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Ian Lloyd

Great article, Drew. No Bagpuss mentions, though? ;-)

One word of warning though – using rgba on a wide scale can cause some real issues in some browsers when you try to scroll/resize a page.

I’ve noticed it on this site – using Firefox 3 on Win XP (I’m at work!) – where I click and drag the scroll bar and there is a very noticable lag between when I let go and when the browser catches up and renders the page at that point. It seems very sluggish, and this is not a low-powered PC. By contrast, if I disable the style sheet and try scrolling up and down, it is zippy as hell. Switch back, problem returns. Try doing the above with the Task Manager > Performance tab and you’ll see the difference in CPU usage as it tries to render the rgba CSS page as you scroll compared to the non-CSS version.

However, trying the same in Firefox 3.5/Mac OSX it’s perfectly OK. So, be sure to check in other browsers, as you may have issues that you were not previously aware of.

FWIW, I’ve started to use rgba on small discrete pieces of the site at work, but working for a corporate and with high IE6 usage (100% IE6 usage inside company), means that’s about as far as I could take it for now.