Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NonRant: MS Wants Hanging... Srsly.

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Small things have assumed great importance since I became a IntarWebs HyperLord (you can't just be a webmaster anymore - credentialism don't ya know).

Schoolteachers and other third-raters should look it up - credentialism - since they contribute to it more than any other profession with the possible exception of management graduates.

When I say small things, I am talking about things like the inability of Internet Explorer 6 to properly render standard CSS.

Now normally, the thing to do would be for the market to shun IE6 as you might shun a short man with a persecution complex - just ignore it and hope that the thing buggers off.

However for some reason known only to Marduk and the other denizens of the fiery pit of Hell, about 50% of all browser users, use bloody IE6.

For this blog, only 13% of viewers use IE6 (Rant readers are much more likely than average, to use Firefox - and Linux is used by Rant readers to a much greater extent than the average install base. Well played).

But for the bulk of the internets tubes, IE6 remains the most popular browser by far. And it is an absolute PIG of a thing to build for.

Everybody knows about MS's dirty box - there has been a hack to fix their shizola since about the time that Ezekiel ate that famous shit sandwich.

But since IE6 the old box model hack no longer works, and you spend your entire time having to check if the code you just wrote looks OK in IE6.

I had forgotten to do this for some time, and when I changed soemthing as simple as the menu on the main site, the whole thing fell apart in IE6 and looked like an absolute dog's breakfast. Add to that the pressure of migrating the whole site to a new server last week (and needing to tweak little things here and there) and I had simply not verified the IE6-acceptabillity of the top menu.

So imagine my horror when I checked it today and found the whole front page - and every page that used the menu in question - looked like a pig had vomited into an HTML editor and pressed "Publish to Teh Intarwebs".

Several hours (and much IE6 hacking later) I have a menu that looks absolutely terrific in IE6, but crap in Firefox!

I apologise for the excalamtion mark - I seldom do those.

Seriously though - having to code in order to acount for IE6's weak understanding of CSS2 is like needing to build mountain highways to account for the climbing ability of goat-drawn carts.

So if there is one thing I would like to ask of you, it is that - for those very few of you who use IE6 - that you ditch it and get yourself a standards-compliant browser. your entire web-based life will be better for it, I promise. (Plus, IE6 has not tabs - how dumb is that)

The Promised Gizmo

I had promised that I would stick up a link to the new Index Analysis tool that I built in Flex 3 (my first significant Flex build): earlier today I sticky-taped it into the MarketMentat forums, so you can go over and takea look...

Click this link

And if you navigate back to the main marketMentat site, you will behold my new menu - which is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.

Death to IE6. (That's a bit likesaying "Death to Latin" or "Death to stupid conjugations and gender-specific particles in European language"... eventually the market just destroys anything that tries to operate at that level of inefficiency)