To continue my series of: What do you mean [insert dev phrase here]? to help my non-technical colleagues, the second installment a common CSS (html style sheets) phrase used today: Vendor Prefixes.
A little background, CSS is a style sheet that allows developers to attach styling to html documents, defining items such as font, font size and colour. Vendor Prefixes were initially created to handle features specific to a certain browser vendor. Today Vendor Prefixes are used to implement features that are currently not standardized in the CSS specifications, a factor that becomes increasingly important in the latest version of CSS, CSS3.
When developers begin to style html documents and would like to include a specific style such as, say, rounded box corners, they will include vendor prefixes to satisfy each browser (and vendor) targeted. For example:
-ms-border-radius: 5px; (Microsoft IE)
-moz-border-radius: 5px; (Firefox)
-webkit-border-radius: 5px; (Safari, Chrome)
-o-border-radius: 5px; (Opera)
So, next time you hear a developer talking about using Vendor Prefixes, you will know they are discussing applying the styling of an html document, to display correctly within a specific vendor’s browser.