SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 134
  1. #1
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,571
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Mac vs. PC and the Future of the Web

    From the upcoming issue #173 of the SitePoint Tech Times:
    At the upcoming Web Directions South 2007 conference in Sydney, Microsoft's Chris Wilson will be speaking on the subject of "Moving the web forward." I expect this talk to be similar in spirit to a lengthy statement he made this past April, in which he explains how important it is for browsers like Internet Explorer to maintain backwards compatibility, so as not to "break the Web" the way he feels IE7 did.

    This is very much in keeping with Microsoft's approach to Windows: build on top of what's there, and never, ever break backwards compatibility if it can be helped. After all, there are hundreds of millions of people relying on old web sites out there, and Microsoft is responsible for keeping those old web sites running.

    [...]

    For better or worse, Microsoft's new "backwards compatibility at all costs" approach to writing browsers is coloring the development of the HTML 5 specification, which is chaired by Chris Wilson. Microsoft wants to outlaw standards that, to be adopted, force browsers to abandon support for their previous, non-standards-compliant behavior.

    Which is the right way for the Web? Should backwards compatibility rule at all costs, or is there room for breaking changes when users are given the choice of when to upgrade? As a happy Mac user, I know which one I prefer.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts!
    Kevin Yank
    CTO, sitepoint.com
    I wrote: Simply JavaScript | BYO PHP/MySQL | Tech Times | Editize
    Babyís got backóa hard back, that is: The Ultimate CSS Reference

  2. #2
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ankh-Morpork
    Posts
    12,158
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Virtually everything becomes dated or obsolete with time. Websites are no exception. By making backwards compatibility into a religion, you make it so much harder to move forward.

    In the country where I live, you can't buy leaded petrol anymore. There are older cars still around which can't run on unleaded, but their owners are now forced to buy additives rather that getting leaded fuel at the pump. This may hopefully be an incitament for those who drive old pieces of junk to invest in a car that is less damaging to the environment, without preventing classic car enthusiasts from maintaining their hobby.

    If you absolutely want to be able to look at an old tag-soup website that hasn't been updated since 1998, I don't think it's completely unreasonable that you keep an old browser version on your computer, or that you use a plug-in that emulates the quirky behaviour of yesteryear browsers.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    I respectfully disagree

    So why not use 2 megabyte jpg images for all your snazzy little website graphics? I mean, everyone who's anyone has broadband - why keep backward compatibility with the 75% (or whatever it is) of the world still on dial-up? Too bad for the 'late adopters' of broadband

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am surprised that you havenít mentioned the reason a windows user can never really love their box: All joy is dampened by the hackability and virus threats.

    While OS X has had itís vunerable points, itís pretty much the safest OS out there.



    Regards
    Thorolf A. Holmboe

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it's Microsoft's 'lowest common denominator' thinking that has held back adoption of web standards.

    Dodgy code? IE browsers will display it anyway, so it doesn't really matter if what you know what you're doing or not and to hell with semantic HTML. Web design is a craft, which requires thought and skill.

    Anyone can pick up a saw and hammer, but unless you're willing to put some time in learning how to use them everything you create will look like the bits Dr Frankenstein couldn't work out how to use. In this analogy, IE would be the throw you put over your ugly attempt at a chair so it still looks like you can still sit in it, and you can't see how badly made it is. Actually, if this was a true analogy, IE would give you a bean bag and tell you that this was the new Microsoft 'standard chair'.

    Actually, now I'm in the groove, I can take this further. We originally sat on logs (no, no, stay with me...), until over time people gained the skill to turn the wood into well made chairs. They're more comfy, and they do the job of supporting you much better.

    I'll stop there. I could feel the flecks of foam gathering at the corners of my mouth. Suffice it to say that limited backwards compatability is fine. Like all good developers, I'll take a quick look in IE5.5 at my sites and fix any box model problems if I can do it quickly. But I've stopped worrying about what my sites look like in IE5 and NN4. I'm guessing that in a couple of years I'll be feeling the same way about IE6.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derbyshire - UK
    Posts
    2,651
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally I'd prefer it if new browsers only supported what's in the spec but realistically I don't think that will or can happen.

    Obviously it would be a controversial thing to do as many sites would suddenly become unusable and it would certainly be sad for those sites that contain valuable content but are run more as a hobby by people who don't have the skills and probably don't have the time or interest to learn.

