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  1. #1
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    Smart Tags Ship in Internet Explorer 6 Refresh

    Yesterday the so-called 'refresh' build of Internet Explorer 6 was released in the IE downloads section of Microsoft's web site. This is the first time that the general public has an opportunity to try the much-vaunted Smart Tags feature that re-edits your web sites.

    Let me say that I haven't been incredibly opposed to this so far - I see people publishing in RSS where their content can be completly re-edited. That's also true of XML (and XHTML, for that matter). I thought, the web is a dynamic medium, not a print one, so your web page doesn't have any kind of 'do not touch' sign posted around it.

    However, I also thought that web masters who wanted to turn off smart tags had the option to do so if they really, really wanted to. Now I know that this is not true. There is no ability to turn off smart tags, no matter how many meta tags you place in the header of your web pages.

    Also, if you post your content in XHTML or RSS then you are effectively saying "take my content and rearrange it." But HTML has never been like that.

    This is different from all of those other programs that would add links to your web page because all of those that I've seen allowed authors to place a tag on their page to turn the functionality of those programs off. That is not true of Smart Tags.

    Last edited by prowsej; Jun 27, 2001 at 18:07.

  2. #2
    Non-Member spdrcr's Avatar
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    well if it is going in and fixing it all i can say is...don't screw up

  3. #3
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    Re: boo! hiss! smart Tags Ship in Internet Explorer 6 Refresh

    However, I also thought that web masters who wanted to turn off smart tags had the option to do so if they really, really wanted to. Now I know that this is not true. There is no ability to turn off smart tags, no matter how many meta tags you place in the header of your web pages.

    This is what is sais on the microsoft site:

    Disabling Smart Tags on a Web Page
    If you are a Web author, you can disable Smart Tag recognition in Internet Explorer within a Web page by adding a Meta tag to that Web page.

    After adding this tag, any Smart Tags that the author has added to the page will continue to work, but Internet Explorer will not dynamically add new tags when users view the page.

    The tag is:

    <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">

  4. #4
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    Re: Re: boo! hiss! smart Tags Ship in Internet Explorer 6 Refresh

    Originally posted by ollspin



    This is what is sais on the microsoft site:

    Disabling Smart Tags on a Web Page
    If you are a Web author, you can disable Smart Tag recognition in Internet Explorer within a Web page by adding a Meta tag to that Web page.

    After adding this tag, any Smart Tags that the author has added to the page will continue to work, but Internet Explorer will not dynamically add new tags when users view the page.

    The tag is:

    <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
    Until I actually tried out the program, though, I didn't know that there was another check box that overrode that meta tag. To turn on Smart Tags - check one box. To keep them on even if the page author has put in the above meta tag, check a second box.

  5. #5
    Captain Internet neil's Avatar
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    neil - Geocities, the trailer park of the web
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  6. #6
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    I haven't been able to get the Smart Tags working in IE6Refresh. How are you supposed to do it - I turn them on but don't see them on any sites.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot strangealienmagic's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: boo! hiss! smart Tags Ship in Internet Explorer 6 Refresh

    Originally posted by prowsej


    Until I actually tried out the program, though, I didn't know that there was another check box that overrode that meta tag. To turn on Smart Tags - check one box. To keep them on even if the page author has put in the above meta tag, check a second box.
    I too was under the impression (after reading the MS preview material) that meta tags would do the job. Thanks for correcting that.

    This goes beyond just concern about what Smart Tags will do to content on your own websites. Do we really want MS programming the links on the sites we visit? I like Internet Explorer for a lot of reasons, but I don't want an author's intent subverted by information chosen by MS.

    Also, this feature is optional in this version, but will it remain optional?

    I hope there are enough people who see the almost unlimited downside to this new technology. The web stands to lose a lot of it's freedom and independence.

    BTW, 2 gigs of HD space for the WinXP sounds a little over the top, doesn't it?

    Prowsej, I don't have IE6, but an article I read said you have to download the Smart Tag package separately. Could that be why you don't see them?

  8. #8
    Victory shall be mine tubedogg's Avatar
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    This is so stupid. However I can't say that (from what I've read) it's really all that new. It's like that thing called...fly something? I don't know but it was a program where you could click on a word to get more info...
    Kevin

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: boo! hiss! smart Tags Ship in Internet Explorer 6 Refresh

    Originally posted by strangealienmagic


    I too was under the impression (after reading the MS preview material) that meta tags would do the job. Thanks for correcting that.

