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Standards - Site Appearance in Internet Explorer 8 vs Anything Else

by Nic Plum on Wednesday 13 October, 2010 - 18:44 GMT

Posted in SiteStandards

Tags: browsercsssitestandard

This is by way of an explanation for those who use Internet Explorer who think this part of the site (at best!) looks something like:
'The Residual World' as presented by Internet Explorer 8

The Residual World’ as presented by Internet Explorer 8

or indeed that the wiki looks something like:
The Wiki as presented by Internet Explorer 8.

The Wiki as presented by Internet Explorer 8

Quite simply, it doesn’t! This is because IE 8, although the most modern version of the venerable browser from Microsoft, does not understand anything later than version 2.1 of the Cascading Style Sheets Standards whereas most others (mostly) suppprt CSS version 3. With older versions such as IE 7 or IE 6 the appearance will be much worse.

Other browsers such as Safari:
The Residual World as presented by Safari

The Residual World as presented by Safari

and Firefox:
The wiki as presented by Firefox

The wiki as presented by Firefox

are much more standards-compliant which means that the appearance is far more standardised (and predictable) than is the case for Internet Explorer. Simple things like curves and shadows are rendered.

We don’t have the resources or the intent to design for a single browser. Indeed part of the historical problem is that sites have implemented specific fixes for Internet Explorer to compensate for its worst failings which has meant that many will be unaware of its shortcomings. Unless , for Internet Explorer 8, it compromises basic functionality it isn’t likely to get fixed - the appearance will be what is is until Microsoft release something that plays nicely with current standards. Whilst we realise that those of you in a corporate IT environment probably don’t have a choice of browser it is what it is. If you do have a choice of anything other than IE, try that instead.

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