    But all too often I come across code or people wanting help when they've just written, bad and invalid code. The most common response I deal with after I've given advice is, 'yes I know it doesn't validate, yes I know it uses tables for layout but it works in IE and I just want it to work the same in Firefox so what's the fix?'

    Obviously there needs to be a little bit of backward compatibility but without some of the non-standard browser behaviour being dropped in future releases, sites will continue to be developed poorly and bad code will still work as different browsers interpret it.

    Microsoft are obviously aware that by dropping support for non-standard behaviour they're in a dangerous situation of people upgrading from IE7 to IE8 for example and finding that half the sites they frequent no longer work and it therefore appears that the browser is at fault.

    However, supporting a slightly older browser's behaviour could be acceptable so that this scenario doesn't occur but by the time the HTML5 spec is introduced would you really expect it to still be supporting IE6?

    I think a certain level of backward compatibility is needed but overtime as users upgrade browsers, we should see older behaviour's gradually pushed out.

    Why IE7 still allows quirks mode without a doctype for example is a bit of a strange decision to me as surely it would have made more sense to follow the same method of Firefox, Opera and Safari. Yes older invalid sites would have been effected but surely this would have helped in moving the web forward?

  7. #7
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    in transition
    Posts
    21,235
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    It's not really the "old websites" Microsoft is worried about. It's more the old ActiveX-riddled apps used internally at many companies. Force people off those internal apps by giving them standards-compliant alternatives and Microsoft doesn't have a leg to stand on since it's open to any browser/platform at that point. Of course, it's not always so easy, and in many vertical markets (i.e. real estate in many parts of the US) there may not be an alternative to the ActiveX app at all.

    I'm on the "break backward compatibility" side. I don't know anyone using a browser older than IE6, and if you are, I'm sorry but I don't cater to 8+ year old browsers. I didn't do it for Netscape 4, I'm not doing it for IE either.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    38
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the reason most people I know haven't adopted IE7 is because they just don't know why they should. The average Joe doesn't know about web standards, doesn't know they improve your browsing experience, doesn't know that web designers kick the dog after struggling with backgrounds that don't go to the bottom and pixel-poor rendering. My mum just doesn't know she should update her browser. I think Windows makes updating anything just too scary for average Mum.

    Andrea

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derbyshire - UK
    Posts
    2,651
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Andrea, we're not really talking about the user taking responsibility but instead saying the browser manufacturers and designers should take responsibility.

    If a new browser still allows for the same bad code to be rendered correctly then designers will continue to write bad code.

    IE8 for example should in my opinion drop a lot of the bad rendering problems that IE5.x used and probably by that time a lot of IE6 behaviours if the user base is small.

    The emphasis will still be on the designer though to ensure that the code they write will still work with IE6 if there is a large user base but more importantly they'll have to ensure that they write valid code otherwise it won't work correctly in IE8.

    This will force designers to write better valid code and not be a case of forcing users to upgrade which would obviously be bad.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    <opinion>Horses for courses.

    When I was at college, we used Macs running system 7.6 purely because there was no viable alternative to them in the Windows world (3.1 back then and CorelDraw (wash mouth with soap and water) doesn't count). Because of that, I have always had a Mac.

    In the latter half of the nineties, programs for the creative community began to be a little more readily available on Windows (thanks to 95 and later 98). This was great for web developers and some of the newcomers to the creative world that couldn't or didn't want to afford a Mac. So, there were two camps (excepting Linux), Windows users for web and Mac users for graphics. I could go on but I won't.

    I have had to use both and have stuck with the Mac. Windows, for me, does things unintuitively and doesn't assist you. It's this very act of being fought against that I dislike as well as not knowing where in the start bar a particular web page is when you had lots of IE windows open as each one was an individual instance of the IE app which had the effect of slowing the system down.

    Now that I am eagerly awaiting the next incarnation of OS X, I think that the already fantastic gui elements like the Dock and Expos&#233; which have been expanded upon will make productivity even cleaner. Also, that it is a full implementation of UNIX at the core, it is now a far more complete creative tool than Windows will ever be (at least until they release the next version of the OS (probably around 2012 if their previous history is anything to go by) for both the graphics and the web communities with the caveat of ASP.

