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IE9 Preview Touts Cross Browser Compatibility

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-thats-a-brilliant-feature dept.

181

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 development team has announced the availability of the third IE9 platform preview release on the IE blog. Dean Hachamovitch writes, 'The third Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, available now, continues the deep work around hardware acceleration to enable the same standards-based markup to run faster. This is the latest installment of the rhythm we started in March, delivering platform preview releases approximately every eight weeks and listening to developers. You'll see more performance, same markup, and hardware-accelerated HTML5.' The announcement focuses on cross-browser compatibility, noting that when 'developers spend less time rewriting their sites to work across browsers they have more time to create amazing experiences on the Web.' Curiously, however, the video embedded in the page works only in some browsers. Dear Microsoft, IE9 supports many royalty-free, web-compatible formats out of the box (HTML, CSS, WOFF, PNG, and the like) so why not at least one more?"

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181 comments

Doesn't matter (5, Funny)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676884)

I'll be writing shit web code for IE6 forever anyway.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676964)

I'll be writing shit web code for IE6 forever anyway.

That really blows. We're informing our web clients that we're no longer supporting IE 6 and that any IE 6 visitor will land on a "nice, soft" page requesting that they upgrade to one of the many other available browsers. We just got one client to agree to upgrade their 25 employees from IE 6 to IE 8 (they already had FF installed but they have some 3rd party sites that require ActiveX).

If you're stuck doing it for an employer or client you may be better served by spending some time nudging them away from IE 6 because it will save you painful hours in the long run.

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677064)

When one of your biggest clients happens to be GM or Blue Cross, it doesn't happen very quickly or ever. I think there are still quite a few Win 2000 machines over there.

Re:Doesn't matter (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677210)

Same problem here. Bank with 60,000 employers. All running IE6.

Now you try to explain the high up bank executive he needs to "upgrade his browser" without install rights when something "doesn't look quite right" during validation.

Nudging IT will only result in fear of taking risk ("it works now") and noone wanting to invest time and money in a upgrade while there are hundreds of projects running (planned up until 10 years in the future) and the IT-crowd already being under quite some load.

Cannot be done. IE6 slave myself until next client.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678708)

Surely something like this at the top of any intranet page that requires IE6:

<!--please_render_using_ie6-->

would solve it. You'd get a better browser for most sites, and anything that requires IE6 could be sandboxed away into a separate tab/process with minimal effort on the company's part (just grep the html header and add the comment underneath. The only problem is that Microsoft would have to bundle IE6 with all versions of windows along with the current IE

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677222)

They DO know that Win2K support ends in less than a month [wikipedia.org] yes? I switched my 2K customers over to XP post SP2, and anybody that allows 2K loose on the net after EOL is just asking for it, as unlike Win9X most of the bugs that can hit XP WILL hit 2K as well and there won't be any patches.

As for TFA While I have been playing with IE9 I just haven't seen anything that would make me want to switch myself or my customers away from FF. Firefox with ABP has cut infections WAY down, and makes the web faster and easier to read to boot. Oh and for those that say I'm "ripping off web sites"? When I quit seeing drive by downloads and JavaScript malware o' the day I'll think about getting rid of ABP, not one minute before. JavaScript is becoming as big an attack vector as ActiveX was before it, and it is just too risky.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677278)

When one of your biggest clients happens to be GM or Blue Cross, it doesn't happen very quickly or ever. I think there are still quite a few Win 2000 machines over there.

Those monsters make changes at a glacial pace. You'll be on IE 7 by 2015. Good luck and invest in lots of ice cold beer.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677668)

When one of your biggest clients happens to be GM or Blue Cross, it doesn't happen very quickly or ever. I think there are still quite a few Win 2000 machines over there.

Ah. An EDS...errr..HP employee? I remember when IS&S over at GM was spouting off 10 years ago about their 'new' IT model was going to move faster and how they would never be stuck with legacy platforms ever again. When I told them it wouldn't work, they just laughed. Who's laughing now?

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#32679386)

When one of your biggest clients happens to be GM or Blue Cross, it doesn't happen very quickly or ever. I think there are still quite a few Win 2000 machines over there.

Ah. An EDS...errr..HP employee? I remember when IS&S over at GM was spouting off 10 years ago about their 'new' IT model was going to move faster and how they would never be stuck with legacy platforms ever again. When I told them it wouldn't work, they just laughed. Who's laughing now?

Probably those in management who got nice bonuses or kickbacks for selecting the platform they did. And when they can (and probably do) justify the relentless improvement/upgrade cycles to upper management as the "cost of technology advancement" and repeat the same scenario ad-infinitum, I doubt a single red flag is raised. If you think about it that way, chances are, you will be the one to stop laughing, while those who picked and set up such a system will keep on laughing...

