Monday, May 30, 2011

CSS Rendering with IE 8 and IE 9

Well, despite all of the statements regarding the greater CSS rendering compatibility of Internet Explorer 8, I have found that to be not true.  Though the CSS rendering between IE 8 and other alternative browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome is not nearly as significant as it was in the past, it nevertheless differs.  I imagine this was because IE 8 had to support IE 7 backwards compatibility, thereby contributing to its continued CSS rendering flaws whereas IE 9 only supports IE 8 backwards compatibility. 

CSS styles which make heavy use of margins and padding are simply not treated the same as they are in these other browsers.  Therefore, to accommodate IE 8, you will nevertheless have to manage your CSS stylesheets based on which browser you are supporting.

However, on the bright side, IE 9 seems to provide a nearly comparable experience against alternative browsers.  When compared side by side against Mozilla Firefox 4.01, Google Chrome 11.0 and Opera 11.10, the CSS rendering of IE 9 only differed very slightly.  The overall layout and appearance remained roughly the same.

Unfortunately, since IE 9 was just recently released, you will not find the same widespread usage as with IE 8 which came shipped with Windows 7. 

So it looks like, at least for the time being, you will have to continue to modify your CSS stylesheets to accommodate the various browser platforms and add special handling for IE 8.  Never fear, though, there will eventually come a day when IE 9 will become the primary IE browser on the market and many of your CSS rending compatibility hassles will go away...

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