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Migrating IE Web Apps to Mozilla

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the moving-it-over dept.

Internet Explorer 407

PabloHoffman writes "Have you ever wondered what would it take to make your (unfortunately) IE-only web app to work on Firefox?. IBM published an interesting article about migrating Internet Explorer specific web applications to Mozilla-based browers. It covers basic cross-browser development techniques, and some developing strategies for overcoming the differences between both browsers."

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fuck me if i'm wrong... (0, Offtopic)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177798)

but did my post to the now non existant RSS story just dissapear.. along with the story?

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (0, Offtopic)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177822)

What story? p.s. run, the black helicopters are coming in stealth mode.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (0, Troll)

ballstothat (893605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177827)

No one will be fscking you, man. It went up and vanished like a fart in the wind.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177842)

but did my post to the now non existant RSS story just dissapear.. along with the story?

Apparently you can only access that story using the new RSS/Atom via REST web services API.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (1)

DanielNS84 (847393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177855)

Yes it did...I typed out a long one too...maybe it just wasn't as interesting as this one is. ;) Now to the topic at hand... I've been looking for something like this for a while, as a web developer with lots of friends who are the same, I find myself surrounded by these "IE Only" pages and it drives me insane. But then again I only use firefox for my browsing so I guess I have a built in testbed for functionality. Last I checked there was a W3 code checker for websites to ensure they're up to the standards they should be.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177924)

Same here, but I was recently alarmed to discover that firefox corrects <a hrefs missing closing quotes.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (1)

DanielNS84 (847393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178138)

I discovered this exact same thing 2 days ago...I accidently broke a whole mess of IE users pages and since I use Firefox I had no idea...just glad I caught it in time.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (0, Offtopic)

fbartho (840012) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177915)

Yeah! I was moderating that discussion... and then I told me comments don't exist... find the journal section... then the article dissappeared off my front page and the developers page... Sure it was a "nothing to see here article" but nonetheless.

A much more interesting story is that The North American Solar Car Rayce Just finsihed with a 45 second difference between U of M's Momentum and U of MN's Borealis III (sp?) Once the penalties are assesed and the other racers finish an annoucement will appear.

NASC site [americanso...llenge.org]
Umich's blog [umich.edu]
Place for timing results [americanso...llenge.org]
Finish Line GPS page (autorefreshing) [americanso...llenge.org]

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178156)

That story was a dupe, and was pulled.

http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/0 7/27/0152211&tid=221&tid=8 [slashdot.org] is the original, you can repost your comment there.

Re:fuck me if i'm wrong... (-1, Offtopic)

donutz (195717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178288)

Since when do Slashdot editors pull dupes? Why haven't we seen a story about this change in Slashdot editor standards, and another story about it too?

How about making server side only apps? (1, Informative)

dygital (591967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177810)

Apps should be made via server side processes eliminating the end user's browser to be compatible.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (2, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177883)

I agree, but a large reason that some developers didn't use server-side code was that it was claimed (rightly so or not) that it took longer to get a result. Now, on the other hand, we can use technologies that like AJAX to speed up the process of getting certain pieces of data back. Now, it's a matter of people putting it all together.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (3, Insightful)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177898)

Having server processes deliver content does nothing to eliminate browser compatibility issues.

These issues lie with the developer at heart, and the QA engineers. One needs to ensure compatibility at the unit-testing stage, having followed standards (as in the IBM article) in the design and coding stages...

Re:How about making server side only apps? (0, Troll)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177922)

In my day we didn't have browsers! Web apps should be based on the command line. And no keyboards. We want telepathy.

And punchcards!