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677072)

I am not a web developer, so I am a bit confused about why websites are unable to provide even a basic level of support for IE6 -- perhaps a simple page without any fancy effects that just gives people whatever information they were looking for. Is it really that necessary to use Javascript for everything?

Re:Doesn't matter (5, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677138)

Because IE 6 was designed to fail horribly when it can't understand the web page. Therefore web site developers have to make it work in IE or give it a way to fail nicely.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677988)

Actually, there was no designing involved in the failing parts. The code just ran into unspecified territory. You could say the outcome was determined by natural selection. ;)

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677166)

Because marketing won't like it unless it's the same across all platforms. I seriously got complaints one other time when text was shifted because of boxing or what the fuck all ever, I forget. It looked fine, independently, but QA has to make their money somehow. If I still worked at that last place I bet I would still have the ticket for it.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32679452)

This. It's trivial to serve up a basic page, or even a working page without some of the bells and whistles - in fact getting them looking exactly the same isn't really difficult if you're allowed to reign in the designs, but when the designers/marketers want pixel perfect cross-browser visuals AND lots of visually impressive things going on, that's where you hit the big issues. And in any event the code will be full of horrible kuldges and IE-specific fixes which makes it difficult to port or maintain in the future.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Interesting)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677208)

Because that keeps enabling IE6. And providing even "basic support" takes a lot of work because of the number of hacks needed to make anything look decent. It's basically designing a different site just for IE6. No one likes doing that, which is why web developers want to explicitly not support IE6 to avoid that headache.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677366)

"And providing even "basic support" takes a lot of work because of the number of hacks needed to make anything look decent"

So make it look indecent in IE6? Why is that necessarily worse than telling someone who, for reasons unknown, is continuing to use IE6 that they are not allowed to view your website unless they use the browsers you think they should be using?

Re:Doesn't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677462)

"Someone" is usually the person paying you to work. "Your website" may also be some critical piece of software that they need to operate their business. "Reasons unknown" is most likely some third party piece of shit web app that can't be upgraded without some major pain, ie obscene licensing costs, no upgrade path, whatever. Not everything is for public consumption.

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677708)

Because it could double your development time and therefore development cost.

I agree with you...most of the time. Most people should design their sites for standards compliance and leave as is for IE=6. You can use a "IF IE 6" tag to show a banner at the top of the site saying something to the effect of "This site doesn't look right. That's because your browser is a piece of crap. You can, however, continue to use this site. It just won't look very nice or work very well. Here's a link to list of reasons why IE6 should die in a ditch." This, I think, is the best way to deal with the problem.

This is all well and good if your site is relatively simple (as most are) but the problems come when you're making a site that relies heavily on something that has to be done differently for IE6, such as JavaScript. For example, I don't know if Google Maps works on IE6 but I wouldn't be surprised that, for something of that complexity, most of the client-side code would need to be written twice - once for the standards and once for IE.

When providing even a basic equivalent of your site for a tiny percentage of the sites users almost doubles development time it just might not be worth it.

(note: for most sites "double" is an exaggeration...but I think my point still stands)

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677768)

"For example, I don't know if Google Maps works on IE6 but I wouldn't be surprised that, for something of that complexity, most of the client-side code would need to be written twice - once for the standards and once for IE."

As it turns out, Google provides a non-Javascript version of Google maps, on which all the processing is done server side and then returned to the client. So, click on "+" (which is just hyperlink text -- no CSS) and a new page loads with a zoomed in map, and likewise for the other features.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678024)

Hmmm...that's interesting. And quite impressive, really. Congratulations to Google!

However Google are a big enough company, and Maps is an important enough product that gets enough visitors, that it was worth their while to do this. For most people the extra time, cost and the low percentage of IE6 hits makes it not worth the effort.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

arclyte (961404) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678446)

That's very true... but if you're developing a google maps mashup site you would need to develop maps using the static API, doubling your work...

Re:Doesn't matter (5, Interesting)

watermark (913726) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677230)

IMO, with the existence of javascript libraries like jQuery or prototype, javascript isn't the issue. IE6 has so many bugs to keep up with (double margin, float bugs) that it forces you to create 1 1/2 websites (code that only runs on IE6 is the 1/2.) You tell it I want a a 6px border and place it 10px from the top and you can end up with a 12px border and 12px from the top. So you end up writing code to say, if its IE6, give it a 3px border and 8px from the top (knowing that it will double your 3px and add a few pixels to the latter.) So to answer your question, if we didn't write code specifically for IE6 (even without javascript) some sites would look so bad that they would be unusable in IE6. Stupid blue E.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678096)

Well, not exactly. It does not force you to do anything. It’s the irrational need to support the die-hards and thereby reinforce the belief that their behavior is correct.
Meanwhile 99% of the web users regularly update their Flash client because otherwise the sites “stop working”.

