So I’ve finally got around to fixing the layout on my page (or so i think i have…) and man was it a pain. I felt like i was back in 1997 and struggling with the rendering differences between IE and Netscape – just replace Netscape with Firefox. At least today, we don’t really have to worry about text based browsers anymore (yeah, i remember having to develop for those ‘advanced’ university terminals using Lynx…) , but it still isn’t as easy as it should be.

I spent hours trying to get my CSS pages to work on both Firefox and IE. I developed the pages on my Toshiba laptop which has a 15″ screen, and after finally getting the pages to work similarly on IE and Firefox – I couldn’t get them to be exactly the same – I uploaded the new pages only to find that the pages would not display the same on my sony Viao screen. Actually, more correctly, it displayed correctly on IE, but wouldn’t on Firefox. So regardless of which browser is actually following the CSS spec correctly, IE is better in the regard that they have figured out how to get pages to display the same on their browser regardless of the platform. By no means was this an exhaustive review but i did check on my Mac, and the pages displayed the same on IE there too. Firefox on the other hand – perhaps as they claim by sticking to spec – does not display pages the same on different platforms.

Contrary to the general view, I blame Firefox for the problem. As far as I’m concerned, since IE is by far the leader, it is up to Firefox to be able to support and display pages in the same manner, regardless of whether they are following spec or not. Following spec needs to be secondary since IE is the defacto standard anyway.

When (if?) the browser market share is more varied, then perhaps IE will not have as much clout and adherance to spec will be more beneficial – but it would still require all the other guys such as Safari and Opera to be on board with spec as well.

anyway – I’m going to be focusing on making my pages display correctly on IE – although, i’ll still be using Firefox for my own browsing – i’m still a fan of all their other features!