IE Design Frustration?

To IE or not to IE
To IE or not to IE

While I am not huge Microsoft fan, I have come to accept the web design frustrations that Microsoft has dealt us with relationship to Internet Explorer. While I accept these IE display issues and use IE hacks and stylesheets to solve them daily, Microsoft has always maintained that they are correct and of course FireFox, Chrome and Opera for example are wrong…. Hmmm.

Yesterday in my email I received an Ad for Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark tools with relation to their newest campaign to sell the products bundled under a “Biz” promotion scheme. Curiosity won the email spam battle, and I clicked through to the page (intentional use of poor link text).

Upon landing I found a fairly normal CMS styled sales page. Since I build websites for a living, I have the “View Source Disease”… Upon viewing the source I was positively falling out of my chair laughing as Microsoft themselves (browser compliant and all) has been forced to use an IE hack to display their pages properly too!

Not just any IE hack, but 2 separate IE 7 stylesheets were needed just to display their own page in their own browser…. Nice. So today I bring you Microsoft hacking for IE display issues. Notice that no hack or otherwise less than standards addition was needed to display in any other browser… Just IE.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "">

<html xmlns="" >
<head><meta name='WT.cg_n' content='en-us' /><link href="../App_Themes/Spring/general.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" /><link href="../App_Themes/Spring/navigation.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" /><link href="../App_Themes/Spring/style.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" /><title>
	WebsiteSpark - Home
</title><link id="ctl00_ctl00_AdaptersInvariantImportCSS" rel="stylesheet" href="../styles/Adapters/Import.css" type="text/css" />
    <!--[if lt IE 7]>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="../styles/BrowserSpecific/GeneralIE6.css" type="text/css" />
    <!--[if gt IE 6]>

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="../styles/Home.css" type="text/css" />
    <link href="Css/HostSpark.css" rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" />
    <!--[if lt IE 7]>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="../styles/BrowserSpecific/HomeIE6.css" type="text/css" />
    <script src="Script/jquery-1.3.2.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="../../scripts/home.js"></script>
<style type="text/css">
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_PrimaryNav_0 { background-color:white;visibility:hidden;display:none;position:absolute;left:0px;top:0px; }
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_PrimaryNav_1 { text-decoration:none; }
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_PrimaryNav_2 {  }
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_SecondaryNav_0 { background-color:white;visibility:hidden;display:none;position:absolute;left:0px;top:0px; }
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_SecondaryNav_1 { text-decoration:none; }
	.ctl00_ctl00_ctl04_SecondaryNav_2 {  }


Also, one last dig…. While I am not hung up on web page validation, Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark page isn’t valid either. I could care less that they have failed to escape ampersands…. But not using a proper “alt” is a usability issue for visually impaired users. The designer of this page might also brush up on proper link attributes as I have never heard of the attribute “runat=”… Have you?

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