I just added X-UA-Compatible

I don’t agree that it makes the world ideal, but IE8 will now support standards out of the box.

Let’s define broken? Remember, the standards are there for a reason.

I agree completely. That’s why a web browser should not be an application’s UI.

As logic_earth has pointed out, I suspect that you haven’t worked at any large businesses where things like browser versions and web “applications” are used for many internal tasks. Even things that should be cross browser compliant like SharePoint for example don’t quite work as they should in the more standards compliant browsers and don’t contain the doctype so that they work in IE7.

Only at my university have I seen that.

That’s what a web browser is for. Rendering websites. The fact that they are misused and turned into UI’s is another matter. Adding bandaids every other year in order to save those UI’s is not a solution.

The reason why browsers are used for intranet applications, is because it makes the entrance barriers far lower. Anyone who is going to work with computers, will know how to use a web browser. Training people to use other programs, however, can sometimes takes years. Furthermore, the developing costs for browser interfaces are far cheaper, since it doesn’t require any licences and the hardware of the user’s computer doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art.

It is perfectly possibly to make good, standards-compliant intranet applications through web browsers, and looking at the work done by W3C, it is clear that this has been their intention for quite some time. Saying that browsers shouldn’t be used as application interfaces, pretty much ignores any other use than static pages. Webmail and Internet forums are both examples of Internet applications. Search engines are technically also applications, though they are different in that there does not exist any alternatives, unlike webmail and forums. I, for one, would not like to revert back to Usenet.

You may be interested in Mozilla’s Prism where the browser software is used for web applications but the browser UI is not available. Google for that. It’s pretty interesting.

Then I must assume you are not using a browser to use Sitepoint’s forums because then you will be using your browser as an Application Interface.

In fact any time you use a form or some JavaScript enhanced or AJAX enhanced page your browser becomes an Application Interface.

So what are you using to interact with this application (Sitepoint’s forum) if your browser is not an Application Interface?

I agree that when I browse the web, to websites that are written in HTML (a platform-neutral language) that I am accessing an application. HTML is the interface language. That is all obvious.

However, what is described here regarding intranets and IE is obviously not HTML. It may be similar to HTML, but if it were HTML it would be as platform neutral as any public website would be. The fact is that some companies use a mutation of a language, thus forcing users into a single interpreter of that language which can parse said mutation, instead of using the proper tools for the job they were trying to do. It may even be reasonable to assume that HTML is capable of doing what they need, but they choose something similar to HTML and not HTML itself.‎ That is not much different than a website using proprietary HTML components, with the exception that IT departments have more power to dictate what software will be used than webmasters do.

Not really, they’ve just developed the websites before standards existed and therefore updating to a modern browser in most cases will break their intranet. It’s that simple.

HTML alone cannot make anything special that is why we have JavaScript and CSS, and a slew of other languages and techniques.

HTML is not an interface language. It is just a markup language it describes the data that is all it does. The browser takes that data and interprets it into something understandable to a computer then usable by a human.

If it was the other way around things would be easier to customize. For instance form controls. On every platform they would look the same and function the same. But they do not this is because the HTML only tells the placement and the parameters the controls should have. The browser handles form controls itself, manages and submits it.

The web browser has almost always been an application interface and always will be. Building an application in an intranet doesn’t have its restrictions like the public network because the computer systems are controlled each one a copy of another. It is much cheaper to a business to build for a single browser then for full-fledged cross browser support.