    This goes beyond just concern about what Smart Tags will do to content on your own websites. Do we really want MS programming the links on the sites we visit? I like Internet Explorer for a lot of reasons, but I don't want an author's intent subverted by information chosen by MS.

    Also, this feature is optional in this version, but will it remain optional?

    I hope there are enough people who see the almost unlimited downside to this new technology. The web stands to lose a lot of it's freedom and independence.

    BTW, 2 gigs of HD space for the WinXP sounds a little over the top, doesn't it?

    Prowsej, I don't have IE6, but an article I read said you have to download the Smart Tag package separately. Could that be why you don't see them?
    Well, the default install of IE6 includes the options for smart Tags in the advanced properties of the options dialogue. I don't think they would include the following message:
    http://members.home.net/prowsej/dumb_tag.gif
    if Smart Tags were not included in the program.

    2 Gigs does seem pretty high. But modern harddrives are big enough to handel it - and a lot of Linux installs are that big, so I can't chalk it up to bloated M$ code if the open source OSs are also that large ...

  10. #10
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    Just want to say - Yes, what strangealienmagic said!!! That's really the point. I don't mind if users change fonts on my pages. I don't even mind (too much) if they decide on their own background and link colors, even if my pages look really bad that way. What I do mind is having link to things I don't endorse and don't want to link to put on my pages, and then having just one company control what those links are is horrendous. I can't believe they're pulling this off. Isn't anyone staging a revolution or anything?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I think people are getting a bit freaked out here... Calm down, we all freaked when we heard of layers too, remember? I freaded when I heard of Microsoft even making a browser. Things change.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Also, after anohter thorough read, Smart Tags aren't actually that bad...

    They provide information (pure information) to the user on subjects we WISH we could have on our website. You can also add your own smart tags to explain many things (this would help extremely in HTML tutorials for instance).

    I don't think this is a bad thing, it is yet another tool for the end user which THEY will appreciate even if it makes life a pain in the **** for us.
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  13. #13
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    I haven't seen them, so maybe you're right, but information is the basis of a web site. Shouldn't the author of the site have control over the information that is directly linked from the site?

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    I said this before in another thread, calm down. Smart Tags are not evil. W3 are about to impliment XLink as part of the next version of XML, smart tags are the same thing without the hard work. They just pick up on a word like CNN and produce a set of helpful links in an easy to ignore pop up. Look (90k - sorry)

    What harm people

  15. #15
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    1. The author should have the control over wether this are on - they should be off by default and it should be up to the page author to turn them on
    2. These aren't needed. If they really were an excellent idea, MS would have sent them to the W3C for approval. They are yet another platform-specific kludge to HTML.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    This IS NOT another platform specific kludge to html! ST's DO NOT rewrite your code! It is a programe feature that MS have introduced, like spell checking 'my GOD Microsoft have the ordasity to say I can't spell - damm them to HELL'

    see - it's not that bad

  17. #17
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    If that screen shot is a real example, it looks worse than I thought. Still..I do believe that people will find this annoying enough that they won't leave them on much.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by sowen
    This IS NOT another platform specific kludge to html! ST's DO NOT rewrite your code! It is a programe feature that MS have introduced, like spell checking 'my GOD Microsoft have the ordasity to say I can't spell - damm them to HELL'

    see - it's not that bad
    Here is code for a smart tag:

    <FL:smarttaglist xmlns:FL="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:smarttags:list">
    <FL:name>MSDN Office Developer Center Related Terms</FL:name>
    <FL:lcid>1033</FL:lcid>
    <FL:description>A list of MSDN Office Developer Center related terms
    for recognition, as well as a set of actions that work with
    them.</FL:description>
    <FL:moreinfourl>http://msdn.microsoft.com/office</FL:moreinfourl>
    <FL:smarttag type="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:smarttags#msdnterms">
    <FL:caption>MSDN Office Developer Center Related Terms</FL:caption>
    <FL:terms>
    <FL:termlist>access, developer, excel, msdn, office,
    outlook, powerpoint, vba, visual, word, xp</FL:termlist>
    </FL:terms>
    <FL:actions>
    <FL:action id="ODCWebSite">
    <FL:caption>&amp;MSDN Office Developer Web site</FL:caption>
    <FL:url>http://msdn.microsoft.com/office</FL:url>
    </FL:action>
    <FL:action id="MSDNWebSite">
    <FL:caption>MSDN Main &amp;Web site</FL:caption>
    <FL:url>http://msdn.microsoft.com</FL:url>
    </FL:action>
    <FL:action id="OfficeWebSite">
    <FL:caption>Microsoft &amp;Office Web site</FL:caption>
    <FL:url>http://www.microsoft.com/office</FL:url>
    </FL:action>
    </FL:actions>
    </FL:smarttag>
    </FL:smarttaglist>


