Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Browsers Fighting to Keep up with the Web

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the competition-is-good-for-progress dept.

542

An anonymous reader writes "With the continued evolution of the internet and more tools being developed or migrated online browsers are fighting to keep up. Wired has a quick look at the current status of the browser war and what different browsers are doing to try to stay ahead. From the article: 'Already, IE has seen its U.S. market share on Windows computers drop to 90 percent from 97 percent two years ago, according to tracking by WebSideStory. Firefox's share has steadily increased to 9 percent, with Opera's negligible despite its innovations. WebSideStory analyst Geoff Johnston said Firefox must continue to improve just to maintain its share. Because IE automatically ships with Windows, he said, users satisfied with IE7 may not find enough reasons to download and install Firefox when they buy a new computer.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Frosty Piss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571003)

Mavericks r t3h sux!

Here's an idea.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571019)

Hey maybe someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft for bundling their browser with their operating sys.... oh wait, nevermind.

Re:Here's an idea.... (-1, Flamebait)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571243)

Hey maybe someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft for bundling their browser
Or maybe we could all switch to *nix distros that do precisely [kde.org] the same [gnome.org] thing [apple.com] .

Re:Here's an idea.... (5, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571264)

Or maybe we could all switch to *nix distros that do precisely [kde.org] the same [gnome.org] thing [apple.com].

And which of the *nix distros would be considered a monopoly?

Re:Here's an idea.... (1)

ashmon (592459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571281)

But, but, but... KDE/Gnome/Apple don't charge us for their browser... oh, wait. Nevermind.

Re:Here's an idea.... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571324)

Since when was a desktop environment a distro?

Re:Here's an idea.... (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571412)

Well, Mandriva does ship with Mozilla Firefox, Konqueror, and Opera. Three different web browsers, with one from a for profit company, two others from competing not-for-profit foundations. Yeah, that does seem to be a completely different thing. Go Troll elsewhere.

Re:Here's an idea.... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571447)

KDE and Gnome aren't distros, and you can get distros without Epiphany or Konqueror. Can you get a version of Windows without IE?

When a decline to 90% market share is newsworthy, (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571246)

you ''know'' something is rotten.

When the big news is that, in some country, some leader only got 90% of the vote instead of the 97% expected, it may be significant, but you know that country is no democracy.

When the big news is that IE's market share has dropped from 97% to 90%, it may be significant, but you know that the product did not get its market share on the basis of open competition on a level playing field.

Re:When a decline to 90% market share is newsworth (5, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571409)

When the big news is that, in some country, some leader only got 90% of the vote instead of the 97% expected, it may be significant, but you know that country is no democracy.


We regularly re-elect approximately 99% of incumbent representatives in the US. What does that say about us?

It's not like that (4, Insightful)

matt me (850665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571463)

The current software situation cannot be likened to a dictatorship. There is a monopoly, but it does not arise from unfair manipulation. The people are not opressed, users are free to use what they like. Many of them do choose something different. The truth that we find scarier than an malovent monopoly, is that most users just DON'T CARE. They're not born indoctrinated, nor does Microsoft brainwash them. They do it to themselves. No-other business can dream of such brand loyalty, even if the majority of users will exclaim daily at the product and even ridicule it. They've never even tried a competing product and will fervently deny their existence.

Fighting Microsoft gains nothing. They have nothing we want to take. Users themselves have the keys to their chains. We need to teach them.

I'm looking to see (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571048)

where Flock is headed (no pun intended). It looks like a great browser. IE7 can ship with Windows all day long, but savvy users will always download something else.

Re:I'm looking to see (2, Insightful)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571172)

and savvy users will never account for more then 10% of the users.

But I don't care if IE dominates the market, as long as the other browsers, or better the web standarts, are respected (that is, IE-only sites sucks).

Lack of Change (5, Insightful)

whatsforlunch (929777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571053)

things will never change. A majority of internet users don't realize how bad IE is. Also they don't even know other browsers even exist. Not much you can do other than sit back and let it happen

Re:Lack of Change (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571083)

Is that really a problem? As long as a steady 10-20% use a different browser, webauthors can not make their pages "IE-only" and to me that is all that matters. A Firefox dominated web would be just as bad as the IE dominated web from a few years ago.

Re:Lack of Change (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571110)

I keep going back to IE. I try Firefox, but get frustrated because the programmers can't bother to get it to display pages correctly. Then I go back to MSIE, which is a lot better at page display...and noticably faster, too.

Re:Lack of Change (1)

weeb0 (741451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571145)

MSIE Faster than firefox ????
It's the first time I hear that.

In my experience there is less and less website poorly randered in firefox. Which version are you using ?!

Re:Lack of Change (1)

x-blackout-x (929106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571259)

LoL he did say savy users will always go back to firefox because us savy users know how to tweak firefox. about:config My firefox on my beefy machines will try and open up websites that would take minutes in I.E. and since my T1 here at work is nice it bring it in seconds with Firefox. Its called know your product of choice.

Re:Lack of Change (2, Interesting)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571275)

I actually put off switching to FF because of perceived slowness. My machine is 850-MHz (P3? P4? not sure). The initial FireFox I downloaded (perhaps version 1.0x for Windows) just seemed too slow, particularly the drop-down 'Bookmarks' menu. I trudged along for some time. Then I got really scared by some kind of re-direction exploit for IE that made it look as though you were at (trusted) site A, when in fact you were at site B, i.e., (heh) the address window could be made to report the wrong information.

