IE and the AlphaImageLoader for .PNGs.
With all of the useful features available in .PNGs, you might wonder why they aren't used more frequently on the web. This is largely because the .PNG support for IE6 (surprise!) isn't quite up to snuff. IE6 can't natively handle the alpha-transparencies (that smoothing effect) in .PNGs. Instead, IE will render your beautiful images as shown to the right, with a light blue background behind any transparent pixels if alpha-transparencies are used. (IE6 can handle opaque & fully transparent pixels (the same kind you get in .GIFs) in .PNGs just fine.)
But see here what happens as I try to use this solution in practice. I have a small pin image that I used as a background for breadcrumbs. I really need the image to appear once on the right side of some text that's floating right. But it stretches to fill the height & width of the div that's filled by the crumbs.
No problem, right? Just add another (non-semantic) div (red dashed border this time) to surround the AlphaLoader div. But I've got to make the AlphaLoader div an inline element to make the pin appear on the same line as the text, and then the image disappears.
Our IE / Alpha .PNGs saga continues next time, as we test more exotic solutions.