mozilla.org releases Mozilla Milestone 0.9.4
Friday September 14th, 2001
#161 Re: Re: 1.0 is in
Tuesday September 25th, 2001 2:17 PM
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>> After all, Mozilla *does* support all the tags and attributes MSIE supports... by ignoring them... <<
>OK, first, that's a pretty strange statement, but anyway, I'm not talking tags and attributes -- I'm talking DOM.
It's not a strange statement in the slightest. You may not have noticed this but HTML is written in ASCII. It is a set of characters and symbols. That's what mark-up is. For mark-up to be useful for anything, each arrangement of symbols must be interpreted in a particular way. A browser is free to interpret them in any way they like. Mozilla, in fact, as well as IE, is able to interpret every single possible combination of these symbols.
However, there's an additional part of the story. That part is where, rather than just randomly interpreting them, or have someone write the mark-up and the interpret it themselves (presumably back to what they had intended when they wrote it) people make agreements about how such things should be interpreted. By agreeing, anyone can write mark-up and they don't need to write a program to interpret it - if they did, the exercise would be one in futility, and wouldn't benefit anyone.
These agreements are called standards - and in fact MS helped created those standards as much as anyone. Any mark-up that doesn't fit these standards can be interpreted any way a browser likes. In fact, mozilla does a much better job of this, since it interprets any additional tags and attributes the same (ignores them), rather than in various different ways for a small set of them as IE does.
But anyway, that's not what you are talking about. It is why Mozilla is better those, so I thought a relevant reply.
> What is Mozilla going to give me for fine-grained control of text editing or for drag and drop between windows, for instance?
And what is IE giving me for fine-grained control of text editing or drag and drag? Exactly zilch, I can tell you. I'm sure you can work out why.
>> The moment IE wipes out any competition, there goes your companies ability to create the best application on an even playing field. <<
>I don't know what you mean, or what you think that translates into in business terms. How does having to support multiple browsers help my application's competitiveness?
There are a few points here. Firstly, standards are always better for business than following one company's lead. If you want to know why having one monopoly controlling things might be bad, and having them break things in any way they like, even undocumented, you could either be paranoid (rather silly) or just Real, AOL, the Kerberos team, or whoever, the list goes on.
Secondly, I *seriously* hope you don't just pop up things you develop into one browser window and then decide they work on IE. Have you ever noticed the differences in how IE 4 and IE 4, IE 4 and IE 5, IE 5 and IE 5, IE 5 and IE 6, IE 6 and IE 6, not to mention IE3 and IE 6...... Where on Earth do you get the idea you're only supporting a single browser?
>What does support for two browsers give back to us? Not freedom of choice -- we have to support every browser that our customers might use -- we have no choice.
No you don't. Sounds to me like management have decided you should use proprietary extensions rather than simply using proper web standards (correct me if I'm wrong). And if that's true, the company deserves to fail should someone actually bother to support standards, as is correct.
Now that is, of course, just my attitude, and many people I'm sure would want to distance themselves from it, taking a less hardline stance, so don't go with 'Well if that's mozilla's attitude don't be surprised if businesses don't love it'. But, well, I don't really care if businesses love it, or if it makes good business sense for IE to gain 100% share - the users won't benefit, and bizarrely, I put what's good for users ahead of what's good for companies...
Wow. An Essay! I think someone else put it best when they said you don't need to support every browser, you could just support IE, but don't whine if you lose business that way. Many of us, and it's mostly developers in this camp, want it to be simple to develop web applications - which is why we support standards, not proprietary single platforms...