PNG Fix Miraculously Resolves Longstanding Design Issues



December 06, 2007

The issue of PNG and IE have existed ever since I started designing for the web several years ago. Moving into the Drupal realm, it was a major issue when dealing with dynamic, sleek designs.

For those of you who don't know the issue transparencies can be used with the PNG-24 file format. However, while IE allowed for PNG-8 transparencies, it failed for a long time to deal with the more sophisticated PNG-24 alpha transperency feature.

With IE 7 they resolved this issue, but unfortunately so few people have moved to the new browser. Ideally everyone would adopt something like Firefox, but that's simply not going to happen anytime soon (hope springs eternal). There have been javascript and css workarounds before, but none that were usable in a large scale.

Along comes PNGFix for Drupal. This module allows designers to specify elements within the template to fix the IE png problem. Alas, this is now going to make it much easier to design for clients sites that are dynamic and visually appealing.

Disclaimer: PNGFix requires (at the moment) the use of the img width and height variables to be set in the HTML. Otherwise, it resizes the image to a square. I believe that this is a problem with IE, which would normally lead me to say "damned IE, why can't they just go away", but in this case the module in question is here to accommodate IE.

For those of you who care, it's most likely because IE doesn't employ the use of "width:100px; height:auto". In all other browsers, this makes the width of the element "100px" and scales the height proportionately. In IE, the internet's regrettful high-school prom date, it simply applies the width value to the height (making it a square). Seriously, who are these monkey's at Microsoft?

About The Author

Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.