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Chapter Seven. Working With, Around, and... > Bug Fixing: To Hack or Not To Hack?

Bug Fixing: To Hack or Not To Hack?

In many ways, “hacking” is at odds with the concept of progressive enhancement. Hacking is all about making websites look the same in every browser, usually at the cost of considerable effort, while the goal of progressive enhancement is to deliver information and features to browsers based on their capabilities. But getting pages to look the same across browsers is still an unavoidable necessity in many real-world projects, and some bugs are such showstoppers that we need to deal with them. So how should we go about working around browser bugs?

The traditional approach has been to use hacks with names like the Tantek (Box-Model) Hack, the Holly Hack, the Tan Hack, and so on. These methods, however, are increasingly of historical interest only, and typically rely on the fragile strategy of using one bug in a browser to work around other bugs in the same or different browsers. This method is fragile because if the bug we are trying to avoid gets fixed, but the bug we are relying on as a workaround doesn’t get fixed, our CSS must be rewritten. Worse, if the bug we are relying on as a workaround gets fixed, but the original rendering bug remains, our pages will break—and again, our CSS will have to be rewritten.


  

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