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Internet Explorer Microsoft The Internet IT

Microsoft Pushes Devs With Wider IE8 Beta 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.
An anonymous reader recommends a story about the upcoming beta 2 release of Internet Explorer 8. InternetNews expects that the standards-compliant default mode will push many developers to update their sites. We've previously discussed IE8's standards compliance and other features. Quoting: "Over the years of IE's dominance as the leading browser, designers regularly tweaked their sites to get the best possible accuracy in rendering pages in IE -- most recently, the current commercial release, IE7. Now those pages will need to be changed. Microsoft originally planned for IE8 to default to rendering similarly to IE7, while super standards mode would have been an option. The outcry from critics helped convince Microsoft officials to instead default to super standards. That, unfortunately, will mean work for site administrators."
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Microsoft Pushes Devs With Wider IE8 Beta

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:12AM (#23617205)
    Before anyone starts bitching about how much IE sucks and how it's lack of standards is nothing but a burden on anyone, understand that this is a decent move by Microsoft in the right direction.
    I know, I know, it's almost too little, too late, but it's better than nothing and as long as this trend continues, at least we might have a decent amount of cross-browser standards in a few years time, as opposed to none if Microsoft simply hadn't bothered.
    • by TW Atwater (1145245) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:18AM (#23617271)
      That pretty well sums up the entire Microsoft experience.
      • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @11:48AM (#23618083) Homepage

        That pretty well sums up the entire Microsoft experience.
        For those trying to mix Microsoft and non-Microsoft software, or that haven't paid the latest upgrade fees. Once you go a little past e-mail and word and into corporate software though like Sharepoint and Microsoft CRM, I'd say it's the norm rather than the exception. Try going with IBM or CA or SAP or IFS and you'll find they all tend to work much better with their own products than trying to piece together a best of breed. Make no mistake, Microsoft is out to make you an all Microsoft shop which can be fairly pleasant but expensive. The other option is to find alternative software for all of it, they rise and fall together. Some are quite good and the rest dragged along, so despite the best efforts by many there hasn't been that much falling...
        • by try_anything (880404) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @03:31PM (#23619817)

          Microsoft is out to make you an all Microsoft shop which can be fairly pleasant but expensive.
          Microsoft has educated an entire generation of developers and consultants who do nothing but push Microsoft technologies in mixed shops, where they are unwanted, technically and socially isolated, and not very useful.

          But once you've installed an expensive Microsoft product that is a failure because most people hate it and only a few people use it, there's a cure: just replace a little bit more of your working infrastructure with Microsoft products, and suddenly the unused Microsoft products will become vital, useful parts of your business instead of embarrassing mistakes.

          So the whole project tanked in the end? Well, you can't blame the Microsoft technologies. They're all "Best of Breed" products with all the right buzzwords and bullet points. Just think of how efficient and unstoppable you would be if you had just managed to convince your employees to use it. I guess you weren't ready to be a Best of Breed business.

          This is the eternally recurring story of Microsoft developers, consultants, and "process experts" who just push Microsoft instead of actually doing their jobs.

          Doing their jobs, by the way, means studying the businesses they work for, finding out what features would be beneficial and which would actually be used, and figuring out how the available technologies will fit into current practices and current infrastructure. Oh, and figuring out how software can help you simplify process. More often than not, behemoth kitchen sink software does not allow you to create a customized, lightweight process for a unique business.

          Most Microsoft consultants who read that last sentence will say, "Ah, here's where it becomes obvious that this guy is on drugs/inexperienced/trolling." Because their Microsoft marketing brochures -- sorry, "educational publications for developers" -- tell them that the only way to create a customized, lightweight solution is to buy the BIGGEST and most featureful product available. You wouldn't want to adopt (or, gasp, develop!) a product and find out it's missing that one vital feature that's necessary to make it lightweight.

