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Dancing on IE6's grave - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Dancing on IE6's grave [Nov. 25th, 2007|11:22 pm]
Arvind Narayanan
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The feedworld software is coming along nicely. I've got some Javascript hawtness on the front end and some light AI on the backend; with the planned improvements in the next couple of weeks I should have something that will give any newsreader a run for the money. In particular, if there's anything else out there that can do comment import, I'd like to know. (check the site to see what i mean.)

I don't have the time for a more detailed post; instead this is a brief note about something that's been on my mind.

If you've done any web design, especially CSS, you probably spent more than half your time getting it to work on IE5/6 which gets absolutely everything wrong. My CSS book certainly devotes half its pages to IE6 issues.

IE7, on the other hand, although still worse than most of the other rendering engines (gecko/opera/webkit) is a vast improvement over IE6 and is not bad at all. So at some point in the next few years, web designers will heave a huge sigh of relief as they decide to drop support for IE6.

Current IE6 market share is 33%-40%. Fortunately, most of those are technophobes who haven't updated their computers in years. If your target audience is at all skewed towards young people/early adopters/etc, you'll see a dramatic skew in the browser market share. I've seen this repeatedly; In particular, on feedworld, webalizer tells me that IE6 is 5-10%, max. I'm even seeing some hits from Firefox 3 beta. (whoa, talk about early adopters.)

One of the great things about being noncommercial is that I can look at those numbers and decide to give IE6 the finger. That's right, feedworld doesn't and will never render correctly on IE6. And guess what? I don't care.

Boy did that feel good :)

P.S: by all accounts, Firefox 3 is going to be the most awesome piece of software ever.

[User Picture]From: koyaanisqatsi
2007-11-26 01:42 pm (UTC)
IE 5 (and IE 6 if you have a wrong or incomplete document declaration) incorrectly puts padding inside the box, as well as margins (i.e. in FF, a div with width 600, padding of 20, and border of 5, will be 625 px wide: 600 for the content, which the W3C says to measure by, and 25 for the rest. In IE it will be 600 px wide: 575 for content, 25 for the rest).

IE 5.x/win also doubles the left-margin on divs floated left and the right-margin on divs floated right.

Knowing those two things helps avoid a lot of cross-browser errors: it's most consistent for browsers (but tedious!) not to put paddings and borders on a div, but to put them on all of the elements inside instead. And it's best not to put margins on floats, because IE is stupid.

Actually, IE is just generally stupid; the developers couldn't be convinced to pay attention to the guidelines the W3C published.
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[User Picture]From: koyaanisqatsi
2007-11-26 01:47 pm (UTC)
puts padding inside the box, as well as margins

borders, I mean. Padding and borders.

Is that link where your feedreader will stay? And you'll post when it's near completion?
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2007-11-26 06:04 pm (UTC)
the link is certainly permanent. that's a link to one particular instance of the aggregator; there's going to be a bunch of similar ones on feedworld eventually. it's not a link to the software itself. i'm not going to make the software available separately -- packaging requries too much time that i dont' have. but i'm talking to the planet/venus guys about sending some of my changes in.

it's going to be under continuous improvement. the model is for me to run it as a webservice where (hopefully, eventually) people can use a web interface to set up their own aggregator for whatever they're interested in. i'll certainly make periodical posts as i make major changes.

thanks for your interest.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2007-11-26 07:06 pm (UTC)
well, the existence of IE7 was a direct reaction to the threat of firefox, and as such tries not to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors.
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[User Picture]From: mmk
2007-11-27 04:37 pm (UTC)

Dude you are on /.

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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2007-11-27 05:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Dude you are on /.

oh crap :(
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