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Thinking outside the box

Over the last few weeks, all the various design/web standards blogs have been talking about this funny new feature of IE that allows the web developer to specify what version of IE they want the site to render in. Of course, it would seem that most of the web community hates this idea for one reason of another… Whether it’s the fact that it’s not standard (and if the all the browsers MS made were following the standards this wouldn’t be needed anyway) or just that they think it’s going to cause more web developers to be lazy and not fix their code for the future, etc.

In fact, my mind is drawing a blank, but I may have already said something about this here on this site (or maybe it was in a comment on another site).

In any case, I have now decided that although I believe there should be some standard behaviors for all browsers to follow, just to keep everyone sane, I am no longer in support of making things follow standards for the sake of following standards. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been this way for awhile.

The truth is this: If microsoft followed the standard, they wouldn’t have some of the cooler things you can do with a website at this point… For example, in IE you can customize the color of the scroll bar. You can cause your page to transition differently from page to page. If I remember correctly, they were even the ones that started all the favicon additions you see in all the modern browsers. The fact of the matter is… these were all features that were outside the HTML standard persay. Things that spurred innovation and outside thought into the web community…

I am now of the thought that if you can break the standard in a “different” useful way, I’m not sure it’s a bad thing. If that means creating a meta tag that allows you to defy what is right, so be it. If that means creating some non-standard CSS, awesome. If you can find a way to do it still inside the standard, even better. But whatever it is MS, keep adding features that the web developer community hates. We may continue to hate you. We may think you are the bane of our existence because of all the crap you make us go through to build a site, but the more I think about it, you have brought some rather interesting things that users love to the table… And even if they didn’t last, someone needs to be thinking outside the box.

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