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Web Page Design With Mac vs PC

Experienced Web Designer Just Bought Mac ... Can I Do Web Design On This?

     
7:22 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just bought a new mac machine ... I am an experienced Webmaster that is used to running Windows on my PC's.

I am so freaking impressed with the Apple product that I would like to slowly switch everything away from the PC but have some MAJOR reservations about this.

As we all know, 99% of the world is still on PC. Whenever I do design on my PC it displays perfectly in Internet Explorer. When I view it on a Mac there is generally a very small subtle difference.

I use Dreamweaver BTW.

QUESTION:

Can anybody point me to some forum comments on web desing using a Mac vs PC. Suggestions on how to design with the Mac and still be able to test in a windows and mac environment?

Any help would be very much appr.

8:19 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In my experience there isn't any difference in developing webpages on a PC or a Mac. The difference you are likely seeing is the box model difference in IE from more standards compliant web browsers such as Safari and Firefox. I've honestly found that for cross browser compatibility, using some of the css hacks for IE (like the underscore hack) work out well.
9:40 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can anybody point me to some forum comments on web desing using a Mac vs PC. Suggestions on how to design with the Mac and still be able to test in a windows and mac environment?

Well, if it's a new Mac, you can run Windows on it too [apple.com]. If you search around, there's also an application that will let you run Windows from inside OSX.

Besides that, there's only one strategy for developing that makes any sense, regardless of development platform:

Write valid code!

Having said this, there are a few things you should probably make sure you know as much about the pitfalls of developing CSS and HTML in general. Here are a couple of good places to start:

-b

2:26 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Write valid code!

That bears repeating. As MSIE 7 gains popularity, it's great to have written sites that conform to standards, so they just work.

MSIE 7 brings up another point; even disregarding Mac users, it's a trick to test all major browsers on one computer, since a running copy of Windows can only run one (standard versions of) IE 6 or IE 7 at any time.

To test in all major platforms, you'll definitely need some form of virtualization or multiple booting. In my opinion, virtualization solutions such as Parallels Desktop, Virtual PC for Windows, or VMWare offer a better solution for website testing than do rebooting solutions such as BootCamp, so you can spot-test while developing.

Currently, the Mac-based solutions for virtualizing Windows (and Linux/Unix) are more robust than solutions for virtualizaing Mac OS X, such as PearPC.

7:05 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I use a Mac, and I simply cannot imagine designing sites without it.

I have a MacBook Pro 17" (With the Core 2 Duo), and I run a product called Parallels Desktop. This is a usable version of the promises made (and broken) by Virtual PC.

I have three VMs on my system, Win98SE, WinXP and Vista. I have many test browsers on them running back to IE5.

I have the Mac set up as a full-power LAMP server, and the VMs can run against localhost (as a NAT IP address).

I use Dreamweaver and BBEdit almost exclusively in my work. I use FireFox with the various developer extensions, but when I test, I throw the book at my sites. I hit them with about 14 different browsers.

I write valid-up-the-yin-yang XHTML 1.1/WAI AAA code, and I output the application/xhtml+xml type when the browser will accept it. This means that I HAVE to fix problems.

I seldom encounter any kind of serious compatibility issue, and when I do, it usually takes no time at all to fix it.

7:10 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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MSIE 7 brings up another point; even disregarding Mac users, it's a trick to test all major browsers on one computer, since a running copy of Windows can only run one (standard versions of) IE 6 or IE 7 at any time.

I know what you mean, but this might be a little misleading. It's commonplace these days to run IE 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 and 7 on one Windows machine. It's even possible to get the various versions to recognize and correctly interpret conditional comments [google.com].

A little Googling will show you how to get multiple IEs [google.com] on one Windows machine (which is also your Mac!)

-b

10:12 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, bedlam caught me dissembling. Multiple IE will let you run IE 6 and 7, but not the standard versions of both.

I do stand by the recommendation to use virtualization. Multiple IEs is a very cool hack, and very useful for quick tests, but it is definitely a hack, and "Obviously some features will be broken." [tredosoft.com ]

10:46 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You have a Mac. I assume it is a new Intel-based Mac.

That means, with Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can run a large number of OSes at almost full speed. I simply use separate VMs for my browsers. This way, you can set up a VM with a custom configuration (like some corporate IT Departments have).

Welcome to the Mac World. Forget all the PC noise. As I said, I couldn't imagine designing Web sites with anything else.

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