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WWW Inventor On Microsoft's Browser Tricks

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the creators'-rights dept.

Microsoft 503

Unipuma writes: "Tim Berners-Lee gives his views in an interview with Silicon Valley about the latests blocking of the MSN website for most other than Internet Explorer browsers. 'I have fought since the beginning of the Web for its openness: that anyone can read Web pages with any software running on any hardware. This is what makes the Web itself. This is the environment into which so many people have invested so much energy and creativity. When I see any Web site claim to be only readable using particular hardware or software, I cringe - they are pining for the bad old days when each piece of information need a different program to access it.'"

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FILES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492235)

Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User
Preferences Page)

Hear hear (1, Informative)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492237)

Agreed wholeheartedly. M$ isn't the only one guilty of this type of action, as sites all over the damn place either won't display or won't display right depending on what browser you use, but they're the first ones (that I'm aware of) to try to do it on a wholesale, large-scale basis. Glad they took the pressure hit and backed off; now if other sites will just take the example...

Re:Hear hear (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492259)

It's a shame in a way that TBL didn't retain some kind of ownership over the HTTP protocol...

Then the W3C would have been able to grant licences to browser vendors wanting to use it, and make standards compliance a condition of the licence being granted.

Just a thought...

Re:Hear hear (2, Insightful)

Ouroboro (10725) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492286)

It's a shame in a way that TBL didn't retain some kind of ownership over the HTTP protocol...

Then the W3C would have been able to grant licences to browser vendors wanting to use it, and make standards compliance a condition of the licence being granted.

If HTTP had been a licensed protocol, it would never have been as popular as it is.

Re:Hear hear (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492296)

You're completely right...

I guess that's where 'stealth patenting' comes in...? :-)

Re:Hear hear (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492298)

Actually developing websites that run well on MSIE, Lynx, Netscape and so on can be, to put it mildly demanding...

Somewhere you have to draw the line, expecially with a deadline closing in, management breathing down your neck, and users demanding "word functionality" in every god damn textbox...

Im not making excuses here, mind you. I fully agree that everything important chould be as accessible as possible. And that Microsofts attempts to "lock in" users are just as pathetic as usual.

But certain functionality issues can't be (easily) solved in all web browsers.
And all to often you won't be paid to even try...

Re:Hear hear (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492369)

Yeah, but there's varying degrees of viewability. I just redesigned a site and before I did, I took a hard look at the statistics of our users. About 70% of our users were using IE 5. Another 30% were using Netscape. I could see that of that 30%, around 70% were coming from in house, and I know that we aren't using Netscape as our default browser anymore. So that meant that I could safely assume that around only around 10-15% of the people visiting our pages were using Netscape 4. We were lucky and didn't have anything less than NN4 or IE5, believe it or not.

So when the PTB said they wanted popout menus and cute mouse over events, I made them work in IE. Netscape users get all the site, they just don't get little popout submenus. They can still get to those menus with 1 click, so they aren't missing anything.

The site looks good in lynx, which I actually care more about than either IE or NN, since the people using lynx may be blind and need a text only browser so the screen can be quickly read to them.

When I get time, webmaster is only one of my duties, I'll make the popout menus work for Netscape. I've already got all the browser detection coded in, so the rest will be a cinch.

Konqueror and Opera handle the IE pages correctly, so Netscape is the only one that is special.

Re:Hear hear (1)

eam (192101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492439)

> Actually developing websites that run well on
> MSIE, Lynx, Netscape and so on can be, to put it
> mildly demanding...

Solution: Design websites to be compatible with a published HTML standard.

Re:Hear hear (1)

mbrod (19122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492401)

I love how I not only have to use IE, Mozilla, and Konquerer, but multiple versions of them (IE) to be able to do what I want on certain web sites.

Never used to be that way. I used to be able to hit submit buttons (on Yahoo) and have them work in my web browser of choice. I have problems mostly with IE 6 and Mozilla.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492238)

damn formkeys!

Let me get this straight... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492239)

As if recent events (attacks on the World Trade Centres, Anthrax Attacks) raising our collective conciousness into a state of terror wasn't bad enough, Hallowe'en is just around the corner. Soon, a new terror, a spooky terror, will unfold as the souls of thousands of innocent civilians who died raise from the dead on All Hallow's Eve to terrorise yawl's neighborhood. And you people have the gall to be discussing Internet Explorer???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The angry souls of the recent dead could give a good god damn about Microsoft products, instead preferring to wander the areas where they met their untimely ends, seeking out unwitting victims for retribution. By all means, on the evening of Hallowe'en, try to avoid the area around Ground Zero of the WTC, the area near the Pentagon, and the crash site in Pennsylvania unless you don't mind becoming a victim of terror (a very spooky terror indeed), yourself.

You have been warned!

u boring fag troll.. you don't even know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492247)

...the meaning of the word STRAIGHT...

PYRAMID TROLL SCHEME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492323)

Do you want good luck to follow you and your offspring for geneations to come? This troll has the solution for you...

All you have to do is copy this troll onto two to four of the discussion threads of your choice! That's right! Just copy this into a new message and click "post anonymously." That's all there is to it! *

Tired of that idiot talking about geek culture! Stick one of these babies on it! And it's good for the economy!

Marge Gentry of Cambridge, Minnesota participated, and the next day she received a large fruit basket outside of her door from a secret admirer. Unfortunately, Marge was hit by a truck the next day, so she didn't get to the Granny Smith apples.

Commander Taco of Hole-in-the-ground West Virginia didn't participate, and he was violated by a group of raging homosexuals. Since the gang was headed by Jon Katz, Taco had no recourse to the law because the entire town knew about their previous relationship. The unfortunate outcome is enshrined forever at goatse.cx.

So if you want to get the fruit basket and not get poked in the bread basket, just copy this troll onto two of the discussions threads of your choice. We could have this place blanketed by sundown!

Netscape (1, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492242)

Didn't Netscape force eveyone to use thir browser to see Netscape.com?

Of course it failed miserably, just as I hope MS does for this...

Re:Netscape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492257)

DG: What should the DoJ, FTC, EU and other enforcement agencies be encouraged to do about this, if anything?

