KillerSites Blog

Eric Meyer Interview

February 12, 2007

My friends at Lunarpages recently interviewed the well known tech/nerd author Eric Meyer.

Meyer is well known for his CSS books (I’ve read a few) and the books are pretty good overall. Especially the O’reilly titles.

My beef is that CSS hacks are just a bad idea, and Meyer uses his hacks all over his books …

That said, Amy (from Lunarpages) asked me if I had any questions for Eric; being a trouble maker that I am, I asked this question:

Do you regret promoting the use of CSS hacks given the recent issues with IE7 – i.e. that it broke certain commonly used hacks?

Eric: No. I always did my best to be clear that hacks were, by their nature, fragile beasts, and could be broken by a future revision. At the same time, what else could we do? It was either hack around browser bugs, or abandon CSS as a layout tool. Neither was palatable, but the former was less unpalatable than the latter. What I regret is that the hacks were necessary at all.

I find the answer interesting, but I don’t think it reflects the reality of the situation:

There was and is another option: IE conditional comments.

I won’t go in details about IE conditional comments here (just watch the video,) but I have to wonder why Eric and the other web standards proponents did not talk about this solution that easily and effectively solves one of CSS’ biggest failings (in the real world)?

Regardless of that point, it is an interesting interview with someone who has had some impact on web design today.


Stefan Mischook