Re:How about making server side only apps? (3, Informative)

rogueuk (245470) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177928)

That's not always possible when you develop an app. If you want to minimize the number of post backs to a server, you might be using a lot of crazy javascript which may not be cross platform (like assuming IE's DOM instead of checking). If you are using display components that uses a lot of css/dhtml stuff that works "properly" in IE, chances are it may not be positioned properly in in Mozilla. (due to various fudge factors to get it to work the way you want in IE to begin with)

Re:How about making server side only apps? (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177970)

Yes and No.
While you should put the bulk of the processing server side. Javascripting is still needed to keep the interface working smoothly and un annoying. Example if you are filling in text boxes you want one to give the total as you enter in data. Vs. Forced screen reloads every data you type or having to hit a calculate button. Also dynmamic control of your controls making some controls enabled or not is very important to help the users use the program without putting in bad data.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178148)

Don't forget the cardinal rule of data validation: "Use javascript to make things work well for the user and server side validation to prevent hacks."

Re:How about making server side only apps? (2, Interesting)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178203)

"While you should put the bulk of the processing server side. Javascripting is still needed to keep the interface working smoothly and un annoying"

Right! Web applications should be thought of as three tiered client server appications. As such, any processing you can do client side, should be done there. It makes no sense to wait until the data has been sent to the server to throw an error for a required field. The client knows whether the field is NULL or not. Why should I make the sever process this. Besides, passing processing off to the client makes the entire application more robust. There is only one server, but there is an unlimited amount of procsessing distributed among the clients.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (2)

cecil_turtle (820519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178205)

Agreed, but you can still do server-side processing via javascript (I think it's called AJAX) instead of forcing reloads on the page. For simple things like adding a total you'd probably just keep it javascript, but for more complicated things you can use basic javascript to go to the server for more complicated processing instead of worrying about browser compatabilities. Google does a lot of it, like with Google Suggest [google.com] . Try it out, just start typing something in the search box, and the page will send what you're typing back to google's server via javascript and the server processes that information and returns suggestions which are then displayed on the page in real time again with javascript. This wouldn't be possible without the server doing the work, but the page never needs to reload.

Web Forms... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177981)

To me, the main advantage of IE web apps is complex forms and form actions / processing that can be accomplished with ActiveX widgets combined with VB and VB Script. Widespread adoption of a standard and rich web forms technology would eliminate much of the need for IE dependent web app technologies.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177996)

And how do you plan to implement ie: a game with that?

Use whatever you need for your job, going for "server-side only webapps" has zero sense.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (1)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178052)

I predict that the web moves in the direction of apps rich in client side programming, like google maps. It makes no difference to the user whether or not something is compatible with all future, present and past browsers, only that the app works, looks good and is easy to use.

Re:How about making server side only apps? (1)

KingVance (815011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178310)

I wish you would explain that to ExactTarget...that way I wouldnt have to install VirtualPC on my beautiful mac. I can see it now...I am going to start having problems.

Developers. (1, Insightful)

Jeet81 (613099) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177811)

I wouldn't call them developers if they develop a web app just for IE. True developers test for compatibility.

Re:Developers. (4, Insightful)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177879)

True developers test for compatibility.

Not if the requirements document says build this app for IE only and don't worry about interoperability.

Re:Developers. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178332)

A good developer will recognise that the requirements doc is tremendously short-sighted, and code for compatability anyway. He'll save the customer a surprising amount of money when they inevitably decide to support Firefox after all, though no-one will realise this.

true developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177901)

Get over yourself.

Re:Developers. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177913)

Not every app is open to the world, sometimes the broswer type will be a requirement. It has nothing to do with being a developer (what you want to say is architect, r whatever).

Re:Developers. (2, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177972)

It all depends on the target audience. If the company is making Windows only software, then they never had to test something on Safari or IE 5.2(mac). Some companies, also, don't see a point in catering to those that aren't in the majority. If the loss of one or two users that use non-IE browsers is negligible at the time, then why waste the money on cross-platform testing? Too many businesses run thier web sites like a democracy: 3 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch. Mob wins.

On the other hand, if IE starts falling out of power, then some companies may regret those poor choices, and some already are.

Re:Developers. (1)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178184)

Some of those mistakes are preventing non-IE dominance.

Re:Developers. (1)

stonedonkey (416096) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178187)

If the loss of one or two users that use non-IE browsers is negligible at the time, then why waste the money on cross-platform testing?