    I guess that I am a Mac addict and thoroughly enjoy the user experience (even on an old 500MHz G3 iMac running Panther and a G4 MacMini running Tiger (both completely happy together)) and don't really enjoy fighting with old PCs suffering with Windows Rot and an over-bloated registery.

    I don't run any applications older then 2003. Don't need to.

    For me, Mac all the way.

    For others, I really couldn't care less. Whatever gets the job done best. </opinion>

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Human/Computer Interface Speed..

    I am a Mac lover, not to the point where I hug it... that often. I think there are two big things that PC users run into when they start using the Mac that contribute to their adopting the Mac as their main platform, and I think this because whenever I use a PC (as a developer, I have two PC's, one running IE6, one running IE7, I use to check sites I build) these are the two things that drive me away from using the PC.

    The first is that even though the internal architecture of the PC might be faster that that of the Mac, the real speed of a computer for most tasks is determined by the user/computer interface, and that is so much faster that there is practically no comparing the two systems. Little things like the fact that I don't have to resize a jpg to send it in the mail, that I can drag and drop a huge image file to Apple's Mail program and it will automatically resize it for me, or that I have several routes to doing such a tast - drag and drop, attaching via a menu, sending from an application like iPhoto, make everything faster. Ditto for things like the way Keynote can import 300 images via a drag and drop vs. Powerpoint where one has a 3 or 4 click path for virtually every task. The simplicity adds up to functional speed.

    The second is that Windows seems to need so much attention all the time. It constantly informs you of what is happening, that it needs an update, that the signal strength of the wireless just changed, and on and on. Then when you want to do something, the checkbox pops up and it has 5 choices and a submenu built into it, and really most of the time you need to just hit OK with it and get on with life. It is like dealing with a high maintenance girlfriend and you constantly have to tell her that her nails look nice. My Mac checks for updates once a week, and if I don't want to deal with it, I click no, and it goes away for a week. Done. There is a signal strength indicator, and I have the choice of looking at that, and further, when signal strength is really bad I find out immediately because the internet doesn't work. The only program I have that is needy - and it drives me nuts, is Pantone's Huey, which I use for monitor calibration. When my calibration has expired it pops up constantly asking me if I want to calibrate it. It drives me nuts. When I click no, I mean no, and I mean no until I mean yes, and remind me once every few days, don't nag me every time I unsleep my computer.

    So for me, faster interface, less needy operating system - this is what I have on the Mac that I don't have on the PC.

    Now, PC backwards compatability. Hmmm.... seems to me installing Vista requires a new PC practically, whereas on the Mac, I've been running the various iterations of OSX on computers ranging from faster g3's up to Intels without a problem. And, even though I never used it, Apple did supply "classic mode" or whatever it was called, on OSX to allow people to use OS9. And I must admit, there are still some things I miss from OS9, like Windowshade, but once I got on OSX there was no going back it was so much better. So perhaps Apple actualy did a pretty good job of smoothing out the radical transition between the two systems, and perhaps it wasn't that big a problem either.

    Luke

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot SUMO_Steph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Geneva / Switzerland
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't agree with you ennostuurman. I design websites on a Mac, and I design them for the masses too, as I just can't ignore the PC world. In the other side, a PC developper MAY ignore the Mac world in an easier way.

    By developing on the mac (which does absolutely not mean developing FOR the mac only), and then testing/adapting for the PC, I can do websites that are ok on all platforms. A PC website developper I know develops on his PC and then does not always bother testing/adapting for the Mac, because the mac is a minority. Developing on a minority platform forces you to triple test and enhance your development so it's working on the majority platform AS WELL (meaning it works on both). Developing on the majority platform is sometimes just enough for the developper who does not see enough interest in adapting his work for the minority.

    Final result: my Mac developped websites are more for the masses and can reach a larger population than his PC developped ones.

    As for the "forget the past" thing, sure I agree, that's even a general rule in life: you sometimes just have to get rid of the past in order to have a brighter future. Sure you don't have to change everything every week, but a good cleaning from scratch from time to time is the definite way to go and progress.

    (EDIT: well ennostuurman post disappeared while I was writing lol, but he said he loved the mac but was working on a PC because it's the majority's platform)
    Think it's not possible ?
    Think again...

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Pragmatism

    I think it's just about pragmatism. I'm as frustrated as everyone else at having to develop for two types of browser: those that are standards compliant, and Internet Explorer. But that's the fact of the matter: if Microsoft brought in a browser that broke websites then it would be panned by the general public even if it was applauded by web designers.