So in my book it’s the own fault of the industry, that it did not have the spine but the irrational fear to lose the worst part of their customers.

I quickly dealed with this, by making using their “the site does not work” logic on themselves: The “browser outdated” error page I redirected them to, looked exactly like the genuine IE error pages. Including a link to complain to customer support to fix IE’s bugs. To the users it looked like their browser failed. So they fixed it. Done. :)

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678370)

What about using conditional includes, which IE supports, to display a message that says "this website will look like crap until your idiotic browser is updated"? You seem to be mostly worried about layout, a better example would be one of those bugs where legit code actually hides or overwrites content. An ugly but functional website is one thing, a non-functional website is a whole different story and equally possible.

If your customer is a corporate type entity then you code to what they want and inform them support is going away so you can't be responsible for an unsupported platform. But as long as they are paying your 1.5 websites are just more profit.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

DarkWicked (988343) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678644)

As a web developer with more than ten years experience who doesn't use any kind of "IE only" hacks and code, I disagree.

IE wastes time, because it's the only browser that needs extra care, but when you know what it can and can't do properly, you know how to code css that just works on every browser, IE 6 included, without hacks and without extra CSS files for IE.

Writing extra IE-only css code is a sign of incompetence.

Javascript is a different matter, but jQuery takes care of that problem just fine (mostly).

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677246)

If you still see websites as just online magazines then I guess you're somewhat stuck in the 1990's.

What you suggest is like asking: Why can't we make programmes also run on Windows 95, just without all the fancy effects of Aero?

Like it or not websites will become more interactive, even /. is using AJAX these days.
See also Google Docs, or http://www.jsdesk.com/ [jsdesk.com]

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677310)

"Like it or not websites will become more interactive, even /. is using AJAX these days."

Note, however, that the AJAX version of /. is not mandatory -- I do not use it, for example, because I prefer to keep Javascript disabled except when absolutely necessary.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

pandronic (1275276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678314)

Note, however, that the AJAX version of /. is not mandatory -- I do not use it, for example, because I prefer to keep Javascript disabled except when absolutely necessary.

Paranoia much?

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678174)

If you still see websites as just online magazines then I guess you're somewhat stuck in the 1990's.

I am, I suppose, well behind the times. Some years ago, websites were able to publish information and update the databases they sat in front of (to do things like take orders for merchandise or carry on a conversation), all over secure connections. Thus, in the beginning the web established usefulness as a publishing medium. Then it was a tool to get things done.

Since then, pretty much everything I've seen in various "WebX.0" applications has done the same stuff in different ways.

So...beyond what we had years ago, what sorts of "interactivity" actually serve a useful purpose?

I'm not trying to be an obtuse old man. Seriously, I'd like to know. Maybe there's some really useful thing that I should be doing via the web that I'm not doing now. But I can't really think of what that might be and I'd like some help to figure it out. What new interactivity justifies the visual pollution and system crud that are (apparently) required to make use of it?

Note - "Mobile" apps don't count. I can understand why I might need some specialized program when I'm trying to get something done while moving around. I haven't bought into the "I live through my smartphone" lifestyle, though. I'm asking about things that are useful to me when I sit down at my desktop computer.

Re:Doesn't matter (5, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677272)

We absolutely can provide 'basic' or better support for IE 6 but we make sure the entire site works the same in all browsers. The real questions is "how many man hours, and how much of our client's money, should we spend trying to handle IE 6 compatibility and functionality?"

Some of our sites are relatively simple and use formats & javascript libraries we've developed that support IE 6 without any issues at all. If a new or existing client wants this kind of site we don't "break" the IE 6 support - we simply let them know that any future upgrades or additions may not be able to do everything they want (either we can't add the 'fancy' stuff because it would require reworking of the infrastructure or it would break IE 6 compatibility). We always give them the option and if they are willing to spend the extra money on IE 6 compatibility we'll do it but we design the entire site to work the same in all browsers so they have a limited feature set to choose from.

We see dwindling IE 6 visitors but we're also aware that some of our clients still have a large percentage of IE 6 visitors. Because of that we don't offer certain features or enhancements to them. We're upfront about it and they are willing to live with the less fancy site as long as it meets the needs of their visitors.

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678132)

The real questions is "how many man hours, and how much of our client's money, should we spend trying to handle IE 6 compatibility and functionality?"

Thats for the client to decide.

Its as if you think that if IE6 was eliminated from the landscape, that you would get to do the job in less time for the same money. Thats not how markets work. If your job gets easier, so does your competitions job.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678158)

Why couldn't you advice your clients to keep IE 6 for older sites and to use a newer browser for future development? Firefox with IE tab? Just curious why this isn't a solution.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32678556)

A browser is not a development tool, it's an information access tool for the users.