TBL: Who can blame a company for aiming for vertical integration - entire control of hardware, software, content, and ongoing business?

Hmmm...like Apple, but Apple is nowhere near as dominating as MS tries to be.

Re:Netscape (1)

entrox (266621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492317)

erp.. you really sure? Isn't that some kind of catch-22 ?!

Re:Netscape (1)

entrox (266621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492383)

whoops.. seems i have forgotten, that netscape.com was remodelled to be a portal. sorry

Compatibility? What about standards? (5, Insightful)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492248)

It would probably be a good thing if browsers followed the HTML standard. I can't tell you how annoying it is to make a decent looking website only to find out that your Netscape 4.7 users see garbage.



Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (4, Insightful)

karot (26201) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492283)

It would be an even better thing if the HTML standard

a) Stood still for a while
b) Kept browser compatibility in mind
c) Didn't just base itself on the latest non-standard toy added by MS or NS
d) Wasn't developed by Committee

(Committee == A mammal with an average of 100 legs, and no brain)

OK, time for my tablets... The real-world is calling me back ;-)

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (1)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492326)

HTML 4 has been around for getting on for five years. Is that not standing still for long enough?

Granted, there is XHTML, but it's not vastly different from HTML and anything that can render HTML 4 can be tweaked relatively easily to render it.

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492295)

How about that you write CORRECT HTML for a change? Run it through the W3C validator and see exactly WHY it won't render right on Netscape.

Don't blame Netscape for your sloppy HTML.

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492312)

If you made the page, then you should have used the html standards.
Do not blame the browser for your work.

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (2)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492367)

If the same exact page renders completely different in two different browsers, then how is that not following the standard?

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (3, Informative)

keath_milligan (521186) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492377)

Whoever modded this redundant is off-base. This is the core of the issue.

The whole problem here is that some browsers don't correctly or fully implement the standards (NS 4.x) or that other browsers (IE) "extend" the standard with proprietary tags and then web content producers build sites with a single browser in mind.

Browser makers need to choose a level of W3C standards-compliance (v3, v4, etc.) and implement to chosen level religiously. Likewise, web developers need to do the same with their sites - pick a level of compliance and stick to it. Modern browsers (at least IE6 and recent versions of Mozilla) are doing a much better job of standards-compliance.

Re:Compatibility? What about standards? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492451)

My web site is written to web standards circa 1996. That's why it looks like garbage in Netscape 4.

I wholeheartedly support blocking Netscape 4 from accessing web sites; it's just too badly broken.

MiSsiNg (1, Redundant)

Zargle (465109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492249)

-ERROR-

This comment is not supported by your browser.

Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (1, Interesting)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492250)

Granted, it's the freshest big outrage in our mind, but if you can hop in the Way Back Machine and head back a couple of years to when Netscape was still a viable contender, there most certainly were "Best Viewed With Netscape" sites to go with the "Best Viewed With Internet Explorer" ones. I remember this well because IE had a hard time working with JS 1.1 and I railed for us to make our site a Netscape-only one then much as I rail for my company to make our site an Internet Explorer-only site now. IE may extend the standards, but at least it supports them.
The dream of a fully open web is a beautiful one, but as long as people use GIFs, PDFs, Flash/Shockwave/Real Player/etc., don't bullshit yourself into believing that Microsoft is the company committing the most egregious offenses when it comes to balkanizing the web.

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492285)

Did you read the article? Do you have any reading comprehension? The whole point that TBL was trying to make was that you should make your site work on as many browsers as possible. I appreciate that you probably want your sex site to pop up lots of javascript windows so that you can artifically inflate your hit counts and charge more for banners, but by making your site more browser-specific you are defeating the entire foundation of the web and are just as much of a problem as Microsoft.

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492333)

Errr...I think I should make my site viewable by my intended audience. In this case I guess that would be IE users. It's their web site, their money they put into it, their choice of who they want to use it and who they don't. Life will go on without being able to read msnbc in lynx.

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (1)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492338)

What standard does IE support better than Mozilla/Netscape 6.1?

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492373)

Speed and memory usage are standards that I'm quite keen on. NS6.1 fails miserably compared to IE (on Solaris too, not just on Win where it has some help from the OS).

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (4, Insightful)

Cardinal Biggles (6685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492355)

I railed for us to make our site a Netscape-only one then much as I rail for my company to make our site an Internet Explorer-only site now. IE may extend the standards, but at least it supports them.

Tell me, what standards does IE support that, say, Mozilla and Konqueror don't?

It was my impression that standards compliance is better in Mozilla and Konqueror than in IE, and that Opera is not significantly worse.

The only reason you would make your site IE-only is that it does not support the standard correctly in some cases, and that you want to work around its bugs without having to worry about how your hacks look in minority browsers.

That may be a valid argument if you are strapped for cash and are not very ethical about supporting monopolies. But to say that IE is ahead of other browsers in standards support is simply untrue.

Re:Let's be fair: this isn't IE specific. (1)

rogerl (143996) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492379)

"Granted, it's the freshest big outrage in our mind, but if you can hop in the Way Back Machine and head back a couple of years to when Netscape was still a viable contender, there most certainly were "Best Viewed With Netscape" sites to go with the "Best Viewed With Internet Explorer" ones"

Yes, but there is a huge difference between "Best Viewed with..." and "we will not let you view unless you are using..."

WWW Inventor??? (1, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492252)

It says 'www Inventor' in the headline... yet I don't see Al Gore's name anywhere...

Besides... everyone knows thats where the word 'AlGore'rythm comes from..

Dont hurt me!

Re:WWW Inventor??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492260)

Subliminal messagoreing

Re:WWW Inventor??? (5, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492315)

It says 'www Inventor' in the headline... yet I don't see Al Gore's name anywhere...

Ha ha ha, yes, how funny.

However, the joke goes that Al Gore "invented" the Internet, not the World Wide Web. The WWW is only one aspect of the Internet, certainly the killer app that brought it mainstream in the 1990s.

Good ol' Al never sought credit for "inventing" it, but did claim some responsibility for "creating" it in its current form: a public and global network mostly driven by the private sector. In his years as a lawmaker, he did sponsor legislation that supported this transition from a purely academic (ARPA) and military (DARPA) tool of one country, mostly driven by the government of that country.

