Tera says I have to start reading more tech web sites, so I’ve developed a taste for SlashDot. Whew.
What do the SlashDot folks think of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 7, and why should Mac users care?
First, a little history. SlashDot is a very popular technology web site which leans more toward the geekier side of tech life.
DIGG is a very popular technology web site with readers who want to be cool, hip, chic geeks of fame.
Articles are posted on each, and commented on by the readers of each site. Check out both and be your own judge as to which site carries the most value for a Mac user.
Can that be true? Microsoft embracing web standards and producing a browser that claims to be standards compliant?
Say it ain’t so, Bambi. And so it ain’t.
Mac users need to care (but a measure of superficial care is allowed) because Apple and the Linux world have pitted so-called standards and open source against the Microsoft juggernaut.
So far, it’s working. With the free and open source world of Linux and the web on one side, and Apple’s high class offerings and competitive pricing on the other (while embracing many standards), Microsoft is showing some dents and cracks. Bending, anyone?
Microsoft claims that the new version of Internet Explorer, the default browser of choice used by about 80-percent of the Windows world, is standards compliant.
That means that modern web pages that are developed according to standards should look and feel the same; not only on Mac’s Safari, the open source Firefox, and other compatible browsers, but finally on Microsoft’s latest version of Internet Explorer.
Of course, that’s what Microsoft says. What they say and what they mean often are not the same thing.
Vista and the final version of Internet Explorer for Windows may tell an entirely different tale.
Meanwhile, back to SlashDot and the views expressed by the SlashDot community to Microsoft’s new found religion.
One commenter wrote, “In addition to trying to be standards compliant Microsoft is dancing as fast as they can copying and adding the features virtually all other browsers have had around for years now.”
Ain’t that the truth. Mac users are spoiled. Safari works great; it’s fast, stable, and renders web pages well. Same with Firefox, Camino, Opera, and OmniWeb.
Internet Explorer is all but dead on the Mac, and that’s fine for those involved in web page development.
Windows is a different story. Microsoft tried to dominate the standards with their traditional Triple E method, as Tera enjoying calling it.
Embrace (standards), Extend (standards to Microsoft’s proprietary extensions), Exterminate (the original standards and competitors).
Another SlashDotter wrote: “Even if it does nothing for their marketshare, I would love to see IE7 be standards-compliant. Whether we like it or not, IE is bundled with windows and a lot of people end up using it by default. It hopefully would go a long way to getting websites to follow actual standards, not just MS standards.”
Sure. And life was better when Cowboys Didn’t Dance.
The Microsoft employee who wrote about the company’s new found commitment to standards also wrote that Internet Explorer would focus on the features that are more widely used in CSS.
A SlashDotter responded with: “Translated, “we’ll support the parts of the standard that we like.” Bastards … same old arrogant Microsoft.”
That sounds like Triple E to me.
In summary, another SlashDot reader commented: “As long as one browser has such an overwhelming amount of marketshare, there will always be the temptation for the developers of that browser to do things differently than anybody else, and developers will neglect standards in order to make their site look a little better / flashier / faster than the competition, when viewed on that browser, by (ab)using its idiosyncrasies.”
Why should Mac users care? Because standards are important, even if they’re defacto standards.
For example, try watching videos on some news sites while using a Mac. Try listening to music from some web music services on a Mac (hello, Yahoo!).
What’s your view? Are universal web standards important for developers? Should Microsoft be allowed to control so much of the online experience?
Thanks to Tera’s insistence on broadening my technical reading material, I’m now a SlashDot reader (but not DIGG). Of course, I also read Psychology Today and Cosmo.