So I downloaded version 1.5x or so, and I was blown away by how much things had improved. I became addicted to it's wonderful built-in pop-up blocker and tabbed browsing. I introduced it to my wife, who at first was leery (it was just FUD). But now she wouldn't give up her tabbed browsing.

Re:Lack of Change (5, Interesting)

aconbere (802137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571314)

might I suggest a redefinition of correct. As you've defined it, one can only be correct if it displays as IE would. Which is unfortunately completely broken in it's ability to display proper HTML and CSS. I suggest a definition from the W3C which is the standards body that controls the HTML/XHTML and CSS standards that Microsoft has so happily decided to ignore for the last 6+ years. Based on this definition (surprisingly) you'll find that Opera / Safari / Firefox all manage to display pages so much more correctly! It's like wandering into a schoolyard filled with children speaking broken English, and then when you correct them they tell you to "start speaking gooder English". Except that English as a spoken language has even more flexibility than any language that a computer needs to interpret.

Blame the lazy web designers of the sites your hitting, there are very few things that completely aren't shared between the two browsers, and any savy web designer knows how to hack his code to work with IE (yes that's what it requires).

/me sighs in frustration

~ Anders

Intentional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571360)

It's like wandering into a schoolyard filled with children speaking broken English, and then when you correct them they tell you to "start speaking gooder English".

Blame the lazy web designers of the sites your hitting...

Is that intentional grammar nazi baiting? :)

Re:Lack of Change (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571343)

I've got to call bullshit. I don't know what IE's rendering looks like, but I know Firefox is good.

Re:Lack of Change (2, Insightful)

laughing rabbit (216615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571449)

A majority of users think the internet is on their computer and do not even know what a browser is.

Tested ? (0)

siropel (802188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571055)

It's the comeback of these kind or articles (let the flames begin). I had a little time to "test" (play) with IE 7 in Vista ... score: Firefox > IE 7 Improvements? ...yes, security ones? ...no ...rendering? ... a little ... Opera 9 ... hasn't crashed yet. (I'm on ubuntu)

Commingling IE with Windows... (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571059)

... is exactly what drove me away from Microsoft in the first place. Specifically, Windows 95 "C" where the IE installer started and couldn't be cancelled through a normal dialog box (but could be 'End Task'ed), despite the fact that it was a piece of shit. Yes, Netscape was king of the non-standard extension back in those days, but their abuses pale compared to Microsoft's ActiveX in the late nineties through today, and with the massive vulnerability that ActiveX poses Microsoft should face a class-action lawsuit for negligence in their product design resulting in expensive and time-consuming repairs to computers on a regular basis. Furthermore, it was a travesty that despite Microsoft's Anti-trust ruling they weren't forced to remove Internet Explorer from the OS or weren't forced to include third-party web browsers in the same fashion that they were forced to include third-party connection suites like Compuserve, Prodigy, and America Online in addition to their own MSN.

Mozilla should continue to grow, and advanced users should continue to push to make sure that it is implemented, so long as it remains a better tool for the job than the default (Internet Explorer).

Re:Commingling IE with Windows... (-1, Troll)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571184)

... is exactly what drove me away from Microsoft in the first place.
Can I assume you're equally adamant about the browser components included with KDE (KHTML), GNOME (I forget the name, but it's there), and Mac OS X (WebKit/KHTML)?

Re:Commingling IE with Windows... (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571329)

Can I assume you're equally adamant about the browser components included with KDE (KHTML), GNOME (I forget the name, but it's there), and Mac OS X (WebKit/KHTML)?

Dude, get over it already [slashdot.org] . Most Linux distributions come with a choice of desktop environments and web browsers at install-time. The distros go out of their way to give the user as many choices as possible. If you want to complain about something, it should be the fact that too many choices can be bad too.

Re:Commingling IE with Windows... (0)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571450)

See what I mean? Score - 0, Troll. There's a double-standard here regarding IE's bundled components and anyone else's. The moderators know it, and they bury any comment that doesn't parrot the party line.

Poor Browser (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571065)

After duking it out with Mario all those years, and now with the threat of the Web, poor browser may not have that much fight left in him...oh crap

Re:Poor Browser (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571230)

at least he'll always have his royalties from sha-na-na to console himself with.

Browser innovation... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571074)

When I install firefox IE crashes when closed and when it's uninstalled IE never crashes. Opera, every version I've tested including the latest one crash when it's closed. I don't have faultlog.txt turned on or I'd post proof that shit is being consistently coded.

Re:Browser innovation... (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571100)

What the hell are you talking about???????

Open Source is still more flexible (4, Insightful)

Artie Dent (929986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571079)

Despite the innovations that IE7 may posses, the fact is that open source software will continue to mold itself to the whims of the web at the time, and it will be very difficult for Microsoft to keep up.

