Tag: Microsoft

That’s just not what “is the new” means

I know I’m the last and prob­a­bly least sig­nif­i­cant per­son to weigh in on this, but this “Safari is the New IE” arti­cle that I did­n’t read when it came out three months ago has been tucked away in the back of my mind since then, and I’ve final­ly put my fin­ger on the sim­ple rea­son it both­ers me.

[M]y point was to com­pare Safari to IE in terms of 1) not keep­ing up with new stan­dards, 2) main­tain­ing a cul­ture of rel­a­tive secre­cy, and 3) play­ing a monop­o­lis­tic role, by not allow­ing oth­er ren­der­ing engines on iOS. Those accu­sa­tions are pret­ty unde­ni­able.


Per­son­al­ly what I want out of this whole debate is for Apple to real­ize that the web is start­ing to move on with­out them, and that their weird iso­la­tion­ism and glacial release cycle are not going to win them any favors in this new, dynam­ic web com­mu­ni­ty.

First of all, what does it mean to “be an Inter­net Explor­er”? What did Inter­net Explor­er rep­re­sent? A monop­oly, sure, to con­sumers and cor­po­rate attor­neys from the 1990s. “A cul­ture of rel­a­tive secre­cy”? Maybe, though that’s not what comes to my mind. It also had a blue icon and a six-syl­la­ble name, but these are acci­dents — they’re not what Inter­net Explor­er was.

What Inter­net Explor­er rep­re­sent­ed to web devel­op­ers, the bulk of that arti­cle’s audi­ence, is not a pop­u­lar brows­er lag­ging behind mod­ern stan­dards, but a pop­u­lar brows­er egre­gious­ly dis­obey­ing estab­lished stan­dards. There is no Safari equiv­a­lent (that I know of, and almost cer­tain­ly not as sig­nif­i­cant) as, say, IE’s dou­ble-mar­gin bug. Every web devel­op­er who’s wres­tled with IE has tear­ful­ly ref­er­enced Explor­er Exposed! and QuirksMode for the sixth time in a week, their links in Google’s results seem­ing an even deep­er pur­ple than oth­ers. Every web devel­op­er has har­bored a sense of loom­ing dread as they glee­ful­ly devel­op in Chrome and Fire­fox, know­ing that there will soon be the reck­on­ing of hav­ing to fix what­ev­er IE bugs they’re will­ful­ly ignor­ing, but for right now it feels so good not to have to write ter­ri­ble, hacky code to sup­port a ten-year-old brows­er, and maybe my boss will announce tomor­row that we offi­cial­ly don’t sup­port IE 6 any­more?

This, I think, is where the back­lash comes from. “Devel­op­ing for Safari” is bare­ly a thing. “Devel­op­ing for IE” was hell. To see the two com­pared in — yes — a click­baity way is mad­den­ing.

Windows XP SP3

Microsoft pub­licly released Win­dows XP Ser­vice Pack 3 yes­ter­day, which means that it should appear in your list of avail­able updates. To grab your own stand­alone copy of the update, down­load the EXE or the ISO direct­ly from Microsoft. Life­hack­er also has a tuto­r­i­al on get­ting SP3 onto a Win­dows install disc to save your­self loads of trou­ble lat­er. Read what Ars Tech­ni­ca, Life­hack­er, and Wired have to say about the upgrade.

This ser­vice pack was rumored in Novem­ber (by Wired and CNET, among oth­ers) to offer a 10% boost in speed, but who knows under what con­di­tions it’ll actu­al­ly be notice­able. And all this amidst protests against Microsoft­’s plan to stop sell­ing XP this sum­mer. Even John Dvo­rak, whose columns I’ve been read­ing since ado­les­cence, hates Vista:

You’re not sup­posed to deliv­er a new oper­at­ing sys­tem that’s been in devel­op­ment for more than four years yet per­forms worse than the pre­vi­ous OS. Per­for­mance should be at the top, not the bot­tom, of the to-do list. You get the sense that Microsoft just piles code on top of code and some­where in the mid­dle of it all is MS-DOS 1.0.

I’ll say.