I think the real problem is that IE is far enough away from standards compliance as to be a different platform. Granted, Gecko/Moz isn't perfect either, but it's a hell of a lot closer.

And although the Mozilla platform is still a small part of the pie chart, that's just a global average. Moz spikes dramatically with the younger demographic and the more technically inclined. Unlike other age-based metrics, however, Moz is not a phase that the younger set goes through, like pop music or certain TV shows. It's at the forefront of a generational gap of more informed users and will only increase its install base with every passing month.

I think the only way IE can remain dominant is to discard what doesn't make it behave like Mozilla. IBM is pushing Moz, Google is pushing Moz (with a custom startup page and probably a branded browser on the horizon), and you can't ignore that kind of zeitgeist.

We used IE because the blue E was there on the desktop. Then a lot of us got annoyed by the holes, the bugs, the pseudo-compliance, the quirks, the banner ads and pop-ups, and we felt burned. We found something else, and word-of-mouth has spread like wildfire. There is, at this point, a contingent that will never, ever go back to IE, and they will keep the spark going no matter what.

Re:Developers. (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178293)

That's true to a point but there's a lot of good reasons not to use IE only webdesign. Even an all Windows shop might have a few Unix boxes kicking around. It's also nice not to limit yourself to one specific browser version; you might want to have the option to change browsers in the future and MS can always decide to break something with an upgrade. In general I think your probably safest to stick with the most widely supported techniques.

Re:Developers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178092)

What an utterly moronic post. A large number of applications are developed on an incredibly short time period and are required to function only on IE. Why would you waste more time testing on browsers that aren't required when you're already on an incredibly short time table? Step out into the real world retard. When you've got a week to get your application up and running, testing on browsers that don't need to be supported is just stupidity and a waste of resources.

Re:Developers. (1)

X-Rayden (734150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178278)

its like a Webmaster... your a Webmaster is your website work on most of the web browser/reader, espacialy Lynx. if your Website only work in IE, then your no WebMaster, your a WebSlave ... IE is your master!

Interesting question (-1, Offtopic)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177814)

Have you ever wondered what would it take to make your (unfortunately) IE-only web app to work on Firefox?

Is the answer Ruby on Rails [rubyonrails.com] ?

Re:Interesting question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177882)

No, no matter how much I love RoR, this is just fanboyism. RoR is server-side, XHTML, css and cross-browser compatible javascript is the answer.

NO, DUMBASS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178084)

TEH ANSWAR SI LUNIX!

Read my last journal entry... (2, Interesting)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177819)

If you want to hear about my own personal attempt to migrate the company webapp to firefox. Haha.

Or the other way around... (2, Informative)

Sebby (238625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177833)

Getting IE to confirm closer to Mozilla for CSS, there's always IE7 [edwards.name]

Re:Or the other way around... (1)

beacher (82033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177894)

Yeah it makes sense if your enterprise distribution is Win2k - Nothing like re-imaging 1000+ computers with XP to run IE7.

I'd rather have the web-developers chained in the burn room and have them perform the imaging to show them what they've accomplished by making IE only pages.

Re:Or the other way around... (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178066)

Nothing like re-imaging 1000+ computers with XP to run IE7.

Nothing like... doing your... job???

Seriously... Why do IT people stonewall all patches and software upgrades? I've seen IT people running versions of apache with security holes because they need to "validate" the next upgrade. In the meantime they are vulnerable to attack.

Good gawd people, give it up! I know upgrading servers and workstations is a pain, but that's your job!!!

Re:Or the other way around... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178217)

Perhaps they simply think it's better to have a functional but vulnerable server than to have a non-functional but non-vulnerable server. And if there's no exploit in the wild for that vulnerability, what's the rush? You can afford to spend a week testing.

Well, besides not wanting to be the one that discovers the exploit.

Re:Or the other way around... (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178137)

Yeah it makes sense if your enterprise distribution is Win2k - Nothing like re-imaging 1000+ computers with XP to run IE7


IE7 [edwards.name] (in this context) is NOT an updated version of IE, check out the link.

