Browser Elitism Part 2

The discussion on whether developers should spend time scripting around IE’s poor CSS support continues in Browser Elitism Part 2.

It’s an interesting discussion, and Derek has a point. Personally I’m all for progressive enhancement, so unless it’s something really major (like max-width) I don’t spend the extra time. Making the basic things work in IE takes enough time as it is.

Posted on April 19, 2005 in Browsers, Quicklinks, Web General, Web Standards


  1. I just hate having to bring on the DHTML just to compensate for the lack of :hover.

    Also, running MSIE 6 in “strict” mode makes a world of difference in “floats” and “paddings”, but you can’t really use that because MSIE 5.5 is still in widespread use and it doesn’t do “strict”.

  2. April 21, 2005 by Calrion

    I agree: if it’s not something major, skip it. Furthermore, I don’t see the problem in telling someone to upgrade outdated software. Provided the site degrades gracefully and we’re not pushing one product over another (e.g. Get IE6!) I think it’s fine.

    Besides, haven’t Flash developers been telling their visitors to “Upgrade to the new Flash Player ##” for years? (And yes, if Flash developers jumped off a bridge/cliff/web standard I’d remain safely on dry land.)

    Old software is often also insecure, and should be upgraded. It is probably better to encourage our visitors to upgrade their software than to pander to their old versions.

  3. Calrion, that sounds like something you’d expect to hear from a hobbyist web developer (I’m not trying to insult, so please don’t take that the wrong way). How would you explain to your boss/client that you wasted their time adding features (albeit little time) that roughly 5-10% of the market sees?

    How can you justify adding usability features (that technically, aren’t major) for such a minority of the market? In reality the more visitors/customers that can take advantage of your features, the more revenue your company/client receives. What’s wrong with that?

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