Sam Brown

A List Apart advocating a return to Browser Sniffing?

From the latest A List Apart article by Aaron Gustafson; Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8.

Microsoft reached out to The Web Standards Project (of which I am a member) and to several other standards-aware developers, and asked for our help in coming up with a better method of allowing developers to “opt in” to proper standards support.

Uhm, why would we be opting in? Shouldn’t we be developing to the proper standards regardless of what inaccuracies certain browsers (I’m looking at you IE) bring to the table?

There are pages and pages of comments both for and against this proposed method of “version targeting” but I personally don’t see it being any more different or trouble free than browser sniffing has been in the past! Bad idea.

Update: The latter parts of Jeremy Keith’s article on this topic sum up my thoughts exactly, he does a great job at putting the slightly confusing situation into plain english:

Unless you explicitly declare that you want IE8 to behave as IE8, it will behave as IE7. That’s madness!

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Ross C Brown 22 January 2008, 13:37 #1

Right on! If you have one set of rules for FireFox and another for IE8 – then its hardly a standard!

I think Microsoft should go off and make their own proprietary mark up language and then lock IE8 down to that. Microsoft get to run their own show without annoying everyone else!

Chris 26 January 2008, 02:22 #2

MSFT is such a turnoff — they are still operating like a monopoly. It must be killing them to have to adopt anything beyond Microsoft’s own standards.

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.