This week’s edition of the SitePoint Tech Times newsletter answers a question I’ve had for a long time. According to the article, PNG Colors in Internet Explorer, IE is one of the only browsers that renders embedded gamma correction for PNG images, which is what causes them to appear slightly discolored. Most other browsers ignore any embedded gamma correction. The article even gives a nice solution for stripping the gamma correction values out of your PNG images. Score!
I’m writing this entry in Internet Explorer 7. Let me back up—I’m not sure you heard me correctly. I’m not writing this in Internet Explorer 7 Beta or even in the Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate. I’m writing this post using the official release of Internet Explorer 7. The official release announcement was made this afternoon on IEBlog.
You can download Internet Explorer 7 now if you’d like, or if you’re not anxious you can wait a few weeks, as the new browser will be released as a high-priority automatic Windows update.
I for one am impressed with the new product and can whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone. As far as web standards support is concerned, I don’t think IE7 hits the nail quite on the head, but it’s a far cry closer than IE6 ever was. I have to give credit where credit is due, and the Internet Explorer team has earned my praise for taking huge strides in the right direction.
A few more notes about the new design, and then I’ll stop yakking about it; I promise. I’ve now tested the site in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 (rc1), Firefox 1.5, Firefox 2 (rc2), Opera 9, and Safari 1.2. It passes with flying colors in all browsers, with the exception of IE6, where it doesn’t actually look half bad—the layout itself is fine but the PNG images puke big bluish blocks all over where they should be transparent. Sometime down the road I may decide to replace all the PNGs with something else in IE6 (using conditional comments or some other such hack), but IE7 is coming this month and will be a critical automatic update, so I’m not going to sweat about it too much.
Unbeknownst to me, the new design wasn’t at first valid XHTML and CSS. I took care of that this morning by properly closing a few <li> tags, fixing a few tag IDs, properly enclosing a couple of comment form elements inside a block level element, and fixing a few malformed CSS statements.
Last but not least, I should mention that the new design uses a couple of new fonts: Cambria and Calibri. Microsoft is releasing six new fonts with Windows Vista and many people (myself included) are hoping they become widely distributed enough to use them in web pages. If you don’t have these fonts, the new design properly degrades to using Georgia and Trebuchet MS instead, which I think looks pretty good, so you’re not missing out on much. To get the full effect, however, I recommend you download the new fonts if you can. They have been released unofficially to the public in the Vista betas and can be found on the web with a little effort.
The new design looks downright crappy in Internet Explorer 7 and even worse in Internet Explorer 6, but I’m working on that. Actually, I may not attempt to make it compatible with IE6 at all, preferring visitors upgrade to IE7. I can get away with that because I’m not trying to please anybody or make any money here.
I’ve got my del.icio.us bookmarks populating as regular entries and I’m working on getting my Flickr photosets to do the same. Toward that end, the Flickr Photo Album for WordPress plugin looks promising. I’m still working on a way to bring all my Foundation content over here. That’s going to be more complicated than I hoped. I may simply have to hold out for WordPress 2.1, which is supposed to have a fancy new export/import feature.
Anyway, all this to say that a lot of stuff is broken right now. Hold on to your shorts.