Actually, that's the misquote. (2, Insightful)

JeremyYoung (226040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492393)

The actual quote has Gore saying, "when I was in congress, I took the initiative in creating the world wide web." Which is actually a fairly accurate thing to say, since it was legislation he supported that opened up the internet for people to change.

PYRAMID TROLL SCHEME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492336)

Do you want good luck to follow you and your offspring for geneations to come? This troll has the solution for you...

All you have to do is copy this troll onto two to four of the discussion threads of your choice! That's right! Just copy this into a new message and click "post anonymously." That's all there is to it!

Tired of that idiot talking about geek culture! Stick one of these babies on it! And it's good for the economy!

Marge Gentry of Cambridge, Minnesota participated, and the next day she received a large fruit basket outside of her door from a secret admirer. Unfortunately, Marge was hit by a truck the next day, so she didn't get to the Granny Smith apples.

Commander Taco of Hole-in-the-ground West Virginia didn't participate, and he was violated by a group of raging homosexuals. Since the gang was headed by Jon Katz, Taco had no recourse to the law because the entire town knew about their previous relationship. The unfortunate outcome is enshrined forever at goatse.cx.

So if you want to get the fruit basket and not get poked in the bread basket, just copy this troll onto two of the discussions threads of your choice. We could have this place blanketed by sundown!

Why is this about "My Rights"? (4, Interesting)

pointym5 (128908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492262)

What does this have to do with anybody's rights? If MSN shuts out other browsers, well that sucks I guess, but I have no inalienable right to read MSN with Opera. And there wasn't much in the article about anybody's "rights", just a discussion of the meaning of W3C standards.

Re:Why is this about "My Rights"? (1)

sveinhal (469879) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492350)

If MSN shuts out other browsers, well that sucks I guess, but I have no inalienable right to read MSN with Oper.a

I know this is a bit off topic, but MSN is open for Opera-users now. Your point about your "rights", however, is still valid.

-s-

Unreadable sites (4, Insightful)

bribecka (176328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492264)

I wonder what his opinion is on needing a plug-in to view some content--it basically amounts to the same thing.

The problem is that in order for all browsers to see everything, a web site would probably have to use HTML 1.0, resulting in a very boring web. More current technologies aren't standards based since they are so new. Where does it stop? Everything must be compatible with Mosaic 1.0?

I don't agree with the MSN lockout, but there are instances on the web where a program is required to view certain content, and I don't see any sites getting rid of Flash just because Lynx doesn't support it.

Re:Unreadable sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492293)


There's a difference between requiring Flash to view certain content and requiring Flash to even enter your site. If you design your site well, Mosaic and Lynx users can still use it productively, even if they can't see pop-up windows and Flash.

Re:Unreadable sites (4, Informative)

pointym5 (128908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492299)

and I don't see any sites getting rid of Flash just because Lynx doesn't support it.


That's because they're foolish. I regularly send "I'm a pain in the ass" mail to whatever marketing address I can find to inform people that locking potential customers out of their promotional websites is the height of stupidity. Use of Flash or other plugins may be OK for optional "tours" or whatever, but to block a customer from the main page due to lack of a plugin is a clear case of marketing people gone wild without adult supervision.


The idea that flash animation is required to grab attention is based on a misunderstanding of the context. If I go to a commercial web site, chances are I've gone there on purpose to gather information. I do not need to be impressed. I do not need eye candy to keep me "stuck" to the site. I just want information.


The same goes for access sites at banks or credit card companies (like Citibank, for example) that feel the need to drown me in stupid flyover popup menus. Why why why? I just want to check my balance, and your 100K of Javascript does NOT make my life better.

Re:Unreadable sites (1)

mrpengin (525583) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492301)

Maybe I'm too thick to see it, but aren't things like Flash and Plug-ins a type of privilege? You don't have to have them but if you want and extra "treat" you can use them.

Denying someone view of a certain site because of the software they use is a virtual "civil-rights" movement waiting to happen.

Maybe I'm on my way to troll town but this how I see it.

Re:Unreadable sites (5, Informative)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492308)

HTML 4.0 has a wonderful tag called the OBJECT tag. It allows you to include multi-media content but allows multiple levels of defaults if that content can't be displayed on the target browser. (Compared to IMG, where it only has one level, the ALT tag, and this can't be formatted nicely in HTML).

E.G., if I wanted a Flash animation, but defaulting to a static JPG if Flash wasn't available, or in the case of a text browser, a short paragraph describing what the user could have seen, I could do this:

OBJECT type="x-application/flash" src="image.swf">
<OBJECT type="image/jpg" src="image.jpg">
This is a the default text rendering here.
</OBJECT>
</OBJECT>

If OBJECT was used more, then it wouldn't matter if content was mostly in plug-ins; it should be no problem to rewrite it to use alternate methods to maximize those who can see it. In non-4.0 browsers, the code above simply looks like the inner text block, so they will still see something.

The problem is that OBJECT is yet to be strongly implemented by any browser, IE, NS, Opera, etc. Yet it was introduced in the HTML 4.0 standard, which is more than a year old, so it's a matter of getting these browser makers (all of them, not just a few select ones) up to speed on the latest approved spec asap. With how Mozilla does a separate development of the Gecko engine that handles the HTML display from the mechanics of browsing and the UI, this can help, but I doubt that one can do a similar separation with code from IE or Opera.

PYRAMID TROLL SCHEME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492313)

Do you want good luck to follow you and your offspring for geneations to come? This troll has the solution for you...

All you have to do is copy this troll onto two to four of the discussion threads of your choice! That's right! Just copy this into a new message and click "post anonymously." That's all there is to it!

Tired of that idiot talking about geek culture! Stick one of these babies on it! And it's good for the economy!

Marge Gentry of Cambridge, Minnesota participated, and the next day she received a large fruit basket outside of her door from a secret admirer. Unfortunately, Marge was hit by a truck the next day, so she didn't get to the Granny Smith apples.

Commander Taco of Hole-in-the-ground West Virginia didn't participate, and he was violated by a group of raging homosexuals. Since the gang was headed by Jon Katz, Taco had no recourse to the law because the entire town knew about their previous relationship. The unfortunate outcome is enshrined forever at goatse.cx.

