Member since: Aug 4th, 2005
Jan 31st 2007 11:50AM Free Vista? Yummy!
Aug 10th 2006 8:18PM Look, this is Microsoft's way of doing things. It always were. It's the only way they can keep their huge number of junkies paying. It's the same as Apple does, but it's on the software level, not on the hardware one. There are no surprises here. All commercial software developers try to keep their apps as proprietary as possible. (Just look at what Adobe is doing to PDF, for example.)It's like with Java and .NET. You can program for the one that you prefer, just don't expect it to run on the other's virtual machine. Everybody is defending their own turf. It is what I learned to expect. No surprises.Microsoft stopped playing with their stupid NetBIOS only when they realized that there is a bigger thing than them, and it's called Internet. Only then did MS accept TCP/IP as a networking "standard". People have to figure out a better way of coercing Microsoft into respecting W3C standards, because they have really no incentive to do so.IE won't become standards-compliant because 15% of the end-user market is playing with alternative browsers. Microsoft doesn't make its money from desktop Windows, but from Office and the server products, i.e. corporations. And the corporate world is very happy about having ONE browser platform, called Internet Explorer, and really don't care about Firefox, Opera and their third-party standards. I have seen plenty of intranet sites that work perfectly in IE, while nobody cares about the rest of the browsers, for the simple reason that security is not as paramount as on the Internet.So, yes, IE is already THE standard, and corporate developers program (almost) only for it, the same way they program with ActiveX and Windows in mind.What's Microsoft advantage in not supporting W3C standards? A huge one: it's more costly to switch browsers, i.e. operating systems. It's another method of vendor lock-in.
Aug 9th 2006 1:30PM tpp, I have an idea about your pain. I do believe that MS doesn't give a **** about W3C standards, but that's what big corporations do, in order to keep everything as proprietary and profitable as possible. And I do believe MS implements many things differently or not at all. But it doesn't make a difference to the regular Joes.I guess the change will come when high-traffic Web sites, like Google or MySpace, will start offering an immensely superior user experience, but only in W3C standards-compliant browsers. Until they do, IE is king, I mean dictator.
Aug 9th 2006 1:10PM Entire countries adopting Mac OS X? That's something I have never heard about.The fact that Brazil or China is pushing Linux doesn't change a bit. If there is one Linux distribution that could change something that's Ubuntu, and even Ubuntu is built "ass backwards" (to use james's suggestive expression). Why? Because the GUI sucks. The visual experience is so much below Vista or Tiger/Leopard that there is no comparison. And people like beautiful toys. Plus there is the learning curve.Right now, most of the people who use Firefox do it for security reasons. Many of them don't have their systems up-to-date, because they have a pirated version of Windows (that's why you see those huge FF numbers in Eastern Europe), or because they are lazy to download and install SP2 and other (big) patches, or simply because they believe the FUD. As somebody said above: if you don't visit disreputable sites, you probably won't have any security problems, not even with IE. (By the way, I have been running the IE engine for ages, and never got infected with anything. Maybe it has something to do with my up-to-date genuine Windows XP.)FF is a good browser, with some great extensions, but do you know why I use Avant on top of IE, instead of FF? Because Avant looks great, and offers 95% of what I need. I don't even care if pages break; I use IE 7 beta 3 (which has never crashed on my PC, btw) and some pages do break. But the reason I don't use FF is the visual part. There is still not a theme that is both as pleasant and professional as Avant or even IE 7. Still the out-of-the-box experience is much worse than of any other browser (and I am LAZY enough to hate looking for extensions and customizing my browser for hours, plus there is no real incentive for me to use FF). Opera looks good, but it still FEELS different from browsing with IE. Back to standards. The main problem with the open-source community is the "You want a feature? Why don't you submit a patch?" mindset. Many open-source products (like FF and Linux) are completely disconnected from the mindset of regular Joes. They are creating products for nerds. They are nothing like Windows XP/Vista or OS X in end-user experience. Just look at OpenOffice and compare it with Office 2007 or iWork.There is a well-known fact in sales: give customers too many choices and they will buy much less. By pushing the customization side, FF does exactly that. People don't care that much about customizing (except for geeks). They just want a SIMPLE thing that works and that's exactly the same on every computer. (Why did MS come out with the ribbon interface in Office 2007, if not to hide the complexity?) Same goes for "standards".I am already repeating myself. :)Short version: People don't care about idealistic "standards". People care about a good Web experience, which means pages designed for IE first, anything else second. And no, the solution is not Flash.