    As for the Mac vs PC debate in itself, I think it's of no real relevance these days. I spend 90% of my time using a PC running either Vista or XP which I find perfectly adequate. I have Macbook running Windows XP and OSX and I make my choice based on which platform has the best application in any particular field. For example, Keynote is, in my view, quite simply a stunning application and I'll never use PowerPoint again if I can help it but there's no doubt that the range of tools available to the developer is much wider on Windows.

    I find the Apple ads ("bloated" PC vs "slimline" Mac) mildly irritating and, frankly, purile. Apple make beautiful hardware and beautiful software. If it were just about user experience I'm sure they'd dominate now. But it isn't: it's also about features and, except in a few specialisms such as design, there's no doubt in my mind that the PC, as a platform, is a better workhorse as it is much more configurable. From a purely business, value-for-money point of view most people pick PCs. Nobody pretends they're cool however!

    So, I'm relaxed about it. I see the benefits of each platform and I can certainly see the point in buying Apple hardware and having it host both OSX and Windows. That seems to me to be having the best of all world.

    KP

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What an interesting discussion.

    Generally when I browse the web I'm looking for the information that a page contains, I'm usually less interested in the way the page looks. I do appreciate that many hours of coding have gone into the layout, especially when designers have to work with multiple bugs that browsers present, but it still doesn't change why I'm visiting the site. I want the information.

    Now my take on older sites is that if the information is written in plain text, which is I believe the case in any version of HTML, then it should be possible for new browsers to provide a filter that displays pages with older or missing doctypes in an older specification such as html 3 or 4. Is this such a terribly complex thing to do? It might increase the size of the application file because more than one rendering engine needs to be included but is there anything wrong with IE7 defaulting back to IE5's rendering engine for these types of sites. If this was a user defined setting, in other words, toggle exclusive IE7 engine or hybrid IE7 and IE5 mode, wouldn't that solve the problem of older websites?

    I understand that many corporate users are unable to update their databases and active x applications without a lot of expense, or that they still have volume licenses for win 2000 etc, I'm sorry, I do sympathize. But the solution isn't to hold back development, instead they and their IT departments should be figuring ways to migrate their data/applications to newer platforms, and while they're at it, go open source. At least the problem will be mitigated in the future. I think the next few years could be very interesting as more and more corporations, non-profits, and government agencies discover that all the closed source stuff they've bought can't be updated. The threat of legal action might become popular if MS and others won't provide an upgrade path for older applications.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suppose I should out myself and say I develop on a Mac, but one on which Parallels runs so I can check out how a page looks in Safari, Opera and FireFox on a Mac, and FF, Opera, Internet Explorer 7, IE 6, IE 5.5 (when I'm feeling kind), and Netscape Navigator under XP or Vista. But I've developed on the PC as well and I didn't grow horns, and only ever cackled insanely around 4.30pm on a Friday. Come to think of it, I do that working on a Mac too.

    There's soon going no excuse for not checking out Safari rendering since the PC beta of version 3 was released.

    But anyway, this isn't meant to be a Mac vs PC showdown. There are enough off-the-shelf tools for those who don't want to get involved in writing standards-compliant HTML/CSS (assuming that the software developers are writing apps that generate compliant code).

    All I really want is a mass-adopted browser that respects when I write web pages correctly.

    If only there was an organisation with enough fire in their belly to write a foxy browser like that...

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member mister_d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Kevin e.a.,

    Nice article, I'm not a Mac lover/user (yet), maybe in the near future.
    I do agree that having one standard on which browser manufacturers base their rendering engines is a good thing.
    I do wonder whether a new standard will be adapted by all manufacturers? At the moment we have some pretty good workable standards but not all major browsers pass the ACID2 test.

    Coming from a background in aerospace engineering I know that backward compatibility for airplanes is essential (easy adaption of pilots/mechanics to new planes) and less important for spacecraft (which are usually built in very small series). I do like however the major 'break' Airbus pulled of with their sidestick for commercial pilots. So good things can/may come from starting all over again.

    Thus in answer to your question: I don't mind breaking with backward compatibility for the Web (and for that sake als for an OS).

