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CSS Support IE 7.0's Weakest Link 339

Posted by timothy
from the can't-squash-superiors dept.
dilbertspace writes "Anyone who has ever developed a website knows that cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility is a nightmare, mainly due to Microsoft's willful non-compliance with the CSS2 standard. As this eWeek article points out, it seems Microsoft will continue their poor support for CSS2 even in the IE 7.0 release. This may have worked when IE was the only game in town, but now that Firefox is a serious player, it won't help them keep market share as they think it will."
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CSS Support IE 7.0's Weakest Link

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  • M$ cares ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by foobsr (693224) * on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:20PM (#11985804) Homepage Journal
    From the full story @ Microsoft [microsoft-watch.com]Watch:
    McLaws, who runs the Longhornblogs network, said a lot of "extra time and resources" had to be expended to make the site render the same way on all Web browsers.

    Now this shows how M$ responsibly cares indeed about having people employed. Hmm, they probably think overtime.

    CC.
  • by m50d (797211) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:21PM (#11985811) Homepage Journal
    It's deja vu all over again. You'd think that when it's not just the same story but the same headline...
    • by ari_j (90255) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:29PM (#11985857)
      Not exactly, although I thought the same thing at first. The old headline is CSS Support Could Be IE7's Weakest Link [slashdot.org]. Here, we have left out the "Could Be" and changed it to "IE 7.0," so it's entirely different, and therefore it's not a dupe.
    • Not a dupe! (Score:2, Informative)

      by fm6 (162816)
      Wrong! The first story pointed to an article on Microsoft Watch. The second story points to an article on eWeek. It's not the editors' fault that the eWeek article is just a summary of the Microsoft Watch article!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Perhaps someone can make a movie about Slashdot.org... The plotline can be copied from Groundhog Day [imdb.com].
    • No, its a followup story. The one here [slashdot.org] has the headline "CSS Support Could Be IE7's Weakest Link", and they added the .0 too.

      The slashdot "editors" are more on the ball than you think!

      Actually, as often as this happens, I think its almost a joke by these guys. Either that, or they are completely ignorant about the content of their own site and can't even do a 10 second search on google like I did to find the previous story.
      • Actually, as often as this happens, I think its almost a joke by these guys. Either that, or they are completely ignorant about the content of their own site and can't even do a 10 second search on google like I did to find the previous story.

        The real reason is because they were browsing /. with Internet Exploder, and the latest update/patch filters out stories that have content negative to Microsoft, so we can expect another dupe tomorrow.

        It's all there in the EULA.

  • by jleq (766550) <jleq96@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:21PM (#11985815)
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/17/152925 8&tid=126&tid=95&tid=113 Pay more attention to your own fucking site.
  • by Chris Kamel (813292) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:22PM (#11985816)
    Do we call this a dupe or a confirmation ?
  • Don't count on it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:22PM (#11985817) Homepage

    This may have worked when IE was the only game in town, but now that Firefox is a serious player, it won't help them keep market share as they think it will.

    Don't count on it, sunshine. The reason IE is losing market share to Firefox is two fold.

    1. The public perception of the IE's security has declined.
    2. It's missing a lot of nice features such as: tabbed browsing, international domain names and a bunch of other stuff.
      1. These are things that matter to the end user. If I'm joe-sixpack I don't give a damn about CSS 2.0 compliance. Hell, I probably don't even know what CSS 2.0 is. The only person who actually cares are the people making the web-sites, and those people are us and in terms of market share we typically sit at the one-percent noise level. To Microsoft, IE not being compatible with other browsers is a good thing. It means people have to design to their feature set and not to the offical standards it simply means we can't ignore their platform.

        So what can Firefox do to take out IE once and for all? It's actually rather simple. Do the thing that IE would never do. Implement something as powerful as Windows Forms (or it's Linux equivelent). It's the thing Microsoft fears the most - that Javascript will evolve into something powerful enough to be able to right a Microsoft Office clone in. As soon as this happens, then we suddenly have a platform independant version of office and that means we don't have to run Windows anymore. In short, they can kiss Goodbye to their market share.