So if you want to get the fruit basket and not get poked in the bread basket, just copy this troll onto two of the discussions threads of your choice. We could have this place blanketed by sundown!

Re:Unreadable sites (3, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492322)

What makes a web site boring? Informative?

Is information not surrouned by animation and beautiful shadowed icons less valuable? Does a slick candy coating make a content-less website more compelling?

Does that flash animation really give your readers a more "complete web experience"? Do different fonts make your words more meaningful? Does the color of your text say anything about the message it contains?

Does a message have to stand out to be outstanding?

Re:Unreadable sites (1)

Jorrit (19549) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492414)

I agree with you for 95% of the sites :-)

But keep in mind that there are also sites for which the main purpose is not giving out information but showing something. A good example are sites for children. These sites have the focus on fancy graphics and often use Flash. I've seen some VERY good usages of flash on some children sites and I think without Flash (or other 'flashy' graphics) those sites would not be interesting for children.

Greetings,

Re:Unreadable sites (2, Interesting)

TekkenLaw (521038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492366)

I think you are missing the point totally..making your site accessible to all browsers definitely does not mean serving to the lowest common denominator. It just means you should detect the browser & serve content appropriate for it. If a browser supports the fancy stylesheets & latest HTML standards, by all means take advantage of that, but don't forget folks using lynx who would prefer text-only content.

As for plugins for Flash etc., I don't think this is comparable to shutting people out, as long as parallel content is available (whenever possible). Of course in all this, the most important issue is of the development cost in creating content for the large number of browsers out there.

hmm, very true (3, Interesting)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492267)

Well.. I recently blocked MSIE from my webpage. Every other browser is welcome, but not MSIE.

But based on what Mr. Berners-Lee says I feel kinda awkward now. Indeed, the web should be accessible by everyone and everything. There's more reasons why TBL is right, and Microsoft is at fault there as well (MS extended HTML tags anyone?). But that's probably another story and that's offtopic.

I will remove the ban on MSIE from my site when I have the time... What the hell was I thinking?

Re:hmm, very true (2)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492309)

The most embarassing part is that IE seems to have the best implementation of modern (in internet-time) standards out. Of course they have proprietary tags supported, but for the most part IE will render an HTML4.0 Strict page properly. Last I checked, NS barfed on CSS. I used to say "best viewed in IE5", but that's kinda ghey. Now I just say "best viewed in an HTML4-compliant browser". Doesn't sound anywhere near as elitist. And then when people email me about it not working in netscape, I tell them to get a browser that supports modern standards.

:) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492339)

My site BSODs any 9x user that is dumb enough to use IE. :)

img src="c:\con\con"

Re:hmm, very true (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492353)

what kind of a gay site does that? i bet you have 1 hit a year or something close

Re:hmm, very true (1)

seizer (16950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492392)

Way back in the ollllld days, Netscape extended tags and standards too. People complained, just like now, saying that it left Mosaic users and all those Amiga folks out in the dark. But mostly, they turned out to be useful and people implemented them...(isn't the CENTER tag a Netscape creation?).

Re:hmm, very true (1)

gazbo (517111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492410)

There are two reasons why I don't feel the need to flame you:
  • You're going to remove the ban
  • You wrote Microsoft not Micro$soft

Incidentally, I went to your site using IE6, and followed the link to show me how insecure my browser is. After meekly asking me to accept a certificate that was out of date and invalid in some other way (I forget why, but I accepted it in the name of science) When I got to the page I was shown some seriously lame things aimed at scaring me. Such as how many pages I'd visited in that window. And a couple of vulnerabilities that I was immune to.

But before I take the piss too much, I was not too happy about the fact my clipboard was visible - this was especially rubbed in as I had just copied a password from an email.
Still, I didn't see anything that caused me any security concern, just a vague annoyance that it keeps grabbing the focus when it refreshed.

BTW, I use IE because Netscape is seriously crap (admittedly I hear 6.1 is much better, and Mozilla is better still) and I'm not going to refuse to use what is IMHO the best browser on the 'market'. Perhaps when I try Mozilla I may be converted?

Huh ? (2, Troll)

tmark (230091) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492271)

they are pining for the bad old days when each piece of information need a different program to access it.'"


What does this mean ? Is he comparing the "bad old days" with supposed "good recent days", the latter when every piece of information can be accessed by a single program ? Schlepping up numbers or words on a webpage does not constitute real 'access' any more than does providing printouts or plain text files - you still need a program (or human) to parse the output, and this is usually trivial compared to the work involved in using that information.

And what does this have to do anyways with MS trying to block access to websites when using anything but Explorer ? This is an attempt to make ALL their information accessible by a SINGLE program, and NOT an attempt to make every piece of information accessible by a DIFFERENT program.

We owe him a debt of gratitude for inventing the web but as far as I am concerned his invention does not make Berners-Lee's opinions on these subjects any more or less valuable than any other reasonably astute person, and his opinions are even less valuable to me when they range to social commentary. Most of his writings I have found to be incoherent or self-contradictory.

Re:Huh ? (2)

bluGill (862) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492335)

Have you ever got a document in MSWord format and not had a program that reads word? I have several times. There was a day when the docuemtn you needed was on a internet machine that you had ftp access to, but because you didn't have the right translator avaiable you couldn't read it.

While the web isn't the best possibal fix for that problem it is a good enough fix.

Re:Huh ? (1)

FrankNputer (141316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492375)

Schlepping up numbers or words on a webpage does not constitute real 'access' any more than does providing printouts or plain text files - you still need a program (or human) to parse the output

This program is called a web browser...


This is an attempt to make ALL their information accessible by a SINGLE program, and NOT an attempt to make every piece of information accessible by a DIFFERENT program.

And if you don't have that particular program, then you need to get it & keep it around if you want to use that particular source of information, which is exacly what he was referring to.

Score:2, Not Paying Attention


Re:Huh ? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492438)

"What does this mean ? Is he comparing the "bad old days" with supposed "good recent days", the latter when every piece of information can be accessed by a single program ?"