  17. #17
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    in transition
    Posts
    21,235
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    ^^ ACID2 doesn't test standards support alone; it also tests error handling and other things that aren't as clear between browsers. Don't take that test as much more than one group's wishlist.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevPartner View Post
    I think it's just about pragmatism. I'm as frustrated as everyone else at having to develop for two types of browser: those that are standards compliant, and Internet Explorer. But that's the fact of the matter: if Microsoft brought in a browser that broke websites then it would be panned by the general public even if it was applauded by web designers.
    This is a false dichotomy and a bit of a strawman. No respectable website will be hurt by Microsoft adopting standards (by "respectable website" I mean one that at least works in IE and Firefox and hopefully others right now). Nobody does public-facing websites that are IE-only nowadays. The only thing that will be hurt would be internal webapps that focus on IE only. Don't get me wrong, that's a good deal of IE's customer base, but public sites would not be broken. Does Firefox break lots of websites? No? Why would IE then?

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derbyshire - UK
    Posts
    2,651
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Vinnie, Firefox doesn't break lots of websites because doesn't it also implement the way that bad code behaves to a certain extent?

    Invalid code still renders, the <font> tag is still supported along with a whole host of other code that will fail in the w3c validator, if all none standard code was dropped from IE8 for example then users would start seeing sites that appeared broken.

    The code may be wrong but as far as I'm aware all the latest browsers try to at least implement bad code to a certain extent instead of completely ignoring it.

    That was my take on it anyway.

  19. #19
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    in transition
    Posts
    21,235
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by csswiz View Post
    Vinnie, Firefox doesn't break lots of websites because doesn't it also implement the way that bad code behaves to a certain extent?

    Invalid code still renders, the <font> tag is still supported along with a whole host of other code that will fail in the w3c validator, if all none standard code was dropped from IE8 for example then users would start seeing sites that appeared broken.

    The code may be wrong but as far as I'm aware all the latest browsers try to at least implement bad code to a certain extent instead of completely ignoring it.

    That was my take on it anyway.
    And that's exactly my point: that Microsoft saying they'd "break the web" by adopting standards is a false dichotomy. They can support standards while still offering some support to sites with less-than-stellar markup; other browsers do it just fine. Seriously, very few sites I come across nowadays are totally broken in Safari or Opera or whatever.

    For the record I don't advocate MS or any browser vendor going with a standards-only approach, and I'm sorry if anyone misconstrued one of my posts in this thread as saying that. The sad reality is that most sites will never follow the standards 100&#37;.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict jpease's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    In the network.
    Posts
    217
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Like Kevin I have always been very skeptical about Macs. I thought it was mainly just a silly "fashion" thing.

    About 2 years ago the Mac Mini came out, and I figure "shoot, for $500 I can pick up a Mac, try OSX out and be able to test my sites on that OS". So I did. I got one.

    I was very impressed. OSX is a pleasure to work in. I sold the Mini and my newish Dell and got an iMac. Great computer.

    Regarding forced standards compliance VS never-ending backwards compatibility, I am all for standards compliance.

    As a web developer, which would you rather support:

    Scenario 1) A new HTML or CSS specification is released (like that happens very often anyways). The next generation of browsers all will include this change (as they have the practice of enforcing web standards even if that means breaking backwards compatibility). You have to make changes to the sites you support to maintain proper functioning. Of course, you know exactly what needs to be changed and what it needs to be changed too. After all, it's a standard. Possibly this change could be handled by something as simple as Find and Replace. Updating your website to the latest specs becomes an expected maintenance, just like updating desktop software to the latest revision.

    Scenario 2) Web browsers somewhat support web standards, and somewhat create a hybrid browser specific functionality as they strive to keep backwards compatibility. Coding to web standards may or may not produce the same results across browsers. A fair amount of cross browser compatibility work takes place up front in a site's development. Being that each browser implements their own hybrid version of web standards, with varying levels of completeness, you now need to track all web browser releases and find out what changes occurred and test how each of those impacted the rendering of your specific site. Browser A may have added a feature from CSS1, Browser B a feature from CSS2, and Browser C a feature from CSS3. What a joy!!

    So I guess the real question is:

    Do you want the web to be broken sometimes, or all the time??

    Like vgarcia said, standards compliance does not "have" to be forced. They can choose to still support old code IN ADDITION TO complete support for standards.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    York, UK
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is an intersting discussion. I only took up web design professionally a couple of years ago, and began as a very poor designer who understood little about compliance. I have learned as I have gone on and now try to ensure that all my sites are valid XHTML and fully standards compliant. Even when I have validated my sites I notice that they can render very differently in different browsers.