        I'm not saying anything new here. Joel Spolsky has talked about this at great length in a very interesting article that i'm having trouble finding. We all know this day will come it's just a question as to how long Microsoft can stall the process. This CSS 2.0 issue is a single battle in the war Microsoft is waging to prevent their demise.

        Simon.

    • by kars (100858) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:30PM (#11985869) Homepage
      The public perception of the IE's security has declined.

      You mean it's improved, right?
      • He said the public perception of IE's security has declined. It doesn't matter if IE is more or less secure than it has been in the past, because generally speaking, most people don't trust IE anymore.
    • by ad0gg (594412)
      Firefox growth is declining [digitalhomecanada.com] Some people I know that switched to firefox switched back to IE mainly because firefox is somewhat unstable and a memory hog. I still use firefox because of tabbed browsing, and if IE gets tabbed browsing I'll probably switch back. Having my web browser use 200 megs of ram is just insane.
      • Maxthon (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        and if IE gets tabbed browsing I'll probably switch back.

        Then I probably shouldn't tell you about the popular IE wrapper known as Maxthon [maxthon.com].

      • by say (191220) <sigve AT wolfraidah DOT no> on Saturday March 19, 2005 @03:10PM (#11986149) Homepage

        Firefox growth is declining

        Well, I would say that is natural. If the market share continued to grow like it did the first month after 1.0 (33% per month), it would cross the 100% barrier in a year (actually, it would wind up at 124% market share). So I guess the growth has to decline. In absolute numbers, and in terms of market share, Firefox continues to grow. The delta of that growth is smaller, though.

      • Re:Don't count on it (Score:2, Interesting)

        by VoidWraith (797276)
        Did you add an extra zero? Firefox uses just under 20 megs of ram for me. Less than IE (IE adds memory usage to explorer and IExplore). And yes I have the most recent versions of both, with Adblock and Flashblock installed in Firefox. I fail to see any issues with memory usage.

        My brother, who is not a technology buff, uses Firefox. I told him to install it because he was getting drive-by-downloads in IE (back before that was patched to any degree) and he did. It works fine for him, and it has worked fine f
        • I just fired up a new copy of Firefox. Private Bytes: 10 megs; Working Set 18 megs; Virtual Size 66 Megs. So, yeah, I guess it is technically using 20 megs of RAM. But every page I visit seems to increases the Working Set by a couple of megs of ram.
          • Re:Don't count on it (Score:5, Informative)

            by masklinn (823351) <slashdot,org&masklinn,net> on Saturday March 19, 2005 @04:03PM (#11986517)
            every page I visit seems to increases the Working Set by a couple of megs of ram.
            It doesn't just "seem to", your impression is right, it does. There's been a nice bug for quite a few years (3? 4?) in the engine which causes the browser to not release most of the memory it consumes, and just use more and more.
            It's very clear on some machines, less on others, it's worse when you use tabbed browsing a lot (the memory leak happens when you close a tab, the memory it used isn't always released)

            The good thing is that this bug has been fixed in Mozilla 1.8 (the one that'll never get released, you know...)
            The slightly less good one is that the fix will only land in Firefox when said firefox'll fuse with Gecko 1.8 (the current trunk), and thats Firefox 1.1

            Summary: there is a memory leak bug in Firefox tabs, it's been known for years, it blows and can cause sever instabilities on some computers, it's completely random (aka you can be lucky and run FF np with 64Mb RAM, and you can be unlucky and have it hog 500Mb every time you use it) and worsens if you keep the same browser window (not tab, window) for extended periods of time. That bug still exists in Firefox 1.0.1 and will still be in 1.0.2, it'll be fixed in Firefox 1.1 which is supposed to be released in 2-3 months.

            Recommandation: if you happen to get hit by the "CrappySlowMemoryHogFirefox" and can't bear it, don't switch back to MSIE, use Opera instead, it runs fine, is fast, has a quite low memory foot print and a quite good support of HTML and CSS.

