A large part of my work is creating web applications for the enterprise behind their firewalls. For dutch clients this means Internet Explorer. The current speed of change in CSS development is rather exciting because not only do I see active development on new features by the various browser vendors I can also see, in some cases, IE7 being dropped* by groups of end users. The fact that in a few cases I can target IE9 and fallback to IE8 at all is a huge win for creating clean cross-browser web applications. Just like I’ve been doing with public facing web sites for a while now.
The new standard
So which omitted technologies now come into play in the
real enterprise world?
- Box sizing
- Generated content with :before and :after
- Proper display support. Tables anyone?
- Position: fixed (without bugs)
- :focus (very handy)
- Table columns (
) including table declarations I’ve been using that last one for while now, regardless of browser support.
Legacy ain’t so bad
Don’t forget IE7’s fancy CSS for you to fall back on:
- Substring matching attribute selectors
- Text-overflow (why don’t we see that one more often?)
- Child and sibling selectors for those who find working with the cascade to much to cope with and want to kill it dead in it’s tracks.
Designers and front-enders are always waiting for everybody to get onboard with the latest and greatest browsers. We need to be patient. When IE9 becomes mainstream** we’ll see a huge shift because suddenly there will be a truck load of features unleashed. HTML5, SVG, canvas, media queries, transforms, REM units, Web Open Font Format (WOFF), multiple backgrounds with background image options and, one of my favourites, the hsla colour space!
* The technology turnover for enterprise (including government) is very slow. IE9 will not become commonplace for another few years yet.
** If a company claims to require IE7 it could very well be true however it might not be true. Have your customer drum up the numbers. You may find to your horror that IE6 is still alive and in use, but that’s whole other post.