    As a user of websites I also find that there is a real speed diffenrence in browsers. IE7 is significantly slower than Opera or Firefox and the Safari Windows beta is significantly quicker than any of them. Perhaps this reflects the general Microsoft issue of bloated software (IE, for example, can be slow to open in comparison to other browswers). I would like to think that Firefox is the best browswer as it is Open Source etc. but my recent experience with Safari on Windows would put it at the top.

    The second issue that never seems to be discussed in relation to backwards compatibility is that of immature and mature technologies. Computing in general and the internet in particular still behave like immature techologies despite the efforts of W3C for example. There remain far too many proprietory technologies involved when there should be one browser technology with individual broswer developers / manufacturers vying with each other to produce faster, leaner, easier implemetations of that technology.

    I hope I haven't strayed too far off the point but I do feel that the 'browswer wars' are hindering the development of the web rather than helping it.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ankh-Morpork
    Posts
    12,158
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia View Post
    The sad reality is that most sites will never follow the standards 100%.
    Especially not as long as there is no incitament for them to do so; i.e., they get away with sloppy work because browsers manage to guess what the author really meant to do. The problem is that this guesswork sometimes backfires (like the content type sniffing in IE).

    Quote Originally Posted by jpease View Post
    They can choose to still support old code IN ADDITION TO complete support for standards.
    Only when those two don't conflict. Then you'll have to resort to guesswork again, like doctype sniffing.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  23. #23
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    in transition
    Posts
    21,235
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Especially not as long as there is no incitament for them to do so; i.e., they get away with sloppy work because browsers manage to guess what the author really meant to do. The problem is that this guesswork sometimes backfires (like the content type sniffing in IE).
    But it's not like standards compliance is the only way to publish web content either. Make HTML a standards-only thing and I think you'll see lots of designers jumping to Flash or Silverlight or whatever. To me that's worse than browsers supporting some broken markup.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member chrisphillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    13
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Obviously there needs to be a little bit of backward compatibility but without some of the non-standard browser behaviour being dropped in future releases, sites will continue to be developed poorly and bad code will still work as different browsers interpret it.
    I agree with this point by CSSWIZ. Backward compatibility is always needed to some point, especially as the rate of technology accelerates over time and upgrades become more frequent. On the flip side, web developers should have to adhere to the most current accepted web standards (the good ones do) and the ones who don't, should run into problems to help them realize they are doing something wrong. The problem with this is the grey area between the web site visitor and the web developer. It is not the web site visitor's fault the web developer did not do their research. I also agree with the point that pretty websites are nice, but the content is the most important part of a website.

    I liked the discussion about Active X and other uses for browsers, it was something I had never considered before. I also liked all of the analogies that were brought up to reemphasize the fact that we live and work in a dynamic world where people need to adapt, or they will be left behind. As long as end users are willing to adapt, the change is good. When the end users stop adapting or refuse to adapt, that is when developers and browsers need to figure out what they are doing wrong.

    As far as PC or MAC, I have been a PC user for almost 20 years now, and I am now looking to purchase a MAC laptop. This will be more of an additional computer (not a replacement for my PC desktop).
    Chris Phillips

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy DaveWoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derbyshire - UK
    Posts
    2,651
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia View Post
    But it's not like standards compliance is the only way to publish web content either. Make HTML a standards-only thing and I think you'll see lots of designers jumping to Flash or Silverlight or whatever. To me that's worse than browsers supporting some broken markup.
    I'm not saying make it a standards only thing otherwise it breaks but adapting to the standards should certainly be a priority and gradually filtering out old outdated methods shouldn't be too hard.

    For example, I questioned earlier in this thread about IE7 quirks mode being the default behaviour without a doctype.

    Why IE7 still allows quirks mode without a doctype for example is a bit of a strange decision to me as surely it would have made more sense to follow the same method of Firefox, Opera and Safari. Yes older invalid sites would have been effected but surely this would have helped in moving the web forward?
    Instead though, we still get designers coding without a doctype who wonder why IE7 and Firefox render differently. Wouldn't it have been much easier if IE7, Firefox, Opera, Safari all rendered identically and only IE6 was effected by the doctype?

    This is obviously just an example but similar thinking could be applied to other implementations of the spec.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •