Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke wants to do away with the idea that websites need to look the same in every browser. He feels that this convention, which web designers have lived with for 15 years, gets in the way of us making use of the new creative opportunities offered by CSS3, so it’s time for a rethink. Clarke stresses this point again and again during our interview with him and in Hardboiled Web Design, the long-awaited book he released a few weeks ago with Mark Boulton’s publishing company Five Simple Steps.

“Not every browser supports the same CSS at the same time. We need to accept that that’s just a fact of life,” Clarke says. “We have to learn to live with it and realise the hard, cold truth: websites can’t look the same in every browser. To expect that a website will look identical in Safari on an iPad and in IE6 on a PC is crazy. There will always be differences in the ways that browsers render CSS. All the browser vendors have different release schedules and agendas. The second thing is that there will always be older browsers. This whole conversation about when we can stop supporting IE6 is exactly the same as the one that we were having five years ago about IE5 and IE5.5. If we’re going to really allow ourselves to move ahead with using CSS3 stuff in particular, we have to let go of this idea that there will ever be a level playing field. The problem isn’t older browsers – it’s that there will always be browsers that have different capabilities.”

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