            Additional Informations: one of the great strengths of Firefox is the XUL extensions system, but it's also (obviously) it's biggest weakness: some extensions can have memory leaks on their own or cause slowness or crashs. One of the most well know "unstable" extension is "Tabbrowser Extension", which is arguably the best Tabbed Browsing extension feature wise, but is also the most bloated and dangerous one (and one of the worst and most random Firefox extensions, even the author himself says so).
            If your firefox is unstable/slow and you use TBE, uninstall it or create a new "clean" profile before dissing FF...

            Oh, BTW, about the extensions, do pay visits to websites like The Extensions Mirror [extensionsmirror.nl], one can get true wonders and squeeze the best out of Firefox with the good extensions plugged in
      • by bunratty (545641)
        Yes, Firefox growth is declining somewhat. If you graph the four numbers given for Firefox's usage share against the four dates, the last three data points lie very nearly along a line, and the first data point lies clearly below that line. That shows that the growth from Dec. 3, 2004 to Feb. 18, 2005 was nearly linear and approximately 0.65 points of usage share per month. The growth from Nov. 5, 2004 to Dec. 3, 2004 was faster, but that's probably because that period includes the first few weeks after Fir
      • Comprehension problems? That link says "growth slowing".

        Growth slowing != Declining .

    • by Danathar (267989)
      Firefox already does this. It's called XUL.

      The amazon browser is a good example. Too bad there arent very many other examples out there...

      http://www.faser.net/mab/remote.cfm
    • XUL could almost certainly do what you're describing. However, no-one will actually bother to do it firstly because no-one wants to use a word-processor embedded in a web browser and secondly Mozilla's marketshare isn't big enough for anyone to consider such a product.

      A slightly more realistic goal would be to get websites implementing a superior XUL interface in addition to the HTML one. Photo gallery sites could implement a proper GUI for organising arranging pictures, for example.

      This would be made muc

    • The only person who actually cares are the people making the web-sites

      That's true, but consider that there is a small but growing number of websites which look just that tiny bit better in FireFox or other modern browsers than in IE.

      Firefox and Safari are big enough you cannot easily ignore them anymore (for IE specific web developers); but it's pretty easy to use CSS2 to make things look a touch better, then run IE in a different mode.

      My most recent website (I don't make very many) was tested primarily
    • IE can support IDN with a plugin. This is no worse than the perpetual "oh you can use an extension!" answers to feature requests/bug fixes from the Firefox devs.
    • A few corrections.

      write a Microsoft Office clone--good luck and who wants the browser to be just another interface to an Office Suite? Browsers are already memory intensive enough as it is.

      Yes Forms is very important in business processing:

      WebForms 2.0
      http://whatwg.org/specs/web-forms/current-work/

      XForms
      http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Forms/

      and so is paged media for proper document publications. Two applications people can't live without in Office is Word and Excel. Word by far is the more imp

      • Don't forget Powerpoint. Business people love Powerpoint for some strange reason, probably because you can spend lots and lots of time on a presentation and look like you are doing something productive.
    • Do the thing that IE would never do. Implement something as powerful as Windows Forms (or it's Linux equivelent)

      XUL... it's already there
    • Re:Don't count on it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ogerman (136333) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @05:06PM (#11986904)
      These are things that matter to the end user.

      Correct.. external features, not internal technology, are what drive public acceptance. Firefox needs to continue to offer things that IE does not have. However, it should be noted that standards support can create public interest through superior webpages. How many people over the years have downloaded Flash because of the features it adds to their browsing experience or because certain fancy sites required it to display all content? (it's a pity Flash was not standards based.. like SVG + DOM + JS, which will replace it)

      Implement something as powerful as Windows Forms (or it's Linux equivelent). It's the thing Microsoft fears the most

      Mozilla already has XUL, but it's not a W3C web standard; it's a Mozilla standard. XUL will be replaced eventually by XForms, SVG, CSS3, and other true web standards. From all indication, Microsoft does not plan to implement XUL or the next generation of industry web standards. Why? Because they are creating their own proprietary, incompatible standards such as XAML and Avalon. These are features of Longhorn which borrow tons of ideas from XForms, SVG, XUL, etc. but will only work in Windows. Microsoft hates open web standards because they allow efficient competition. The more powerful web standards become, the less relevant desktop platforms become.

