Every time I change this site, I die a little

I had big dreams for this website, once upon a time. It wasn’t going to be just the place where I ramble on about computer mice and “Alias” that it has become. I was going to write all kinds of fancy web apps and gadgets in PHP and whatever else came along, making it kind of like the original Brunching Shuttlecocks site. I was going to write my own blogging engine, so I could get practice writing. I was going to do travelogues for the places I went, with a fancy photo gallery and write-ups like a travel magazine. And I’d be able to post random pictures, movie reviews, short stories, whatever else I could think of.

But then I gave up my own blogging engine because WordPress is simply better. And now Flickr’s taken over for the photo hosting, and it does much cooler community stuff than I could’ve thought of. All my travel photos are now up there, and I can’t even do a detailed write-up because it’s been so long I can’t remember where half those pictures were taken, and why they were significant. All the other stuff I’d planned fell to the wayside because I never had time.

My only consolation was that I could at least make the thing look nice, and so I wrestled with CSS to finally come up with something not great, but at least somewhat “different.” And that was fragile and broke under different browsers. So now I’ve even given up on that and just went back to the default WordPress theme, gave it a sickly gray-green background and added some old pictures, and I’m sticking with this.

And of course even this isn’t cross-platform like a website is supposed to be. I’ve tried it out, and the score-card is:

  • Safari for Mac: looks pretty much how I intended
  • Firefox for Mac: not bad, but it doesn’t handle fonts as well
  • Firefox for Windows: exactly like Firefox for Mac, except the halftone-image collie is missing from the headerbar
  • Opera for Windows: pretty good overall, although there are some weird spacing nitpicks
  • Internet Explorer for Mac: no surprise that it totally chokes on the spacing, but considering I didn’t put any IE-specific workarounds in, it’s usable
  • Internet Explorer for Windows: header, spacing, links, fonts, all completely fucked up

Now it’s no surprise that IE doesn’t render the webpage well; I’m about the 10 millionth person to bitch about Internet Explorer’s lousy CSS compatibility. But for it to render the page differently on the Mac and Windows versions? That’s just wrong.

So my plan is for standards compliance through petulance. I’m not going to put any of the workarounds to get it to work in IE; they wrote a crappy browser, so they should be the ones to fix it. I realize that I’m not running amazon.com or anything here; as I said, it’s just a place for unfocused rambling. But I used to think that if I’m going to try to learn something (e.g. webpage design), I should learn to do it right (e.g. accessibility, standards compliance, and cross-platform compatibility). Well, screw that.

P.S.: I realize that the “Weblog” and “Links” links are broken. I’m still working on that.

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