Times are changing...

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21 Replies - 7298 Views - Last Post: 05 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

Poll: Graceful Degredation (28 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you use CSS that isn't available on older browsers and live with the differences as long as the site still functions correctly?

  1. Yes (26 votes [92.86%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 92.86%

  2. No (2 votes [7.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

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#1 gregwhitworth  Icon User is offline

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Times are changing...

Post icon  Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:04 AM

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So over time my feelings towards CSS and graceful degradation has changed. I used to be of the belief that no matter the browser you should see the same site. But with IE10 coming out and the huge difference between IE10 and IE6, and even IE7 or 8 I have changed considerably over the years. I now feel that the website should function the same throughout every browser but it doesn't have to look the same.

When I say that it doesn't look the same, I'm not referring to the sidebar being on the right in IE10 and 9 and being on the left in IE6, I'm mainly referring to a lot of the CSS3 and some of the later CSS2 capabilities. Let's face it, most users aren't going to notice nor care that the box doesn't have rounded corners and the header doesn't have a drop shadow but they would notice if the menu doesn't drop down or a link is broken.

Just food for thought and I was curious where the Dream in Code community stood on this issue.

Here is a good article on what I mean.

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Replies To: Times are changing...

#2 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:13 AM

For me, that's what graceful degradation has always meant. Bells and whistles are great for the browsers that support the newest technologies. But the site should always be functional on any browser. That could be as simple as making sure the page text is readable or making sure there is a server-side fall-back for adding comments in case the browser doesn't support your scripting.
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#3 Dormilich  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

View Postgregwhitworth, on 28 December 2011 - 06:04 PM, said:

I used to be of the belief that no matter the browser you should see the same site.

is that even possible with IE6 around?
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#4 Creecher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

Yeah, I haven't been using code for older browsers at all, lately. If they don't want to upgrade their shitty browsers than they won't get the full functionality.


(If I where being paid to make everything work everywhere, I would do it, but I'm not, so piss on you.)
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#5 guyfromri  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:33 PM

As someone who has gotten in to writing sites in the last year or so, I find it thorouly aggrivating that I have to write the same line of code 5 ways for 6 browsers to be able to interput. I feel that to each his own when it comes to choosing a browswer but I ask myself, what are the odds that anyone, who is really still using IE6, is my websites demograhpic anyway?(my grandma for instance - gotta play that mahjong :) ) -- IDk, I think it's annoying and I hope IE comes around because everything from opera to chrome support all the new goodies and I have had nothing but good experiences...

Just my 2 cents :)

This post has been edited by guyfromri: 28 December 2011 - 06:35 PM

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#6 anonymouscodder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:32 PM

If it's working well in IE newer versions I'm already happy :)

But sometimes you can't just say no and thats it. There are some websites that are mostly visited by old browsers (IE 6), you can't afford to not support it.

I've seen some websites with messages like 'Hey looks like you have a older browser, why not update it: [links]', wonder if it is any effective.
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#7 SwiftStriker00  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:42 AM

View Postanonymouscodder, on 28 December 2011 - 09:32 PM, said:

I've seen some websites with messages like 'Hey looks like you have a older browser, why not update it: [links]', wonder if it is any effective.


I use this :-)
<!--[if IE]>
	<div class="item" id="warning">
		<center>
		<p>(For optimal enjoyment please use 
			<a href="http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html">
			<img width="20" height="20" src="images/ff.ico"></a>,
			<a href="http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/landing_chrome.html?hl=en">
			<img width="20" height="20"images/chrome.ico"></a>, or
			<a href="http://www.opera.com/download/get.pl?&nothanks=yes&sub=marine">
			<img width="20" height="20" src="images/opera.ico"></a>
			)
		</p>
		</center>
	</div>
<![endif]-->



I am not a pro when it comes to when it comes to website making infact, I'm fairly noobish. Which means anytime I validate for IE its a pain. While IE still may be used in vast majority due to companies working on it for so long, I find that they update as often as possible. Which basically means the only people using IE are older people who don't know how to change. As much as I encourage my grandmother to use new browsers she keep reverting back to logging in into AOL...

I think its a waiting game. In a generation or so once we become the old people, we will all be more assimilated with computer technology, and updating a browser wont be as foreign of a concept to us. This will allow the IE6's to die out faster. Until then

This post has been edited by SwiftStriker00: 29 December 2011 - 07:44 AM

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#8 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:52 AM

I don't understand this at all, all sites can look the same in all browsers regardless.

The whole jQuery and "I'm awesome marker-upper" shit pisses me off with new designers to be quite honest. Looking back on most of the sites I've made there's been very little stuff that doesn't work cross-browser, all the way down to IE6. If the markup is valid it is likely going to work across everything. CSS of course is slightly different, there are the margins and crap that can be thrown out in Explorer but again, rather than using a hack or alternate stylesheet to fix it, just change the way you do it. There's generally many ways to position an element and if it's out in one browser try a different method.

That said, I don't officially support IE<7 anymore because it's ridiculous, but everything above that should work just fine.

The whole 'graceful degradation' thing is exactly what was mentioned, it's always been about making things function correctly in all browsers/browser configurations and sacraficing design if it's minimal.

It's the same thing as the whole "Your site should work without Javascript" crap that goes around. Of course Javascript should enhance the experience in all cases, but in some places there are some UIs that require Javascript and making a whole alternate version just to accommodate the idiots that disable Javascript for "security" is ridiculous.