Firefox on older Windows (3, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571080)

IE7 will require later versions of Windows, including Service Pack 2 of XP, while Opera, Firefox and Flock will run on Macintosh, Linux and older Windows machines as well.
New Firefox will indeed run on older Windows machines, assuming you mean either 2000 or XP. [slashdot.org]

Re:Firefox on older Windows (2, Informative)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571278)

Firefox 2.0 will support Win9x. It's only Firefox 3.0 that will drop support
for windows before Win2000.

Assuming there aren't any horrible security flaws in Firefox 2.0, there's
no reason that you'll have to stop using Firefox on Win9x once Firefox 3.0
comes out.

Re:Firefox on older Windows (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571310)

Firefox 2.0 will still support Windows 98. Firefox 3.0 will not.

So Windows 98 user will only have a choice between Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 2.0. Oh the horror !

No 9x will be supported as well. (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571415)

New versions of Firefox 1.x will run on windows 9x.
New versions of Firefox 2.x will run on windows 9x. (2007?)
Not until firefox 3.x will support for windows 9x be dropped. (2008?)

Microsoft's last browser that supported windows 9x was released 5 years ago, while firefox is still planning on supporting it in new releases for at least another year.

Actually ... (5, Interesting)

medeii (472309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571088)

Because IE automatically ships with Windows, he said, users satisfied with IE7 may not find enough reasons to download and install Firefox when they buy a new computer.

Anyone who found enough reasons to download Firefox before (Adblock? Mouse gestures?) is certainly going to find enough reasons after IE7's release. I downloaded the beta several weeks ago; after a few days of casual usage, I was underwhelmed, annoyed at the intrusive and bloated UI, and unsatisfied as to the permanence and functionality of the new security features. If all you want is tabbed browsing, I suppose IE7 might work, but that's far from being Firefox's only worthwhile feature.

Obviously, I'll be getting IE7 along with everyone else -- it's a security update, after all -- but that doesn't mean the blue 'E' will ever get clicked. And if my father and sister value their free tech support, they won't be clicking it, either.

Re:Actually ... (2, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571127)

True, but as the feature gap narrows, there will be less reason (for most users) to go through the hassle of downloading and new browser (and any plugins). Microsoft can play catch up with features and maintain or grow its market share while firefox (and others) will have to stay innovative to maintain or grow.

Re:Actually ... (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571176)

Anyone who found enough reasons to download Firefox before (Adblock? Mouse gestures?) is certainly going to find enough reasons after IE7's release.

I disagree. I believe the vast majority of people downloaded Firefox for one reason -- it was more resistent to spyware. Hell, that's the only reason *I* downloaded it. And that's the reason I've downloaded it for some of my family, pretty much to avoid having to fix their computer. I was perfectly happy with IE. I've learned to like tabs, so that'd be another reason I might download it again.

But if IE7 is better with spyware and has tabs? Good-bye Firefox. And the bugs in Firefox (memory leaks, runaway CPU hogging) and the incompatibilities (video doesn't work on the CNN and Sports Illustrated web sites) is already annoying. I don't run any other significant plug-ins (especially ad blockers, which I think are somehwat immoral -- I want my favorite web sites to make money).

Re:Actually ... (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571260)

they only make money if you click the ads, when was the last time you did that? Not trying to trap you, but I'm interested to know if anyone ever actually clicks banner ads because I sure as hell don't.

Re:Actually ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571365)

I'd like to make a case for targeted low-key ads. I offer a free service and even though I ask for donations, they couldn't support the service. Donations are a fraction of the Google ads revenue, despite extremely low click through rates (<<1%). I'm not advocating that you "click the ads to support your favorite services". But you shouldn't not click an ad just because it's online advertising. There's nothing dirty about clicking on a banner ad if you're really interested.

Re:Actually ... (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571268)

Video in Firefox works with CNN, SI and ESPN. Actually I haven't run across a video I *can't* run in Firefox. The only websites I know of that don't support Firefox are Microsoft's own stuff like Outlook Web Access and Windows Update.

Re:Actually ... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571303)

Video in Firefox works with CNN, SI and ESPN. Actually I haven't run across a video I *can't* run in Firefox.

Then put that in the "bug" column for my computer, rather than an incompatibility. Works in IE, doesn't work in Firefox.

Re:Actually ... (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571302)

video doesn't work on the CNN and Sports Illustrated web sites

Have you dropped a note to the webmasters complaining about this?

Re:Actually ... (1)

kuyaedz (921036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571294)

And if my father and sister value their free tech support, they won't be clicking it, either. That is a good idea. I have started charging for my support, but I will tell close family that if they want continued 'free' support they need to stop using IE. Sorry mom, but if you're using MSN Exploder to get your email, your free support went right out the window!

Re:Actually ... (2, Interesting)

Techguy666 (759128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571358)

What gets my goat about IE7 is that a lot of the useful modules cost money!! Why the heck would someone pay $30 for a download accelerator or a whois module??!

Internet Explorer isn't a bad browser in that it's only somewhat more bloated and slightly slower than Firefox for most of Firefox's features (it's still an improvement over IE6 one has to admit)... And it's pre-bundled. The trade-offs aren't that bad.

However, the fact that if you're a "power user" or if you want to do more current and innovative things on the web, IE7 requires you to pay for the features. That's bound to have a stifling effect.

