A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And a web browser lacking basic web compliance by any other name would also smell.
With it’s release of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has once again heralded it’s intentions to make the Internet less than it could be. Not much has changed yet, despite Bill Gates’ departure.
I know it’s snarky and not constructive to say. But how long is Microsoft going to drag it’s feet on standards compliance for the web? IE8 is the first browser to be – by Microsoft’s estimation, at least – fully CSS2 compliant. That’s a nearly ten year old standard and most browsers are moving on to CSS3. Not that any of us can really use the CSS3 technology without going through backflips to support the perpetual legacy technology that is IE.
According to the IE8 home page, the big improvements in this new revision include a speed boost. Interesting, inasmuch as IE7 represented a huge step backward in performance. I call this a lateral move at best. They’re also touting IE’s ability to leverage RSS feeds. Here again, this is six or seven years old, nothing new.
Finally, Microsoft touts it’s security. Well, that’s just silly. Microsoft made the security gaps that made viruses so much a part of our lives and so far, their solutions have left much to be desired. Especially since their solutions to problems often involve more code, rather than fixed code; they paper over a security flaw with still more features, all of which necessarily have the potential to become security flaws themselves.
Internet Explorer and Microsoft Windows, generally, are regrettable facts of life for web developers. But in my private life, I’m more and more thankful to be running Ubuntu Linux, warts and all.