Forum: Ruby on Rails I feel like I'm missing something...browser incompatibility

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8dad1ec4d769734583f45fbbee5cd009?d=identicon&s=25 Jeff Pritchard (jeffpritchard)
on 2007-07-02 16:51
There's an aspect of Rails development that I have found quite painful.
Like many of you, I do my development on a Mac.  Things go together
quickly and easily for the most part.

Then I look at what I've done on a Windows machine (or even Mac FF) and
two thirds of it is broken in some way.  Sometimes minor placement
issues, sometimes stuff just not showing up or buttons that don't do
anything.  Endless refactoring of the CSS and googling for hacks and all
manner of painful machinations ensue.

I hear so little mention of this here that I suspect I must be doing
something wrong or I'm missing some important reference or something.

Have the rest of you developed some process or "rules of thumb" or
something that help you to avoid these issues?  Is there another forum
somewhere that I ought to be on to get help with this sort of thing?
Are my pages just more complex than they should be?  (sorry, site is
still  under wraps - can't show you).

thanks,
jp
Ae82cad40a0caca9c932d45c7a9eb3cd?d=identicon&s=25 Michael Glaesemann (Guest)
on 2007-07-02 17:29
(Received via mailing list)
On Jul 2, 2007, at 9:51 , Jeff Pritchard wrote:

> Then I look at what I've done on a Windows machine (or even Mac FF)
> and
> two thirds of it is broken in some way.  Sometimes minor placement
> issues, sometimes stuff just not showing up or buttons that don't do
> anything.  Endless refactoring of the CSS and googling for hacks
> and all
> manner of painful machinations ensue.
>
> I hear so little mention of this here that I suspect I must be doing
> something wrong or I'm missing some important reference or something.

You probably haven't heard people talking about this on on the Ruby
on Rails mailing list because these are not Ruby on Rails-specific
issues. It sounds like you should take some time to study up on these
areas. Though they're getting a bit old, I recommend Jeffrey
Zeldman's "Designing with Web Standards" and Eric Meyer's "Eric Meyer
on CSS".

Online references include A List Apart[1] and the css-discuss mailing
list and wiki[2]. There are plenty of other resources online as well.

Michael Glaesemann
grzm seespotcode net
Ae82cad40a0caca9c932d45c7a9eb3cd?d=identicon&s=25 Michael Glaesemann (Guest)
on 2007-07-02 17:30
(Received via mailing list)
On Jul 2, 2007, at 10:27 , Michael Glaesemann wrote:

> Online references include A List Apart[1] and the css-discuss
> mailing list and wiki[2]. There are plenty of other resources
> online as well.

And the links I intended to include:

[1](http://www.alistapart.com/)
[2](http://css-discuss.incutio.com/)

Michael Glaesemann
grzm seespotcode net
31f200dcb5137cee08742b0deeec08f6?d=identicon&s=25 David Garton (davidkiwi)
on 2007-07-03 04:43
(Received via mailing list)
I believe that's not a rails issue, it's a browser issue.  ie in
particular does not comply to W3 rules, that makes it challenging to
write pages that display correctly across all browsers.  I had a lot of
success in doing this using css for all positioning and using "float:
left" a lot.

  Good luck!



Jeff Pritchard <rails-mailing-list@andreas-s.net> wrote:

There's an aspect of Rails development that I have found quite painful.
Like many of you, I do my development on a Mac. Things go together
quickly and easily for the most part.

Then I look at what I've done on a Windows machine (or even Mac FF) and
two thirds of it is broken in some way. Sometimes minor placement
issues, sometimes stuff just not showing up or buttons that don't do
anything. Endless refactoring of the CSS and googling for hacks and all
manner of painful machinations ensue.

I hear so little mention of this here that I suspect I must be doing
something wrong or I'm missing some important reference or something.

Have the rest of you developed some process or "rules of thumb" or
something that help you to avoid these issues? Is there another forum
somewhere that I ought to be on to get help with this sort of thing?
Are my pages just more complex than they should be? (sorry, site is
still under wraps - can't show you).

thanks,
jp

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6ef8cb7cd7cd58077f0b57e4fa49a969?d=identicon&s=25 Brian Hogan (Guest)
on 2007-07-03 05:11
(Received via mailing list)
I've been doing web design since 1995, and this has *always* been an
issue,
always compounded by the wide array of browsers out there  One thing
that's
really been helpful for me is to do all development with Firefox as the
target browser. It then makes it extremely easy to fix problems with IE
(using conditional comments) or Safari (using browser hacks).  I've
found
that if I develop using IE, I spend considerably much more time making
it
look right on other browsers.

You should strive for usability and readability. Your site should *work*
on
all browsers. It doesn't have to look THE SAME across all browsers and
platforms, but it should be easy to read and should have the same
functionality. Most of your users will not be comparing your site on
multiple browsers! :)


Good luck!
8dad1ec4d769734583f45fbbee5cd009?d=identicon&s=25 Jeff Pritchard (jeffpritchard)
on 2007-07-03 05:32
Michael Glaesemann wrote:
> On Jul 2, 2007, at 10:27 , Michael Glaesemann wrote:
>
>> Online references include A List Apart[1] and the css-discuss
>> mailing list and wiki[2]. There are plenty of other resources
>> online as well.
>
> And the links I intended to include:
>
> [1](http://www.alistapart.com/)
> [2](http://css-discuss.incutio.com/)
>
> Michael Glaesemann
> grzm seespotcode net

Thanks for the links.  I'm sure this will help.

