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IE7 Compatibility a Developer Nightmare 416

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the one-better-than-six dept.
yavori writes "Internet Explorer 7 has kicked in at last on all MS Windows OS running PCs because of the fact M$ decided to force it's users to migrate through update. In fact this has started a IE7 Web Developers Nightmare. The article actually explains that most of the small company B2C sites may just fall from grace because of IE7 incompatibility. One of the coolest thing IE7 is unable to do is actually processing form data when clicked on an INPUT field of TYPE IMG... which is pretty uncool for those using entire payment processes with such INPUT fields."
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IE7 Compatibility a Developer Nightmare

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  • Vague FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by telbij (465356) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:25PM (#17498458)

    I'm gonna grant the author a free pass on the writing since it's obvious English is not his first language. But the rest of the article seems to be vague hand-wavy FUD and anecdotal complaints. To take two of the more cohesive statements:

    IE7 was supposed to comply more with the standards what in fact isn't true.

    The truth is that standards were not the first priority of IE7 (they are an evil mega-corporation after all), but they did do an awful lot of work on them. Just take a look at the list of CSS improvements [msdn.com] over at the IEBlog. They acknowledge that there's a lot more work to do, but it's clear from this that they've solved a lot of headaches for CSS developers.

    And the MOST killer thing was the DISability of IE to submit data through "input type img" which actually was the whole sites data...

    I'm assuming the author means forms won't submit with an <input type="image"> tag. Without even testing it, I can't believe for one second this is true. This is a major backbone of HTML going back to at least HTML 2, and used in millions of websites. If this were broken it would have been fixed during beta. Microsoft may not care that much about web standards but they do care about backwards compatibility, and a lot of their decision making process has centered around not breaking things that worked in IE6.

    It's likely IE7 is going to be a headache for web developers, but this article doesn't do anything to support that argument. As a web developer IE7 hasn't really taken any of my time. So far it's been more reliable than IE6, and I look forward to the day when IE7 is the standard and IE6 is an afterthought for picky clients.

  • unprofessional (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:25PM (#17498464)
    Pretty unprofessional to use the "M$" moniker in a submission. But whatever. Also it probably should not say that people were forced since they have to agree to the install and don't need to do it at all. But whatever. Typical biased press you get here from some of the folks. Many folks can be more balanced but lately we hear from a lot of "slashtards".
  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:32PM (#17498530)
    Its as if there's a whole new generation of people at Microsoft who don't give a shit.
    But that's exactly what needed to be done! The "backwards compatibility" crap is why web sites still need special hacks to display their pages differently to IE 5 and IE 6 clients than modern browsers that actually follow the standards. These platforms were broken from the get-go but people coded their sites to embrace the broken functionality while many times ignoring the standards-compliant browsers!
  • Re:Vague FUD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BenoitRen (998927) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:33PM (#17498542)

    I wonder if he even gave much thought to it:

    According to W3C the web browser market share of IE7 for the previous month is: 7.1% and for IE6 is: 49.9%

    Since when was the W3C site representative of the world-wide browser market share?

  • by tidewaterblues (784797) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:39PM (#17498606) Homepage
    The editors must be desperate today, or else they don't read these things before they post them. I can't find any good reason why I should trust anything this guy is saying on his blog: maybe he has run into a major issue with IE, or maybe he just does not know how to code JavaScript correctly. If his JavaScript is anything like his grammar, error is a high probability.
  • by litewoheat (179018) * on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:40PM (#17498618)
    Developers now have to support IE5, 6 and 7. There's more work to do. So how does your argument apply? Standards are what the market demands, not what developers do. IE still owns the market and its the de facto standard, like it or not. Just because some academics came up with a "standard" doesn't mean there's a law that says that everyone needs to follow it. They should be called "suggestions".
  • Beta testing? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mikearthur (888766) <mike@mikemcquaid.com> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:41PM (#17498628) Homepage
    I'm sorry to sound like a dick, but isn't this what the massive beta testing period is for? Microsoft release beta versions well in advance so websites can be changed BEFORE everyone starts having forceful upgrades. If you wait until these upgrades to do your porting, YOU are at fault, not Microsoft.

    TFA was written by a guy who only recently has started porting sites to Firefox, so it's not really surprising he's finding this to be a pain.

    Really, the only people this will bite are people who didn't care about standards compliant cross-browser support before, and now are annoyed because IE7 != IE6.
  • by n3tcat (664243) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:56PM (#17498768) Homepage
    FTA: "I recently needed to rewrite a web site so it works on firefox too..."

    I'd take what this guy has to say with a large grain of salt if this is how he treats his sites.
  • by Xugumad (39311) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:58PM (#17498788)

    Okay, firstly, I'd be bloody amazed if the pages in question validate. The guy goesn't give any link to the site, though, so I can't tell.

    Secondly... if you're using lots of client side Javascript to make a site work, you're asking for trouble. Google can do this, because they have massive dev and QA teams. If you don't have the manpower to do enough testing (for example, in the beta period) and fix problems, maybe you should make your site simpler.