      You're almost on the right track regarding the threat web technology poses to MS Office marketshare. However, the threat is not web browser equivalents to an office suite. And it won't entirely be the result of OpenOffice either. The real threat to MS Office is a shift in paradigm away from word processing altogether. In the future, most office workers will not create word processing documents in the sense of files saved to some network share. They'll enter lightly-formatted textual information into a web-based content management system and all layout will be taken care of automatically. After all, secretaries and businesspersons are not professional typesetters. Why should they have to worry about such things? And it should be easy to imagine how much easier revision control and document workflow will be with all information stored uniformly in a database rather than scattered in multiple file formats throughout filesystems and groupware messaging systems.

      What about the other components of today's office suites? Well, spreadsheets are already dying out as real database technologies become cheaper, more powerful, and more accessible. Presentation tools are already highly competitive, with many 3rd party alternatives to PowerPoint. There's plenty of room here for new technologies and approaches. Furthermore, presentation documents are often one-time-use so there's much less need for strict backwards compatibility.
  • The Average User (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glamslam (535995) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:23PM (#11985826)
    With close to 90% share of the market and a LARGE unsophisticated userbase (who will not change browsers when the one installed works on EVERY website that joe-nascar ever uses), I don't think Microsoft will be losing any sleep over this.

    Sad but true....
    • Microsoft is not interested in IE itself (no profit there). But they are interested in deploying their proprietary network-based technologies. If IE (and with it said proprietary technologies) deployment stays at below some figure, let's say 90%, third party developers might use standard and/or open web technologies instead of those proprietary ones, even though that might mean less bells and whistles.

      This is why Mozilla and other browser manufacturers matter. This is why Microsoft is developing IE again.

    • So do what I do... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by The Real Nem (793299)

      I have lots of friends that are computer illiterate. Their computers usually get bogged down with viruses and spyware and I'm often obliged to help them fix their problems.

      Every time I do this I install Firefox, set it up with my favourite extensions, then show them how to use it (basically how the tabs work and where their download go). I haven't had a single person complain about it, in fact they all rave about how much better it is and often suggest it to their friends.

      Just telling people about Fir

  • ..That the story had to be posted twice
    • Okay, then I am not experiencing deja vu :-) /. did f-up!

      I've had no problems coding stuff for IE 5/6 and Firefox, using external css. You just have to know how to do it.

      I'd really prefer MS to support the XMLHttpRequest object as part of the browser, rather than the Active X object that can be blocked by security settings.

      Oh, our documentation person has had only a few problems with CSS, but they are actually minor.

      Think of it this way, you don't have to buy that CSS2 / CSS 3 book :-)

      • All i ask is that MS would play fair and stop trying to rewrite standerds just as they have a little supposed problem with some parts of them.
        Standerds are so very important for a fair market , and we cant have one company just deciding to make their own rules , and i know MS is not the only company guilty of this , But They are in the lime-light today
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:24PM (#11985830)
    Since when was Competitor B, which holds 6% of the market, considered a "serious player" capable of holding sway over Competitor A, which holds 89% of the market.

    Though we might wish it were so, it's time for a reality check.
    • Since when was Competitor B, which holds 6% of the market, considered a "serious player" capable of holding sway over Competitor A, which holds 89% of the market.

      Because if you develop public websites, 6% of visitors to your website is a usually large number of people. That number of complaints because your website is only compatible with IE is a real problem.
    • Since Competitor B started growing pretty fast at the direct expense of Competitor A. You see this quite a lot in monopoly situations. If anyone implements something else and starts growing, the monopolist will immediately implement it for fear of losing its monopoly.
  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:24PM (#11985831)
    In Microsoft's short-term thinking, they're less likely to support standards. Despite losing market share, their browser is still the defacto standard on the Internet.