If IE Worked well, it wouldn't be an issue (4, Insightful)

Frobozz0 (247160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571094)

If IE was standards compliant and secure, people wouldn't care. Features are nice, but features can be implemented by the king of the hill once the kinks are ironed out by the underdogs.

As a web designer / developer I'd be happy enough if people who stuck with IE would at least get a good representation of standards compliant rendering of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. That's the *first* step that is *required* of Internet Explorer.

Re:If IE Worked well, it wouldn't be an issue (3, Insightful)

fractalus (322043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571282)

The majority of the browsing public don't care about standards OR security. They care about whether the browser will get them the latest music from iTMS, the latest movie trailer, and whether it works with myspace.com. They do not know why standards are important nor do they grok the concept of "unsafe at any speed" browsers. In short, as long as the browser works for the sites they visit, it is Good Enough.

That's why Firefox has to keep trying in order to maintain share. Because the number of people on the web is increasing, and it's not the smart ones who are just now coming online. Complacency is the route to obsolescence.

Re:If IE Worked well, it wouldn't be an issue (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571430)

And just why is IE finally improving matters? Because Firefox has shown itself to be a threat.

The way I see it, a bunch of viably competing browsers [altbrowser.net] will keep IE on its toes. If Firefox, IE, Opera and Safari -- in other words, the Gecko, Trident, Presto and KHTML rendering engines -- each have significant marketshare, then they put pressure on each other to offer complete coverage of the specs and to innovate further. As long as they don't sacrifice stability like IE and Nestcape seemed to during the first round of browser wars, having them all fall over each other trying to add more capabilities. And with any luck, having 3 or 4 major players instead of just two would encourage WHATWG [whatwg.org] -style innovation over unilateral <blink> or <marquee>-style garbage.

So that's the goal: keep Firefox growing, keep Opera growing, and let them all keep each other honest.

The Most Disgusting Thing (1, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571101)

The most disgusting thing about all this is that microsoft really has abused its monopoly in all this. Even if firefox is the best browser ever, developed by volunteers and distributed freely, it is only going to get and keep 10% of the market because IE7 comes with the OS, its easy to use, and it is adequate for most people.

Why should some consumer go out and download something that they will actually LIKE using as it meets their needs, vs just being useful and meeting their needs. OF course the statement alone describes why techies do it, but it hasnt sunk in with the wider populace.

Where's the abuse, exactly? (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571261)

because IE7 comes with the OS, its easy to use, and it is adequate for most people

How horrible!

microsoft really has abused its monopoly in all this

Yup, they're really raking in the dough by selling their browser... wait. I mean, they're really squashing Mozilla and preventing them from selling their browser... er, hold on. Ah... I get it... you're secretly arguing about who makes money off of the ads in search engines, MSN or Google, right? So MS's "monopoly" is crushing poor Google. Not! They've got a bigger share of search than MS does of desktops. Maybe you were making some other point entirely? Where's the abuse, exactly?

Re:Where's the abuse, exactly? (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571366)

No, what they are doing is providing lock in for their protocols and standards, which they CAN sell, can integrate into their proprietary tools, do lock in on fonts, lock in technologies and the ability to even render them properly (active x is a failed example).

Because of the ability to dictate how the web works fundementally, they have a lot of control over the web itself. If they dont like a specific thing that is being done by a competitor, they could lock out that feature for a future version.

It also enhances their brand name, because people write bad code that works on 90% of the browsers (IE) and not on 10% of them, which gives them a false reputation of quality.

etc... etc... etc...

Re:The Most Disgusting Thing (2, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571276)

The most disgusting thing about all this is that microsoft really has abused its monopoly in all this. Even if firefox is the best browser ever, developed by volunteers and distributed freely, it is only going to get and keep 10% of the market because IE7 comes with the OS, its easy to use, and it is adequate for most people.

Those BASTARDS!

How dare they give away something to their OS customers which is easy to use and adequate for most people!

It's no fair!!!1!

Personally, I always download Firefox whenever I'm stuck on a Windows machine (which is really only on my company's computer. I use Macs for damn near everything these days), but if somebody is content with IE and wants to go on using it, good for them. It's a free country.

Say it with me now, people:

Just because I like Firefox doesn't mean you can't like IE
Just because I like the Mac doesn't mean you can't like Windows
Just because I like the DS Lite doesn't mean you can't like the Sony PSP
Just because I like Honda motorcycles doesn't mean you can't like Harley Davisons

Don't be a hater.

Unless you are talking about the LA Lakers, the New York Yankees, or the Green Bay Packers. Hate them all you want. I sure do. ^_^

Re:The Most Disgusting Thing (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571466)

"but if somebody is content with IE and wants to go on using it, good for them. It's a free country."

Hey no fair. The phone records the NSA buy arn't free!

Re:The Most Disgusting Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571348)

Why should some consumer go out and download something that they will actually LIKE using as it meets their needs

Because they don't like spyware, adware, and rootkits?

Re:The Most Disgusting Thing (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571417)

"its easy to use, and it is adequate for most people."

So if there are all these satisfied people, what's there to be upset about? Seriously, you make it sound like a crime that Microsoft includes with with its OS an easy to use program. SUSE includes Firefox with its distro. Am I upset that it didn't include IE, or worse still that I can't even use IE with it? No, because Firefox too, is easy to use and adequate for my Linux uses.

