During the past five months I’ve been working on a project that’s been alluded to on this site a few times, and it will very soon be done. Once things settle down, I’ll be going into a lot more detail, but for now I’ll tease out a few things I’ve discovered:
- Building a Web-standards-based site, using the best practices (i.e., semantic mark-up, accessible, valid) with a few smart, skilled, and talented people can be done more effectively than most in the industry can imagine.
- The best intentions, when encountering commerical needs, always result in hideous workarounds, no matter how hard you try.
- Opera, despite its great improvements, still is one of the most eccentric modern browsers available. Generally, the browser does everything perfectly, but then there’s the odd thing that it doesn’t do and one has no idea why.
- DOM inspectors (be they in Firefox, Internet Explorer or, now, Safari) are an essential tool for debugging CSS-based sites. Without them, development would increase by almost half. Here’s to hoping Opera will soon offer one.
- Minimum and maximum widths can make for a compelling Web site — if the browser supports min-width/max-width. If not (I’m looking at you Internet Explorer), the workarounds are messy, complex, and produce less than ideal results.
- Internet Explorer 6 and under (the jury’s out on version 7) truly is the Netscape 4 of this era. So much so that all the messy styles needed to make it behave like everyone else can be served in one non-standard compliant file.