          So, instead of doing their job, they compare products on a bullet-point basis, using Microsoft "educational" materials to guide them, and work towards a vision of the future in which the more processes and supporting software features people use, the more efficient they are. It's no accident that project plans for adopting Microsoft technologies usually involve adopting tons of practices and processes at the same time -- it helps justify the expense and complexity of the software, and it helps construct a utopian fantasy in which the business will run in perfect synchrony because of the awesome power of process, in defiance of human nature and in defiance of the finite number of hours in the day.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Oh, I'm quite sure some Microsoft software is actually worse than nothing. Much of the on-line help in recent versions of some products is just an annoying distraction when you accidentally hit F1 and it takes several seconds to appear, for example, and it's usually faster to use a search engine to find useful answers on the web anyway if you actually wanted some help.

        But most of the time, I agree: Microsoft's software is useful, and substantially better than nothing.

    • by jeiler (1106393) <.go.bugger.off. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:19AM (#23617289) Journal
      Agreed. I will admit that I have remarkably little sympathy for those who have to reconfig their sites to standards, I have to admit that's the wrong attitude on my part. Most users don't care about some arbitrary "standard," even if it was designed for optimum functionality and safety: all they care about is "Does it look good."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)
        As a user, I often care whether a site is easy to navigate and has a decent structure.
      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @11:15AM (#23617831) Journal

        Most users don't care about some arbitrary "standard," even if it was designed for optimum functionality and safety: all they care about is "Does it look good."
        I'm unsure of who you mean by "users" -- do you mean web developers, or end-viewers?

        If you mean developers, then adhering to standards and "looking good" are the same thing -- since more and more end-viewers use browsers other than IE. Developers should care about adhering to standards because not doing so may alienate some of their (or their employers') potential customers.

        If you meant end-viewer, they aren't really germane to the discussion, since what we're discussing is in the blackbox to them. All they will understand is that some sites seem "broken"... not understanding that it's because they are using a non-compliant browser. Again this goes back to the developers, since it is their duty to make sure their website looks good (or even is viewable) by the most number of people.

        Please note I'm generalizing here, I'm sure there are exceptions.
        • by jeiler (1106393)

          If you meant end-viewer, they aren't really germane to the discussion, since what we're discussing is in the blackbox to them.

          It's only "blackbox" if the results cannot be differentiated from another browser/platform. The very fact that a page looks different on some browsers than on others violates the blackbox concept.

          Again this goes back to the developers, since it is their duty to make sure their website looks good (or even is viewable) by the most number of people.

          "The most of the people" is people

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Nicolay77 (258497)

        Most users don't care about some arbitrary "standard,"

        Users of other browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari care if a website doesn't work in their browsers. Making a website conforming to standards will probably make those sites work equally well in all those browsers.

        And I believe those alternative browsers have about 30%-40% of total users now, and growing.

        And Firefox adoption alone will force those webmasters to use standards, now that Firefox 3 is finally a fine browser (and the other browsers are making nice progress too, but firefox leads in users) it

    • by rs232 (849320) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:37AM (#23617477)
      "at least we might have a decent amount of cross-browser standards in a few years time, as opposed to none if Microsoft simply hadn't bothered"

      Well , they could have bothered while they were about cloning Netscape [edge-op.org] and making running any other browser a jolting experience [edge-op.org] and preventing Netscale from sabotaging their protocol extensions [edge-op.org]. Or in english, making web pages not render correctly in other peoples browsers .. :)
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      I know, I know, it's almost too little, too late
      IMO, it's maybe "too little" given that they still won't support Acid 3 in the final IE 8 release, but I wouldn't call it too late. It's never too late to me to improve standards support like this. It's very late though, yes, definitely.
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @11:55AM (#23618161) Journal

      Yes, it is a very good move.

      The question is, how much good will it do them?

      My estimate is that the mere fact that they were willing to change their usual policy to that extent shows how much weaker their market position has become.
      Most new sites, as far as I've noticed, are coded to standards. Most of the others are no longer "Best viewed under IE 6.0" either. Firefox holds about 25% of the global browser marketshare, and over 40% in certain European countries.
      Microsoft did not switch to standards because of the goodness of their software-making hearts. They did it because there is no longer any other game in town.

      Of course, that does not mean they will not try to subvert standards at some later date, when they have stopped bleeding users and maybe even regained some markertshare. But for now, standards are of utmost importance -- without them, they know they will continue bleeding users to other browsers.