Standards (5, Interesting)

janet-on (982800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571108)

Our website was built by a "website design bureau". We told them it had to be standard, so it would work on Mozilla as well.
What they produced was an absolute mess. CSS boxes were built to IE handling, and rendered incorrectly on Mozilla, which they consistently referred to as "Mozarella". They believed all problems seen on Mozilla were Mozilla bugs, and they added browser detection and workarounds.
Of course it still failed on Opera and Konqueror.
They used an awful piece of Javascript to make dropdown menus.

When they were done, maintenance was handed over to me and I gradually changed all their work to make a standards-conformant site that still rendered the same way. It was a lot of work, starting from the dire state it was in.
But finally, it renders OK and the menus work on most browsers without using javascript.

Exceptions:
- CSS menu only works in IE by including csshover.htc (conditional inclusion using !--[if IE]...). maybe IE7 will support:hover on list items?
- IE4 and below don't quite cut it, fallback to javascript code using serverside UA string detect. these are dying anyway, probably I will remove this support when IE7 appears.
- bug 234788 in GECKO means the menu disappears when mouse moves over scrollable text area. this bug has been fixed in GECKO but Mozilla and Firefox keep releasing new versions based on the broken GECKO for over a year.... We want Firefox 1.1 and Mozilla 1.8!!!

What I learnt: use a website design bureau only to make a site design. Don't allow them anywhere near HTML coding. They just use successive approximation towards the "browsers they test with", and try to impress managers with "browser utilisation percentages" instead of standards compliance.

Re:Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571363)

Wasn't this posted on slashdot before?

As someone who recently did the same thing.. (4, Informative)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571376)

Let me tell you, IE 7 is just as fucked as IE5/6.

IE 7 requires the htc file to implement the HTC hover menu. IE 7 still has the bug with apply text-align to block elements. IE 7 still has weird overlap issues.

IE 7 is basically IE 6 with a tab bar and some more annoying anti-phishing code. The website layout I designed recently works like this: one path is for Mozilla/FireFox/Camino/Safari/Konqueror/Opera (tested and working), and the other is IE 5/6/7. One uniform path works consistently in everything except IE, and the smarter Gecko-based browsers even get a little CSS3 magic thrown in.

IE 7 doesn't implement all of CSS 1, a standard that's pushing 10 years old.

(This was me testing IE 7 inside VMWare on Windows Server 2003)

Re:Standards (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571407)

"Mozarella"
Little Caesar's must have put out a browser.

Re:Standards (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571467)

maybe IE7 will support:hover on list items?

Yes, it will. [msdn.com]

IE4 and below don't quite cut it, fallback to javascript code using serverside UA string detect. these are dying anyway, probably I will remove this support when IE7 appears.

In my experience, server-side browser detection isn't worthwhile. It's both more reliable and more maintainable to determine browser capabilities than to try and detect which browser the visitor is using and keep track of the capabilities of all the various browsers.

As for Internet Explorer 4.0 in particular, it's been about six years since you've even been able to actually obtain a legal copy. The last redesign of MSN was broken in Internet Explorer 5.x when it was first launched. I think the time has come to forget about any special workarounds for it.

What I learnt: use a website design bureau only to make a site design. Don't allow them anywhere near HTML coding.

Please don't tar all of us with the same brush. I'll admit that the kind of incompetence you describe is very widespread, but it's by no means universal. There are competent developers out there, and from the sounds of things, you are qualified enough to be able to judge whether any particular developer is competent from looking at their portfolio.

The real problem is that from an average PR manager's perspective, the quality of a site is generally judged on how it looks in whatever their favourite browser is. That's understandable, they are PR managers, not web developers, and if they were web developers they wouldn't need to hire an agency. But how can we make it possible for them to judge the technical quality of an agency's work? Can something like this be explained easily, or does it essentially involve teaching them web development? I can't see any easy answers there, I don't even think anybody's working on it, and until this problem is solved, incompetents will continue to get away with passing off shoddy work.

Re:Standards (3, Informative)

jedihamster (983856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571470)

Hi,
Been a browser of slashdot for years. Just joined to help you out.

Check out : http://www.htmldog.com/articles/suckerfish/dropdow ns/example/ [htmldog.com]
for an example of a cross browser clean list menu with no .htc

details of how it work can be found:
http://www.htmldog.com/articles/suckerfish/dropdow ns/ [htmldog.com]

I modified the code and made a version for my employer that worked on all IE5's including mac, IE6, Firefox, Opera. Its very nice menu. It uses javascript to allow hover in IE. .htc files often create a security warning in IE.

hope this helped.

-Ryan

constant spyware? (5, Interesting)

NynexNinja (379583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571112)

Given the fact that remotely exploitable holes are found with Internet Explorer almost on a daily basis, would having your machine constantly backdoored by BackWeb, BonziBuddy, Gator, Hotbar, Ezula, Weather Cast, GAIN, Claria, etc. be enough to switch?

Re:constant spyware? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571171)

It would for people that know about such things, or their families. The question isn't really whether one browser is inherently better than another, it's whether people will start to care enough to learn. For your average person that gets slammed with spyware, a trip to the local computer store once every few months to let them patch it up may be an innevitability they've learned to deal with. If the local computer store doesn't do their part to explain what's going on, and suggest alternatives, nothing'll really change. People will continue to use what shipped on their system.

