Internet Explorer 8 was released into the wild today. The enhancements are great, but what about CSS3? Looking at my Blog, I have created some very cool styles that highlight and bring the text more into a 3D view. Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome browser supports all of these enhancements, Firefox 3 supports some, but the major player, Internet Explorer continues to leave us swinging in the wind.
A quick sample is this page: Kitty Code / Products When you look at this page in Internet Explorer, you find image icons which are square. Take a look at those images using an iPhone/iPod Touch, Safari under Windows or OSX (all of which run Safari, so maybe that’s not fair), then look at them using Google Chrome (which again probably isn’t fair since the underlying engine is WebKit which Safari shares), then look at it in Firefox and Internet Explorer. This is only one sample of the very cool effects you can create just using a little CSS, which is portable and allows you to use the same image anywhere.
Why is this important to me? Why does it matter? Simply put, Internet Explorer is still the market share stake holder. All large companies acknowledge this. So how are those large companies going to be able to move toward the future if they have Internet Explorer hanging on them like a noose? I find myself dumbing down the websites which I write for this very reason. The website is written to look the same in each browser, which means rounded corners in all browsers are only attained by images, which weigh more than a simple CSS border. This makes those same websites load MUCH slower on hand held PDAs, like the iPhone, PSP, Windows Mobile enabled Cell Phones and more. The point of CSS was to take the design away from the programmers, and leave it in the CSS where it can be manipulated in just about any way without the need for a code change.
So really, until Microsoft decides that CSS2 and CSS3 should be fully incorporated, we will have slow browsing ahead for all.