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Chapter Nine. CSS Basics > The “Best-Case Scenario” Design Method

The “Best-Case Scenario” Design Method

In the old days, when we created layouts almost entirely with presentational markup, we would test our work in the oldest, crummiest browser on our hard drive. To make it look right in that old browser, we'd build deeply nested tables; use nonstructural divs in place of structural elements like h1, h2, li, and p; and do all the other things we don't want to do any more. When the site looked right in the bad old browser, we would test it in a new browser, where it also quite likely looked good—but at a terrible cost to bandwidth and semantics. Many web designers still follow this practice of designing for the worst browser they can get their hands on. But the cost is too high; the method is no longer productive.

Instead, write your CSS in an embedded style sheet and preview your work in a browser you trust, such as Mozilla, Chimera, Netscape 7, IE6/Windows, IE5/Mac, or Opera 7 (to name a few good ones). In this way, you'll create accessible, low-bandwidth, compliant pages that let markup be markup and that use CSS correctly.


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