Re: MSFT Chicanery

From: <cls_at_truffula_dot_sj_dot_ca_dot_us>
Date: Sat Sep 22 2007 - 11:54:02 CDT

The people who write "IE only" web apps don't give a damn
about unfair competition or user security or portability
or handicap access. If those things meant anything in their
world, they'd write browser neutral code. So you are not
going to move them talking about those things.

I think it even undermines your case. Most people
naturally respond to an advocacy argument by looking for
holes. It's an egodefense. The advocacy argument implies
by its nature that you know something they don't, or they
were fooled by some deception you saw through.
Finding a hole means you're wrong and they're off the hook.
It's one of the reasons the nonsensical "spoiler effect"
argument works against new political parties. It's
perhaps the main reason nonsensical pro-Microsoft FUD
is so appealing and effective. If this fool read a survey
seven years ago and thinks IE is 93% of the market, the second
you mention Linux you gave him the excuse he was desperately
looking for to tune you out.

The more effective argument for browser neutral code
is about the cost advantages of writing to standards.
The proprietary "HTML extensions" browser wars were ten
years ago. HTML, CSS, and even Javascript are well standardized
now. They had to be, to make Ajax apps work right.
(And everybody likes Ajax. Google Maps was the killer app,
but it's everywhere now.)
The guy who's making the design errors and coding
mistakes that make his code "IE only" is digging himself
into a hole. Since IE (believe it or not) claims to be
standards compliant, his code (if it really is IE only)
depends for its operation on "bugs" which MSFT may actually
fix at any time, which will break his app. It's going to
cost him time and money and competitive advantage to dig
himself out of that hole. Don't talk about Safari
or Firefox, talk about a future IE. And remember you're
talking about his bugs, which is probably a sensitive subject.

Incidently, all ten computers I actively maintain run GNU+Linux,
and only one uses Firefox. Compared with Seamonkey and
Konqueror, Firefox is just too unstable. Major memory leaks.
Crashes too often. My default browser is Seamonkey, but only
because certain Ajax sites break Konqueror's Javascript.
(E.g. http://tv.yahoo.com/listings/)
I don't advocate Firefox and Thunderbird when I'm promoting
noncommercial software, I put my friends on Seamonkey.
And don't dismiss Konqueror. Safari may have forked off it,
but I understand there is still a lot of common development.
Enough that if it works on Konqueror it probably works
on Safari, and if it breaks on Konqueror you can be pretty
sure it breaks on Safari. The W3C survey lists
"Safari (including Konqueror)" as one browser.

Cameron

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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:17 2007

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