What you or your client use for web development is irrelevant, what mattes is what your *users* will use - and whether you can require them to use some specific browser or not to access your site.

Either way, expecting them to use one browser to use one site and another browser to use the newer sites is a horribly bad idea. I'd say it is an absurd requirement, but I've seen it happen enough in intranet environments and corporate web-applications for arcane reasons - suffice to say it does not work well.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32678566)

I have to deal with an old busted BMC web app that manages to crash Firefox with IETab at a low enough level that the crash handler doesn't even get involved. IETab is more of a convenience than a real solution.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Windows Breaker G4 (939734) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677476)

If you use CSS to format for the web, you hate IE6. It's basically that simple. Shit just doesn't work. Oh and it doesn't support transparent PNG files (unless they fixed that).

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677992)

IE 6 supports transparent PNG files that use indexed color (like a still GIF), just not grayscale or RGB ones.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Windows Breaker G4 (939734) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678062)

OK they changed that then, back in the day it didn't support PNGs, they'd appear with a grey background. That shit was so annoying, had to use javascript to make it make the PNGs work as they should (well it sorta worked).

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Informative)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677856)

"I am not a web developer, so I am a bit confused about why websites are unable to provide even a basic level of support for IE6 -- perhaps a simple page without any fancy effects that just gives people whatever information they were looking for. Is it really that necessary to use Javascript for everything?"

Good question, but it's not that simple.

See, CSS and Javascript were DESIGNED to "fail gracefully". You could put some useful style on say a list or a heading, then use CSS to format it. If the browser support was not there, you would see the base elements.

Now this failback would understandably be UGLY (your prettified CSS list menu would look like a 1994 bulleted list), but it would WORK.

If Microsoft chose not to support the CSS standards, they could have done so. It's optional.

The ONLY way Microsoft could ruin CSS and Javascript was by agreeing to go along with the standard, and then change all the meaning. It's like if you spoke a slightly different language than your neighbor, and every 3rd word you spoke had different meaning to your neighbor (as in, every 3rd word was a normal term to you, but an unexpectedly offensive curse word to them).

If a browser did not support said standards, we could have all designed for CSS and IE6 would get a vanilla plain text page.

Microsoft knew that novice web developers would code and test in the "popular" browser first, then test other browsers afterwards. If that was how you developed, you were an unwitting tool in Microsoft's effort to destroy the open web.

It worked, for a time.

Then web developers revolted, by figuring out how to document Microsoft bugs. In the end, we developed this pseudo-language that ran on top of CSS and Javascript, so we could "hide" markup and styles from either IE or from the standards browsers.

All this effort wasted uncountable hours of web developers.

Was this deliberate sabotage by Microsoft? Let's just say that in the US anti-trust trial against Microsoft, emails from Bill Gates were revealed. Bill's emails essentially stated he didn't want to see MS developers "wasting time fixing bugs in HTML that only affect competitive browsers". (Meaning, if your HTML/CSS generation in some desktop app generates horrible invalid code... DON'T fix it... just let the IE guys know so they can write undocumented code to show your page "properly").

Literally, there's a story here how grass-roots web developers fought back to save the "information highway" from being effectively privatized as one company's property.

This is why so many people HATE IE and IE6.. even if they're not the type of people who normally hate Microsoft.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677950)

I'd like to see people with IE6 browser just forced to use the mobile page. Kind of a passive aggressive way of saying "upgrade now."

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678604)

I'd like to invite you to check out the lynx [isc.org] and links [sourceforge.net] web browsers.

The problem with MSIE6 is that it adds nonstandard extensions to HTML and CSS, does not (natively) support the full PNG spec, it is pathetically insecure, it adds padding to certain HTML elements in a lot of situations where everybody else assumes padding=0 so by making a web page in standard HTML/XHTML that looks gorgeous in every single other web browser will be horribly broken in MSIE6.

MSIE7 and MSIE8 have progressively gotten a TON better but they still don't handle broken pages gracefully (see the acid3 test) and will still degrade to MSIE6 compatibility mode, encouraging corporate web developers to be lazy and keep things as-is.

Now, as far as "fancy effects" go - those "fancy effects" led to the possibility of google docs, web-based photoshop elements replacements, online banking that doesn't take weeks to navigate (do you have an AmEx account? Log into your account on AmEx and you will see online commerce done right), and even legal free and low-cost on-demand video programming, and online classes. It also allowed for the building of "community" web sites that made the whole world a lot smaller, connecting people from nearly every nation.

It also allows us to research products better before we buy, so when companies post their products online they can post a LOT more detail than they ever did in printed brochures, and you can educate yourself so that salespeople who nothing about the product beyond what their commission is won't steer you wrong.

