Weekend Discussion: Microsoft and 86%

Friday July 14th, 2000

There has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft's release of IE 5.5 recently, especially in regards to their support for standards such as CSS, DOM, and XML. Apparently Microsoft is developing new proprietary technologies at the expense of standards compliance in core web technologies.

The conversation in the WSP's mailing list has gotten overheated, and the WSP has released a piece on IE 5.5.

CNet is running an article on IE 5.5's proprietary new features, and there's a discussion on Slashdot regarding this very issue.

I now have a weblog at the O'Reilly Network, and you can check out my first piece, devoted to Microsoft's .NET initiative, which hits on Microsoft's standards support.

With all this hoopla aimed at Microsoft, we shouldn't be letting Netscape off easy. I think it's time for Netscape to come out and state clearly where they expect to be in terms of standards compliance at version 6.0. If it is not the 100% that we had been told to expect, it's in their best interest to say why. Remember, Netscape 6.0 will have its own "behavior" implementation (XBL) that is, at this point, just as proprietary as Microsoft's DHTML behaviors (the dev team plans on submitting XBL to the W3C in the future).

And although has not taken a position one way or another on Mozilla's standards compliance, it would be nice if they could weigh in and let the community know what they're thinking in terms of standards support in Mozilla's first release.

What do you think about standards support and compliance? Is it important? Or should the placation of existing customers be the priority? Let us know!

#46 Re: Re: Re: GET IT OUT!!!

by TonyG <>

Sunday July 16th, 2000 4:28 AM

You are replying to this message

you make it sound as if you need totally different websites for each browser. a little thinking here and there to make it work in all browsers is not as painful as not supporting a browser.

Hehe. Not at all mate. I have been developing web sites for years and I have always insisted that sites look and behave the same in IE and NS. I also code as defensively as possible and insist that I and my developers use single, branching pages. However, I have the luxury of having developed in a commercial environment for companies who insisted on full support for Netscape. My first real web job was for a company designing and hosting sites on Netscape servers.

Today however: " a little thinking here and there to make it work in all browsers is not as painful as not supporting a browser."

- is simply not true. The fact is more and more companies are running IE only Intranets where coding for Netscape is not needed. This has led to a whole tranche of "Developers" who have never coded for anything other than IE. In that environment, adding support for Netscape is a real pain in the butt for these people. I'm not talking about quirky table layouts here. I'm talking about Dynamic HTML techniques and ActiveX controls. I learned Java to allow me to use applets for Netscape and IE instead of ActiveX - but try suggesting that to the IE only mob and see where you get...

Maybe this is a UK thing, since there is a chronic skills shortage in IT and Web Development at the moment. the result is people who weren't good enuff by the standards of a few years ago, are now doing crash courses in Visual Interdev and calling themselves developers.