Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Rough week

It's the end of the semester here, and I've been snowed under with work, so I haven't been posting. I did tweak a few technical matters with Donut Age: the date format has changed, I messed with the stylesheet, and most importantly I switched from LINKing the stylesheet to @importing it. This is a well-established trick for evading the buggy CSS suppport in Netscape 4.x browsers. (Netscape 4.x does not support @import as a means of including stylesheet information, so it formats the page as vanilla HTML, which is often better than bad CSS. Very clever people can combine LINK and @import to effectively have one set of minimal styles that work in old browsers and then a second set of styles for newer browsers, but I am not that clever yet.) Incidentally, Netscape 4.x readers, I don't hate you like Oblivio, but you really should consider upgrading to a CSS-compliant browser. The current Netscape/Mozilla family does what I consider to be the best job with CSS. My personal browser of choice is Camino (a slimmed-down Mozilla offshoot for MacOS X), though Safari sees a fair amount of action as well (it has some nice features, but I have noticed miscellaneous small flaws in Safari's CSS support).

And what about Internet Explorer? Sorry, Mr. Gates. Two years ago (around the release of IE 5.1/Mac), Microsoft was ahead of almost everyone in terms of CSS support. But since then, they've made little improvement while others have surged ahead. This is painfully obvious in the Mac world, where Microsoft's cessation of IE/Mac development amounts to a tacit admission that they were losing the race on that platform. In the Windows world, of course, IE's flaws are harder to see (though still present). When you have a virtual monopoly, standards-compliance in unnecessary because whatever you do is the standard. Nevertheless, the Web Standards Project, which is fighting the noble fight for standards-compliance in browsers and editors, has called on Microsoft to get on the compliance bandwagon:

So how about it, Microsoft? When can we expect proof that rather than being a death-knell for the open web, the integration of your browsing software with paid products heralds a new era of more robust standards support and simpler, cheaper and more effective Web development?

Good questions! Let's hope there are eventually some good answers to them.