Re:constant spyware? (1)

scrabbleguy (980944) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571213)

The fact that I know people who continue to get spyware and format their drives over and over again despite being told to use Firefox, tells me that no, chronic spyware is not enough to switch for most computer users.

Keep up? (2, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571114)

"Despite the innovations that IE7 may posses, the fact is that open source software will continue to mold itself to the whims of the web at the time, and it will be very difficult for Microsoft to keep up."

What does it matter if Microsoft keeps up? Most of their target audience are computer users who will never want a Firefox extension or an RSS feed.

Most people login to read the news, get the weather, and send an email or 2. What Microsoft offers fulfills that.


Slashdot crowd doesn't realize they are the extreme minority, and a big business doesn't make big money targeting small minorities.

FDU (5, Funny)

dwandy (907337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571120)

Well, I for one still have a use for IE: It is my Win32 FDU* of choice.

*Firefox Download Utility

Re:FDU (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571283)

You forgot one.

Windows Update.

(Now with tabs!)

Re:FDU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571427)

Hmmm...you only need IE once for that purpose. Once I have Firefox, I just use Firefox's internal automatic updater.

And so it goes (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571124)

The problem is that there's no real, new, revolutionary development in browsers. They're all following each other's leads and copying each other's successes, not looking beyong the narrow confines of their little war for market share.

With applications migrating from static desktop to web driven versions and web sites creating useful functionality, the web browser has to evolve. Even the word "browser" is really not fitting anymore, since they do so much more than serve up static content. They are becoming control interfaces, transaction screens, and data transfer mechanisms; the browser is going to have to become "heftier" (do not read as larger) to deal not just with interacting with these new applications, but to provide a new layer of security.

As the number of browsers increases (2, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571128)

So does my development time. I swear, i'd be done my own software if i didn't have to support 30 different OS's (Win Service Packs, ect), 40 different versions of web browsers and so on. I can only imagine what IE7 is going to break.

plus, anyone who is running a Win2K3 server knows there are already security issues, the IE7 patch already came out.

Hey, just realized. (1)

reklusband (862215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571135)

Just a little off topic, but IE is down to 90%? when did that happen? My question is, programs (like realplayer) that dial home to artificially inflate web stats do they use the default browser or do they use IE? that could have a huge impact on percentages, since it's the site with the largest number of hits.

Uses of Internet Explorer (0)

madnuke (948229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571157)

Uses of IE: 1. Simple download tool for going onto the Mozila site to go download the latest Firefox release after a fresh install of Windows. 2. Err.... thats it.

Re:Uses of Internet Explorer (2, Informative)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571307)

Well, as long as you don't mind letting windows automatically update itself. Otherwise, you'll need IE in order to use the Windows Update site. Unless of course, there's something I don't know about.

Also, the automatic updater ony gets critical updates, and in a lot of cases you want to get the non-critical ones as well, which you'll need to manually go to the site for. So really there's two uses. 1. Downloading Firefox or Opera. 2. Windows Updates

Re:Uses of Internet Explorer (1)

madnuke (948229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571337)

I use Autopatcher for updating windows most of the time now.

Microsoft is doing everything to keep up.. (1)

GonzoTech (613147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571161)

They got tabs on Internet Explorer 7.. who else has that? Plus, what about all those IE addons... Acoona, Hotbar, Gator, Weatherbug.. Nobody can compete. Amazing technology from Microsoft. hahaha

So give them a few (2, Informative)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571162)

Because IE automatically ships with Windows, he said, users satisfied with IE7 may not find enough reasons to download and install Firefox when they buy a new computer.

If they are tech savvy enough, start with the IE7 blog [msdn.com] at MSDN.

If they don't know the difference between a USB and a Firewire cable, just tell them how much you charge to burn down a machine and rebuild it after their teenage son picks up a dozen worms while searching for pr0n.

IE holding back the web (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571163)

I recently converted some physics books to html, and I would have loved to be able to use svg for line art and mathml for the equations. Firefox supports them, but IE doesn't. Sure, I could have made two versions, or done content negotiation, or something complicated like that, but it would have significantly increased the level of complexity of the project. I just wasn't willing to go to that much effort for for an incremental improvement that would only benefit 10% of my audience. MS is clearly in a situation where they have an effective monopoly, and absolutely no motivation to support any new standard, much less to carry out their own innovation. Heck, they don't even support transparent pngs yet.

There are lots of other ways that MS has had a negative effect on the internet as well, including their behavior about java, and Windows' lousy default security settings, without which botnets wouldn't have happened.

I don't normally feel any compulsion to bash MS. If other people want to use Windows and Office, that's their business. But what they've done to the internet and open standards really hurts everyone else. If it hadn't have been for them, we'd probably have already moved beyond java applets and ajax, to a web 3.0 that would really deliver what web 2.0 is currently struggling to accomplish.

Re:IE holding back the web (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571290)

Mostly the same argument could be used against firefox and pro internet explorer/flash/whatever propietary/windows only technology that have a toe over the web, just that instead "open standard" they could have used "de facto standard" as word.

