16 October, 2008

The Nerdery: s02e22: On Internet Explorer 6

First and foremost, the people at WAND are gauging interest for running a JNCIA course over a week of the summer holidays. For those who don't know what JNCIA is, it's an entry level networking qualification from Juniper Networks (comparable to the CCNA from Cisco). This is a great way to get hands-on networking experience from people who really know their stuff, and if you have any aspirations of getting a technical job with Telecom, Alcatel-Lucent, Kordia, or some other telco/service provider, I strongly recommend you take this course. Email [email protected] if you're interested.

Now, onto the ASPAs. It rocked. Except for me the next morning, when I realised oh too late that me + Chardonnay == bad. Hangovers aside, I really enjoyed it, and I hope that it'll be equally awesome next year. Being the photography geek I am, I had my camera. And despite being incredibly intoxicated, I managed to take some decent photos with it, which you can find on this week's classy busted page, or at http://www.jlaundry.com/photos/aspa08, which will not work properly in IE 6.

And so here is where I venture to nerdiness. I'm one of those people who won't release something until it's exactly how I envisioned, or at least decent to the point where I like it. Which is exactly why it's now months since I started writing code for my photo gallery. In designing my website, I've always upheld the concept that it should be easy enough for my mother to use. Design-wise this isn't hard, just use decent (bigger than small) sizes and everything else somehow falls into place. But technically, making something consistent under all circumstances is incredibly difficult.

I write in valid XHTML. I use compliant CSS. I use the most rudimentary of JavaScript, and use libraries (which are designed to be cross-compatible) wherever possible. So why is it that even the "better" browsers aren't compatible with each other? I'm puzzled why Safari, Firefox and Opera all render things differently, when all three (3) are supposed to be a better, more standards-based web experience compared to Internet Explorer.

The only explanation I have for it is the fact that users of said alternative browsers are more likely to run a newer, less bug-ridden version, and hence the kinks will be worked out in time. Firefox almost forces updates upon users, Apple tricks them into downloading it, and users of Opera are mostly developers, who love new software. And yet here's big Microsoft, who won't even put IE 7 into the last XP service pack, despite IE 6 being more than 7 years old. People like to drive new cars, they're safer and have more features. So why is it 40% of the world is still driving a shitty old commodore?