You can stick to the web as it was circa 1997. I'll take today's "web 2.0" (wait, did I just say web 2.0?), thankyouverymuch. And, I'll be very happy using non-Microsoft browsers.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#32679444)

I am not a web developer, so I am a bit confused about why websites are unable to provide even a basic level of support for IE6 -- perhaps a simple page without any fancy effects that just gives people whatever information they were looking for. Is it really that necessary to use Javascript for everything?

Or anything but the most basic HTML? Or CSS? Yeah... I guess if you skip all of those, it's possible...

But here's the thing... doing that also means doing a bunch of extra work for the "IF IE6..." section. It is more intelligent to spend that time adding a bunch of IE6 workarounds to get the same functionality that users of better browsers have.

The only other alternative is to have a very basic site with limited capabilities for everyone - in this day and age, for any complex site, or content driven site or high content site, that's not really an option.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#32679322)

I'll be writing shit web code for IE6 forever anyway.

That really blows. We're informing our web clients that we're no longer supporting IE 6 and that any IE 6 visitor will land on a "nice, soft" page requesting that they upgrade to one of the many other available browsers. We just got one client to agree to upgrade their 25 employees from IE 6 to IE 8 (they already had FF installed but they have some 3rd party sites that require ActiveX). If you're stuck doing it for an employer or client you may be better served by spending some time nudging them away from IE 6 because it will save you painful hours in the long run.

When your "clients" are "anyone who uses the Internet and may be interested in your product or information" such a tactic does not work. Trying it, and checking the bounce rate on Google Analytics will confirm this.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#32679334)

That really blows. We're informing our web clients that we're no longer supporting IE 6 and that any IE 6 visitor will land on a "nice, soft" page requesting that they upgrade to one of the many other available browsers. We just got one client to agree to upgrade their 25 employees from IE 6 to IE 8 (they already had FF installed but they have some 3rd party sites that require ActiveX).

If you're stuck doing it for an employer or client you may be better served by spending some time nudging them away from IE 6 because it will save you painful hours in the long run.

Ironically, companies are using that "feature" as a reason to stay on IE6. Seems people can't view YouTube/Facebook/etc using IE6, which means companies avoid having to actually do filtering. The IT policy simply states that IE6 is the only browser, rather than saying YouTube/etc are blocked.

So businesses may pay to stick with IE6 just because all those "non work" websites don't support it. And suppliers get stuck supporting IE6 because otherwise they'd lose a customer.

Just for a few more years, though. A few more years... business can't stay with IE6 forever, after all. But for the next few years, everyone trying to push people away from IE6 may just keep people on it...

Re:Doesn't matter (0, Flamebait)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677076)

IE6 was the last time MS produced a fair browser rather than a poor "web app" delivery platform. Frankly, anything which doesn't work on IE6 probably doesn't need doing at all - I'm sure the content can be delivered without all the fancy effects.

If you're supplying me an app, choose or spec a client-server protocol / set of remote APIs and write a natively compiled client or one in a VM created for a well-engineered language and built to integrate properly with the native environment. That insidious free market will even be able to create competing front-ends so you get to deliver your services with the user's preferred presentation.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677164)

Slashdot is full of Javascript weenies. They're like the Visual BASIC coders of their time. Don't expect them to understand the engineering, quality of service, security and user interface problems inherent in delivering an app via Web 2.x.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677220)

Slashdot is full of Java weenies. They're like the Ada developers of their time. Don't expect them to understand the time to market, user interface ergonomics, scope creed, and pointy haired boss problems inherent in delivering an app on time.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677484)

I don't know about you, but I find it much easier to develop a cross-platform, high-level ("time to market"), integrated (SWT), and well-engineered (to handle "scope creep") client in Java than Javascript.

But I find it even easier to well separate the business and presentation aspects of my client (N.B. netizens: the client isn't only a place for rendering the Pretty) and write UIs using the native toolkit for the 2 or 3 environments I expect clients to use.

The whim of the PHB is a killer, but proofs-of-concept go a long way to demonstrate that you're an idiot to base your architectural decisions on the most awkward 2% of your potential clients. (N.B. if they aren't "potential" you cater for their particular devices, but still recognise that they're 2%)

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677528)

IE6 was the last time MS produced a fair browser rather than a poor "web app" delivery platform.

Obviously don't have the first clue about IE6. The browser has a huge javascript/COM API for "web app" delivery. The part that sucks is the "browsing" part, specifically CSS support.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678222)

Easy. Just put it into a flash applet and you're guaranteed cross-browser compatibility.

And people wonder why Flash is so popular on the web.

Cross Browser Compatibility? (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676892)

Is that a euphemism for standards compliant?

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676912)

Browsers can be made to be standards compliant. Web pages can be made to be cross-browser compatible (since not all browsers are standards compliant).

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (0, Flamebait)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676982)

Right, so how is a Browser development team working towards cross-browser compatibility? Me thinks it is market speak for "embrace extend extinguish".

