(Moderators feel free to replace with a more suitable link. This is the one I've got bookmarked.)
Thanks for that Lucy. I've never found what I personally thought was a really great explanation, and that one was an interesting read (although the invented term "condcom" was a bit disconcerting - my eyes kept ignoring the second "c" ... ;) )
I always found the official documents About Conditional Comments
[msdn.microsoft.com] heavy reading. Targeting IE Using Conditional Comments
[positioniseverything.net] and Conditional comments
[quirksmode.org] are old stand-bys and my personal favourite is Stu Nicholls because he explains how to target non-ie browsers.
However, also keep in mind that none of them mention that if cc's are used to link to an external stylesheet that stylesheet blocks all other downloads (Conditional comments block downloads
[phpied.com] and IE 6 slowing down IE 8
[webforscher.wordpress.com]). For that reason coders like Nichole Sullivan* have suggested that if it is necessary to hack for ie, then return to the old days and hack the main css where it avoids that issue and is such an obvious eye-sore it will be removed as soon as possible @matthayzon89
- welcome to css :) . While CC's are a good way of targeting ie, that doesn't account for other browsers non-conformance. I realise you can find lots of information about how "difficult" it is to achieve cross-browser consistency, and a while ago coders seemed to be measured by how many hacks they could recite. I guess at WebmasterWorld many of us take an approach more like rocknbil's.
So my suggestion would be to accept that you just can't account for all the variables of device, platforms and user preferences. Use semantic, valid code to deliver accessible, usable content, and accept that users of older technology may not get the same fancy things - but they will get the content, which is most important. *Can't find a reference on her site - but am sure it came up in her talk at Webstock [webstock.org.nz] - and I think Souders also mentioned it.