Recently during a developer conference in Sydney Australia, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the idea of using WebKit as the rendering engine within its web browser was "interesting" and added "we may look at that." I hope this is true, but one must always take anything Ballmer says with a grain of salt. He often speaks without thinking and without any background knowledge of what Microsoft is actually doing with regards to the subject in question.

Of course, if this is really true, it will not be the first time Microsoft admit defeat with regards to their bloated browser, Internet Explorer. When Microsoft released 7.0 version and announced 8.0 version of it Internet Explorer, they admitted that their approach in the past had been wrong and they promise to do a better job to comply with Standards; established by W3C. With IE 8.0 that compliancy is starting to take shape, but it is still far from the compliant status of its competitors: Apple Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, Opera's Opera, etc. Therefore, the adoption of WebKit as its engine for future version of IE will accelerate its compliance to Standards and gaining the capabilities of the current fastest Javascript engine in the Internet world.

Most of all it will cause all those lazy web developers who only code their web site to work on IE's quirky mode to finally wake up and start to follow the W3C standards.

I call upon all web developers to not wait for Microsoft and start coding to the W3C standards and then make exceptions for IE, and not the other way around. This is because even if Microsoft does not adopt WedKit its IE 8.0 will be more compliant to W3C and will be must less lenient to web sites that are not compliant, causing these web sites to just FAIL.

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Microsoft is reported to be seeking public opinions on IE8's future web Standards (W3C) compatibility.

I think it is a good thing that Microsoft is finally admitting the fact that all previous versions of IE are not web Standards (W3C) compliant. Note that IE7 is on the road to the right direction, but it is way too slow compared to IE's competitors: Safari, Opera, FireFox, Camino, OmniWeb, etc.

Now Microsoft is using a blog to seek the public's (particularly web site developers') opinion, is definitely seen as a good thing. I too somewhat agree, but the fact that Microsoft wants to avoid breaking these same developers's web site with IE8 is the wrong focus.

Microsoft should be encouraging these developers to fix their web site, so that they are W3C Standards compliant and pass all W3C tests, and to promote the web (W3C) Standards behaviour for all elements of a web page. What Microsoft should NOT be doing is to continue to encourage these same developer to make lazy and sloppy code for their respective web sites.

I for one vote for Microsoft to be "heavy handed" in making IE8 100% W3C Standards compliant. For any features that are not yet W3C Standards compliant, Microsoft should not release them.

Microsoft should follow its own track record of doing the technically correct thing, like in Windows Vista's security, rather than always focusing on backward compatibility. Doing the latter will further worsen the sloppy code that are generated by so many web site developers.
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Another attempt for Microsoft to further break the web sites around the world.

Before you start to call me an Apple bigot and start to bombard my Inbox with hate mail, please take the time and read my full article before posting any comments. That's because as always I totally welcome comments from all my readers.

With the pending release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), Microsoft has published a "warning" on the Microsoft Developer's Network to web site developers.

Prior to deployment of IE 7, we strongly recommend that you test your Web sites, extensions, and applications to make sure they are ready. Microsoft recommends that Web sites and applications are ready for the release of Internet Explorer 7 this month.

Michael Calore of WIRED has a good article that points out how ridiculous Microsoft's request is. In the same article there are also a few comments from WIRED readers that I too agree with. I will add my two cents worth here.

Being the largest software manufacture in the world, for many years Microsoft has enjoyed the benefits of the layman computer users' ignorances of alternatives solutions. This fact of general acceptance through ignorance does not equate to an official Standards.

Instead, Microsoft should use this dominance to come right out and inform the layman end-users that past versions of IE have been flawed and non-compliant to the W3C Standards. With the release of IE7, Microsoft is starting to be W3C complaint and has yet to complete this transition.

Standards are set and outlined by Standards bodies. In the case of the web, W3C is the official accepted body, which Microsoft is part of, that outlines the behaviours of browsers for every element of a web page and beyond.

As Calore and others have said, IE7 is moving towards compliance to the W3C Standards, but this forthcoming release is well behind those of its competitors (Firefox, Safari, Mozilla and Opera) who had Standards compliant browsers for many years.

Microsoft's insistence of web site developers add conditional codes to their respective sites to accommodate IE7 is absolutely unacceptable, especially for web sites developers who are already W3C Standards compliant. If IE7 complies to W3C Standards then these web sites will just work. The fact that these sites do not behave as expected in IE7 is 100% the fault of Microsoft.

I strongly believe that web site developers around the world should stick to the W3C Standards and use the W3C validators to ensure compliance. Especially for the larger and more popular sites: Digg.com, Del.icio.us, Flickr.com, YouTube.com, etc.

The web site developers who need to change their codes are the ones who are not yet W3C compliant. These developers had blindly follow the behaviours and interpretations of Internet Explorer (IE) and coded their sites to work with specific versions of IE for years. This sort of expectations and demand of the end-user is only acceptable in a controlled environment, as in within a corporate computer installation. Even in the latter case, web site developers should work towards the W3C compliance, since today's leader can well come tomorrow's loser.

So I hope that the introduction of IE7 will encourage more web site developers to be W3C compliant. Resulting in web sites and web applications that are truly platform, operating system (OS) and browser brands agnostic, which is my definition of what a true web enabled service should be.

The article written by Steven Wittens infuriated me so much that I decided to Blog about the subject also.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not angry with what Steven had wrote. To the contrary, I totally agree with Steve in terms of Microsoft placing blame on the developers.

Sending out emails like these to developers/companies are just trying to support their own agenda of forcing everyone to switch out of IE 6 or earlier.

M$ is hoping that that switch, due to habit, will be IE 7, but as Steven had said these "CSS hacks" should not affect IE 7 if it was fixed correctly and fully compliant to the CSS standards.

Therefore, the fact that these pages are not displaying correctly in IE means that M$ may have corrected the CSS compliance issue, but they have missed out on the rest of the W3C standards for a browser.

So, my suggestion and wish is for all developers to do nothing to explicitly support IE 7, but rather continue to code to the W3C standards. So that more sites will break for the end-user, unless they are using one of the fully Standards compliant browser.

I personally think that M$ had been spoiled for too long. What I mean is that they had been the dominate player by default; end-users do not bother or care to install any other browser except the one that came with the computer they purchased or what was already installed with their OS. As a result of this unjustified dominance, M$ had slacked off and not correct issues/bugs that they should had fixed much quicker.

Therefore, if majority of the end-users cannot use majority of the Standards compliant web sites on the Internet, and these web sites clearly states the list of Standards compliant browsers that will work properly. M$ will be forced to finally stick to the Standards rather than forcing their own onto developers.

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AuthorVinko
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