The People Should Demand It
If all Web browsers rendered CSS in exactly the same way, then Web designers would have a much easier time creating websites. Right now, I need to build a site and test it in at least Internet Explorer 6 & 7 and Firefox. And that’s at the very least. Safari and Opera, though they have a very low percentage of the market, should also be taken into consideration, in my opinion. Other designers even take it further, including older versions of IE, Mozilla, Camino, the list can be endless.
I estimate that 1/5th of the time spent on a site’s CSS is browser testing. For newbie designers, that number can get up to around 75%. That’s a lot of time, and time, as well all know, equals money. I can safely guestimate that the sites I build could be 10% cheaper if it weren’t for cross-browser testing.
However, having your sites display accurately in all browsers is a necessity, for sure. The advances in IE7 have done much to help, but there is still discrepancies between the various browsers, even those which claim to meet W3C specifications.
A Possible Solution
What if there was one company who wrote the code that all browsers used to render CSS? The W3C could even take on this task, therefore eliminating the need to “interpret” what they’re saying. Make the code available as an open source project where the masses of dedicated software programmers could easily work on keeping the code fresh and stable. Websites across the world (those that adhere to standards, anyway) would rejoice at having their fonts all line up with their bullet points, sing praises to their headers matching up with their footers, and talk up the beauty of submit buttons sitting neatly beside text input fields.
Happiness would reign supreme as users witnessed a uniform experience, while companies saved money on development and developers could focus more on usability and excelling at design rather than “doing what they can” to get things right.
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