25 January 2008

IE8 - Version Switching

There has been much talk over the past few days about IE8 and its new concept of version targeting.

There is a lovely post by Robert Nyman where he considers an alternative. I agree with much of what he says.

My feelings on this matter do differ in some ways. I have a strong conviction that IE8 should render things as well as it can all the time. I wont object to the doctype switch - it has been around too long now - but there should be strong discouragement of its use.

I am well aware that for some the web will be "broken". But surely this is OK. It seems that browser vendors and especially Microsoft are helping those amateurs who think they can do web interface development. I have no problem with people building their own websites at all, but it is time to realise that writing good XHTML and CSS is not easy. Its time to put things right, have some short term pain but get that long term gain.

This combined with Robert's approach of standalone versions could make the world a better place. Tools for building websites "properly" will appear in time.

Just remember, XHTML and CSS are hard to do well, we want to encourage amateurs to have websites - everyone should be able to have a website - but its not easy.

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