    Supporting standards only makes other browsers a viable alternative. How many people use Firefox but have to continue to use IE at work because of sites that only work in IE?
  • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rylz (868268) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:24PM (#11985835) Journal
    Actually, this may help MS more than you would think. Sites will continue to be written for a non-standards-compliant browser, which makes them less likely to render correctly in the browsers that do follow standards. If enough pages render incorrectly when somebody is trying out Firefox or some other standards compliant browser, they'll give up and go back to IE.
    • Bingo! This is exactly what MS is doing.

      I can't even count the number of times I have set people up with firefox only to have them to switch back to IE because firefox would not let them view video at msnbc.com or would not let them view their childs school assignment because the website only supports IE.

      MS most certaintly wants to prevent the web browser market from being commoditized! Which is exactly what standards do.

      The best hope for firefox is to be picked up by some large ISP vendor or be installe
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:30PM (#11985870) Homepage
    So, Microsoft is exercising their 'freedom to innovate' a crappy non-compliant browser. Way to go boys.

    Is there any standard that Microsoft has adhered to and not broken? It seems they're always ignoring or redefining standards.

    I hope we're finally getting to the point where they'll keep losing market share by not supporting this stuff; because they've got the worst case of instututional Not Invented Here syndrome I've ever seen.
    • It seems they're always ignoring or redefining standards.

      This seems to happen so much, I propose a new verb to describe it: ignorfining.

      Seems especially apt in Microsoft posts.

      - shadowmatter
  • Odd Rumor Mongers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:32PM (#11985891)
    What is the real agenda behind these rumors? Normally elusive, unnamed "Microsoft Partners" assure us that in the next release every feature will be fixed, every security hole patched, and every wish list fulfilled. Rarely do the rumor mongers say "It's true, they're only going to make a half-assed effort on this."

    Is this CSS 2 people trying to pressure Microsoft into releasing a CSS 2 compliant browser? That's unlikely. Traditionally their focus is spreading rumors that they've seen a beta version of the next big release and that it has "perfect" CSS 2 compliance. Therefore, people will want to be ready to transition to CSS 2 compliance now since its arrival is inevitable.

    Is this Microsoft trying to sabotage acceptance of CSS level 2? Possible, but they rarely do this by saying one of their own products is a dog. They fund studies and research and industry pundits to rail against the problems with whatever feature they don't want to implement.

    So I'm a bit at a loss of who is left that would actively be trying to diss CSS 2 and also diss Microsoft's development process? Any rumor mongers want to start a rumor?
  • OMFG (Score:2, Funny)

    by EEPS (829675)
    This has to be the biggest DUPE in history! .... second to that World War 1 and World War 2 thing... how unoriginal :)
  • M$ will provide a "security" patch that will check for the presence of "potentially viral" software (read Firefox) then provide a solution that will cripple Firefox's functionality. This might be in form of FF always crashing or even closing some ports that FF needs to work well. When this happens very few users will dare use Firefox again. Maybe the Europeans will tame M$ this time.
  • This whole CSS and IE7 issue has shown that MSFT is worried about the threat that projects like these pose. Even if Firefox has a lot of support, its installed user base is still very small. MSFT has 90% of the market, logically why should they care enough about that small 6% of market that won't use their product? If they thought that the fox doesn't pose a threat, then they wouldn't spend millions of dollars crafting a new browser, spending the time to make sure that it works on all different types of com
  • Versions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447)
    The absolute worse thing about Microsofts CSS support, is that its not even consistent between different versions of IE!! there are really irritating things that differ between 5 and 6 for example and IE for the Mac is just a totally different browser with Microsofts name tacked on the end. Firefox wins hands down - even tho its CSS isn't perfect it still works the same across all platforms (plus Mozilla ;) and version wise i've yet to see a problem - or even see wildly out of date versions in use.
  • MS doesn't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:52PM (#11986030) Homepage Journal
    The only thing that can get MS to change their browser is website developers. If they design CSS2 compliant websites that break IE, MS will fix it.

