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TheGeek.org: On the Need for 'the Samba of Web Browsers'

May 31, 2000, 14:49 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by mrob)

[ Thanks to Ron Harwood for this link. ]

"I am writing this story as a concerned Webmaster (and major Perl/PHP geek) and Linux/Unix sysadmin who believes in freedom of software choice. My topic today is something which I've been meaning to write about, but which events today have convinced me that I must speak up on immediately-- namely, the slow IE-ization of the Web, and what it means for the Unix community."

"We are entering a bold and rather frightening new era in the continual evolution of the Web, an era in which Netscape's long-held lead, now turned into a straggling second place, becomes ever more a thing of the past. While us geeks have turned a blind eye, Microsoft has been quietly adding "feature" after "feature" to IE, designed to break compatibility with Netscape. These are features that no other browser has-- things like support for odd graphics formats in inline graphics (for instance, .BMP), support for backslashes (!!!) instead of forward-slashes in IMG tags, and the like."

"Since hardly anyone edits HTML by hand any more (I do, for the record, and a lot of those reading this might, but look at Joe Average Web Developer nowadays and see if he can), those browsing the Web are at the mercy of whatever garbagey HTML the latest GUI "Web editors" produce. Increasingly often, those "Web editors" are made by Microsoft-- namely, Front Page (in its various incarnations) and Word (which, while not a Web editor, can output HTML, and many people use it for this). For obvious reasons, code output by MS editors will very often render properly only in.. (GomerPyle)surprise, surprise, surprise...(/GomerPyle) IE."

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