On the Internet Explorer blame : Answer to @slicknet’s post

Just a short recap of the debate:

Here’s my reaction that I also published as a comment to Nicholas blog:

I will have to strongly disagree with the fellow compatriot although I respect his experience and background. I have a lot less experience that he does, but I think I do have the right to disagree (stating the obvious, but whatever).

First of all the post makes one statement that I think Nicholas didn’t really think through: “IE8 nice, stable browser”. Five words to that: getElementsByClassName.

Second of all complaining isn’t counterproductive; On the contrary, developer complaining has being responsible for browsers pushing the boundaries. Being constantly unsatisfied maybe makes you miserable, but it’s for sure not counterproductive. Don’t take my word for it, just see how it turned out for the Apple guy.

If it wasn’t for web developers and designers, who would actually complain? End users? Most of the computer illiterate people I know can’t even tell the difference between Internet Explorer or Chrome, and only get convinced if you force them to try. Hell, we’d be still using IE7 if it wasn’t for complaining.

Last but not least, Nicholas skips one very important fact in his analysis: The infamous Microsoft yearly browser updates, who are just plain ridiculous with regards to the speed the industry evolves, and Microsoft’s Windows XP / no IE9 policy, which sabotaged not only it’s own “modern” browser, but also the new specs adoption as a whole. (ops, actually those were two facts!)

I’ll add one more point, just to spice the debate a bit more: BAD NEWS folks! Regardless of all the innovation, polyfills, JavaScript frameworks, JavaScript browser engine optimization and so on, we still are far behind native applications performance and stability. So, if you ask me, if we are planning to make some progress, we can’t keep polyfilling and we can’t keep supporting browsers that are four years old. Come on you guys, there’s no excuse. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s good for everyone. Once and for all the O/S should take full control of the upgrade procedure, make all browser updates silent, and 80% of the users should be on latest stable at any moment. If you’re on Facebook for 5 hours per day minimum, you got time for a minor download once a couple of months. I’d even go one step further and say all modern browsers should be pre-installed in all O/S so they could be more tied to the O/S. Maybe “healthy” competition in this case is not a good thing after all.

Drupal tip: Style admin nodes

I was recently searching for a snippet that would add a class to nodes created by the administrator. Rather simple and straightforward, but didn’t find anything. If you’re just starting out in theming, it could help you understand how things work a bit. Here is the code you add in your theme’s template.php file:

function [your_theme_name]_preprocess_node(&$vars) {
if ($vars['uid'] == 1) {
$vars['classes_array'][] = ‘adminpost’;
}
}

Reviewing Adaptive Web Design

Adaptive Web Design

I recently bought and read the electronic version of Adaptive Web Design, written by Aaron Gustafson which was overall a nice -and short- read. Aaron is obviously a good writer, but this is no surprise if one looks at his CV. He also seems like a nice guy -twitter wise-, maybe a bit easier to approach than other folks from the “Zeldman Web Influencers group”. I rarely buy books, but I had a good feeling for this one. Read the whole story

Semantic Markup, CSS and Crockford

The other day, I was watching the Crockford on JavaScript video series, which was in some dark corner of my bookmarks for quite a while.

In the fourth video of the series, entitled “The Metamorphosis of Ajax”, Douglas Crockford talks a bit about HTML and . He says:

..so HTML was not state of the art when it was introduced in the late 20th century. It was intended for simple document viewers and nothing else. It was not intended to be an application platform… The set of tags is much too small for the things that we’re doing.

.. and started (the SGML people) the mythology of Semantic Markup which is essentially impossible in a system in which you cannot make up your own tags in which you are using a set of tags which was designed for simple technical documents and you’re coding things which have no resemblance to technical documents – there is no opportunity for semantic coding in the system as it currently exists – although there is a lot of belief that this is what we should be doing.

Mr. Crockford is actively involved in the development of the JavaScript language, (and a bunch of other stuff). And I must say, he got me into thinking. Even more when he started talking about CSS and its drawbacks as a language. Most of which I have already realized working as a Front-End: Lack of modularity (you cannot be sure two identical boxes will render in 100% the same way as they might interfere with each other, browser implementation which is often very hard to achieve, constant overloading and redefining of properties etc, etc..)

Non-Exhaustive list of Web Design Resources:Blogs, Gurus, Tweet-lists

Do you want to be up-to-date with all latest trends in Front-End Development, Web Design, HTML5, 3, or whatnot? Let me show you how:

Setup a netvibes account

I think good products stand the passage of time, and since Netvibes has managed to survive my bookmarks for a few years now, it must be good. RSS Feed aggregation, reader, name it as you want, it basically does one thing: It gathers all the things you like to read, in one place. Build your dashboard, and pay special attention to the settings on the top right corner: You can get rid of the Headline on top, the google search and generally you can pretty much change everything you want depending on your needs.

Hope you got twitter

Don’t be fooled that you can stay updated without following specific people that work in the Design industry. Setup your account, and as you will be following a great number of people, try to filter them by using Lists. Personally I just separate general from design-related, but you can go further into separating technologies like CSS, HTML, and so on.

Blogs

Here’s the blogs I follow in Netvibes:
Jeffrey Zeldman presents the Daily Report
HTML5 Doctor
A List Apart
Sam Ruby
Drupal.Org News
Bruce Lawson
Smashing Magazine
Six Revisions

Follow them!

And here you got the people I follow in twitter.

Grand Usability fails

Belgacom is the leading ISP & Telecoms company of Belgium, and Belgacom’s Single-Sign-On system is one of the worst I’ve ever seen – (especially if we take into account it’s an Internet Service Provider).

I forgot my password the other day so naturally tried to use the “Forgot Password” link under the login form. I entered a username (not in an username@domain format) and I was forwarded to a lovely page that informing me I did something wrong:

belgacom UX error

When I finally figured out (somehow) I should put a username@domain format, I faced another challenge: Figuring out the password character restrictions.

belgacom UX fail

The message was asking me to choose an 8-character password, of which at least 1 character should be a number. Easy ha? Not really. After spending some time trying passwords, I figured you basically shouldn’t put more than one number in order for your new password to be valid. True story.