Re:Or the other way around... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178292)

Only americans would moderate the truth as 'Troll' or 'Flamebait' " -Anonymous
how true. like saddam's al qeada connections, his longstand weapons programs, and his overt support for terrorism. the non-existence of those are liberal cannards, yet clearly they are all true and all well-documented.

That's Easy! (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177838)

Porting IE-only apps to Mozilla/FireFox is easy thanks to the extensive set of DOM and JavaScript debugging tools. It's going the other way that's the hard part. IE is completely unhelpful in diagnosing issues with document.addEventListener (a standard that IE doesn't support), or passing an event instead of using the stupid document.event, or showing you the DOM to find out where (or why) that specific DIV isn't showing up right.

Meh. Somebody needs to either fix IE, or take it out back and shoot it.

Re:That's Easy! (1)

zardo (829127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178018)

Yeah I have noticed that the IE javascript debugger is worth nil. The errors are almost completely useless.

Re:That's Easy! (1)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178243)

Yeah, no matter what error I have it says "PC LOAD LETTER". WTF is PC LOAD LETTER?

Re:That's Easy! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178298)

If you have Developer Studio, that installs as a Javascript debugger.

First stop: W3C standards (4, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177846)

A good first step would be to make browser-specific code compliant with W3C standards.

Standards-compliant code works on all modern browsers, and offers much greater accessibility than old, structure-less code.

Re:First stop: W3C standards (1)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177920)

Standards-compliant code works on all modern browsers hah! why hasn't this been modded +5 yet??

If by "modern browser" you mean "a browser that hasn't been within 50 feet of a microsoft programmer", then yeah...standards compliant code will work.

First rule of thumb (5, Informative)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177849)

The most important rule for any web developer: seperate design from content

If you do this, then any adjustments needed to make another browser functional should be minimal, and shouldn't affect your application.

ObDuh strategy 101 (1, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177850)

It's wise to free your web based product from proprietary stuff like MSIE. That way if MicroSoft turns on you, so what? Life carries on.

ASP.NET (1, Redundant)

Jeet81 (613099) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177856)

Not too sure about this but..
I had a huge and widely used webapp developed in ASP.NET and compatible only with IE. I guess ASP.net uses the .net framework on client-side also making it impossible to make the app compatible with Firefox unless you get rid of .NET

Re:ASP.NET (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178075)

Hmmm. I do not think that was your problem. ASP.NET will render HTML to the browser...some javascript for some controls. But it does not use the .NET framework on the client side.

Incorrect (4, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178100)

... ASP.NET only requires the .NET framework on the server side, for the actual generation of the pages. Remember, ASP.NET is not unlike PHP, Perl (when server side) and old school ASP, all dynamically generate pages on the server that are fed back to the client, and if a designer so wishes, they can tailor their pages to specific browsers and features.

Don't get me wrong though, ASP.NET generated pages do tend to work better IE as there are a number of added features that it can take advantage of (scripting, authentication, etc), however ASP.NET is designed to generate pages that are compatible with any modern browser, Firefox included. If you had issues getting your pages to work under browsers other than IE than you were running into issues created by the builder of the web page/application, not ASP.NET.

The only time you really require .NET on the client is if you are hosting a .NET control in a web page similar to ActiveX.

Re:ASP.NET (4, Informative)

el_gordo101 (643167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178173)

I guess ASP.net uses the .net framework on client-side also making it impossible to make the app compatible with Firefox unless you get rid of .NET

Incorrect. It does not use anything from the .NET framework on the client-side. ASP.net simply produces a combination of HTML and JavaScript. Now, this HTML/JavaScript code that it produces may not be standards-compliant, therefore it may not work correctly in non-IE browsers. Within the Visual Studio IDE you can select which browsers you wish to code for using the targetSchema property within your aspx page, but this doesn't work very well. If your application did not work correctly in other browsers, it is because it was coded poorly, or you used some of the ASP.net controls that don't work very well in other browsers, such as the form validation controls.

