You can stuff your bug

In reply to the IEBlog web post that is asking people to apply for the right to submit a bug:

Why, on earth, when other browser developers provide open and easy to use bug systems, would Microsoft limit itself in this way?

I have a bug in Webkit, five minutes can help me determine if someone had already reported the bug; no more than another five to submit the bug, with test case.

Mozilla created software to make it easy to search on, and submit bugs. Why, I bet even you all could use it.

Opera has a handy, dandy bug form that makes bug submission a snap.

And here is the IE team “If you email us and ask us really nice we may, just may, mind you, deign to let you actually tell us about that bug, which if left in the released product will haunt us until the end of time. If you don’t ask nice, you can stuff your bug.”


IE 6 End of Life

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

O’Reilly Radar has a post with graphics related to the recent study of people using older, insecure browsers. At a glance we can easily see that most of the problem occurs with Internet Explorer, most likely IE6.

If Wikipedia is correct, IE6 was released on August 27, 2001. Come this August 27th that makes this browser seven years old, far older than most software supported by most organizations.

If we apply the same longevity to other software that’s been applied to IE6, all those who are using IE6 must still be using Windows 2000, the first release of the Mac OS X, Photoshop 3.x, a dial-up modem, AOL for chat, Yahoo for search, most of your applications are on the desktop, most of your backend processes are on a Sun or IBM mainframe, probably in Java, and probably using the JRE 1.3 or so. If you’re using a database, it’s most likely Oracle 7.x or SQL Server 2000. If you’re developing for the web, you’re most likely still using Perl and CGI, if not Java, or ASP. You might be using some Python or PHP, definitely no Ruby or Rails. If you are developing using Visual Studio, it’s Visual Studio 6, and you’re still not ready for .NET

You do your social networking through Usenet or AOL, Epinions, The Wall, or some other online BBS or forum. You can write over 140 characters. When you publish to the web, you’re hand editing your web pages, or using a freebie HTML editor, Macromedia’s DreamWeaver, Vignette, or some other larger commercial product. You might be using Blogger, though it’s doubtful. You might be using a syndication tool, though it’s doubtful. In fact, it’s doubtful that you would be reading this.

At one time, IE6 was the best there was, but that was a long time ago. We’ve used it when it was shiny and new, and it brought us innovation and delight. We used it through its usefulness, when it became more anchor than step. We’ve used it until we now curse its name. We continue to use it because no one seems to be willing to say, “It’s over”.

We should celebrate what Internet Explorer 6 brought us at one time, by letting it go. I think that August 27, 2008 would make a fine EOL date for this once great browser.



Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I have this insanely perverse urge not to download Firefox until Wednesday. To get up in the dead of night, tip-toe to my machine and hit the download button when the date is safely the 18th; cackling in glee at the thought that I, I, am the sole hold out–the traitor, the ingrate, the rebel.

What will happen, instead, is I’ll forget about it and sometime later tonight when I’m online, reading or writing or both, the automate update wizard will pop up and tell me there’s a new version of Firefox. I’ll click the button for the upgrade, and probably won’t think twice about it.

My moment of rebellion will have passed, immersed in other things.


Browser Buzz

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Browsers have been generating a lot of buzz this week.

Opera just released Opera 9.5, which I’ve already downloaded and installed on all of my machines. I’m also going to be downloading and trying out the new Dragonfly JavaScript debugger, since I’ll be covering it (and other JS tools) in the second edition of Learning JavaScript.

Now, it would seem that next Tuesday is the official Firefox 3 download day. Of course, if you even use Firefox on that day you’ll be downloading the released version on that day.

I’m particularly happy about Firefox 3, as I’ve had some SVG rendering issues related to Firefox 2 that made me hesitate in using SVG more completely in my various web sites. Now, I can go to town.

The IE team also released a new post about IE8 beta 2, out in August. Unfortunately, the news about IE8 isn’t as positive as the news about Opera and Firefox. What’s happened is that the initial use of a meta element in order to trigger “IE7” mode, has been proven to be problematical, and needing to be further refined. Now, developers are encouraged to use the EmulateIE7 mode, in order to emulate IE7 behavior, rather than enforce IE7 standards. This is going to be causing confusion, and doesn’t necessarily lead to a sense of warm and coziness that the IE team has their act together.

Unfortunately, no word on support for opacity. The IE team removed the MS proprietary opacity filter in IE8, which was good. However, the team did not put in place the standards-based opacity, which is causing a great deal of unhappiness.

I decided to check the browser statistics on my own sites, particularly my new ones, and my older Burningbird, which I’ve been cleaning up in Google. What I found is the following:

Only 10.5% of visitors to my new Just Shelley site use MSIE. Of the remaining, Safari users account for 8.9%, Opera users 4.4%, and Firefox users account for a whopping 65.1% of the user base.

At RealTech, MSIE 5.5 users account for 6.7%, 6.0 users 5.4%, and 7.0 users account for 4.6%. IE8 beta testers only account for 0.5% of the users. For the rest, Safari has 8.6%, Opera 4.5%, and Firefox, again, accounts for 53.1% of the user base.

For the Burningbird site, which has the oldest material and most visitors from Google, IE use increased to 25.9%. Firefox accounts for 16.2%, Opera for 4.5%, and Safari accounts for 6.6%. Who is the big winner at Burningbird? NetNewsWire, which accounts for 27% of file accesses at Burningbird. That’s a lot of feed reads.

Finally, for Painting the Web, MSIE only accounts for 5.8% of the users, Safari accounts for 10.3%, Opera users have increased to 9.9% (those Opera folks, they love SVG), and last but not least, Firefox accounts for 65.1% of users at Painting the Web.

What does this all mean? It means that active readers of my sites are using Firefox much more than any other browser, while IE users tend to come in via search results on older posts. Safari users have increased, helped along, no doubt, by Apple’s installing Safari on Windows machines, via a Quicktime upgrade. (Why on earth people would complain about Apple putting a standards-based browser on Windows, beats the hell out of me–would we prefer IE?)

Opera users form a good, consistent base at all of my sites, except for Painting the Web, which has double the number of Opera users. Again, I think people who like SVG also like Opera, which has been consistently a strong supporter of SVG.

In summary, at my sites at least, the number of people using IE is dropping. Most people who come to my site using MSIE do so through some Google or Yahoo search, seldom stay more than a quick look at a page, and then move on. Most are using older versions of MSIE, which implies (and the stats also bare this out) that they’re using older versions of Windows and the Mac OS. I frankly never get IE8 beta testers, while I’ve consistently received larger numbers of beta testers for Firefox and Opera.

In other words, MSIE users do not make up a significant portion of my regular readership. More importantly, their numbers have dropped almost 50% from the statistics I had last year.

Now, it’s true that the topics I write about tend to attract the tech community who, other than those who specifically work with IE, professionally, rarely use IE. I have two other sites opening later that cover non-tech fields, not to mention Just Shelley, which isn’t going to be focused on technology. I’ll check in about six months, and see how the statistics do at these and my other sites.

Regardless: Congratulations, Opera! Congratulations, Firefox!


And they’re off

The ACID3 race has begun. Coming around the first lap…

Firefox 3 is in first place, with a comendable lead. Way to burn up the track, foxy!

[image gone]

Coming up from behind, we find the ACID crowd favorite, *Opera!

[image gone]

Winded, but still giving it all she’s got…Safari! (Is that a picture of a cat?)

[image gone]

And in the tail position, dragging, but not dead yet…IE!

[image gone]

The next lap is in six months. Get your bets in now.


*Testing with Opera’s 9.5 beta, we have a new winner, going into the first lap…

[image gone]