Never thought I’d say this, but I disagree with something on Jeffrey Zeldman’s site!
I give you this quote: “Site owners, if your agency or in-house team is sniffing browsers to send them different CSS files, they?re wasting your money and laying the groundwork for compatibility problems that will bite you down the road.”
For the most part, if you’re working to a deadline for a client then you get the job done no matter what it takes. If that means sniffing for the browser and sending different css, html, whatever, then so be it. As any working web developer/designer knows – there isn’t really such a thing as “laying the groundwork for compatibility problems that will bite you down the road.”
With sites ageing in dog years, the chances are high that the site will be re-designed all over again before the current breed of browsers gets too far down the food chain.
I’m all for css based design. That’s why the right hand menu of this site is perfect in IE, a few pixels high in Mozilla, a few pixels more in Opera, and why I couldn’t give a crap what it’s doing in Netscape. Jeffrey is expecting us to put hacks into our style sheets in order to fool different browsers into taking different values for position of elements.
But I think this is going down the same road as invisible pixel hacks in table based layouts. Might as well sniff for the browser and send it the right style sheet rather than resort to intricate css hacks.