Nov 09, 2004

The Default CSS File...

When working with CSS and HTML, it is easy to take for granted the default interpretations of tags across various browser vendors. Aside from the fact that some browsers are more standard compliant than others, I would have thought that the default CSS file was a standard. But of course, it is not. Whilst most vendors have similar interpretations to most of the tags, there are some tags that are significantly different amongst browsers.

Debunking the myth of style defaults by Michael Meadhra talks about this issue. Some web browsers keep there default CSS files hidden away (such as Internet Explorer), and others make it easy to change (such as FireFox, which version 1.0 was released today). The article discusses how you can completely remove this file from FireFox and see how pages are rendered, and well, this may not be an option for everyone, but it certainly shows you how powerful CSS really is.

The article also discusses a few different approaches to ensuring that your sites are consistent no matter which browser is used, which is derived from a few different sources.

This is definitely a page to look through and to actually see what the default CSS files actually does. To paraphrase Effective Enterprise Java, portability must be tested. Just because you abide to standard tags and CSS, each browser can still display them differently, and this article is a good reminder of this. If you want your pages to look great everywhere, you have to test them everywhere.

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