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (2, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677546)

Even when following standards to the letter, not all browsers produce the same result - there are plenty of examples where both Firefox and Safari 'get it right' according to the standard, and yet produce different results. Accommodating these sorts of things is also covered under the term cross-browser compatibility.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678316)

If you are an optimist, Microsoft's promise of "cross-browser compatibility" means:
      We will properly support the standards - AND THIS TIME we REALLY mean it!!

If you are a pessimist (or I might add, a realist) then Microsoft will make this an OPTION - and non-default at that... and when you select it, you are warned about losing certain web features or compatibility (similar to how they warn you against saving Office files in any "open" file format).

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 2 years ago | (#32679012)

Easy. When the spec is ambiguous you look at the competition and implement the spec in the same way as the majority.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (2, Insightful)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676954)

Nope, they don't want to be tied down to such non-marketable terms such as "standard" or such constricting terms like "compliant".

"Cross Browser" sounds WAY sexier and "compatible" sounds much less like they HAVE to do something.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (2, Insightful)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677742)

No, "cross browser" accurately describes what people want. Nearly always, when some internet nerd starts whining about "standards-compliance", they no clue what the standards actually are, and what they really mean is "Make it work like Firefox".

Realistically, there are hundreds of "standards" which no browser supports, and there are numerous de facto unofficial standards which people expect to work. (Prime example of the latter is transparent PNGs.) "Cross-browser" accurately describes this set of common pratices.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (3, Insightful)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677940)

(Apologies for replying to myself.)

The biggest problem when discussing web standards is that the vendors themselves propose the standards. So Apple is the most compliant with Apple's proposed standards, while Microsoft is the most compliant with Microsoft's proposed standards, etc. From the W3C's POV they are all the same, while the marketplace sorts these things out into common "cross-browser" features versus things which are considered "proprietary".

In other words, nobody cares that CSS3 rounded borders aren't an official "standards compliant" feature, it is a "cross browser" feature and they want rounded fucking corners on their website.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (2, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677096)

Nah. Microsoft seems pathologically unable to acknowledge the possibility of an objective standard.

A few browsers which more or less by accident behave similarly, now that's a vision that Microsoft can get behind! That situation can be manipulated. Objective standards, on the other hand, are the enemy of relativism.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (2, Informative)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677788)

Actually, Microsoft is generating a tons of CSS test cases, which more of an objective measure than the checkbox marketing which usually is used by browser vendors.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677324)

Yes, that makes it seem like they're going out of their way to avoid using the phrase "standards compliant". People familiar with IE's history of compliance should take this with a grain of salt. Maybe redmond is slowly starting to realize that the web isn't about their browser, it's about standards. Or it's just another case of their usual corporate verbosity.

Re:Cross Browser Compatibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677386)

If multiple browsers behave the same way, it's a de-facto standard, even if it's not blessed by ISO or the W3C.

Now accelerated to pwn your machine 100% faster (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676906)

With smoother and more convenient Ring 0 [wikipedia.org] integration than ever!

Re:Now accelerated to pwn your machine 100% faster (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678180)

Hey, he’s not trolling but exactly right. This exact thing is the single biggest problem with IE.
If I missed them taking it out of there (Got proof? Since MS did already lie about this more than once.), I take my statement back.
But if not, the moderator is the troll here.

Better Is Better Than Worse (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676910)

At least IE 9 will be much closer to "standards compliant" that all the other versions of IE combined.

Dear Microsoft, IE9 supports many royalty-free, web compatible formats out of the box (HTML, CSS, WOFF, PNG, and the like) so why not at least one more?

I guess it can't hurt to ask, but I doubt MS is going to come that far in just one major version upgrade.

Re:Better Is Better Than Worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677014)

Windows 7 vs. Vista?

Re:Better Is Better Than Worse (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677692)

IE9 supports many royalty-free, web compatible formats out of the box (HTML, CSS, WOFF, PNG, and the like) so why not at least one more?

Is this a game of "Spot the Star Trek reference"? Because I think they spelled his name wrong...

Re:Better Is Better Than Worse (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678352)

Apparently it's actually a font format. I had to look it up - it looks more like a racial slur than a standard name.

WebM will probably fail (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32676948)

I bet Google doesn't even care if it succeeds; odds are, they have it out there to put pressure on MPEG-LA with respect to licensing fees. They're not going to suddenly switch YouTube over to all WebM.

I know y'all want a totally unencumbered codec to win out here, but there probably isn't one in existence, and the leading candidate isn't as good h264.

Also, companies like Apple and Microsoft aren't actually conspiring against open source, nor do they have a financial incentive to see WebM lose out on patent litigation grounds (they don't make money from MPEG-LA licensing).