I'll look for the Zeldman book.  I have "Eric Meyer
on CSS".  Different strokes for different folks.  I found it to be about
the worst attempt at technical writing I've ever seen.  I suppose he is
a luminary in the CSS world.  I think he should stick to writing CSS and
not write any more books.

Anyway, I'll continue to try to hone my CSS skills.  I was sorta hoping
someone would chime in and say "Didn't you know about the
"Act_as_functional_browser" plugin or something.  I guess if it was easy
anyone could do it.

FWIW, IE7 seems to be much friendlier.  Maybe in a few more months we
can forget about the dreaded IE6 forever.

thanks for the help,
jp
A9b3b6f3ea2e49d18d5bb14dbc0a1e13?d=identicon&s=25 wolfmanjm (Guest)
on 2007-07-03 07:43
(Received via mailing list)
Actually I have found IE7 to be my worst problem. Most CSS hacks have
been well explored on IE6 and IE5, but
IE7 includes a whole lot more incompatibilities. I have spent more
time on futzing with CSS to get it to work on IE7, than it took me to
write the rails app in the first place!

I even started using tables for layout again (I know gasp!!), because
IE7 broke all my nice CSS formatting.

The biggest problem which I never solved was a nice thumbnail layout
using CSS which worked on everything but IE7, on IE7 the thumbnails
were no longer clickable. That was the last straw that took me back to
using a table.

This is the gallery CSS as you can see works great except on IE7 you
can't click the thumbails!

http://accessat.c-net.us/test/gallery2.html

Just one example of the pain I have been through! Why can't everyone
use Firefox ;)


On Jul 2, 8:32 pm, Jeff Pritchard <rails-mailing-l...@andreas-s.net>
8dad1ec4d769734583f45fbbee5cd009?d=identicon&s=25 Jeff Pritchard (jeffpritchard)
on 2007-07-03 17:24
wolfmanjm wrote:
> Actually I have found IE7 to be my worst problem. Most CSS hacks have
> been well explored on IE6 and IE5, but
> IE7 includes a whole lot more incompatibilities. I have spent more
> time on futzing with CSS to get it to work on IE7, than it took me to
> write the rails app in the first place!
>
...

Now see, that's what I'm talking about in my original post.  As luck
would have it, the "way" I do CSS (just a haphazard mashup of stuff I
figured out on my own and things I've seen in blogs and such), just
happens to be OK in IE7 (for this project), but was a nightmare to get
working in IE6.

It just seems like there is a need for some "rules of thumb" boiler
plate CSS templates.  If Rails had a generator for "drop-down menu", or
"horizontal menu bar", and "liquid layout with two dynamic columns and a
footer" -- man, that would make life grand.

I've seen sites with gobs of "CSS templates".  Maybe those are tested
cross-browser?  Maybe an enterprising generator-builder could repurpose
some public domain templates into a way to describe a page with some
special-purpose XML and have the generator spit out the main stylesheet
for a site and an rhtml file with all the "div's" already arranged in
there with their id's and classes set up.

I know, I'm dreaming...

jp
8600e8bb7ac3514b3222e698d3901c6b?d=identicon&s=25 wwwguru@gmail.com (Guest)
on 2007-07-05 05:31
(Received via mailing list)
be sure you aren't allowing IE to operate in quirks mode (see
http://www.quirksmode.org/css/quirksmode.html for a discussion)

set doctype

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitiona...

-Ryan

On Jul 3, 11:24 am, Jeff Pritchard <rails-mailing-l...@andreas-s.net>
8dad1ec4d769734583f45fbbee5cd009?d=identicon&s=25 Jeff Pritchard (jeffpritchard)
on 2007-07-05 17:06
wwwguru@gmail.com wrote:
> be sure you aren't allowing IE to operate in quirks mode (see
> http://www.quirksmode.org/css/quirksmode.html for a discussion)
>
> set doctype
>
> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
>   "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitiona...


Thanks Ryan, but this is what I have in my application.rhtml

cheers,
jp
58c6efb8466b9f85155fe6aa9fc37fce?d=identicon&s=25 Chris Taggart (christ)
on 2007-07-05 21:48
(Received via mailing list)
Jeff Pritchard wrote:
> I hear so little mention of this here that I suspect I must be doing
>
>
I've got to say I really sympathise with you. I come from a print
background where you really do see what you get, and the design programs
allow perfect positioning and control of type. Dealing with the
limitations of CSS, and then trying to make it consistent across
browsers is the single biggest pain I have faced in developing my site,
and I'm nowhere near happy with where I'm up to so far.

My advice echoes some of the other comments. I subscribe to the A List
Apart feed, would recommend CSS Mastery by Andy Budd as a slim but
invaluable practical volume, and code for Firefox, then fix for Safari
and IE (an Intel Mac and Parallels is a big help). Oh and plan on
writing off a couple of hours each time you want to fix a tricky
cross-browser issue.

Good luck,
Chris

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8dad1ec4d769734583f45fbbee5cd009?d=identicon&s=25 Jeff Pritchard (jeffpritchard)
on 2007-07-07 03:27
Chris Taggart wrote:
...Oh and plan on
> writing off a couple of hours each time you want to fix a tricky
> cross-browser issue.
>
> Good luck,
> Chris


Some people I'm working with just introduced me to Yahoo grids
(YUIGrids).  It looks interesting, but I haven't used it yet.  It looks
like it could be the basis for a really great new generator for Rails.
Wish I had the time to do it myself.

cheers,
jp
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