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Dear Browser Makers

Wednesday, 21 February 2007 rant

Dear Browser Makers,

I have been designing things on the Internet for close to the same amount of time that I’ve been using it. Something that seems to be taking up an increasing amount of time is making things look and work the same in every browser you case to churn out.

Problems started around the same time I started to become interested in cascading style sheets, separating design from semantics — what some would call the correct way to design. Dumping table-layouts and moving to the much more sophisticated div-layout.

Why could you not come to some sort of agreement how things were supposed to look on your browsers? Why couldn’t you have just followed the W3C who seem so happy to guide you along? Why do I have to suffer because your rendering engine is substandard? Couldn’t you all just use Gecko?

And client side scripting has never been a pleasant path to tread but the demands of users and clients, alike, wanting a richer interface means DHTML is back with a very angry vengeance. Why couldn’t you agree on what certain script did? Why won’t you standardise it still? Opera doesn’t pass keyboard events in the same was as Firefox or IE and Safari… Don’t get me started on Safari.

You could easily rectify your years of apathy and arrogance and bring this to an end. You could even keep your brands. Just please, for the sake of the Internet and its designers, suck it up, admit your substandard rendering and scripting engines might be doing more harm than good and give us all a level playing ground for us to work with.