Long story short if you're a good enough developer, graceful degradation and cross-compatibility will come naturally. It's just like writing an abstraction layer to be compatible with different databases (which BTW PDO isn't, just sayin').
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#9 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:38 AM

Quote

The whole jQuery and "I'm awesome marker-upper" shit pisses me off with new designers to be quite honest.


What does this mean? Sort of new to the web dev scene (at least heavy web dev), so I'm a little unclear on the references here.
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#10 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:26 AM

View Postanonymouscodder, on 28 December 2011 - 08:32 PM, said:

But sometimes you can't just say no and thats it. There are some websites that are mostly visited by old browsers (IE 6), you can't afford to not support it.


So very true. I work at a credit union. We have an online banking site. We still get hits from IE6 (most of them during lunch hours, I assume from people at work checking their balance). We cannot afford to ignore them.


View PostSwiftStriker00, on 29 December 2011 - 08:42 AM, said:

View Postanonymouscodder, on 28 December 2011 - 09:32 PM, said:

I've seen some websites with messages like 'Hey looks like you have a older browser, why not update it: [links]', wonder if it is any effective.


I use this :-)
<!--[if IE]>
	<div class="item" id="warning">
		<center>
		<p>(For optimal enjoyment please use 
			<a href="http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html">
			<img width="20" height="20" src="images/ff.ico"></a>,
			<a href="http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/landing_chrome.html?hl=en">
			<img width="20" height="20"images/chrome.ico"></a>, or
			<a href="http://www.opera.com/download/get.pl?&nothanks=yes&sub=marine">
			<img width="20" height="20" src="images/opera.ico"></a>
			)
		</p>
		</center>
	</div>
<![endif]-->



Honestly, that really seems like 90's web design. It can be made to work, but I'm still remembering pages with blinking "Works Best in Netscape Navigator!" images. I suppose as long as it's out of the way and not front and center it's not a bad thing, but remember, not everyone's using IE by choice. For instance, lots of workplaces don't allow you to install your own software, for good reason.
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#11 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:09 AM

It depends on the audience. If it is a site for the elderly, chances are they will be using IE (I won't go source hunting, but I have seen many statistics)... so make it look and work as well as possible for IE. If its for more tech-savvy people then sure use the modern technologies. As long as it works for legacy browsers (and of course screen readers) then its fine.

I am not a designer, but I work with a few designers and they like websites to function perfectly but also to look like a work of art. The latter is not always possible so graceful degradation is a perfectly acceptable (and one I actively encourage) mindset.
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#12 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:57 PM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 29 December 2011 - 03:38 PM, said:

What does this mean? Sort of new to the web dev scene (at least heavy web dev), so I'm a little unclear on the references here.

I've had the good fortune of working with several designers-turned-coders who believe that their code is awesome and if it doesn't work in browsers it's nothing wrong with their code at all and as such can only be resolved with a CSS Reset or some jQuery hack... It's the in-thing for "web developers" these days, let's include a million Javascript files for no benefit etc etc.

Not so long ago I had somebody write code that worked in Firefox 3.6 and obviously every single other browser was wrong so he needed a hack that basically said if it wasn't Firefox then apply some changes... After advising him that if Firefox is his lovechild then he should upgrade it to the latest version and see if it still works fine, then I would believe him. Oh what a surprise, a bug in Firefox 3.6 (there are a lot of them!) causing it to work incorrectly. Having fixed the code it worked in every single browser from IE6 to Opera to Chrome to Firefox to everything else you could imagine, even Firefox 3.6. Had I never mentioned that he was being an idiot we would have had jQuery needlessly included to do browser detection and apply a CSS fix (because of course he didn't know Javascript alone..).

Too many people are like this and it pisses me off. Sorry, bit of a rant.. But it should definitely do the job to explain what I'm talking about.. Sorry!

EDIT: To summarise my opinion a little bit more, we went through a period in the 90s of 'tag-soup', yet I fear now we're going through a period of both 'tag-over-population' and 'jquery-soup'. Well, I don't fear, it's happening.

Web Development is over for those serious about it.

This post has been edited by RudiVisser: 29 December 2011 - 01:08 PM

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#13 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:48 AM

For my web sites I develop only for modern browsers. But for clients I usually have to consider IE 7+, especially if the sites are selling products/services. It's not that difficult because I write all of the common styles in one file and then IE7-only styles in another and then include them like this:

<!--[if IE 7]>
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="ie7.css">
<![endif]-->

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#14 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:55 AM

Thanks Rudi. Your experience -- along with many others here -- is very important to me. :)

Honestly, I code for the most recent version of Firefox. If the style is screwed up so I can't figure it out, I hit up the guy who more closely approximates a designer/front-end coder. Saves what's left of my sanity, as I'm mainly functioning in the PHP space ;)
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#15 ccubed  Icon User is offline

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Re: Times are changing...

Posted 31 December 2011 - 10:27 AM

View PostRudiVisser, on 29 December 2011 - 12:57 PM, said:

Having fixed the code it worked in every single browser from IE6 to Opera to Chrome to Firefox to everything else you could imagine, even Firefox 3.6.


Unless you're oversimplifying the fix and complexity of the code, I call BS. You do have to add certain fixes in for certain browsers when writing javascript because every single browser does something different with certain commands. Truly complex javascript will require a little bit of hacking between browsers.
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