      It has to mean something when you have the OS monopoly, when you've used it to gain browser monopoly, and now you're still losing.
      I welcome Microsoft's new strategy because it will not help only Microsoft, but also all the others. Unless, of course, people fail to update their sites and Microsoft remains the only browser capable of rendering them. But they are in a minority.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BasharTeg (71923)
        First of all, most statistics I've seen for Firefox browser usage are about as over-inflated as some peoples' Mac statistics or Linux-desktop statistics. Most Firefox fans like to pull their statistics from w3c or other standards sites, or from Slashdot and other pro-OSS or related sites. Obviously these numbers are ridiculously skewed because the people visiting these sites are going to be more aware of standards issues. If you look at stats from marketing and advertising sources, which tend to have a w
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by walshy007 (906710)

          Funnyily enough I agree with all of your post except the ***

          For starters "DEP" known to the rest of the world as the NX bit, has been supported in linux kernels since 2004, now this should not require any code changes at all to utilize. The kernel handles memory protection, and when the binary is loaded I'd imagine everything in .data and .bss should be protected, aswell as every malloc.

          now, on to ASLR, since linux 2.6.12 it's on by default, and also, requires no special code, it just works, as it shoul

    • I had IE8 in use for some time. I installed it for no particular reason and didn't really notice any particular difference (not that I was truly looking for any truth be told, it was just shiny and new). It ran reasonably fast, memory consumption wasn't wildly different from previous incarnations, pages displayed roughly the same as with any modern browser. No crashes... So yeah, not much to talk about from an end use experience. Although it should be noted FF is my primary browser so my actual use was limi
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hackstraw (262471)
      I know, I know, it's almost too little, too late, but it's better than nothing and as long as this trend continues, at least we might have a decent amount of cross-browser standards in a few years time, as opposed to none if Microsoft simply hadn't bothered.

      Kinda like the guy coming to his senses and complying now that a gun is at his head.

      Face it, as much as MS has tried to "own" the web, open standards and competition (mostly from open source projects), has figuratively put the gun to their head.

      I sure do
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:16AM (#23617247) Journal

    So basically, Microsoft, listened to their customers, went with the better default mode (and it is better that they do this), and the Slashdot article ends with "But it makes more work for administrators - boo!"

    *sigh
    • by Macthorpe (960048) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:19AM (#23617291) Journal
      I would have summarised like this:

      - IE7 not standards compliant
      - Slashdot posts article complaining
      - IE8 standards compliant but not by default
      - Slashdot posts article complaining
      - IE8 standards compliant by default
      - Slashdot... posts article complaining

      I can only echo your sighing...
    • by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:22AM (#23617339) Journal
      I think the complaint isn't so much that they're implementing a proper standards mode, more the fact that it has taken so long for them to do this.

      People kept getting peeved off expecting Microsoft to start implementing some proper standard support (something which was expected of them in IE7) and then getting annoyed when they do a half hearted attempt at it.
      • by poetmatt (793785)
        I agree.

        Especially since people were kicking and screaming over the fact that Microtard needed to be standards compliant from when IE8 dev began...I remember the posts where people were like "you need to be standards compliant" and MS was like "well, you have the option, thats good enough".

        Something is way wrong (which is obvious with MS) if it takes a huge company months to decide to listen to their customers/employees/etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bunratty (545641)
        IE 8 is still not going to support standards well. It will simply do as well as it can by default. Previously, IE 8 would render pages as badly as IE 7 by default. Now it will render them as well as IE 8 can by default. IE 8 is still going to be far behind Firefox 3.0, Safari 3.1, and Opera 9.5 in standards support.
        • by Tacvek (948259)
          That is true, but many of the more nasty CSS bugs, which are a source of many (but definitely not all) of the IE specific workarounds should probably be fixed, since apparently IE 8 does pass Acid 2.
    • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:42AM (#23617533) Homepage Journal
      I'm not defending the summary, but it is worth remembering that Microsoft actively undermined web standards for the last decade or so. It is laudable that they are finally getting on board with the program, but the reason these sites need to be re-worked is that Microsoft intentionally archived and maintained browser dominance with their own "take" on how web standards should work.