Of course, we know that the difference between open and de facto is that anyone can implement an open standard (even in propietary products) while that dont happens usually in some de facto "standards" (and worse, or you cant implement them in free/open products or you depend on a company for releasing that product for your OS)... ActiveX, some pdf extensions, flash, to name a few on different fields.

Re:IE holding back the web (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571296)

There should bet a score higher than 5 for this. Thank you for the wise words. They are more than "Insightful".

XForms (3, Interesting)

dsurber (53971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571165)

Where is XForms support? Yes I know about the Mozilla plug in and all of the other external support, but until it is built into the browser I can't even think about using it in my web sites. The current HTML forms support is crude at best, yet it is crucial for any kind of application. The XForms spec has been around since 2003 and still no browser supports it. Don't wait on MS; they won't support it since it makes the browser a more capable platform for delivering apps and that competes with their OS/application strategy. Opera is supporting Web Forms 2.0, but that is not the W3C standard. I wish the browser community, Firefox, would stop messing around and provide a real step forward in browser capability, XForms support.

Wouldn't it be nice if the war ended? (2, Interesting)

bepolite (972314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571186)

I've always disliked supporting multiple browsers... and I have a hard time believing that if every browser was standards compliant there wouldn't be some small thing that would be rendered differently enough to cause problems. I don't care who wins but a having just one browser to deal with would make things much easier. That said competition is a good thing. We get more features faster this way.

Now For Something Completely Different (2, Informative)

Agrippa (111029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571199)

I know the analyst quoted, Geoff Johnston, from when I worked at MP3.com. I went to lunch with him a few times because WebSideStory was down the street and Geoff was an artist on our site with the band Noisepie [noisepie.com] . He's the guy in the center. He's a pretty cool guy who seemed pretty knowledgeable.

.agrippa.

Do You Think the Measurements are Accurate? (4, Interesting)

Asphalt (529464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571202)

I keep seeing WebSideStory and the other metrics put out stats, but the stats from the sites I manage don't mesh with them, and have not meshed with them in awhile.

I administer roughly 100 websites, ranging from downright soccer-mom commercial, to those oriented to the more tech savvy, and everything in between.

Last month I saw 37% of our users arrive via Firefox or other Mozilla project.

We also go up to .8% from Windows CE (mobile) web browsers.

I don't know how much stock I put in these various metrics. They always grossly underestimate non-IE browser from my experiences.

I guess it all depends on what site you measure. AOL.com probably gets 99% IE, while Slashdot probably gets 50% IE.

Unless you can measure the whole web, which is impossible, cherrypicking sites is always going to produce unreliable numbers.

I imagine that they poll mostly "mainstream" websites, but the fact is that such sites really account for an overwhleming minority of internet traffic.

feeling much better now (1)

rolyatknarf (973068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571208)

Good God ya'll - reading all these comments is giving me a warm & fuzzy feeling because I'm using Safari. Thanks folks...........

Firefox needs manufacturers more than features (4, Insightful)

Zane Hopkins (894230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571229)

If more manufacturers took a leaf from Dell and installed Firefox on all new computers, then over time firefox's user base can only go up. It's getting buy-in from pc manufacturers thats more important than trying to beat IE with features (and therefore bloat)

A different view on security... (5, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571249)

not purely because it's a MS product. See, IE is what's called a value add product (insert joke here). At the end of the day, IE is meant to enhance a flagship product--Windows. So, Microsoft can get comfortable and decide to re-assign their IE staff to something more productive. That's how there's a security issue. Because there is no new innovation, the code stagnates, and is vulnerable to those who actively seek exploits.

Then you have Firefox. Does Firefox compete for code time with other Mozilla products. Yes, a few, but Firefox has quickly become a flagship product. There are people within and without the organization that maintain the code. This creates inherent security because there are positive contributors constantly refining and securing the code.

It's that simple. Will I ever download IE 7? I'll eventually have it in a few years when I buy a computer that has Vista on it, but I won't download it because of IE 6's lack of MS support. With Firefox I simply feel secure that SOMEONE will continue to develop it and make it more secure. Ironically, I can't say the same for a corporate developed piece of software.

The IE Thang... (4, Interesting)

Valthan (977851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571252)

I am all for stopping that whole Microsoft Monopoly thing, but if they didn't include IE with windows... then how would one get the replacement browser, and don't say FTP because where am I going to get my FTP client without a browser to go d/l it in the first place?

This is serious...

Re:The IE Thang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571325)

Windows Explorer can browse the web.. even if you disable Internet Explorer.

Re:The IE Thang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15571359)

from your backup disk?

Re:The IE Thang... (1)

Valthan (977851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571395)

Yes, Windows Explorer can, but who outside of the "tech comunity" know this and don't just chalk it up to (assuming they found it by accident) being the same thing as IE.

I am talking a clean install... not a back up... say when Vista is released...

Re:The IE Thang... (2, Insightful)

roguenine19 (901001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571416)

I had a failing hard drive last year that would destroy my Windows partition every so often, and I was too poor to buy a new one, so I reinstalled Windows several times (when I couldn't use my Linux install on a separate drive). I ended up burning a CD of useful programs (Firefox, WinRAR, numerous codecs, etc.) so I didn't have to keep downloading them. You could also put the Firefox executable on a USB thumb drive or something of that sort. It's not a terribly huge program, hard drive space-wise.

