This weblog is no longer being maintained. All information here has been ported to EclecticEchoes.com. This site (heupel.com/eclectic) remains only for archival purposes.
Microsoft’s IE has long been the bane of web developers. IE’s support for standards is spotty and inconsistent. This has led to (amongst other things) CSS hacks to hide or modify CSS behaviors for IE versions 5, 5.5 and 6–instead of just one trick to cover all IE browsers. Of course a similar complaint could be aimed at other browsers as well, except that generally when they fix a behavior, they usually actually fix it–not change it to another improper interpretation. Recently Adobe and Macromedia have been working to more directly support alternate browsers (specifically Opera) in possible attempts to press Microsoft to get standards right in IE. Of course Microsoft has repeatedly said it will no longer be developing the stand alone browser so it can focus on implementing browser features in Longhorn–where the OS will be the browser. The linked article quotes Jeffrey Zeldman (who wrote the book on building standards compliant sites), Eric Meyer (who wrote the books on CSS coding) as well as Jakob Nielsen (who has written too many usability books to list all of them).
In a related issue, Eolas and Microsoft both filed court papers on Monday–
Eolas wants the court to block any and all distribution of IE until Microsoft has purchased a license. Eolas would allow distribution only if those receiving IE had seperately purchased a license. Of course Eolas has not sold a single license so effectively they would be blocking all distribution. Eolas once again re-iterated that they are more than willing to sell Microsoft a license in exchange for immediate payment of the jury awarded fines and all interest–approximately $632 million. Eolas warned however that their “very reasonable” offer was not indefinite. For Microsoft’s part, they rejected Eolas’ characterization of $632 million for a mouse click as being reasonable. Microsoft also filed papers asking for a new trial and for the judge to put aside the original fine. Microsoft based their request on a number of factors including the size of the jury award and the refusal of the judge to allow discussion of key prior art. Microsoft is also preparing a defense to the recent Eolas motions to update the award to cover the period from September 2001 to the present. Here is a local list of articles on the whole Eolas issue.
So here’s hoping that Microsoft gets a new trial and is allowed to show the prior art–let the jury decide if it is indeed prior art or not–and that Microsoft will update the IE6 renderer to be fully (and properly) standards compliant–I’m not holding my breath. If you know or have cause to meet Mike Doyle–Eolas sole employee and founder–thank him for me, like with a banana cream pie.