This morning I have been working on a XSL Template for our site at work. Our nice graphic designer made a mock-up in Adobe Illustrator, which he then converted to HTML using Macromedia NightmareWeaver. I then had to make an XSL Template to convert our source XML into his result HTML.
NightmareWeaver produces utterly awful HTML if you let it, a gazillion tables and table cells, unique style names for everything, and no logical hierarchy at all. Making this with XSLT is an evil and thankless task, which I frankly was not looking forward to.
So instead of producing a page that used his HTML, I junked it, and decided to make the page using standard compliant xhtml and CSS. Most of the mark-up that NightmareWeaver produces seems to be tables - it's very good at tables, and many of them seem to serve no useful purpose, so I just deleted them wholesale. Then I put the bits that needed to be in different logical containers into DIVs, and at a stroke I'd removed over 50% of the HTML. Generating my xhtml from XSLT is much easier and simpler to do, so that took no time at all.
Then the fun begins. Looking at the page in Firefox, it's a bit Spartan, so I started to add rules to the CSS style sheet. One by one, I moved the logical blocks into their correct location and set their appearance. All works pretty much as you'd expect, Firefox does what you would expect, and with it's excellent development tools, it's great to see what's going on when you screw up!
As I was getting close I quickly tested in Opera, as I expected it was perfectly happy too. It's a fine browser, a bit more picky than gecko based ones - good for finding mark-up bugs, but it's not as nice as a developer tool so I don't use it as much as Firefox.
Then I looked at in IE6. It got the page all wrong, the mark-up and style is correct, but IE6 doesn't get the layout right. I then start the tweaking, adding stuff to make IE6 work, and hoping that it's not going to break Opera or Firefox/Mozilla. One by one I eliminated the bugs, it took longer to fix for IE6, than it did to create in the first place.
I HATE IE6, ignoring it's awful security track record, it's lousy usability, lack of PNG support, it really annoys me how poorly it supports the standards, standards that Microsoft helped to create!
Using IE6 is like watching B&W analogue TV, when glorious, digital, 16:9 ratio, colour is available.