Re:ASP.NET and client side .Net (2)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178175)

Stop spreading misinformation. ASP.Net runs within .Net on the server side and does not use .Net on the client side. It only uses javascript, etc... on the client side. I believe it does do some optimizations if it detects the client is IE.

.NET becoming deprecated (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178210)

What serious developer would still want to use .NET? The .NET framework is on the way out and has made space to more powerful, portable, and easy to develop for frameworks.

Re:.NET becoming deprecated (2, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178313)

On it's way out? Do tell, where are you getting this from as in my experience .NET is one of the greatest things since sliced bread when it comes to coding windows or web based applications.

You guess wrong (4, Insightful)

jag111 (55724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178226)

I pity the pour souls who were forced to use your "huge and widely used" web app that was compatible only with IE. It's clear you didn't do your homework before starting the project. ASP.NET web apps do not require having the .NET runtime on the client any more than PHP web apps require installing PHP on the client. (read: they don't)

All of the native framework web controls have two distinct rendering modes. One is for "uplevel" browsers which includes any javascript/DHTML/etc. goodness that the latest browsers support. The other is for "downlevel" browsers and basically renders everything in something like HTML 3.2 compatibility. The server runtime detects which mode to use based on a section of the machine.config called browserCaps (essentially the .NET equivalent of browscap.ini). The default values stored in the machine.config basically only recognize 5.x+ versions of IE as "uplevel" browsers.

Updated versions of the browserCaps info can be found here:
http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/browsercaps.asp [codeproject.com]
It should be noted you can choose to either replace the data in your machine.config to make it a system-wide update, or just add the same data to your app's web.config file.

On a related note, you can find an updated version of the original browscap.ini here:
http://www.garykeith.com/browsers/downloads.asp [garykeith.com]

innerHTML, the big enemy (2, Informative)

asapien (582847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177864)

Even though mozilla support innerHTML, its still the wrong thing to use. This is a valuable article because there are a lot of differences that can make things complicated, differences with DOM handling and limitations with IE. Sometimes it might be necessary to create a switch that will serve innerHTML to IE when it refuses to do DOMII correctly, esepcially creating and inserting nodes. But you still want to have it detect IE for that because Safari, Opera and Mozilla handle DOMII in a similar fashion, but I always have problems with IE.

Firefox tools (5, Interesting)

coflow (519578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177865)

I often have to make my apps work in both, simply because I find the Firefox DOM inspector to be indispensable for tracking down screwey CSS behavior. It really hasn't been that tough to make the apps work in both IMHO.

Re:Firefox tools (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178073)

I do the same thing. The development tools available in Firefox are valuable enough that it's worth the (usually minor) futzing I have to do. EditCSS alone is worth the effort. The only time it's really annoying is when I get some CSS working just right in FF and then IE completely screws it up.

The only feature that I find desirable in IE that I can't implement in Firefox/Mozilla is the ability to show modal & non-modal dialogs. These can be very handy for certain types of async behavior, and are much nicer than JS alert() for showing errors.

"Features", by which I generally mean "standard compliant behavior" I miss from Firefox in IE are rather more common.

The forgot something... (3, Insightful)

pickyouupatnine (901260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177872)

The title of the article should say "Migrate apps from Internet Explorer to Mozilla ... with valid business reasons". ... Might be easy to do so with small apps.. but with the size of the apps we've written for intranet based sites... there's no reason to make the switch to Mozilla. We simply tell our clients (who are all windows users anyway) to use IE. Not giving further choice means less headache for us when it comes to supporting our product.

Re:The forgot something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177907)

Let me know what your company's name is so I can remember to never do business with them.

Here's the deal... (1, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178072)

I'm sure, with your small World View and asinine opinion, you are not in any position to "do business" with them anyway. Generally, code monkeys like you are LOW on the totem poll.

Re:The forgot something... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13177929)

Being IE-specific is the mark of lack of foreseight. I speak from experience, unfortunately. To be cross-browser compatable between the latest versions of IE and mozilla is exceptionally simple if a little care is taken upfront. Unfortunately massive, hand-written, IE-specific sites are likely not worth the cost to rewrite. Consider your lesson learned and do it right NEXT time, forget porting.

