This week I have been furiously re-writing a few key elements of the Roomie website. Specifically, I scrapped the old device button controls, which you can see here. They were ok, but they were very rigid in use, offering only two different pictures to back the buttons. Zooming on mobile devices didn’t work so great either, since the images were PNGs, raster graphics. Now I have created a button framework entirely in CSS, HTML, and ASP.NET controls. Because of this, I can easily create new kinds of controls completely in code, and they even zoom cleanly as well. My original vision for this was to enable the user to create “virtual device controls”, which would display next to the regular device controls.
Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft’s up-and-coming browser to supersede Internet Explorer 7, has a very different layout engine than it’s predecessor. IE8’s engine is much more standards-compliant than any version of IE so far. Standards-compliance is great, but for IE it does yield some unfortunate consequences. Websites that produce special code for pages downloaded with IE7 often send the same quirky code to IE8, which renders the page according to the “official rules”. The end result is a webpage that doesn’t look right.
IE8 has a few features for the transition time between now and when IE7 (and older) usage drops to an insignificant level. First is Compatibility View. If the user sees a website that isn’t rendering correctly (for example, my website right now), he can click the “broken page” button in the navigation bar.