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WebKit As Broken As Older IE Versions? 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-else-will-fix-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's not everyday that we get to hear about the potential downsides of using WebKit, but that's just what has happened as Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery foundation and a member of the core programming team that builds the widely used Web programming tool, lamented in a blog post yesterday. While most are happy to cheer for IE's demise, perhaps having three main browser engines is still a good thing. For those that work in the space, does the story ring true? Are we perhaps swearing at the wrong browser when implementing 'workarounds' for Firefox or IE?"
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WebKit As Broken As Older IE Versions?

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  • by emagery (914122) on Friday February 15, 2013 @11:55AM (#42911003)
    That my webkit browsers have been very poorly behaved; maybe it's just me... but images flicker, forms appear and disappear, sometimes pages just stop loading at random... each patch for mountain lion seems to repair it BRIEFLY... but it always comes back.
  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:07PM (#42911147) Journal
    It might be just you. I haven't noticed any of these problems, and each ML update makes Safari snappier (TM).
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:11PM (#42911195)

    I still want to see three viable rendering engines competing in the browser world - and that's what we currently have.

    I know there are a few people who live and die with Opera, but it didn't have enough market share to make any meaningful difference - its switch to WebKit is irrelevant to most of us.

  • 5 year old bug? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:18PM (#42911287)

    That's nothing. Look[1] how long some Flash bugs have been around, or holes in MS Word, Active-X exploites, Windows exploits... it's all a matter of how much time you have to maintain the codebase, and what you prioritize.

    Things with a 98% chance of never affecting anyone will go for a long time before getting the "half-line fix" just like any other software. Yes, including jQuery[2]

    [1] - http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search [nist.gov]
    [2] - http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search-results?query=jquery&search_type=all&cves=on [nist.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:18PM (#42911291)

    Yes. Yes, we are.

    I might hate IE to death, but I would defend its right to exist to the grave for monopoly-weakening reasons right now.

    Webkit and the WhatWG expose the exact behavior that caused all those problems and a stalling of progress back then in the first place. Growing into a quasi-monopoly, having tons of non-standards-conforming "features" (remember the marquee tag?), being the preferred choice of the dumbest and most incompetent at making an educated choice, openly going against the W3C for iTard and PHB reasons (aka: "Ooooh, shiny bling!" and "People are too dumb anyway. Remove *all* buttons and options.") and also deliberately making standards for dumb and incompetent people (by re-introducing quirks mode aka glancing-over-utter-incompetence mode aka HTML5 instead of actually telling the author when the code has errors.).

    We already know that can't end well. Let us not repeat that mistake.

    P.S.: Seeing Opera first dump its amazing killer feature (Opera Unite), and then dumb their core engine, is a really sad sight. I declare Opera (the company) as dead as Nokia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:20PM (#42911315)

    In my current position, I have definitely had to implement at the very least twice as many Chrome workarounds as IE in the last six months. I was very surprised to see Chrome behaving oddly and Firefox and IE rendering the pages identically, as prior to that time period, I had never seen Chrome and Firefox render a page in a substantially different way.

    Most of the issues have revolved around Chrome "over-reacting" to what it perceived as an XSS attack.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:55PM (#42911783)

    Internet Explorer is bundled [not replaceable] on one platform Microsoft's. To compete it needs to exist on other platforms and be replaceable on its [not your] OS. As it stands it continues to hold back the innovation on the Web...the polar opposite of what would have happened it real competition exists. All it is is another incompatible product. The fact that XP users are such on Internet explorer 8 says it all.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday February 15, 2013 @02:28PM (#42913227)

    Speaking as another professional web guy who's extremely frustrated with the current situation for very much the reasons in TFA, I find comments like Kasting's frustrating. Yes, there are bug reports. Yes, they have been there for a while, many years in some cases. Yes, the bugs are sometimes in really basic, everyday functionality. Yes, Chrome is by far the worst major browser for reliability based on the objective bug tracking metrics across all the projects I work on. Yes, it has been so consistently for a long time. And yes, there are comments on quite a few of those bug reports making it clear that even glaring problems aren't going to get fixed any time soon despite the developers being well aware of them. In my experience, absolutely everything Methvin said is true, and actually he's being rather kind.

    Unfortunately, on most forums, if you suggest that this is the reality, even backing it up with citations of numerous bugs in basic functionality and even citing specific records in the relevant bug databases that go back years, it's a good bet that you'll be downvoted/moderated into oblivion, or just face the kind of "What, really?" reply Kasting posted as if it's hard to believe the almighty Chrome could actually be as bad as it is. This is the stereotype geek/OSS fanboi issue, where no amount of facts and actual evidence matter in most discussions.

    I've given up even trying to file bugs for everything I find now. I'm sorry, I know it's not constructive, but my clients don't pay me to be someone else's beta tester, and since Chrome is often beta quality software I really would be spending a significant amount of my working hours just doing that.

    Instead, these days we just say that we write to established web standards where possible but the only browsers we'll support officially are recent versions of IE. While these don't have all the bleeding edge shiny, the basic functionality does generally work very reliably, and actually IE9+ have a lot of the more useful recent developments anyway. Just as important, the relatively few serious bugs in the more recent versions of IE tend to be well-known, and the necessary workarounds are well-established and stable because the goalposts don't move every six weeks. That's worth far more to someone developing real software for real clients than scoring X% in some artificial benchmark for supporting standards that don't exist yet, where X% is the box-ticking score but not the number of features that actually work.

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