Apparently so. And the proof is in the ability of search engines like google to find stuff all over the world.

"Schlepping up numbers or words on a webpage does not constitute real 'access' any more than does providing printouts or plain text files - you still need a program (or human) to parse the output, and this is usually trivial compared to the work involved in using that information"

Compare going to the library to read the CIA world fact book to browsing it from their website. Hell compare a BBS to slashdot. Sure you still need access and someone has to pay the freight but in the end if you can it's a good thing. More access to more information and access to global communication mediums are a good thing.

"And what does this have to do anyways with MS trying to block access to websites when using anything but Explorer ? This is an attempt to make ALL their information accessible by a SINGLE program, and NOT an attempt to make every piece of information accessible by a DIFFERENT program."

Easy it comes down to this. Microsoft is making the web that they own into areas only IE can access (Yes I know you can forge your browser info but how many would just switch instead?)it's their right but it's a poor choice acessability wise. He called them on the carpet and is using his place as a web pioneer to get his point across. This should be applauded not derided.

"We owe him a debt of gratitude for inventing the web but as far as I am concerned his invention does not make Berners-Lee's opinions on these subjects any more or less valuable than any other reasonably astute person,"

Hey it's your opinion and you are entitled to it. At the same time, the medium of expression you choose to use today and that was seen by likely tens of thousands of readers was the one he helped bring into being.

"and his opinions are even less valuable to me when they range to social commentary."

But how do you reconcile that with the very idea that communication of ideas is a social thing? If someone didn't have a grand but flawed vision we might not have the web at all.

"Most of his writings I have found to be incoherent or self-contradictory."

Yup over many years and keynotes and papers he sure has put out a lot of stuff. Some of it is oppositional to prior views he held. Some of it is also little sound byte quotes taken from grander visions. Maybe he mellowed a bit. Maybe the world changed from his idealistic view of one program to create view and communicate. My point is lots of things change and our ability to adapt is a good one. Don't begrudge someone that ability.

Content vs Media (4, Interesting)

ers81239 (94163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492272)

Isn't the main problem that everyone wants the web to be 'cool', not just deliver information. When the internet was invented, it was a way to share information without requiring seperate programs to access information from seperate sources.

As a web developer, managers mostly care about how it looks, not how it works. They care about what their managers think, not what site visitors think. Everywhere I've worked sees between 90% to 98% M$ browsers, so the managers wisely decide not to spend time/money on developing for other browsers.

As for Microsoft's claims that other browsers don't work as closely to the standards as theirs does, thats obviously hogwash. Embrace and Extend is their true scam.

10% isn't insignificant! (5, Interesting)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492449)

One of my client's sites was written with just IE in mind. It makes heavy use of CSS, and Netscape's CSS bugs just cough on it.

However, the logs indicate that currently 8.5% of our users are Netscape 4.x.

The operations guy at the client broke out his calculator, saw the costs of my fixing the system for Netscape, saw the revenue/profit increase, and saw that B>A and said, do it.

I was hoping to just change the style sheet, but Netscape is totally busted, so it looks like separate scripts. Sure the IE version will be the priority, but when you can increase profits 8-10% of more (in fact, increasing revenue by 8% should increase profits 10%-12% based upon some fixed costs, etc.) it becomes really hard to justify ignoring.

Unless technology costs are a rediculously high percentage of your budget, you can't ignore 8% of the market.

Now WebTV and Mac, that are .5% and 1.5% of this website? They probably aren't worth spending resources on beyond testing on the Mac, but you have to evaluate your costs.

What about non-commercial sites? Code to HTML standards, and use minimal CSS. While we have sites that need heavy CSS to look amazing, the site could work without them. Limit yourself to fonts, sizes, etc., and you'll be fine. Don't worry about it looking right tot he pixel and you'll be fine on multiple browsers.

Alex

It's only news because Microsoft did it (3, Insightful)

Brad Wilson (462844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492273)

Many sites on the web are designed toward some goal. Many are designed to be most useful in IE, because most users are using IE (depending on who you ask, the numbers will vary, but nobody denies that IE has the stranglehold now). The only reason this makes Slashdot is because the anti-Microsoft bias of the editors itches to report something like this. It's done every hour of every day on some web site somewhere.

Does that mean IE is the best browser? Not necessarily. It is the most standards compliant browser? Not necessarily. Should people be designing their sites to be HTML 4.0/XHTML compatible instead of IE compatible? Probably. But I think the inventor of the web has a slight blind side to the fact that de-facto standards (namely, that the vast majority of users who browse the web use IE) are at least as powerful as bodies-based standards.

Hmmm. It works for me (yay MSN?) (2)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492278)

Funny. My ancient Netscape for Irix works just fine. I believed this story completely for a time because I had no real interest in msn.com. I'm sure they're locking out some browsers, but why not all?

[kidding]
Hey, this is just a trick to get us to try it- and thereby up their hitcount!
[/kidding]

Windows X-Con is ready for you! [ridiculopathy.com]

They changed the code due to general outrage (1)

octothorpe (34673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492363)

The code in question was only up for a day or so, they changed it when so many negative news stories came out. I can personally conferm that it didn't work with Mozilla 0.9.5 or Konqueror for that day. MS really has a knack for creating bad publicity, you'd think that they'd work on that.

Look Beyond, Look Beyond (5, Insightful)

webword (82711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492279)

I don't think that Microsoft ever really planned on blocking browsers. At least not yet, and at least not for the long haul. Oh, I think eventually they will block other browsers for real, but just not yet.

So, why did Microsoft block some folks from MSN? What were they so "foolish" you ask?

The answer is obvious. Microsoft are great at marketing. This was free publicity. Tons and tons and tons of free press....

After an Online Ruckus, Microsoft Opens MSN Site to All [nytimes.com]

What a total win! They have the NY Times giving them a great headline. Oooh, Microsoft the kind, the gentle, the good. Microsoft, so good for people. So willing to bend over for people.

What a crock. Wake up. It is sad that even Berners-Lee was suckered into this whole thing. People are always taking their eye off the ball. Microsoft knew they couldn't keep people out very long, but they knew it would stir things up. Free publicity.

Microsoft = marketing wizards.