      I don't see any reason they shouldn't shoulder the blame for the cleanup costs.

      -Peter
      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        And similarly I'm not forgetting what Microsoft have done, I'm just condemning the summary. ;)
    • by Znork (31774)
      The summary is much improved if you shorten it a bit:

      "Over the years of IE's dominance as the leading browser, designers regularly tweaked their sites to get the best possible accuracy in rendering pages in IE" ... "That, unfortunately, will mean work for site administrators."

      *shrug* I guess the whole 'standards' thing is something every generation has to learn on its own. Those of us who've been in the industry for 20 years know that proprietary means you do it again, and again, and again...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      This is all idiocy anyway.

      IE has now fallen under the same spell that the rest of the web standards community has fallen under, namely, the illusion that old web sites will be upgraded for newer browser. Here's a hint, W3C, Mozilla, and now Microsoft: They won't.

      Large commercial websites (for example, this one: http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/default.aspx [jcpenney.com] ) are coded using the 1998 method of lots of tables and hardly any CSS. And that's a page that's:
      1) Been updated every single day for the last 5 years at leas
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spitzak (4019)
      That is a quote from the article, not a Slashdot addition.

      And I certainly did not read it as "bash Microsoft". I read it as "bash those people who forced Microsoft to default to standards because they made all you web developers have to do more work".

      Microsoft is clearly, finally, doing the right thing. And I think that sentence is from somebody mad that their beloved Microsoft is being forced to do the right thing and is making up reasons why this is bad.
  • Lazy dumbasses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:17AM (#23617259) Journal
    "that, unfortunately, will mean work for site administrators."

    Well, if you don't code to standards, that's what you get. I don't feel sorry for them.
    • Re:Lazy dumbasses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pezpunk (205653) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:21AM (#23617329) Homepage
      just to play devil's advocate here, you're suggesting a designer should code to standards, and let the page be broken for 80% of his visitors? i don't think many designers would keep that job very long.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dmsuperman (1033704)
        I have to agree with you there. I code my site to look good in a normal browser (like firefox), then go back in with either CSS or Server Side HTML Change hacks, to make it render properly in IE 6+. Since I've coded this way, all I'll have to do is tell everything that IE8 users will see the same page as Firefox users, meaning I won't have to do anything more than add another case in my switch/case determining which hacks should be included into the page from my PHP. I just wish more developers should rea
        • Your plan is fairly good, but not perfect.

          What if you died tomorrow...who would add the extra code to make this work?

          A better method would be to deliver the standards version by default, unless you made specific conditions. So you could have an IE 5 version, IE 6 version, IE 7 version, etc.

          Then, when IE 8 came out, you could do nothing...and it would deliver the 'proper' version.
      • by LordKazan (558383)
        i've coded to standards for eons and my pages have never been broken for IE users
        • by wvmarle (1070040)
          You're so lucky, or using ancient html only. See my comment before: I coded to standards, CSS and all, W3C said it's all correct, and IE: displays an empty page. Not even broken. Switching back to a tables based layout made the page work in IE as well.
        • by Nicolay77 (258497)
          See this [slashdot.org].
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BotnetZombie (1174935)
      Yep. Dance with the devil and you burn, even if it's warm at first. Film at 11.
      Only sad thing is that it wont be the long gone pointy-haired bosses that get bitten, but instead the poor on-the-floor webdevs.
  • by apathy maybe (922212) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:18AM (#23617269) Homepage Journal
    When I develop pages, I like to do so in XHTML, simply because it is nicer to develop in for me (someone who initially learnt nasty 3.whatever back in 2000).

    So, because I use PHP, I go and tell everyone that the page I'm serving up is application/xhtml+xml. Whoops, MSIE doesn't understand that... *roles eyes*. So I have to chuck in a bit of code to check for MSIE, and then add a disclaimer at the bottom, "If your user agent has MSIE in it, then this page was served as text/html. Maybe you should stop using MSIE if you are, or change your user agent if you aren't."

    Not to mention having to chuck in IE specific CSS (the /only/ thing I like about IE is the fact that it has that comment stuff
    which allows a separate style sheet that no other browser sees).

