Sunday, April 22, 2007

Four steps to a better IE

Not much, but they sure as hell need to start somewhere.

Recently, the Chris Wilson of the IE team posted about What to Expect from IE at MIX07? and a flood of supportive comments followed.

Actually, a scattered assortment of fucking Firefox! and No, IE! wet slaps ensued. A scarce assortment of people still reading the blog chimed in with speculation about what pathetic "enhancements" and mandatory bug fixes the IE team might or might not pull out of their asses this time around. A meager 21 comments, mostly from a few assorted commenters, mostly quoting each other for no other reason than to say Wrong! and No! Right!.

Microsoft, you have a fucking huge market share. You own it. You have more developer muscle, marketing power, and better standing with businesses (from a market prespective, not opinion - even Microsoft-only shops still fucking hate Microsoft). How do you manage to so consistently fuck yourself?

Allow me to extend my opinion on the matter (what a fucking shock, I know):

You need to break some shit. Not in the ways that you broke IE before, but you need to break the shit that hacks revolve around.

Step 1: Pull that "Mozilla/4.0" the fuck out of the User-Agent string. If any ancient code still references that, it probably doesn't work at this point anyway. Nobody uses it, nobody thinks IE has anything to do with Mozilla, and if they do they deserve to have their shit broken. Having that in your User-Agent string wastes a dozen bytes per request (not counting "compatible" and the parentheses around the actually true part of the string). How many users do you support? 500 million? How many IE requests get made per user each day, on average? Maybe 1,000, if we stay extremely conservative. Even rounding down a few times, this useless little string that every page of every web application on every server simply ignores takes up (continuing to admit that I just made these low estimations up on the spot) somewhere around a trillion bytes of bandwidth each day. Most servers log User-Agent strings, and this shit just piles up. So yank it the fuck out!

Step 2: Make IE's DOM support work. I understand that IE has a lot of shit code in it, and the architecture for this file manager cum web browser basically hard-coded entirely too much shit all over the place, making this difficult to pull off. Fuck it. Write a new browser from scratch if you need to do it that way. Shit, you should have written a new one for Vista, but I suppose that would have caused more delays only to get pulled from the OS in the end anyway... Back to DOM support, if people can't bother to write decent markup, screw them. Do you think anyone will really notice if somebody's piece of shit MySpace page renders a little differently? Or whether Mom'n'Pop online stores will notice that the margins and padding on their block elements look a little off? Most of these idiots can't spell, let alone use CSS, so fuck them and the world will applaud you.

Step 3: Pull your heads out of your asses (or your boss' ass, whichever) and realize that nobody gives a shit about ActiveX but you. Drop it from IE. Make a standalone ActiveX player if you get all weepy and sentimental, but that shit has brought you nothing but trouble. Maybe then you can keep your JavaScript (not "JScript" you fuckers, but JavaScript) at least closely behind the rest of the browsers out there.

Step 4: Start active development on IE. There, I said it. Every other major browser posts about their CSS3 work in-progress, or <event-source> support, or detailing exactly the parts of the SVG specificition they support and how far they have to go. And you guys post things like We’ve gathered input from customers for the next version of IE through formal research like user studies and surveys, and also at conferences, comments on the IE blog, and direct emails from you; we will continue to listen at MIX07. that make you sound like a bunch of fucking spineless politicians. And by the way, if you read that sentence in IE, just pretend that IE supports the "q" tag that has existed for fucking years that IE still doesn't support, but does in fact surround that inline quote.

As I said: not much, but they sure as hell need to start somewhere.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Animated onload?

Why would IE still fire the onload event on animated images every time it hits the first frame? Every other browser fires it, you know, only when the image fucking loads. But IE (up to and including IE7) dutifully keeps firing away.

For some fun, make a two-frame GIF with an alerted onload. Pretty much the markup equivalent to setInterval("alert('Fuck you!');", 10);

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