Re:The forgot something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178191)

The forgot something... ^ | maybe they are not alone :)

Re:The forgot something... (3, Insightful)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178216)

Unfortunately for us all, this attitude is very common. My approach is quite the opposite: code to the standards so it works/looks correct in FF (or other mostly-standards-compliant browsers), give it basic functionality in IE and if an IE user complains about it not being perfect tell them to use a proper browser.

Obviously, when doing work for the company I have to be careful and make things look at least reasonably proper in IE (for which the IE7 javascript library has been a lifesaver). However, for my local LUG's webpage, I can just tell IE users to switch browsers or go fuck themselves.

Re:The forgot something... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178331)

We simply tell our clients (who are all windows users anyway) to use IE.

What do you do when IE is banned company-wide for security reasons (as it has been with several of our clients) or when the government agency you are trying to sell to says, "our security group is all on OS X, we need it to work in both Safari and Firefox?" What market are you selling to that you have not run into one of these two problems and what makes you think that market will stay so technologically backwards?

Tried it with Mozilla about a year ago .... (1, Informative)

Jerry (6400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177896)

and it didn't work because IE could enter and display dollar amounts in text boxes, right justified, and Mozilla could not ... without a lot of javascript putzing. Even then, it never looked good or worked well. So, we abandon the idea.

Anyone try making a web page with right justified textboxes and have it run OK on Firefox?

Re:Tried it with Mozilla about a year ago .... (1)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178007)

Yeah, I got mine to work..but it look a lot of tweaking. I believe that I ended up using tables and defining align= values for each element individually

Re:Tried it with Mozilla about a year ago .... (2, Informative)

arkanes (521690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178013)

<input type="text" style="text-align: right">

This should have worked a year ago, too. Maybe not 2 years ago.

Re:Tried it with Mozilla about a year ago .... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178055)



works for me

Or you can use XUL (3, Funny)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177908)

Or you can use XUL and make it Mozilla/FireFox only.

Until XulRunner comes out that is, then you can almost detatch it from the web.

Re:Or you can use XUL (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178068)

Until XulRunner comes out that is

Yes, but will it be ready for Longhorn? :)

Column styling! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177934)

...

No matter how standards-noncompliant this snippet is, at the office we use this a lot. Any ideas?

ARGH slashdot ate my code. Here is it again. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177966)

<table>
<colgroup>
<col style="padding-left:4em;font:bold 8px Arial,Sans-serif;background-color:#CCF" />
<col ... />
</colgroup> ...
</table>

So, how to implement this in mozilla?

And why would most use IE anyway? (4, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13177952)

IE has some advantages for businesses that have already standardized on using Windows, but for companies that aren't diehard supporters, why bother? The "debugger in IE," if you can even call it a debugger at all, is horrible as is the browser in general these days.

Any sane company that doesn't need the IE-specific features would be insane to not build on Mozilla with its excellent debugging tools and then test with standards-compliant browsers like Opera and then test with IE. IMO, build on IE first instead of using Firefox or Mozilla is akin to using Notepad and nAnt for Windows .NET development when you have free access to Visual Studio.

Re:And why would most use IE anyway? (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178050)

What I have trouble understanding is building an app fully and solely for IE.

I can understand if one actually needs IE-specific features, but then those should be built in modularly, so that when more browser support that kind of feature, it can be broadened.

We're stuck with some Windows-only items, and it is extremely frustrating because we continue to need to buy Windows licenses to put IE on machine for people to use these apps, when the VAST majority of our users have NO NEED whatsoever to have Windows on their machine, except for this compatability.

I'm not saying that these people aren't developers, as some others have said. I'm saying that they are lazy coders, though, just as bad as people who insist on using table layouts for non-tabular data, and fill web pages with tag soup.

