A different css file for every browser?

By now, we all know that every browser sees every site slightly differently, just as they see the colors and sometimes even the graphics differently. And, I know from experience and talking to other deisgners, that often if something has to look just so, they do it as a graphic. Words are words, and they will flow and look different, and we have all coem to accept that.

Or so I thought, until I inherited a php site. I usually love working with php sites. Seeing how the designers and programmers have made things work. It is amazing. There are so many cool tricks out there, and I am always learning new things, or new ways to do things.

However, with the recent web site, the client set up a sniffer to detect which browser was looking at the site, and thus could tell the browser which style sheet to use. Now, this is not to say that some browsers, such as IE 4, didn’t give grief to css users. Eric Myers writes about it extensively. And Digital Design Blog has links to all that it has gathered on the subject. What is interesting is that most designers just accept that things will not look exactly the way they want, and move on. In fact, in A List Apart, they suggest just building a really good CSS.

My quandary, however, is that the client is currently OK with the site, but wants changes that are caused by weird things in the CSS. Normally, I wouldn’t let the client know that there was anything really wrong with their site, and just fix it, but this I had to tell them. I told them I didn’t want to break the site to fix it, which I don’t. I may have to, however.

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