    Meh, I'll continue not developing for MSIE, unless I have to, and because I'm using standards compliant code, the site should still be perfectly viewable, even without CSS. If only other people decided not to develop for MSIE, maybe more people would get a better browser...

    Actually maybe MSIE 8 will actually mean that I don't have to care that IE even exists? (Sorta how I don't care that Opera exists, because I know that it is relatively standards compliant.)
    • by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:46AM (#23617561)

      add a disclaimer at the bottom, "If your user agent has MSIE in it, then this page was served as text/html. Maybe you should stop using MSIE if you are, or change your user agent if you aren't."
      Or...you can make it work for them and stop bitching.

      Nobody really cares what work you have to do in order to make a site work for them. Your whining doesn't serve the purpose you want it to.

      Sad, but true.
    • by l0b0 (803611)
      XHTML in IE, using PHP? Here are the two things you need:

      if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT']) and stristr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT'], 'application/xhtml+xml')) {
      define('MIME_TYPE', 'application/xhtml+xml');
      } else {
      define('MIME_TYPE', 'text/html');
      }
      and an XHTML-to-HTML XSLT file [aspaass.no].
  • Unfortunately??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VMaN (164134) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:18AM (#23617277) Homepage
    This is anything BUT unfortunate.. Once agreed upon standards are the norm everyone will benefit, and it'll save a ton of work in the long run.

    yay for MS on this call
  • Not that bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:18AM (#23617279) Homepage
    If you write your site for Firefox, chances are you can just tell it to use that code for IE8. Assuming, of course, that IE8 comes through with their promises of compliance.

    A little pain now for a lot less cumulative pain later. I'll take that!
  • I am working for a large Canadian company and we are still using IE6. For whatever reason they are holding off on general deployment of IE7. Some of our imports customers also still have IE6 as the target platform. Given this, once IE8 is deployed I can still imagine another year before everyone is using it.

    As to standards compliance, I will be interested to see where they are with CSS2, CSS3 and SVG support.
  • by sfritsche (154480) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:20AM (#23617313) Homepage
    "That, unfortunately, will mean work for site administrators."

    The only "unfortunate" thing about the need to retool web sites is that it could have been avoided by coding to the standards in the first place.
  • Idiots (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ScepticOne (576266)

    "I used non-standard code on my site and it stopped working. It must be someone else's fault!"

    Morons.

  • That is of course standards-compliant to the current version of Internet Explorer and not a Browser by any other name .. :)

    "Microsoft is .. letting Web site developers signal to IE [internetnews.com] how standards-compliant it ought to be with their pages"

    How about writing web pages to a generic standard, something like W3C [w3.org]
  • if you have the page render in firefox as appearance a

    and you have the page render in ie as appearance b

    then its a rather simple top level switch to say "all ie8 requests get rendered as appearance a"

    you're not talking about a lot of work here folks
    • Why is Firefox assumed to be the reference implementation which must be matched?
      • by jimicus (737525)

        Why is Firefox assumed to be the reference implementation which must be matched?
        Same reason as IE was considered the reference implementation that must be matched 7 years ago.
        • Because Firefox deviates badly from the W3C specification?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jimicus (737525)

            Because Firefox deviates badly from the W3C specification?

            Not quite what I meant.

            Despite the original point of HTML being "content is important, layout is decided by the user (or, more accurately, their software)", it's not really worked out that way - hence why CSS came to be.

            7 years ago, IE was the reference implementation not because it was any good but because it was what most people were likely to be using. So web designers could very well find themselves designing for IE (because that's what most of the customers would be using) then tweaking to make it lo

  • The most irritating thing with IE for me these days is the select or "dropbox" bug. Watch give IE a select with not options and it will crash hard, just closes out on the user. This means that when your developing a dynamic form and there is any possibility of no selctions you have to write code for to custom handle the endcase. Which means you also have to consider they layout and appearace of your form when that control is absent, or do something tacky like make "nothing" an option.