    Bet let's get real: MS still controls over 90% of the browser market. Web developers will develop sites that function more or less identically in IE, FF, NS, etc. CSS will not break MS' monopoly on web browsers.

  • by Lysol (11150) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @02:53PM (#11986038)
    "..when IE was the only game in town, but now that Firefox is a serious player..."

    Uh, so don't get me wrong, I loathe IE like the next guy, but how does - at best - 6% of the browser market already make Firefox a major player?? Apple's got around, what, 2%-3% of the desktop market, yet no one's calling them a major player.

    Frankly, we should be blaming all those web 'developers' for their lazy and frankly, filthy, coding. I've worked in quite a few places and only those on the outside or real passionate web programmers care much about anything non-IE.

    This will become more and more of an issue in the coming months and years as people start catching on to more of the Google halo effect: the DHTML/xmlrpc sorta 'fat' web client app. Customers and company higher-uppers are going to start saying more and more "why can't we do that like Google Suggest or Google Maps?". Be prepared.

    I just have to also say it really pisses me off, as a enterprise developer, that I have to deal with a market like this. I mean, we have standards for a reason. And the fact that you IE only guys out there take quiet joy in your coding lazyness is beyond me.
    Take a little more pride in your work and look at the bigger picture! Regardless of what Micro$oft may think, the world should not revolve around IE! Hopefully some day, for real, Firefox will change this.
    • by yagu (721525)

      Regardless of what Micro$oft may think, the world should not revolve around IE! Hopefully some day, for real, Firefox will change this.

      And we could/should take some responsibility also.... If we encounter an IE-exclusive web site, we should write, ALWAYS!, at least, and take customer "action" if possible. When my bank switched to an on-line banking system that would work only with IE (it HAD worked with Netscape previously), I wrote my letter, and withdrew $20,000.... probably not a lot or a big scare

    • by LuxFX (220822) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @03:24PM (#11986272) Homepage Journal
      Frankly, we should be blaming all those web 'developers' for their lazy and frankly, filthy, coding. I've worked in quite a few places and only those on the outside or real passionate web programmers care much about anything non-IE.

      I think this hits on another point. Most of these sloppy 'developers' are using only the WYSIWYG tools in Dreamweaver, GoLive, or even *gasp* Frontpage. You can create good code with these programs (well, I'm not sure about Frontpage, but I know you can with Dreamweaver and GoLive) if you take over and delve into the code itself, but you can also let the application do all the dirty work with the 'developer' just sitting there, pointing and clicking, copying and pasting....

      And the fact is, with this level of interaction, with the application creating most of the code, it's all going to work with IE. Macromedia and Adobe are interested in tools that work everywhere, including IE. These 'developers' aren't going to be helping our case at all, and they certainly won't be convincing MS that they're doing anything they need to change.
    • "Apple's got around, what, 2%-3% of the desktop market, yet no one's calling them a major player."

      Apple isn't a major player in the personal computer market by any means, but that doesn't mean that the directions they take their product line in doesn't have a noticeable influence on the industry.

      One only has to look at how the physical designs of their product are quickly integrated by others. Remember just how far transluscent blue and green plastic spread after the iMac? Look at the sudden interest i
    • Uh, so don't get me wrong, I loathe IE like the next guy, but how does - at best - 6% of the browser market already make Firefox a major player?? Apple's got around, what, 2%-3% of the desktop market, yet no one's calling them a major player.

      IE is a platform, ok? Imagine a third-party developer thinking:
      "Well, I could use standard web technology Y here, but with Microsoft proprietary technology Active-Y I get more whizz-bang and I'll only lose about 2% of the target market."
      See what I mean? When that

  • Why does M$ care? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uodeltasig (759920)
    This is a question I wanted to ask on the other post so I'm kinda glad it's a duplication...

    Besides firefox default for searching on google, how much actual revenue is lost for M$ with alternative browsers? I'm not looking for a figure I just don't quite understand why it would be worth it to have a full-team of developers and testers working on this over the next year/two?