Re:WebM will probably fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677198)

I bet Google doesn't even care if it succeeds; odds are, they have it out there to put pressure on MPEG-LA with respect to licensing fees.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

Re:WebM will probably fail (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677912)

I bet Google doesn't even care if it succeeds; odds are, they have it out there to put pressure on MPEG-LA with respect to licensing fees. They're not going to suddenly switch YouTube over to all WebM.

The enterprise cap on H.264 royalties is $5 million/year.

That is the cost to Google.

The cost to Disney/Pixar - and it covers every distribution channel and outlet the mega media corporation owns.

Broadcast. Cable. Satellite. Internet. Cellular...

The independent tv broadcaster has the option of paying a one-time charge of $2500 per H.264 encoder or on a sliding scale beginning at $2500 for markets of less than 500,000 households.

If you are self-hosting freely distributed - feature length - videos on the net - and god alone knows why - this is probably the limit of your exposure.
               

Re:WebM will probably fail (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678970)

The enterprise cap on H.264 royalties is $5 million/year.

That is still a hell of a lot of money. You can charge me a one off distribution fee (even that is OTT), but taking a slice of my distribution costs, especially for content I am not charging for is ridiculous. Is a site simply showing holiday videos or product samples meant to be pay every time it is shown?

Re:WebM will probably fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678102)

... (they don't make money from MPEG-LA licensing).

Actually they do, especially MS (apple has only one patent in the pool; MS has many.) But both probably pay out more than they earn

Re:WebM will probably fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32678420)

They don't; MS pays in far more than they get from MPEG-LA [msdn.com] :

Microsoft pays into MPEG-LA about twice as much as it receives back for rights to H.264.

That's not making money. Having patents in the pool doesn't mean you profit from it, which is what some stupider slashtards seem to assert when the topic comes up - that Apple (and Microsoft) somehow make money by supporting H.264.

TRANSLATION OF MS SPEAK: (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677044)

CROSS BROWSER: It works on multiple flavors of Internet Explorer
STANDARDS BASED: MS Standards, 'natch!
LISTENING TO DEVELOPERS: No, actually they do listen. MS doesn't actually DO anything, but they do listen.
THE WEB: Any site written to work with Internet Explorer. The rest of the sites are NTW (Not The Web).

Cross Browser - Hehe (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677150)

Bill Gates: IE9 will support ALL browsers

that's right both of them.

IE6 AND IE7!

And yes I like country music!

Re:Cross Browser - Hehe (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677762)

FYI: Bill Gates has nothing to do with M$ anymore, if you are going to bash M$ please use Steve Ballmer as the whipping boy now.

kthanksbye

freetards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677174)

another freetard wanker article. joy.

Whoah that's about time, i'd almost believe it.. (2, Interesting)

SchizoDuckie (1051438) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677188)

Too bad that the IE example doesnt properly in Chrome because it *requires* hardware accelleration (if that's either to their crappy javascript or the amaaaazing speedup they finally got working i'll leave in the middle) The Good thing though: It really works! I put it through it's paces with Peter Nederlof's (A.k.a. Clay) 3d javascript engine to see what part is crappy and what's working, and for now it looks AWESOME! The only thing that doesn't seem to work is click tracking on the canvas. speed wise it's quite similar to Chrome! Test urls: http://www.xs4all.nl/~peterned/3d/ [xs4all.nl] http://www.xs4all.nl/~peterned/demooo/duck.html [xs4all.nl] http://www.xs4all.nl/~peterned/demooo/cubes.html [xs4all.nl]

Re:Whoah that's about time, i'd almost believe it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32678212)

That's a chrome problem, not a test problem or even a webkit problem. Safari runs the new Asteroid Belt demo just fine at about 15 FPS.

Microsoft supports H.264 (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677224)

And that's a good thing. I'd rather see them support H.264 than WMV.

Re:Microsoft supports H.264 (2, Informative)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677254)

H.264 is still a proprietary codex.

Re:Microsoft supports H.264 (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32678236)

And still, nobody cares. ;)
The specs are available. There are open source codecs (=encoder/decoder) for it.
And nobody cares what MPEG LA wants.
They gave the information out, and did not demand something in return. Now it’s too late. <stew-beef>MPEG LA, go fuck yourself!</stew-beef> ;)

Re:Microsoft supports H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32678620)

H.264 is still better than the alternatives, and it's already in wide spread use. Not only that, but because most movies on blue ray already use it, backing it allows for multiple devices to play it without needing to transcode/re-encode the video which will always result in a loss of quality.

http://techdrag.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32677260)

ohh nice to hear but i love firefox....IE should work a lot to beat firefox

Quick! (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677294)

Someone check the temperature in Hell!

Re:Quick! (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677634)

Still rather warm.

The problem I foresee is supporting multiple versions of the same browser. IE6, a 10 year old browser (in August) still holds 7.1%, IE7 (nearly 4) holds 9.1%, IE8 holds 16% and now yet another IE version on the way. http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp [w3schools.com]

How many conditional statements will I need to support 4 versions of IE?