Re:And why would most use IE anyway? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178078)

"akin to using Notepad and nAnt for Windows .NET development when you have free access to Visual Studio"

hey i do that anyways.. (never cared for VS)

Re:And why would most use IE anyway? (1)

hagrin (896731) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178316)

You're missing the point entirely.

The common phrase of "know your audience" should come to mind. Of course, the developers should have IE, Mozilla and Opera installed on their machine, but the users that they are deploying these applications to are almost 75% of the time (if not higher based on web browsing results) running IE exclusively.

So of course, enterprise wide deployment, patching through SUS and general user base familiarity are the exact reasons why companies who aren't "diehard supporters" are advantageous to business productivity on the user end. Of course, developers should use the best tools available, but your comments about "businesses" do not take into account the user base of these applications.

First Asa Dotler mention! (1)

bad_outlook (868902) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178022)

Sorry, but I see that guy's name everytime there's a Mozilla mention. Oh, and congrats to the developers that are porting to Mozilla; it will be a great day when *any* web user can use all webapps. (personally I see a promising future in AJAX) http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/ar chives/000385.php [adaptivepath.com]

I'm shocked, shocked (3, Funny)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178023)

Notice that one of the figures has a browser with an address box shrunk down to reveal only part of the URL.

The part that is visible is http://goat.

Re:I'm shocked, shocked (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178174)

The part that is visible is "http://goat"

I saw that too, in the section describing how IE behaves badly with overflowing <div>s. Thank goodness that's the *only* part that's visible. If there were one thing I'd have surgically removed from my memory...

Both browsers (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178037)

It covers basic cross-browser development techniques, and some developing strategies for overcoming the differences between both browsers.

Country and western?

Re:Both browsers (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178109)

I think someone's been watching Blues Brothers once too often. :)

Re:Both browsers (1)

TrentC (11023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178133)

It covers basic cross-browser development techniques, and some developing strategies for overcoming the differences between both browsers.

Country and western?

A but oversensitive, are we?

The article is about porting an IE-based web app to Mozilla-based browsers.

Would you write an article comparing Mac OS X to Windows XP, then spend a paragraph talking about FreeBSD? If so, I hope you've got a good editor...

thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13178043)

for pointing this out. My huge defense contracting employer is so hopelessly in bed with Microsoft that I can only use I.E. Even to do such routine things as turn in my time sheets, ActiveX is required. the customers are smarter and don't run anything but Mozilla on their LAN. Make's my life a constant pain in the ass. I am forwarding TFA to our co.'s IT dept.

Converge and respect (1)

PhYrE2k2 (806396) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178053)

Lets talk seriously for a moment. Why are there IE only extensions on an open standard? Why are there Mozilla-only objects, ways of doing things, formatting problems, etc?

It's because everyone is trying to stand their ground and provide something specific to their purpose.

Get Mozilla/Netscape, Opera, Microsoft, etc all in one room and decide on a standard. Everyone has to give in, nobody is right or wrong... and make it stick. -OR- if you can't, include 100% compatibility for the other person's idea.

The Internet community builds itself on respect and compromise- ensuring the most imformation and availability to the masses. Lets once and for all come up with a mediated standard and everyone agree that the Internet would be a better place if developers just had things work properly.

The browser is to be the INTERFACE to connecting to content, and hence should connect to all content and display it in the same way.

I guess I'm just tired of everyone doing their own thing.

BTW: This is different than Linux distros and other situations. I could say the same with the hundreds of Linux distributions, but each of those have different target markets. In contrast, the browser is intended for anyone, and the CONTENT is what has the target market.. The content should always display and work the same. Everyone give in a little.

-M

Already been done (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178105)

"Get Mozilla/Netscape, Opera, Microsoft, etc all in one room and decide on a standard."

It's called the W3C [w3c.org] .

Sadly, despite the W3C's efforts, it seems that the Browser Pissing Contest rages on.

One of the best moves I made (2, Informative)

JPyObjC Dude (772176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178060)

Converted about 40,000 lines of JavaScript from IE to Mozilla 3 years ago and never am looking back.

