You Only Get to Tomorrow If You Pave the Way Today
You really should upgrade your browser.
We used to make nice little (actually they weren’t little, and as time went on, they became less nice) screens that suggested (demanded) that you upgrade your browser or risk having a less-than-optimal experience (or risk having absolutely no experience). Then we (in my head, I keep referring to this as the royal We, but it really isn’t; it is “we” meaning the Web design/dev community (whatever that really means)) decided that we should be nicer to everyone visiting the sites we build and moved to the idea of graceful degradation.
By the way, this post is not about upgrading your browser; it is about HTML5 (http://www.alistapart.com/topics/code/html5/). I’m also now going to quit with the parentheses. Promise. So what does one thing have to do with the other? HTML5 is the next evolution of the language of the Web, and browsers are how that language is going to be pushed through tubes into your eyes and ears. Right now current browsers only understand part of that language, and by the way, the language isn’t fully developed yet. But the part that has been defined is awesome and great, and it is going to make everything better and sing you a song, and not a stupid, lame song, but a song you actually like. This is the whole point. The current language of the Web, which also was never fully implemented, is limiting what the Web can provide and how efficiently it is provided. And of course that is an over-simplification, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Oh yeah, this is also about CSS3.
If you are a developer, you should be aware of how this transition is going to go and how to make it seem seamless when it is anything but. If you are a designer, realize pixel-perfect is just laughed at by IE 6. If you are a user, keep yelling when it doesn’t seem easy, because there is no reason it shouldn’t be. But remember there is a difference between it being easy and it seeming easy, and there is a ton of hard work that goes into making it seem easy.
Everybody upgrade your browser. Except you developers; you still have to upgrade your browser, but you also have to have every old version, because nobody is going to listen to me, and even if it doesn’t look “perfect”, it still has to work. Even with the bright future of HTML5 and CSS3, there will be plenty of opportunity to see how gracefully you can degrade.