Elsewhere monthlies

This is the monthly archive for March 2008.

20 March 2008

Roundup on Parallel Connections

Steve Souders discusses the recent upgrade of the number of concurrent HTTP connections in IE8. Good or bad? He tends toward Good.

Server side | Permalink

A collection is not an array

James Edwards is quite right to point this out once again. Collections, such as those returned by getElementsByTagName(), are not arrays. In many cases it makes sense to convert them to an array, but you lose the dynamic nature of a collection. Even that's not terrible, but you should be aware of all these facts.

Core | Permalink

Yahoo!'s Latest Performance Breakthroughs

Yahoo! had already published 14 guidelines for keeping your site performance down. Today they announced 20 more guidelines. I haven't yet studied them in detail, but I'm sure they're just as important as the first batch.

Performance | Permalink

18 March 2008

Martian Headsets

Joel Spolsky's take on the IE8 versioning default.

Standards are a great goal, of course, but before you become a standards fanatic you have to understand that due to the failings of human beings, standards are sometimes misinterpreted, sometimes confusing and even ambiguous.

The precise problem here is that you're pretending that there's one standard, but since nobody has a way to test against the standard, it's not a real standard: it's a platonic ideal and a set of misinterpretations [...]

Spolsky also says almost every site he visited in IE8 is broken. This is likely to be true, but it's not entirely fair, since this is the very first beta of the new browser, and historically Microsoft's very first version of any browser have always been quite bad. I, for one, will only make such comparisons once beta 2 has been released.

So you see, we have a terrific example here of a gigantic rift between two camps.

The web standards camp seems kind of Trotskyist. You'd think they're the left wing, but if you happened to make a website that claims to conform to web standards but doesn't, the idealists turn into Joe Arpaio, America's Toughest Sheriff. "YOU MADE A MISTAKE AND YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BREAK. I don't care if 80% of your websites stop working. I'll put you all in jail, where you will wear pink pajamas and eat 15 cent sandwiches and work on a chain gang. And I don't care if the whole county is in jail. The law is the law."

On the other hand, we have the pragmatic, touchy feely, warm and fuzzy engineering types. "Can't we just default to IE7 mode? One line of code … Zip! Solved!"

Secretly? Here's what I think is going to happen. The IE8 team going to tell everyone that IE8 will use web standards by default, and run a nice long beta during which they beg people to test their pages with IE8 and get them to work. And when they get closer to shipping, and only 32% of the web pages in the world render properly, they'll say, "look guys, we're really sorry, we really wanted IE8 standards mode to be the default, but we can't ship a browser that doesn't work," and they'll revert to the pragmatic decision. Or maybe they won't, because the pragmatists at Microsoft have been out of power for a long time. In which case, IE is going to lose a lot of market share, which would please the idealists to no end, and probably won't decrease Dean Hachamovitch's big year-end bonus by one cent.

He's right in his thumbnail sketch of the web standards camp; we LOVE the big stick the IE team is handing us on a silver platter, and frankly I'm not sure if having that stick is good for us in the long run. There are too many web standard fascists already.

As to the IE team changing the default again, who knows ... ? If they do I, for one, will fully understand that decision.

IE, Theory | Permalink

17 March 2008

Talking Point: Is South By South West overrated?

Good question. My answer is definitely Yes as a conference, but probably No for the social factor.

Conferences | Permalink

11 March 2008

HTML Reference

After its CSS reference, Sitepoint now unveils the HTML reference. It's still in beta, but looking mighty good.

HTML, Reference | Permalink

10 March 2008

IE8 speeds things up

Steve Souders, who wrote The Book on website performance optimisation, has studied IE8b1 in detail.

IE | Permalink

6 March 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Erik Arvidsson's take on IE8.

IE | Permalink

JavaScript in Internet Explorer 8

John has the overview of IE8's JavaScript improvements.

IE | Permalink

Microsoft obeys me

In case you're wondering why Microsoft revised its versioning switch default: it's because of Bruce Lawson.

Fun | Permalink

3 March 2008

Specify a maximum width for em-based layouts

Useful advice. I don't do this yet on QuirksMode.org, but I did supply a max-width on an em-based site I created recently.

CSS | Permalink


See the February 2008 archive.

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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