By the way, given what I have said, isn't it a shame that we'll spend more time talking about Microsoft? And, isn't it a shame that /. even posted this story...?

Re:Look Beyond, Look Beyond (3, Interesting)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492371)

While MS is certainly trying to spin it there way, the end of the NYTimes article claims that the spin is going against them; particularly in light of anti-trust claims.

But I disagree that you think that MS didn't block on purpose. If all they had done was to only allow IE browsers onto the site, I can see that as being a bit of egotism and lack of foresight in whomever programmed that. However, as specifically pointed out, it was blocked certain browser strings; that is, with the default Opera identification string, it was blocked, but when it was changed by one letter, access was granted.

But again, as the NYT article indicates, that might not have been done at the upper levels; it could have been some younger native programmer not realizing the right way to impose such a block. However, given that the latter version happened over the former, it suggests there might have been much more deeper alternative motives for this switch.

Re:Look Beyond, Look Beyond (3, Insightful)

webword (82711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492455)

Masem,

You definitely have some good points. However, I suspect that most people don't really pay full attention when they read articles. In the case of the NY Times article, the headline is pretty positive. Then again, even if you see it as negative, and even if the article is negative, it doesn't matter much. Microsoft still gets the upper hand. That is, they still get the publicity -- good or bad press doesn't matter to them. It is free and it is powerful. I stand by my posting.

Here is something else to think about. What if you are correct and there really are deeper motives. Let's assume that I am wrong. What are the deeper motives? What does this action tell us about their plans and objectives? As usual, I don't think that there are any obvious answers.

coincidence..? (3, Funny)

kipple (244681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492402)

let me see if I got it right: am I wrong, or that happened in the same period of time that XP was launched?

No, I'm not thinking what I'm thinking, right?

The Bad Old Days... (2)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492280)

...in Microsoft's view are only "bad" to the extent that every piece of software needed to access a discrete piece of information is not totally controlled by Microsoft. Bad for the computing public is good for MS because it means the strengthening of its monopoly on desktop systems and increased licensing revenues from the multiple programs necessary for each piece of information accessed.

The ideal model for MS is one where not only do you need different programs for different information (managed "seamlessly" of course by Windows) but also where MS gets to ding your credit card every time you access that information.

It pains me to see Mr. Berners-Lee's accomplishment being twisted by MS's greed.

Netscape 6 seems to work fine (1, Informative)

hAkron (448427) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492281)

I just connected to www.msn.com with netscape 6.0 what browsers are they talking about? Or what part of the MSN site in particular won't display with anything other than IE? Or is this just a shoot first ask questions later type of article where nobody botherd to check the accuracy of the story?

Re:Netscape 6 seems to work fine (1)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492310)

I just connected to www.msn.com using Konqueror 2.2.1, Mozilla 0.9.4, even lynx! No errors reported by the site. It seems that Microsoft has changed their tune.

Re:Netscape 6 seems to work fine (1)

rc.loco (172893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492403)

Opera and Mozilla both fail, or did so as of last Friday. I tested both. And got a nice page telling me that I should use IE for Windows or MacOS. Funny, I run neither OS.

Haven't checked again. It's too depressing. I'm beginning to think that Microsoft *has* won and that perhaps it's time for me to think about getting out of Microsoftland/IT altogether.Sigh.

-rc

PYRAMID TROLL SCHEME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492290)

Do you want good luck to follow you and your offspring for geneations to come? This troll has the solution for you...

All you have to do is copy this troll onto two to four of the discussion threads of your choice! That's right! Just copy this into a new message and click "post anonymously." That's all there is to it!

Tired of that idiot talking about geek culture! Stick one of these babies on it! And it's good for the economy!

Marge Gentry of Cambridge, Minnesota participated, and the next day she received a large fruit basket outside of her door from a secret admirer. Unfortunately, Marge was hit by a truck the next day, so she didn't get to the Granny Smith apples.

Commander Taco of Hole-in-the-ground West Virginia didn't participate, and he was violated by a group of raging homosexuals. Since the gang was headed by Jon Katz, Taco had no recourse to the law because the entire town knew about their previous relationship. The unfortunate outcome is enshrined forever at goatse.cx.

So if you want to get the fruit basket and not get poked in the bread basket, just copy this troll onto two of the discussions threads of your choice. We could have this place blanketed by sundown!

Upgrade to IE? Not likely. (1)

Simm0 (236060) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492292)

May be all webpages should implement a blocking mechanism for IE and offer an `upgrade' to a w3c compliant browser like mozilla.

Re:Upgrade to IE? Not likely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492444)

Please don't make me use Mozilla! No really. Please...

The problem is that IE is the best browser for the Windows platform for me for several reasons...

1. Every version since 4.something has just simply worked for me and been pretty stable.
2. It loads fast as hell (ok that is probable just MS sneaking some preloading into the OS boot but this is the ssame route Mozilla has attempted (except Mozilla still loads like a bloated slug)
3. Fast UI. Clean layout... I find Opera is too cluttered and really notice the screen redraw lag with Mozilla.
4. I'm kind of locked in now coz I'm used to the layout and the shortcut keys and I probably won't ever switch to another browser unless I can set it up to work the same as IE!

So hey. Shoot me...!

force fed softwar (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492297)

We'll never try to force you to use our favorite browser [mozilla.org] at ScaredCity?tmp? [scaredcity.com] . In fact, we'll never try to force you to do anything, & don't really care who you are at all. That's the gnu way.

Don't forget to enter our big URL [opensourceworks.com] giveaway. Includes a year's free hosting.

fud is dead/on LIEf support?

Good tactics from MS... (1)

marijnm (454978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492303)

Tim has a good point about MS. They just try to make money and they employ the power they have.

So, rest assured, they don't do all this to limit our freedom or give us bugged software, they just try to survive and make money ;)

Marijn

Mozilla now works on msn.com (1)

luugi (150586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492304)

I'm now able to access www.msn.com with my Mozilla browser version 0.9.5.

Did Microsoft give access to all the browsers now?

I am not a zealot, BUT... (1)

Anton Anatopopov (529711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492305)

Microsoft deserve to rot in the eternal flames of hell for this outrageous attempt to coerce people into using their browser.

