Step 1: Design a web app for IE’s ‘quirks mode.
Step 2: Try to make it work in ‘standards’ mode.
Step 3: Go back to ‘quirks’ mode.
This brings up some more issues on how Microsoft operates. Whilst perusing the MS documentation on the Doctype switch, I came accross this interesting quote:
The position is very clear—because a standard exists, that does not mean Microsoft will automatically implement it. Microsoft will implement appropriate standards that we believe are useful to our customers.
Being a company, MS of course needs to only implement the things that will keep it going as a business. However, as I touched on in an earlier post, some of the time Microsoft have such a large control over the market that they need to put at least some effort into making standards work. Something like the Internet should not be lead by a Microsoft whim. Adding plenty of propietery extensions within Internet Explorer lead the the ubiquitus “Best Viewed With…” logos of the late 90s as IE and Netscape went further and further from the standards. We don’t want to end up back there again. This time around we are looking at methods to provide limited styles to IE and then improve the user’s experience for those using newer browsers. Take MOSe as a good starting point for this. Thanks to CSS parsing bugs in browsers, we can provide a single style sheet to browsers which contains specific small hacks to get around browser’s shortcomings. Much easier than providing different versions of a site to different browsers, though still not ideal.