Debugging JavaScript applications in Mozilla is a dream with error.stack and if necessary the Venkman JS debugger.

Great move for any developer to do as they will not only support more open structures but will also be more knowledgable of standards based programming. The latter helping those developers move around in their career as they would not be locked down to the blue e.

Another great reason to do this is that you could now hack your pages on a Mac without having to depend on the stupidities that are in the OSX MSIE with CSS, DOM and JS.

JsD

[ long live the moz ]

IBM should read their own article (3, Insightful)

tscheez (71929) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178080)

and get iNotes to work better in firefox

Mistakes (5, Informative)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178110)

Legacy browsers introduced tooltips into HTML by showing them on links and using the value of the alt attribute as a tooltip's content. The latest W3C HTML specification finally standardized tooltips, and uses the value of the new title attribute rather than the deprecated alt attribute. Mozilla will only show a tooltip for the title tag, per the specification.

This is wrong. Firstly, the alt attribute is not deprecated. In fact, it was optional in HTML 3.2 and required for all <img> elements in HTML 4 and newer.

Also, the title attribute isn't "for" tooltips, and the specification doesn't say that they should be displayed as such. The title attribute is for supplementary information, which can be displayed in the most appropriate manner for the circumstances. It just so happens that in most cases this is best accomplished with a tooltip, but that's merely incidental and not required behaviour.

Finally: it's the title attribute. The <title> tag is a completely different thing and does not work the way they describe.

The Javascript object detection versus browser detection bit was decent enough though. It's just a shame they used invalid code in the examples they gave. People will be copying these examples, so they only cause more invalid code to be written.

As far as using onload is concerned, you need to keep in mind that it only fires once all the parts of a page have been loaded - so, for example, if you have ads and the ad server is a bit slow, your onload element might fire thirty seconds after you think it should. This is a big deal when you are manipulating the page content - imagine typing something into an input control, only to have the onload set the focus to the control - in many browsers this will automatically select the text, which means you'll be typing away and suddenly the second half of what you are typing overwrites the first half.

Where such timing is a problem, you have no choice but to insert <script> elements directly after that part of the document you are manipulating. This won't change until browsers implement more load type events.

Last thing: the author should learn what a tag is and isn't. 98% of the time he says "tag", he means "element", 1% of the time he means "attribute", and 1% of the time he means "element type". I only skimmed the article, but I think I only saw once instance where he actually meant "tag".

Use the docs, luke (1)

nicomen (60560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178116)

For migrating to Opera, follow the standards.

Then make some coffee ;)

Article not just IE to Mozilla but also Opera (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178134)

some of the code examples show how to make it browser-independent and specifically show cases and code for allowing Netscape, Firefox, and Opera all to work with previously IE-specific code.

But, in general, it's a fairly good doc.

I enjoy the part about not sniffing the useragent to make it version specific when that may make it so that you have to upgrade the code when a new version comes out, even though the behaviour hasn't changed - which means less revisions just for incrementalism, and more revisions for functional changes.

Missing - DevEdge Sidebar (4, Informative)

JPyObjC Dude (772176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178165)

Unfortunately, the IBM doc is missing a good description of the DevEdge sidebar which is available at:
http://lachy.id.au/dev/mozilla/sidebar/sidebar.xul [lachy.id.au]

DevEdge toolbar is the perfect tool to link to often buried resources on the w3c website. It is ok for JavaScript but that, a good book is always a good idea:
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/jscript3/ [oreilly.com]

JsD

they make crap inotes... (1)

javiercr (902891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178167)

IBM makes INotes which is the worst web app i know, sloooww slooow slooow and I can't get it to work in Firefox although may be some better implementation of iNotes does work on it.

Not priter friendly (3, Interesting)

WMNelis (112548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178182)

I find it interesting that an article about creating cross browser web pages does not print out properly from Firefox. The right side of some text gets cut off.

Uhhhh.... (1)

Jesus 2.0 (701858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13178259)

(1) Check your pages with a validator.
(2) Fix the things that the validator says are broken.

Voila, cross-browser app.
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