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CSS Cookbook, 3rd Edition by Christopher Schmitt

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Chapter 12. Hacks, Workarounds, and Troubleshooting

Introduction

When designing for the Web, developers historically have used hacks and workarounds due to browser limitations.

The mid-1990s saw a proliferation of such workarounds, among them single-pixel GIFs, font tags, and nested tables, to name just a few. Although the CSS2 specification became a recommendation back in May 1998, only recently have browser vendors fully implemented the standard in their products. This gap in time of browsers without CSS support to browsers with full or near-perfect CSS implementation means a handful of the browsers that most people use has poor CSS support.

To overcome the bugs in these popular browsers that have this poor CSS support, web developers have once again resorted to using hacks and workarounds to successfully achieve web page designs.

Even though problems might be solved by using newer versions of browsers, web developers might need to use hacks or workarounds to deliver the appropriate presentation to their audience, for many reasons.

Unlike web developers, most people don’t automatically upgrade their browsers each time a new one is available. They tend to stick with the browser that’s on their computer because it works fine, and will get a new browser only when they purchase a new computer.

Also, IT departments in many companies lock down the systems and prevent individuals from upgrading software applications on their own.

For web developers struggling to polish their designs, this chapter ...

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