    On the back side its
    • by gazbo (517111)
      WTF? It certainly doesn't do that on my IE 7 installation. Also, your "custom code" complaint doesn't hold much water as the W3C specs state that a select element must contain at least one option element.
      • by nuzak (959558)
        I don't think crashing is exactly acceptable behavior when a standard isn't met.

        I've never seen actual crashes like the GP mentioned, but IE7 would have fixed the bug he mentioned. IE actually uses its own widget set, the same as Firefox does, but until IE7, combo boxes were the exception: it actually took a different rendering path to render the win32 native peers they were implemented with. This is what made them slow and have problems with z-order, and why they tended to stick around longer when the pa
        • by J0nne (924579)
          Still, I don't get why the OP bitches about it crashing on empty select boxes. If your select box is going to be empty, don't display it. How hard is that to do?

          Sure, IE shouldn't crash when it encounters one of those, but what's an user supposed to do with an empty select box?
    • by IBBoard (1128019)
      Surely giving users a select box with no options is a bad idea anyway, since it will confuse them as to "what am I supposed to select if there's nothing here"? I'd have expected any reasonably coded site where that was a possibility to give a "no options available" option in the box and then disable the box, or remove the section completely.

      On a more on-topic note: Finally, Webmasters won't be able to design sites with quite such terrible HTML just because that's what IE does! Okay, so the sites might still
  • It's more like "Oh, it's standards compliant? Okay, we'll just lump IE 8 next to Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, and Safari."
  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @10:38AM (#23617485)
    One of their big stated reasons for buying into their infrastructure is that they offer a stable platform for developers so they don't have to keep doing more work every time Microsoft upgrades.

    This reason is rapidly falling by the boards. First it was Visual Basic, which has changed so many times that there is no hope of old code running. Then it was the Windows API, where many things that developers did, originally with Microsoft's blessing, now cause security warning dialog boxes in Vista. Now it's their interpretation of HTML, which they convinced many web developers to follow instead of the standard.

    Every time a developer codes to a Microsoft "standard", they had better be prepared to make extensive modifications at the drop of a hat.

    Hopefully Microsoft's customers are catching on to this trend.
  • That, unfortunately, will mean work for site administrators."

    I don't see anything "unfortunate" about it. It's about time people fixed their sites.
    • Indeed.

      "Unfortunetly, due to new Government regulations, drug developers will have to be more stringent about the drugs they release, so as to minimize the chance of killing their users"

      Plus, this also creates more job opportunities (especially for people familliar with 'standards'), aswell as return coding, "we need to update our website for IE8 and/or to be more standards complient"

      If any website coders (who are currently using non-standard coding practices) that are going "shit fuck damnit crap" it's the
  • Joel on Software [joelonsoftware.com] published an excellent article about web standards a few months ago, and it brings up a lot of great, great points. The article is a bit on the long side (and gets side-tracked with an odd analogy), but it is well worth reading. A couple excerpts:

    So you have to "test" in your own head, purely as a thought experiment, against a bunch of standards documents which you probably never read and couldn't completely understand even if you did.

    Those documents are super confusing. The specs are fu

    • by bunratty (545641)
      Joel does have a point, but programming portable C is certainly much harder than writing portable web applications. Yet programmers manage to write C code that can work when compiled by many different compilers on many different operating systems. If standards did not assist in writing portable code, we would instead have found another solution to the problem such as having a reference implementation. Yet standards for complicated computer languages continue to be developed. The only problem is when vendors
      • by cnettel (836611)
        Any non-trivial project of portable C code has autoconf or a bunch of defines and ifdefs, or some conditionally compiled modules (or any combination of these), to actually achieve that portability. It's the equivalent of user-agent hacks.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bunratty (545641)
          And what would portable C look like if we didn't even have a standard that compilers tried to follow? At least having standards makes it possible to write portable code. Standards are not a fool's errand as Joel tries to make them out to be. They are not a panacea, but following standards is much easier than simply testing in all browsers and hoping for the best.
  • no. PLEASE NO ! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Sunday June 01, 2008 @01:56PM (#23619147) Homepage Journal
    just had to make a site compatible with ie6, ie7 and firefox. please, NOT another browser version that soon. as a developer this is not appeasing me at all, its irritating me.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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