evil master plan. The truth is that they're stumbling around in the dark a lot. The software development effort is conspicuously out of control, and many of their projects are a total mess.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:21PM (#11966277) Homepage
    Okay, let's now start tossing out possible reasons Microsoft wouldn't want to support CSS properly.

    I'm guessing it, in some way, has to do with Market edge. More specifically, since a great deal of web sites design their pages to work with [flawed] MSIE rendering, all other browsers might be perceived as broken or inferior by the end user. "It worked fine under MSIE... let's just go back to it."

    Essentially, I believe this demonstrates harm to the internet community at large and an effective hijacking of internet standards. Perhaps it would be considered a frivolous lawsuit in the end, but perhaps the W3C should file some sort of suit against Microsoft over the matter. It's the only thing that they and the public at large seems to understand really. "Why is Microsoft being sued again? Breaking the internet? Crap!"
  • by mhesseltine (541806) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:24PM (#11966313) Homepage Journal

    Isn't proper CSS support one of the weak links in all of the Internet Explorer browsers? Even simple things like:

    li { list-style:none ;}
    used to create a navigation using list items for links (since the navigation is a list of links), displays fine in Firefox (anchors fill their block), but displays funny in IE (where the anchors fill their block, but with a gap on the left where the list marker would be)

    Bottom line is, Microsoft has just shown, once again, that the only standard they care about is their own. Hopefully, the sheep who continue to support them will be shown the light, and learn that there are alternatives.

  • by dioscaido (541037) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:23PM (#11967096)
    There are RUMORS people. The fact is, MS hasn't made any definite statements about IE7, except for announcing that there will be one. They've been very tight lipped about it, even within our internal-only IE discussion lists. Lets not waste our breath discussing this 'issue'.
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:31PM (#11967214)
    What they only support their own flawed standards?
  • Well Of Course Not (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fupeg (653970) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:36PM (#11967274)
    From TFA:
    "It also seems that CSS support may be more important for client side work, and full or complete CSS support makes a thin client more attractive. This would seem to be counter to Microsoft's push for 'rich' clients."
    Microsoft has always feared thin clients because they view them as a way for people to escape Windows. This is why they had to destroy Netscape at all costs [theregister.co.uk]. This is why they will *NEVER* embrace standards that enhance thin clients. Just look at their history. They've always tried to do just the opposite. Look at their proprietary JVM that succesfully took Java applets out of the web client picture. Look at their support for their own DHTML version. Look at their proprietary versions of JavaScript. Look at their proprietary extensions to XSL. And of course there is the mother of all standards-busters: ActiveX. These have all been ways to attack thin client standards, and they have been very succesful. Next up is XAML [ondotnet.com].

    Even if they wanted to support thin clients and make IE better, they would not want to support standards. Why? Well as soon as they support a standard that allows websites to do more good things, then there will be websites that do these good things. If more websites do more good things based on standards, then suddenly it becomes a lot easier to switch from IE to Firefox or Opera, or for that matter from Windows to Linux or OSX. However, if websites can only get some "cool" functionality by using either ActiveX/DHTML/MSXML or by using CSS 2, then of course they will pick the MS option because there are so many more IE users. And of course that will make it impossible for users of said website to switch from Windows/IE to anything else.
  • But it IS flawed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by melted (227442) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:43PM (#11967392) Homepage
    You have to put in INCREDIBLE amount of effort to do make even the simplest things work. Ever tried centering a block object on the page _without_ using tables? I use CSS2 in my work, and it's suitable for simple things like borders, colors, fonts, etc. Unfortunately, for a lot of design tasks it's more pain than it's worth, even if you code for just Firefox.
  • fucking cunts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:45PM (#11967424) Journal
    Fuck that, i'd rather have a flawed standard followed to the letter on all major browsers than 10 totally incompatable half-hearted implementations of the same format making even simple tasks such as positioning a box on the screen a fucking nightmare. Microsoft should follow the standard in their 'strict' mode and do whatever they want in the other modes.
  • by eDavidLu (825600) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:04PM (#11967671)

    The real reason why Microsoft does not fully embrace W3C standards is because they want to move away from browser-based application. This is also the reason why they let IE development go into the tank.

    In the browser-based application model, MS does not control the desktop. They have competitions from Firefox and Opera. More importantly, MS also does not control the server. They have competition not only from Apache, but also Google, Amazon, eBay, AOL, and anyone who publishes a web application.

    Microsoft's aim is to control both ends of a network application. And the way they are going to do this is to replace HTTP web servers with IIS and Exchange Server and to replace web browsers with Outlook. The .NET platform is just a step towards that goal. If you accept IIS/Exchange and Outlook as a server/client network application platform, there is no need for W3C standards. It also eliminates any competition, or at least make the competition dependent on Microsoft technologies.

    Therefore, any effort that Microsoft expends into making "the web" more usable, such as CSS compliance and updates to IE, only enhances the browser-based application model and hurts Microsoft in the long run.

  • by glsunder (241984) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:38PM (#11968214)
    I guess we should just step up evangelizing other browsers. We should compare IE to paint, and other browsers (like firefox, opera, etc) to programs like photoshop and psp. If IE had under 50% market share, I'd bet 10 to 1 they'd be supporting CSS, and IE7 would have been out by now.
  • CSS2 since 1998 (Score:5, Informative)

    by omega9 (138280) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @04:25PM (#11968801) Homepage
    ..the company is waiting for a later point release, such as CSS2.1 or CSS3..

    Here are some interesting things to consider:
    • The CSS2 recommendation has been out since May, 1998 [w3.org]. That's almost 7 years ago.
    • The CSS2.1 recommendation has actually been out since February, 2004 [w3.org], more then one year ago.

    So, if Microsoft is refusing to attempt proper support for a standard that's been around for close to 7 years, and is waiting for a standard that's already been floating around for a year, why should anyone expect them to support anything whenever it's actually released?

    I know this isn't a big suprise, but it's further evidence that they could honestly care less about standards unless there's something they can get out of it. When CSS3 is eventually released, we probably won't get support for another 5 years!
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @05:10PM (#11969331) Homepage

    Having spent the last couple MONTHS trying to get a Web site to:

    1) Load external content using iframes or object tags in four different browsers;

    2) use CSS to emulate frames in four different browsers (all current - forget about the older ones entirely);

    it is clear to me that the Web industry is screwed up beyond all recognition.

    Big surprise - it's a part of the IT industry...

    First, the Web was never intended to be either an application platform or a desktop publishing platform - which seems to be what a lot of Web site designers and standards committees want to achieve.

    Sorry, the technology simply isn't there in HTML, CSS and JavaScript to do this.

    Second, the industry has as usual spent all of its time producing dozens of browsers - NONE of which support the standards in their ENTIRETY and ALL of which are incompatible with every other browser in existence in at least some respects.

    Microsoft of course, as usual, is the worst offender. Web designers talk about the "IE factor" - the incompatibility and bugginess of IE with respect to virtually every standard which adds twenty percent or more to the development time for a Web site.

    The industry has a LONG way to go to get the same functionality as client-server approaches to app implementation.

    And as long as Microsoft is in the game, it ain't ever gonna happen.

    My advice:

    1) Stop trying to make your Web site FANCY (which is not the same as making it LOOK GOOD) and start trying to make it USEFUL to people.

    2) If you want a "Web app", use other technology than HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

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