I am saddened that they cannot allow their products to compete on their merits alone. I mean, IE6 is a good browser, it stands on its merits, why did microsoft think it was insightful to block out other browsers ? It will have a negative effect on Microsoft in the long run, as people start to realise their unethical methods are hurting innocent consumers.

In case anyone missed it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492306)

MS blocking browsers is not new and they still do it. Try playing any game on the Zone with anything other then IE.

I have to keep IE as I can't play Asherons call if I use Opera.

And the problem is? (2, Interesting)

Aerog (324274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492307)

But the question still remains, who really wants to visit the MSN site anyway? I'm one in the opinion that the MSN site is already simply pro-microsoft messaging, so what's the big deal. Sure, other sites do block certain browsers, but I'm in the opinion that web developers should try their best to make it look good in all (I sure do; still design on Netscape 4.7, but add features that work in one browser (by way of the navigator.appname function.) Yeah, that discriminates against non-JS users, but there are ways around that, too, you just have to accept not having a snazzy front end.)

The thing you have to ask is is it worth it. If you don't care what MS does with their pages, use Mozilla (or Konqueror, if that turns your crank) and read something else. If the hits go down they might reconsider.

But maybe I'm just ranting.

How much proof do we really need (1, Interesting)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492318)

This is just another example of how Micro$oft is taking over the market to its entirety. I can't understand why it is taking so much time for the courts in the states to do something about micro$oft considering almost every few days I come on Slashdot I see another thing such as this that shows micro$soft as being monopolistic

And another ting, to be honest I never use MSN (besides a old hotmail account that is about to go) so if they do make it completely IE only, then I will not be hit. Just as long as SlashDot here stays free to all web browsers then I am happy

my 2 cents plus 2 more

Freedom vs Control (5, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492324)

It is, of course about freedom vs control. any monopoly wants to have control.

The question is if it is possible to have freedom while allow a single company control. Or is it a matter of the golden handcuffs, and an S&M relationship between the marketer and the customer?

Even in an S&M type of relationship, there is the matter of trust. And the problem is that in a large company, there will be people you can not trust. It becomes a fight between people who want to improve the product vs people who wish to get head by destroying their competitors. MS seems to have segregated these tyeps somewhat, pushing the destructive types into marketing.

I do not want an S&M relationship with my software provider. I want a meritocracy of software, not a meritocracy of marketing and propanga. By the actions of marketing , and the silly games they play in system design to lock out other companies, Microsoft lost me long ago. They could not trust the quality and craftmanship of their own product to win the customer over. They had to use dis-honest means. Which meant that I started dis-trusting what the system was telling me. Their very tactics taught me to distrust them. I think that any thinking person tends to resent this kind of thing after awhile. After all, these efforts to take control are not even with your own best interest at heart, not matter how misguided. It is with their own best interest at heart, without regard for the benefits to others. Most people do not like being used in this way.

The example of MS behavior regarding the Web is only more of the same.

aol? (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492328)

'I have fought since the beginning of the Web for its openness: that anyone can read Web pages with any software running on any hardware. '

but i still can't get into my aol keyword wtf? page...

DCMA (2, Interesting)

grmoc (57943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492352)

Isn't this basically what the DCMA effectively forces one to do- that is, if you follow it to the letter?
Look, I can't use MY pencil because the RIAA hasn't licensed it to write an opinion about song X from artist, erm label Y. (Yeah, exaggeration, but what the hey..)

The "bad old days" is precisely what large copyright-holders want- It makes control so much easier when it is illegal to create, copy, or use information (which I might point out is the lifeblood of any culture..) without using their hardware or software.

Just imagine what it will (could) be like if we followed the DCMA to the letter =) What fun.
Right.

Re:DCMA (1)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492415)

I'm not one to point out that someone made a typo, but since you used "DCMA" 3 times, I'm assuming that you did so intentionally. I assume you are referring to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, otherwise known as DMCA.

But, you do get bonus points -- you got RIAA correct.

I'm not always such an ass, but at least for today, I am.

Small irony (2)

agentZ (210674) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492362)

Did anybody else find it mildly ironic that the author of article added hyperlinks to the text? Admittedly, in this case, they were useful, but wasn't the addition of hyperlinks to the page without the author's knowledge one of the features that was widely critizied in the upcoming version of Internet Explorer?

Re:Small irony (1)

arson1 (527855) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492448)

yeah, but the AUTHOR added the links to his own work. He knew where the links would be and where they were going to. Micorsofts plan takes the control away from the author, and gives it to microsoft.

Re:Small irony (1)

pkesel (246048) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492462)

No irony at all. The AUTHOR put them in, with the links he provided. What's the relation between that and what M$ wants to do? Why should that be ironic?

Their loss, not mine (1)

mwood (25379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492364)

Sorry, but if MSN page authors aren't smart enough to read standards documents, then too bad for them. I'm still waiting to see anything worth reading on MSN anyway.

What have they learned? (1, Funny)

kc0dby (522118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492381)



DG: What has Microsoft learned from its antitrust experiences?

TBL: I can't answer that one.


Let me try:

1. They are above the law.

2. There are so many more opportunities to use their monopoly against the best wishes of consumers.

3. Bad software doesn't really hurt their ability to leverage their monopoly.

If their is any hope out there, we need to educate the general public in concern to the evils of Passport and single software browsing.

We are just preaching to the choir here.

MSN Site (1)

ChuckDivine (221595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492382)

I personally don't pay much attention to the MSN site. I used to glance at Slate, because some of the stuff is interesting and, well, it's free as in beer.

I sometimes even enjoy the fancier sites on the Web -- providing they are well done.

But there is one thing that really annoys me -- to the point that I personally cross such sites off my list of ones to visit. Tiny fonts. What is the point of forcing people to look at Slate in tiny fonts? Slate is mostly about using words to communicate. Not sounds, not visuals (although there is a bit of both). I want to read sites with fonts that are comfortable for my eyes. Is that too much to ask?