If anything, it's getting hotter (for developers)

Re:Quick! (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678514)

Unless you are writing a wide audience Internet facing e-commerce site, I would forgo any special measures to support IE6 completely. That is what Microsoft wants you to do. IE6 is so old that going out of your way to support it is usually a waste of time.

IE7, on the other hand, probably needs to be supported for two more years, and IE8 for five, on most general purpose websites. Seven years is more than enough.

Relevance (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677444)

Maybe IE9 will offer a plugin that removes annoying, offtopic /. comments.

Headline: IE9 TOUTS IMPROVED WEB PERFORMANCE, OFFERS TEST DRIVE

Slashdot Community: "IE6 blows!" "Down with M$!!!!1" "You'll have to pry Firefox from my cold, dead fingers!"

Come on guys, can a brother get some comments on the facts of the article, or what?

Without Firefox... (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677890)

Did anyone else think that we really have to thank the Mozilla team for this? Without Firefox, none of this would have happened. Wed’d still use IE6.

Firefox tends do go a bit downwards in quality, lately. But I don’t care. Thank you, Mozilla team! Every single one of you. Everyone who installed and promoted it. And the team who made the great logo and CI, that’s so fashionable that non-geek women put in on their t-shirts.
*grabs web-Oscar, steps down from the podium and runs away with it!*

Reminds me of a situation I had with a new phone.. (4, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678880)

back then I was scrapping for money, camera phones were relatively new, I needed a digital camera and couldn't afford one, and I could get a phone with decent camera, with a contract, for very reasonable money. And I needed a new phone anyway.

So I picked one. It could make photos okay, but to get them I could only send them through MMS to my email, for exorbitant fees. To download them I needed a special RS232-based cable... and the dealer didn't have them. No import, not available, if ordered from the net, including shipping, it would cost more than the phone, and about as much as a digital camera. But hurray, there are cheap chinese USB cables that supposedly work!

And they do, for everything EXCEPT downloading the photos. A 3rd party app can download thumbnails of the photos. The official app doesn't recognize the cable. The fora are filled with people asking how to get the photos, the universal answer is "get the official cable".

Quite pissed off, I first hacked together a RS232 cable using the plug from the chinese one and a handful of electronics. I found out the only difference from the "unofficial RS232" was that official had DTR and RTS shorted, the knock-off - unconnected. Still not satisfied I began reverse-engineering the AT command set the phone used to talk with the computer. I found commands to request list of photos, download and delete them, then how to extract the photo from the junk the phone sends as reply to request... I wrote a Perl app that worked with any serial, even the emulated RS232 over USB. It was clunky, it worked from command line only, but it worked with any cable.

I posted it on the official fora. To my surprise, instead of ban&delete, I received a surprised question from the developers: Why? Why would anyone want to use it? We have the official app which is infinitely better!

I explained how there are no official cables in my country. How I bought a phone for the camera, and I can't use the camera. That I understand they want to profit from their cables, but sorry, I feel cheated, I want to use the camera. Oh, and I listed an extract from first page of the support forum, about 20 posts of cable problems, to which my program was a solution.

That was the last I used my app. A new version of the official app was released less than a week later, and it ignored the DTR/RTS, working correctly with all cables.

HTML5 Canvas Support (4, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677944)

The best part about this preview is the addition of HTML5 Canvas support, the lack of which would be a serious impediment to cross platform deployment of a large number of useful applications.

oww shut up you! (1)

superduude (1754116) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678554)

there is no best concerning internet explorer, except for the announcement that microsoft apologizes for it, and all ie's will self destruct..

IE9 and WebM (3, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#32678716)

I saw another article [theregister.co.uk] over at The Register about the new IE9 preview.

There was one section I found particularly interesting in there:

And speaking of standards, director of IE product management Roger Capriotti told The Reg that although patent-backed H.264 is Microsoft's video codec of choice for IE9, it will also support Google's recent open source gift to the world, WebM/V8, if a user has that codec on their machine. However, Redmond has yet to make a decision, Capriotti said, about how to handle the open source Ogg Theora codec.

So... IE9 will support WebM if it's installed, but not Theora.

While this is not supported out of the box, this could actually be a tipping point for WebM.

Without IE9's WebM support, things looked like this:

H.264 support: IE, Safari, Chrome
WebM support: FireFox, Chrome, Opera

In that case, H.264 looked like the winner. But if you add IE9 to the WebM column, you suddenly have support for WebM from everyone but Apple.

Now the trick will be to convince MS to support this out of the box...

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32679406)

Slashdot looks like hardware accelerated shit in IE9. I can't blame Microsoft because I know how nasty slashdot's open sores really are...

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