Why OSC Looks Different in Explorer

If you're like me, you run multiple browsers; FireFox, Safari, Camino, and (last, and certainly least) Internet Explorer... actually, all three of the past versions of IE: 6, 7 and 8. And, if you have any ability to see, you'll notice that there are aspects of the site that look different—most notably the navigation buttons, the sidebar sections, and certain other elements.

The reason for this has to do with a principle embraced by those interested in making the web a better place: progressive enhancement graceful degredation [see comments below]. Basically, what this means is we develop the best website we can, and make it look great in the most standard and open way possible, and accept that the website might not look as good in older/less-compliant web browsers.

If you open the website in Safari (or any other standards-compliant browser!), here's what you'll see:

Open Source Catholic - Rendered in Safari

 

However, open it up in Internet Explorer, and you get a different perspective:

Open Source Catholic - Rendered in Internet Explorer 7

The reason for this is the use of some style elements on the website including "border-radius," "text-shadow," and a few other properties which are compliant with the ideal web browser, but not with the more clunky ones.

If you want to participate in the future of the web, stop—I repeat, stop—using Internet Explorer. Make the switch to Safari or FireFox. You won't regret it ;-)

Comments

Jadd's picture

No, that's called graceful degradation.
Progressive enhancement is designing for IE, and then adding stuff for Safari afterwards.

Open Source Catholic's picture

Ah well, same idea, different approach. I call designing for IE "not a good idea" ;-)

Advancing the faith.

BarbaraKB's picture

Jeff, truly understand your frustration. But, do note that over 40% of internet users use a version of IE: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp Numbers that no web site or blogger (or online marketing geek) can ignore. Congrats on your new site!

Open Source Catholic's picture

@BarbaraKB - quite true... and on a couple sites I run over 75% of the users are IE... with about 30% on IE6 :-O

But we can and should get people to at *least* move up to IE8. If not that, then Safari, FireFox or Chrome. Make my life a lot easier.

The lesson is that we must develop for everyone, but keep an eye open towards standards and the future of the web. I'm thinking of another posting on "sustainable development."

Advancing the faith.

Craig Berry's picture

Do any actual web designers/developers actually USE an IE product for browsing?

For speed, I use chrome when on MS. FF when on Mac (anxiously awaiting Chrome for Mac!).

Barbara's right though. We still should support IE. Poor souls!

BarbaraKB's picture

"Poor" is correct esp. in these tough economic times... peace!

James Harris's picture

Ick, IE. When will people learn... IE 8 was suppose to support standards now, but from what I can tell it's no different. My place of work actually told everybody to make firefox their default browser (for security). Chrome is nice for some things, but Firefox still seems better to me. I am a die hard firefox geek. I give chrome credit for taking my brother away from ie, because he didn't like firefox. Something about things not working unless he learned to script them properly that he didn't like. I say force Catholic geeks to understand why not to use ie. :P But I am probably just about alone on that since many people still use ie.

Craig Berry's picture

I don't know...I think most Catholic geeks don't use IE.

I can't stand IE8 though. Why do they insist on such bloat!?

Chrome is lean and mean. So is FF..until I load it up with my extension bloat :)

Open Source Catholic's picture

I actually don't know of any Catholic geeks who *do* use IE, except for testing. In fact, most of them are adamant IE-haters (myself included). IE8 does actually render about as well as FireFox 3 for CSS2 stuff, but supporting it is difficult, because if you want to support 6, 7 and 8, you sometimes need a set of three separate stylesheets!!

Advancing the faith.

Matthew Warner's picture

Man I wish IE supported the rounded corners though. Would save a lot of work in styling! Many of the other quirks at least have work-arounds that don't require pointless nesting and background gifs.

Just look on the bright side though...in about 5 years...almost everyone will have upgraded past IE6. :-)

Open Source Catholic's picture

lol, yeah - then they'll be up to IE 7!

Advancing the faith.

James Harris's picture

No, they will be up to firefox 4 or Chrome 2. :P IE will be dead except where they hold $50k contests in Australia to keep people using IE.

Christopher LaPointe's picture

IE is good for one thing- downloading Firefox or Chrome when you have no other browser installed on the computer. Then it just sits there, waiting to be used for strange sites that insist upon only IE users.

Chrome and Firefox are the way to go. Chrome's sleek design and speed are why I use it often, but Firefox's add-ons are a great way to have a customized browser.

Was Jesus a PC? I sure hope so!

Open Source Catholic's picture

IE is also good for being made fun of! :-)

But let's not forget Safari; it's pretty awesome, Mac or PC. I would go Chrome or Safari if you're hoping for speed. FireFox if flexibility is your thing.

Advancing the faith.

Christopher LaPointe's picture

Ah, see, I would forget Safari. *cough*

Nah, I'm sure it's great but I don't use Macs for much other than multimedia purposes, so I spend most of my time on a PC using Chrome for speed.

Was Jesus a PC? I sure hope so!

Open Source Catholic's picture

Ah, but Safari comes for PC too... and Chrome/Safari are neck-in-neck in terms of speed. Safari's a bit more mature, though, and it's more WebKit-ish than Chrome (which is still a relative newcomer).

Advancing the faith.

Mary D Hoerr's picture

Hmmm, I guess I tend to use a combination of progressive enhancement and graceful degredation.
First, I try to design a website that is standards compliant and works in a text-only browser. I've gotten really interested in web design techniques for blind, deaf, and deaf-blind people. That means absolutely no tables for layout (makes life difficult for people using screen readers) and no captcha that requires reading or listening (locks out the deaf-blind) - the captcha that asks a question to respond to is better, I think.
Then, I use progressive enhancement to make it look and work the way I want it to in a standards-compliant browser.
Then, I use conditional statements to detect browser version (that is, IE browser and version) and serve only what css corrections are necessary to maintain reasonable function and appearance in IE.
That's the idea, anyway. Not saying I always achieve it ...