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Ian G

I am one of those guys who doesn’t hate IE as much, because I’ve learned over the years what sort of things to avoid. Very basic example: if I have a design that contains rounded corners and I know beforehand that the site needs to be compatible with IE7, I sure as hell won’t use border-radius CSS code. Instead, I use images for that, and then when I check it in IE7, it looks fine. But still, I develop in Safari and Firefox.

So that’s the rub; I’d like to play with some of the more innovative/easier aspects of CSS3 coding and still have the site degrade nicely to some degree across versions of IE, but it seems next to impossible to really get a sense of what each tweak looks like step-by-step without the awesomeness of full Firebug compatibility. I should add that I build for a CMS (Drupal) so I have to deal with a swarm of CSS stylesheets and thus optimization to get IE to work, so each change I make means I have to rebuild the optimized version stored in cache before IE recognizes the differences.

The site giving problems has a rounded corner, gradient background design. I was using images and an IE only stylesheet, but I was running into pixel-perfect alignment problems across all versions and the gradient needed to have the ability to be flexible in length- creating some headaches for image centered solutions. Originally I just dropped the fancy-pants stuff and went with plain design, but when I saw that CSS3please gave some degradable solutions, I thought I’d give it a try. No luck, multi-IE was still kicking me in the junk and laughing. Even if I went without CSS3 via CSS3please, my image alignment work would be a nightmare without on-the-fly viewing of changes in each version of IE. I would fix one thing only to have it move out of place in another version, with every pixel move requiring a rebuild of the cached CSS stylesheet.

If you have to create cross version IE stylesheets, how do you view micro-adjustments in a useful way in IE?