Aug 9th 2006 1:23AM I have a problem with defining the Standard. For me, the Standard is the market. And the market votes for IE. That is exactly why MS can afford to disregard the W3C "standards".The Web has already reached a level of sophistication that is beyond the needs of regular Joes. They don't care about extensions etc.; all they want client-side is basic browsing, maybe with some AJAX or DHTML. They don't care how the source is written, as long as it works. They don't care about Web 2.0 and good web design techniques. They want a good enough experience. They browse the Web for the information, not for the visual effects. It's like with wireless phones: most people don't care for extra features, beyond the expected basic functions.The main thing people really care about right now (the reason why Firefox has gained on IE, and also the reason why this gain will reverse) is security. But as soon as IE7 comes out, I expect the number of switchers to decrease and FF to lose market share, because IE7 is another MS product based on feedback from regular Joes.How would I have attacked IE? First of all, by writing a Gecko engine perfectly compatible with the IE one, but much safer. Then, I would have written a visually more attractive GUI on top of it, but very similar to IE. Only after that would I have cared about extending the browser, very carefully. And only after conquering the market would I have pressed for better standards, namely W3C's. Because regular Joes don't care about standards, but about getting things done. And they won't change their browser just because the nerds say it's broken. The main reason they switch, right now, is security. They don't want another learning curve, they don't want broken pages, slow browsing, new GUI. They don't want headaches. For many of them, IE is THE browser, and they don't want to learn something new (one of the main reasons they don't switch to Linux or OS X). And, for them, if a page breaks in IE then the page is broken, not the browser. If a page breaks in FF, but not in IE, then FF is broken. In real life, pragmatically speaking, IE is THE standard.
Aug 8th 2006 10:08PM Excelent point, Peter. When I encounter a "This site requires Firefox" message, I just move on. I don't switch to Firefox, although I have it installed. Same goes for sites that break in Firefox.From my point of view, the problem is that all the web design books are written based on W3C standards, while the real client-side Web is based on MS standards. I don't understand why the Gecko engine was not built according to the standards of the dominant browser, so they can reach market dominance first and THEN push the W3C standards. How do you think IE defeated Netscape Navigator, james?I agree with those who say that IE is a dinosaur hindering the development of a better Web, but the way alternative browsers attack the problem is simply stupid.
Aug 8th 2006 9:52PM james,I perfectly understand web designers who are upset by Microsoft's policy of designing their own standards. But I remember a time when Netscape used to do the same.Microsoft does not own the Web is the same as saying W3C does not own the market. While I accept that having a standard is important, a standard dictated by the market is far more valuable than anything a "standards body" designs. For example, TCP/IP just works, and it does so beautifully, although nobody bothered to design it according to the OSI standard/model.It is a fact of life that companies respect standards only in a very fragmented market, while monopolies like to impose their own proprietary systems (see iTunes). Complaining about it does not change a thing. Either accept the fact, or design your pages according to W3C standards, even if they break under IE. When enough people will do the latter, IE will change. Until then, I see very little incentive for MS to invest in this (except for the rising of Firefox, which will probably stop after IE 7 and Vista).By the way, in this "dispute", I am on the web designers side. But just complaining about it is futile. Do something!
Aug 8th 2006 6:46PM Paul's rant sounds like the poor countries whining in the UN that the superpowers don't play fair.I look at things from the opposite angle. Since IE is the market leader, with 80+%, IE is THE standard.W3C is the UN of the Web, instead of being a G-8.
Jul 21st 2006 1:45PM Another happy FeedDemon user here. Although I don't synchronize with their Newsgator Online service, it was worth every penny. I read my feeds in newspaper-style, and this reader is far better than anything else on the market (for Windows).It's multithreaded, so it refreshes my 150 feeds in less than 30 seconds. It's GUI is beautifully designed. It's easy to move between machines; you can even set the cache to a single network folder for all your machines (this is what I do), so that you don't read the same thing twice if you move from one PC to another. It's constantly updated with smart new features (you can read on Nick Bradbury's blog about them).I am in no way connected with Newsgator, but I advise the reader to try out FeedDemon before even thinking about anything else. I have played with more than 20 RSS readers in the last 2 years, but I have seen nothing that compares to it, for my needs. Great software!
Aug 4th 2005 10:38AM http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartclose.html
Save your tabs and Panorama tab groups in Firefox 4
Amazon Appstore for Android hands-on review: Android Market is in trouble