    I'd say that it pretty Microsoft-specific because they are called "Smart Tags" and because the schema is defined by one company - Microsoft.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I'm at a loss as to why the above is a problem, I mean, really...

    So, IE users of your site get more content then they could ever have bargained for (either by doing your own smarttags (db driven of course) or by opting into MS's existing tagsets)... NS users will not display errors (looks alot like an xml or an integrated style tag to me).

    Other thing being the whole "I DECIDE WHAT GOES ON MY PAGE" idiocy... It's about the user. If you quote CNN would your user not want info on CNN right at their finger tips? If you say the name of a famous designer how is it bad FOR THE USER to have that info available? This whole thing is pompous, elitist and stupid. The whole thing is that it IS good for the user. Period.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sowen
    I said this before in another thread, calm down. Smart Tags are not evil. W3 are about to impliment XLink as part of the next version of XML, smart tags are the same thing without the hard work. They just pick up on a word like CNN and produce a set of helpful links in an easy to ignore pop up. Look (90k - sorry)

    What harm people
    The point most people are making and one that concerns me too is "Will we have control over what comes up in the popup box". Can we change the color of it, can we change the content of it. For example, I run a website for a Christian boyband called Plus One. What if somehow a link came up for The Backstreet Boys or Nsync. As far as the user can tell that is something that is on my site. They don't know that Microsoft put this technology in the browser, they just use it.

    Now I would have fans emailing me saying "How can Plus One support the Backstreet Boys or whatever.

    Do you follow me. It is irrelevant WHAT comes up in the popup window. As long as the designer of the website doesn't have control of it, it is bad.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Originally posted by studiococo
    This whole thing is pompous, elitist and stupid. The whole thing is that it IS good for the user. Period.
    What right does Microsoft have to decide what is good for MY users.
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Let me just add something here. I don't think that the technology behind the Smart Tags is bad just so you all know. I just think it is bad judgement on the part of Microsoft to have it on by default or to even include it in the browser. We already have dHTML tooltips that are basically the same thing.

    Just let the browser understand HTML, xHTML and the DOM and leave it at that Microsoft.
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  23. #23
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    Exactly. The technology isn't a problem. Microsoft's placing links of their own choosing on web pages that do not belong to them is a problem.

    As in Creole's example, I have a site for a band, too. They have links to other indie bands, but although they do mention their influences, they specifically don't want links to big, corporate backed bands on their pages for a couple of reasons. One is idealogical and the other is that they don't want to give visitors preconceived notions of what their music is about. I think that's their right. It's part of how THEY thought out the site. Microsoft would take away that right.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Well, I"ve got the docs for Smart Tags open right now and:

    1. You CAN turn off (contrary to the above info) on the designer end and there is no "turn them on even if you think the designer is being a dink about it".

    2. You can specify your own tags AT ALL TIMES. So, if you wanted a simple Smart Tag for the backstreet boys, make your own. Or, make a blank one (yes, support for that too).

    So, I guess the real question is, if MS doesn't decide, who should run the central ST database? I wouldn't want that responsibility. And, the ST database is run based on MSN user input, so a real community does have input into it.

    However, I see your point, and I retract my harsh and "stupid" comments Sorry about that, my attitude can get a bit... Well, you know
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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  25. #25
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    I think that there are issues with the technology. Perhaps because I still cling to that idealistic notion that HTML should be cross-platform. I like the idea of being able to pull out a PocketPC and load up my pages. Soon I'll be able to listen to my pages over the telephone. Cross-platform is A Good Thing (TM).

    This is *not* cross platform. There are ways to make it cross platform. Microsoft chose not to use those ways because it would mean giving up smart tags as an advertising medium. That's what I object to - there are much better solutions for what Microsoft is trying to do and they ignored the better ways in favour of a proprietary profit-driven technology.


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