New features (4, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571256)

The article basically lists the new features that are being incorporated into the latest web browsers.

There are some changes in IE7 that should be noted:

A search box in the corner!(OMG, revolutionary!)

Tabs(This is like 720 degrees revolutionary!)

But... wait... the tabs will be quick tabs with little thumbnails of the web pages(This is amazing, someone should integrate this into an OS)

And finally,

A version shipping with Vista computers, due out for consumers early next year, will come with parental controls and a "protected mode" so hackers can't easily to gain access to the rest of the machine even if the browser is hit.


(Note, the following satirical conversation assumes that Vista will actually ship at some point.)

IE7 *Now entering protected mode*

IE7 You are attempting to contact host 'www.google.com' are you sure you wish to continue? The internet is a scary place. Non-microsoft web pages can harm your computer.

USER Yes.

IE7 Honestly, wouldn't you rather look at MSN pages instead of risk compromising your computer? Are you definitely sure that you wish to continue?

USER Yes.

IE7 Is that your final answer?

USER Yes.

IE7 Just to check, it's not opposite day is it?

USER It isn't opposite day.

IE7 But, if it is opposite day, and you say it isn't then it really is. Are you sure it's not opposite day?

USER Fine, it is opposite day.

**Segmentation Fault. Paradox buffer overflow**

At this point, the user restarts IE.

IE7 *Now entering protected mode*

USER MSN Search: google

IE7 No search results found

USER Disable content filter

IE7 1,224,671,930,542 results found.

USER Go to first result: www.google.com

IE7 WARNING! WARNING! The host attempted to send data of the unknown descriptor "HTML." This data most likely contains severe security exploits. In response, your internet connection has been severed.

User opens Firefox.


Now that I'm done IE bashing for the hell of it. The protected mode sounds like it could be a nice sandboxy type thing that could potentially make IE a lot more secure. Of course, it will probably break favorite flashy webpages or block downloads of "OMG you have to see this video.exe" sent to you by sexylola@zombiefarm.net, so users will disable it.

Personally, I will stick with Firefox, or maybe this Opera thingy everyone talks about. Is it like a Firefox extenstion or something? *ducks*

Re:New features (3, Informative)

th0mas.sixbit.org (780570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571474)

You write a parody, and yet some MS products do act in this manner.

Case in point: MSN Messenger. Have a friend send you an mp3.
It asks you "Do you want to accept this file?", to which you click yes.

It then downloads the file and offers you a nice and simple, clickable link to open the file. You click on it. A window pops up.

Something along the lines of "This file could be dangerous. Windows has prevented your computer from opening it".

It doesn't mention it, but it also deletes the damned file you just downloaded. Pretty sad, eh?

The Red Fox + bookmarks (3, Interesting)

snib (911978) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571258)

"users satisfied with IE7 may not find enough reasons to download and install Firefox when they buy a new computer."

I think a lot of Firefox users will still want to get Firefox because for a long time they've been clicking the Red Fox instead of the Blue E to get on the Internet. My friends, I know, will notice this at least, and most likely, when wondering how to transfer all their old bookmarks to their new computer, will look into downloading Firefox because that's what their old bookmarks are in.

I think that interest in Firefox is not going to decrease with the release of Vista with IE7. A lot of FF users are people who would never switch, and the rest are probably too used to it to go back to IE. MS will have to make IE7 a lot like Firefox if they want to keep casual users from noticing the difference.

What is the goal of FireFox? (4, Interesting)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571262)

I love FireFox and I will always use it unless something faster, quicker, safer, and more intelligently design appears.

But what are they trying to achieve? 100% market dominance? Do they need that? Can they sustain themselves just by providing a solid browser to the core 10% of the market that cares? If they are going out of business because they don't have 90% of the market, well then they have work to do. I would think they are just a tool for a niche market of serious computer users, and not the drooling masses.

"may not find enough reasons" (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571277)

IE users won't find reasons to upgrade if the websites aren't giving them those reasons. If Google Maps started using SVG for the street maps or something... well you get the idea.

Once upon a time.... (4, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571287)

there was the internet. Then came the Web. The Web made a simple cross-platform access to networkes information possible. The URL was a designation of permanent Resource locations. New features where used only if neccessary.....

and where are we now? Every website has dynamic pages; half of them require a session ID even for dowloading a manual. Three quarters of them require Javascript to read use otherwise static links. Only one fifth of the website seems to afford programmers who can in this complicated world deliver the experience of the early web (=it works), the rest has a vast mixture of flash, javascript and other Stuff - most of the time requireing the newest version of some obscure plugin to be installed.

Bullshit statistics (1, Insightful)

drwho (4190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15571425)

Fully when I see this...MSIE 90%, Mozilla/Firefox 9%, others 1% - gee it sort of leaves out some very important browsers. I am no Apple fanboy (In fact, I rather abhor Apple as a company and media phenomenon) but there's NO WAY that Apple is down at the bottom with Safari. Apple has about 10% of the market for PCs (more in some areas) and I am sure that most of them us Safari. Every Apple owner I know does. So why do we keep on seeing these BOGUS statistics?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?