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Chapter 6. Different Screen Size, Differ... > Workarounds for Non-supporting Brows...

Workarounds for Non-supporting Browsers

Browsers that don’t support media queries, such as IE 8 and earlier and Firefox 3.1 and earlier, will simply display a regular page with the regular styles. Although the design will not look as good at extremely narrow and wide viewport sizes, the large majority of your users won’t be using these sizes. You can add a min-width and max-width to the page to keep these browsers from ever seeing these extreme widths; override them in the media queries for browsers that don’t need them.

This, of course, does nothing to help mobile devices. Luckily, most popular mobile devices support media queries (see www.quirksmode.org/mobile/browsers.html). Many of those that don’t support media queries do support the handheld media type, however, so you could feed them their own mobile-optimized sheet this way. The article “Return of the Mobile Stylesheet” by Dominique Hazaël-Massieux at www.alistapart.com/articles/return-of-the-mobile-stylesheet explains a method for feeding a few different style sheets to mobile browsers based on whether or not they support the handheld media type and media queries.


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