    Are they afraid of it just being that much easy to switch to Mac or Linux? MSN search revenues? What outweighs the cost of develop
    • by TobascoKid (82629) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @04:09PM (#11986568) Homepage
      Are they afraid of it just being that much easy to switch to Mac or Linux? MSN search revenues? What outweighs the cost of development and embarrassment of more security problems?

      That's pretty much the only reason for the existence of IE. MS only started on IE when people started to notice that with things like HTML the OS would become irrelevent and that non internet based 'Information Services' (like the original MSN) were doomed.

      If it wasn't for that fear of the OS becomming irrelevent then there would be no point in MS spending so much money on something that they can never make any money (at least directly) from. It's why IE development stopped dead untill they had competition again - with nothing to fear then why spend money developing it? IE is nothing more than a necessary evil for MS.
  • Right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SCVirus (774240)
    Yeah i'm sure the lack of css2 support in IE7 is really what joe user is going to switch to firefox because of.
  • it's a ploy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bugi (8479)
    They're saying that to dampen the adoption of firefox. They don't want people writing code that supports alternative browsers, code that puts other browsers on an equal footing with ie, code that follows a standard that ms has shuned.

    Don't expect truth out of these people. Just because they're admitting to stupidity doesn't mean they're actually stupid.
  • by Quirk (36086) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @03:29PM (#11986296) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't MS own the patent [wired.com] for CSS [w3.org], and if so, how does its patent factor in?
  • by starvingartist12 (464372) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @03:43PM (#11986387) Homepage

    If Microsoft fixes their CSS support in Internet Explorer 7, every single little CSS IE hack used around the world will break.

    The problem is that all these years, Web developers have had to resort to these little IE-specific hacks to compensate for years of neglect on Microsoft's part. Sure Microsoft can add more security or tabbed browsing... but CSS? It'd be too risky on Microsoft's part to send out a new IE that *breaks* exisiting websites. (Although to be honest, they done it before - twice - IE:mac and later, IE for Windows. But this time they can't rely on DOCTYPE Switching [hsivonen.iki.fi] anymore.)

    Microsoft's mantra of backwards compatibility would be at odds with releasing a fully CSS 2.0 compliant IE browser.

    • by alernon (91859) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @04:42PM (#11986777) Homepage
      This is true for some CSS, but they could possibly improve other things. IE for instance thinks that there's some mysterious element that surrounds the HTML tag so, you can pass styles to IE by using * HTML {}, while other browsers will ignore it. If they fix both the quirks that the hacks are fixing, and the method of passing the hacks to IE, it would be no harm no foul. It's just that they'd have to make sure they got everything right. So that the new IE doesn't end up ignoring a hack it needs...
  • by autarkeia (152712) on Saturday March 19, 2005 @05:31PM (#11987042) Homepage
    Let me start by saying I am not an M$ fanboy nor do I appreciate the amount of extra effort I have to go through to support IE's broken CSS.

    Several of these articles say that M$ doesn't really consider CSS2 to be a fully fleshed-out standard or has reservations about it. I work with CSS every day, and I develop on Firefox first and then "backport" to less-compliant browsers, but I still partly agree with M$: as a standard I think CSS is rather sucky.

    I love the idea of CSS, I love having beautiful clean content/presentation-separated code, but I think that CSS itself is still a pain in the ass and often simply gets in the way of what I want to do rather than helping me along. There are lots of things- centering, differing implementations of padding vs. margin, the positioning mess- that simply don't work as they should. Some of these are the fault of browsers, and some are the fault of the standard.

    I assume there are "good" reasons why CSS2 was designed the way it was, but there are simply things that should be much easier than they are in CSS. These inexplicably difficult parts of CSS are what I think ultimately drive people to throw up their hands and just say "I can do this in five minutes with tables and it will work in all browsers. Screw this."

    The problem is larger than just M$ and IE: I think it's partly the fault of the browser makers interpreting the standard differently, partly the fault of browser makers not supporting the standard at all, and partly the fault of the specification itself.

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