MS and Big Tobacco?? (1)

Man of E (531031) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492386)

From the article:
Normally in the USA it is the rule of law which constrains a company from doing damage to society in the search for profits. Tobacco companies continue to create additions to their products, but their advertising is curtailed by legislation and the law has allowed individuals to later sue about the suffering and death which they caused. This would suggest that we should be looking at legislation to control the independence of the medium which we rely on and trust for so much.
What kind of argument is this? We all agree that MS has not been playing nicely, but to say "vertical integration = killing people => legislation" makes no sense at all. Berners-Lee has a wonderfully idealistic perspective on openness, and I applaud him for that. Much of the rest is bollocks.

Why bother? (1)

worf_mo (193770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492396)

Would it really be that bad if MS really allowed access to their website through MSIE only? Leaving aside for a moment the fact that all of this seems to be another marketing trick, it is "their website" after all. You do not have the implicit _right_ to watch their content (even if you had any interest in it). So if they require you to use their product to watch their content (propaganda?): fine, you still have a choice, it depends on you.

Yes, it it sad when companies or individuals "optimize" their website for one or the other browser; yes, it goes against the principle of sharing information with as many as possible. But it is not an infringement of your very rights. You can let them know what you think of their policies by simply not visiting the website in question.

TB-L is irrelevant. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492400)


Microsoft paid the price to control the dice. That's capitalism people -- and as a result we get better products, a better web, better standards of living and a better return on MSFT investment than those who obsess over unimportant things like having NCSA Mosaic, Netscape 2.0, and Chimera still work and access web pages. Who cares? Noone uses that crap anymore!

This is just another instance of a bitter inventor soured by seeing others take his crude invention and make something successful and marketable and impressive. They did the REAL work, not him!

MSIE is where it is today because it beat the stuffing out of Netscape and every other competing browser, hands down, in a free capitalist marketplace. Just accept it and move on. MSIE is the gold standard now. Thanks to Microsoft's hard work, we now have a single standard, with a single reference implementation (which is also the worlds most popular).

...And because of Microsoft's HARD WORK making a better browser, they get to decide what HTML, DHTML, Javascript, VBSCript, and XML are...not a bunch of academic weenies at the W3C who've never worked in a high-pressure competitive corporate software development workplace. The people who DO the hard work, and those who spend the bucks to develop a better WWW get to make those choices.

This is how it SHOULD be.

What's the big deal? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2492407)

What do you expect Microsoft to do? The important thing to remember here is that this is that this is a free market. This isn't anticompetitive (that would be Microsoft forcing /. to only display for IE). Microsoft has the right to make their site viewable by only their browser, and I have the right to never visit their site (IE or not). Most people using MSN probably use IE anyway. If /. or Yahoo or Google tried it, they would probably see a significant drop in business, and change their mind. That's how a free market *should* work. There is plenty of competition on the web to make sure that it works out...

Make Mozilla do the same! (1)

linuxrunner (225041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492427)

Now every time you use mozilla and the word "Microsoft" appears on a web page. It will automatically make a link to Microsoftsucks.com

Maybe that will be someones attention!

Linuxrunner

The complexity of modern-day webpages (4, Interesting)

egrinake (308662) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492446)

I believe that todays web-pages have become far too complex to fulfill the purpose they were originally intended for; originally HTML was a simplistic markup-language, which focused more on the content-structure of the document instead of the layout, using tags like H1, B, A, P etc. When sticking to these very simple tags, it is up to the user agent to render the page as best it can for its particular medium. A HTML-page should be as easily viewable in a browser on a 16,7m colour modern computer system as on a cellular phone, text-mode browser (lynx etc), news-ticker, blind-terminals or whatever. These different environments requires highly different methods for formatting the data, but the main concern is that it is still easily viewable, and has a logical structure (ie you can distinguish a headline from a footnote).

Today, however, HTML has become very layout-centric, as opposed to content-centric, with emphasis on tables and invisible GIFs for arranging the data. This is most probably a consequence of larger commercial companies moving content onto the web, and using a mindset from magazine and newspaper production in this entirely new medium; and that's where the problems start. When you try to develop a web-page as you would a page in a magazine you have to use alot of tricks to get the desired result, and these tricks corrupt the basic meaning of an html-page. For example, it is not uncommon to have ten nested tables to take care of a basic page layout. However, the purpose of tables is not to take care of layout and design, it is to present data matrixes. And it is this kind of widespread abuse that has messed up the web to the point where it is only properly viewable by a handful of browsers, of which maybe only one or two display it as was intended by the page creator. Luckily we have new standards like XML and XHTML (I have no experience with XHTML whatsoever - so apoligies in advance if this should be wrong) which allows us to separate content-structure from layout and design. But people will most probably abuse these new standards as well... I just think that something's VERY wrong when a browser contains more source code than a complete operating system.

Standards and Extra Functionality (1)

saqmaster (522261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492447)

As commented above, MSIE is the current standard for browsers. Why do you think they force people to use Internet Explorer to view MSN and other sites?

One possible answer to this relates to the reasons why IE is the most popular browser:

Functionality.

MSIE supports a lot more (yes, call it MS breaking the rules as you please) features and functionality. Sure, W3 would go bananas - and probably have - but ultimately the company which created these new standards would surely want to use these extra features (some dhtml/layers - not sure on specifics) on their own site.

Remember, MSN is going to be the main gateway for .NET MyServices - MSN is MS's web venture and will surely want to portray the array of leading technologies.. They'd be stupid not to..

It's not just the MSN site... (2, Interesting)

Zenjive (247697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2492460)

I was trying to download the latest Intellipoint mouse drivers from Microsoft's website using Mozilla. I drilled down to a page that listed the latest (or so I thought) ver. 3.x drivers for my mouse.

I clicked the link to download and was taken to a custom 404 page that offered links to other pages where I might find what I was looking for, those pages took me to even more 404 pages and so forth and so on.

Out of curiousity, I tried downloading the drivers using IE 5.5, this time I was taken to a different page that listed the (real) latest drivers for the Intellipoint mouse, version 4.x.

It seems like a whole lot of effort to go through to make it difficult for people that haven't been assimiliated by the M$ borg.

And besides, drivers should be freely available to anyone, regardless of what browser/platform they are using. What if I was downloading it from my Solaris machine to use on a Win9x machine that didn't have a fast connection?
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