    Every single web application I work on, worked perfectly in IE 7. Even, yes, the ones that use Javascript. This is achieved by:

    • Validating all pages. Okay, they're dynamically generated, so it's possible an error will slip past testing, but this really helps.
    • Testing under multiple browsers. The dev team works with Firefox and Safari, and does a QA pass under IE after any major revisions.
    • Minimising use of Javascript. If Javascript doesn't provide a significant obvious benefit to the user interface, it doesn't get used.
  • Re:Bah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Timesprout (579035) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:58PM (#17498790)
    Its getting way too typical around here. Some obviously clueless twat cant do something, blames MS and Slashdot post it like its gospel truth. For a site thats supposed to be clued up technically its just fucking embarassing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:59PM (#17498796)
    Anyone who trusts MS deserves whatever anal raping occurs down the road.
  • by teslar (706653) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:29PM (#17499046)
    Standards are what the market demands, not what developers do.
    Absolutely not! The market demands features and standards are there to ensure these features can be brought to the market in a consistent fashion by different developers working on different parts (e.g. in this case webpages and browsers to display them).
  • Re:Vague FUD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fatphil (181876) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:54PM (#17499324) Homepage
    Yup, and if we're going to mention 2 text-mode browsers, I feel obliged to name-drop my favourite - w3m. Particularly fun when run in an Xterm or similar...
  • Re:Vague FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:55PM (#17499336) Homepage
    Isn't part of the XHTML spec that each object meant to do something different should have a different name?

    I know IDs must be unique full stop, but I was always under the impression that if something was new functionality it should have a new name.
  • Check out my uid. I've been here a while. What's frustrating is that Slashdot used to be good. After they went public, the quality of the articles have gone downhill dramatically.

    Eh, I've been around awhile myself, and I have to say that this sort of thing went on before. They've never spellchecked, and they've always run some crap-o-rama articles. Hey, at least Jon Katz is gone. :) Everyone complained about quality back then, too.

    I think one of the things that makes Slashdot good is the fact that they do have human editors. Human editors mean human mistakes. Granted, sometimes you have to shake your head at the level of stupid mistake, but on the whole, Slashdot is where it is because of CmdrTaco, not despite him. I think replacing the editors would turn Slashdot into just another ranting blog.

  • Well, there's the fact that they barely improved actual W3C compatibility while making itself incompatible with previous versions.
  • by ari_j (90255) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:51PM (#17499816)
    Exactly. From what I've heard from my friends and family in the web business (including my sister, whose work recently won awards for degrading nicely), the main thing IE7 does is increases compatibility and conformance. From the sound of it (without reading the article, of course), this story is a bitchfest that probably stems from the IE workarounds that were poorly done falling apart under IE7, or something similar. In other words, it's partly the fault of the developers who are bitching and partly the fault of previous versions of IE, but probably not IE7's fault in any meaningful way.
  • by 503 (236565) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:57PM (#17499876)

    Dude, you seriously need to clean up that HTML. There are validation errors galore (object in the head, mis-nested table/form tags and an open option tag, for example. Second, the CSV file has five columns for the header but only four for the data. Third, you refer to the wrong column names in your data fields. And fourth (and this is causing the crash) your data filter is messed up. Remove the filter parameter from the data object and it no longer crashes the browser.

    That javascript could use a good going over, too. You've made it way more complicated than it needs to be.

    I'm amazed that page works in any browser.

  • Re:Beta testing? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mikearthur (888766) <mike@mikemcquaid.com> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:07PM (#17499976) Homepage
    If you are anywhere near a professional web designer, yes, you should be paying for multiple operating systems to test sites on.

    Yes, its not convenient, but between that and IE6 having 100% market share, I chose the current situation.
  • Re:Mod up!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:40PM (#17500258) Journal

    tosh. If it wasn't for M$, we'd be posting this using our time-sharing allocation on one of the 6 IBM computers the world would be using.
    What makes you think that? By the time the IBM PC and MS-DOS were release there were a large number of 8-bit computer systems, and home computing was a rapidly growing market. The Apple II was very successful, and the BBC Micro in the UK was starting to gain significant inroads (it was about the only computer you would see in most schools in the '80s). Some of the 8-bit machines ran Microsoft BASIC, but many others didn't.

    Without Microsoft / IBM, we would have had Apple, Acorn, Commodore and many others competing for the desktop market. All of these got GUIs as standard before any Microsoft platform. In addition, I suspect that the lack of a single strong player would have encouraged the widespread adoption of open standards much earlier; how else would you with your Mac be able to work with your customer and his Amiga?

  • Bad math.. Not 60% (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CircularHowler (1045760) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:49PM (#17500348)
    This is flat out wrong. IE7 only runs on winXP and newer. So all the people running win2000, NT, 98 and 95 are stuck with IE6. Likewise pre-XP users are stuck with the 'old' media player version 9.0. Later the article implies that the current 49% of IE6 users will migrate to IE7. This shares the same flaw mentioned above. Anyway, people who don't want IE7 can either decline the install, or set a registry value to opt out forever. Or just don't use IE7; any product they give away for free has some ulterior motive.
  • by ralphdaugherty (225648) <ralph@ee.net> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:52PM (#17500960) Homepage
    The upside to this is that the same "forced" upgrade procedure MS are using to roll out IE7 can also be used to roll out bigfixes without user intervention, if IE7 was originally installed transparently anyway.

          I am on Windows automatic update and was concerned after reading somewhere here on slashdot awhile back that IE7 would automatically be installed.

          But I was given a dialog option to install IE7 or not, and I checked no. There was nothing forced whatsoever, so I'm not sure where that is coming from.

      rd
  • Re:unprofessional (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Myopic (18616) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @06:44PM (#17501432)
    i don't read slashdot for unbiased news. do you? if you want unbiased news, read the new york times. wait, shit, that's not a good example. try, what, the economist maybe. no, that's not very good either. well, shit, read news from several sources then.
  • Re:Vague FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zeromorph (1009305) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @08:25PM (#17502312)
    Okay, you two better cut it out. This is at least the third time I've heard this exact conversation now, be careful you don't start some kind of weird new meme. These things can catch on and refuse to die. You know, "In Soviet Russia, GNAA pours hot grits down our naked and petrified overlord's pants..." Just be careful, please.

    You mean like the horrible notion of "meme" which catched up and refuses to die.

    In Soviet Russia you use concepts, in memetic theory concepts use you!

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @11:47PM (#17503994) Homepage

    Using JS for something like this is a bad idea. Thanks to CNet's JavaScript hysteria (see below), more and more people seem to be turning JS off these days.

    Tough. If you're tech-savvy enough to disable JavaScript, then you're tech-savvy enough to know better than to use MSIE. If I'm going to cater to IE users at all, I'll cater to the ones who legitimately don't know how to use anything else.

  • Re:Mod up!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mstone (8523) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:43AM (#17504352)
    Erm, I think you need to recap your history of the personal computer.

    When IBM finally decided to sell PCs, Apple had a damn good run at first-mover advantage. IBM wanted to keep Apple from getting the same kind of lock with the Apple ][ that it now has with the iPod, so they decided to rush a disposable launch-vehicle product into the market, then evolve what it considered a 'good' product once its place in the channel was secure. They gave the job of designing the new product to an engineer who had the good sense to run a production capacity baseline, and realized that it would take something like 18 months to open a factory that did nothing but ship empty boxes. Any product design, supplier contracts, and production setup would have to be added to that time.

    Instead, he proposed a radical solution: build the initial product from off-the-shelf parts, using third-party assembly houses for the actual production. That would put the new product in the market fast enough for IBM to build a place in the channel, and would buy them time to work on setting up production for an all-IBM product. Trouble was, that model would be vulnerable to copying, so IBM needed something to keep its proprietary lock on the product.

    The result was the BIOS chip. That was IBM property pure and simple, and no computer could run (or at least be compatible with IBM's machines) without one.

    The plan was approved, and IBM established contracts with a whole slew of outside vendors to supply parts of the initial system, including a tiny little place in Washington called Microsoft.

    Then some bastard from a company called Compaq reverse-engineered IBM's BIOS chip and developed a brutally legal clean-room copy.

    That opened the floodgates of commodity PCs. Not anything IBM or Microsoft did by choice. In fact, since the OS was the only thing that made an IBM computer distinct in the market, IBM suddenly found itself needing Microsoft more than Microsoft needed IBM.

    And that's how a tiny little company with a crap product came to inherit one of the largest and best organized sales channels in the world, and bootstrapped itself into one of the largest companies of all time.
  • by unoengborg (209251) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:33AM (#17504628) Homepage
    Sorry, but that site looks awful in firefox and konquerer (meaning that it probably doesn't
    look right in other khtml based browsers either). I really can't imagine that you meant it to look like this.

    A good idea to make site work well everywhere is to run them through html validator at http://validator.w3.org./ [validator.w3.org] When it passes the test, test it in whatever browsers you plan to support, if something doesn't work, remove or change the feature in a way that the page validates correctly.

    This gives you the best chances that your site will work even in browsers that you haven't tested.

    Currently your site generates 1024 errors when validated.

    W3c have also similar test for validating CSS. Use it and then remove or make adjustments so that it works in the browsers you officially intend to support but still passes w3c tests.

    BTW, IE regardless of version is a disaster, when it comes to supporting CSS.
    Just try http://www.webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html [webstandards.org].
    Firefox will not work properly either, but it is far better than IE. Konquerer passes acid2
    and probably others based on KHTML such as Safari, Opera is supposed to work as well.

    I really wish browser manufacturers would start to support CSS properly, it would make it so much easier to build and maintain good web sites.

  • Re:Mod up!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sowth (748135) on Monday January 08, 2007 @06:12AM (#17506058) Journal

    Apparently many people have forgotten recent history (the past 10-20 years). MS is the reason there are no other commercial web browser and commercial desktop OS vendors. Just look up all the info on the anti-trust trial, and that is just the beginning. The problem is indeed MS. They smash all competition then get lazy and start crapping out really poor code again. They don't care. Their goal isn't to make the best OS/browser ever, their goal is to take over the software world.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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