Someone explain to me why the (no longer supported) Mac version of Internet Explorer is more standards-compliant than the Windows version. On windows, my PNG is being blended perfectly – with the wrong color. Where the hell did that gray come from? Over at the Hut there is a similar problem, but since I’m flogging mac-only software I didn’t worry about it too much.

I mean, shit, when was the PNG standard adopted? I had big plans for a graphic treatment that simply won’t work if browsers don’t render images according to well-established standards.

Someone Microsoft laid off from their Mac Business Unit should go give the windows folks some lessons.

Meanwhile, I’d be grateful for some feedback from the field about how other winders and Linux browsers are handling my graphic. It should look like this:
Obviously, there was still a ways to go, but you see how the ampersand crosses into the lighter color? The ability to do that was very important for my plans. I’m sure there are ways to accomplish what I want to de despite Microsoft, but this way was easy.

I know it’s an old story: Microsoft choosing which standards to follow and which to ignore. I would have thought they would be all over PNG, since it gets them out of paying royalties.

OK, I feel better now. I have work to do. On my Windows machine. Huh.

18 thoughts on “Ugh

  1. Hmm. Looks fine on 6.0SP2 on XP. Most of the standards compliance problems I’ve heard about IE involve it’s poor handling of CSS — an even older standard.

    Make sure you have the latest fully patched version.


  2. jer,

    IE Sucks. I put together a quick page on the whole deal a few weeks ago. The page isn’t too great but there are some interesting links and reads.Click on the homepage link I put in this comment. Let me know.

    I actually considered writing a small javascript, that redirects people using IE from my website to the GET RID OF IE page. The lack of CSS support is reason enough.

    PS. I feel the same way regarding your comments on my site. Everyone I meet dislikes what Bush is doing yet he is close to even in the polls..What gives? He is really hated here…And they sent a few troops.

    I also agree with what you said about the political spectrum. Molly Ivins said it best whenshe described herself not as liberal conservative etc…but just Molly Ivins looking for what is best out there. Common Sense, accountability…

  3. Jer, I’m on a linux box running Mozilla. I also have access to a MSWindows box. First the bad news…on the MSwindows pc running IE 6.08.28.blah.blahblah (how much detail do they need in their version number?) your title image has a gray background, and is not nearly as classy as what you intended. The good news – on my Mozilla it looks grand, exactly what you intended. Now I’m gonna wait 30 and say some more….

  4. I also wanted to second Bob’s comment about how fun it is to visit the site everyday. Please note how good a job at appearance you’ve already done. Right now the site is easy to read, well organized, calm to the eye, layout makes sense, easy to navigate. When you revamp it, please don’t fix what aint broke.

    Not to shill for mozilla, but…okay, to shill for mozilla, this is a great browser. Its very easy to set things like pop-up blocking, font size, and it has a really good section on privacy, and how to set cookies acceptance. BTW I have my fonts set really huge (20pt) for struggle free reading. I don’t have bad eyes, and I want to keep them that way. But it means all of your intro text about belgian buddhists is garbled. That isn’t a “your problem” its a “mp” and once I realized it was there, I temporarily reset my fonts to read it.

  5. I don’t use IE that often, which is why it took me a while to notice the gaps under the title icons. Unfortunately, I can’t reasonably expect others to ditch Explorer, even though the Web would be a better place without it. Over at the Hut I just put in a little disclaimer. Here, that’s not as attractive an option.

    Jess, thanks for the feedback about the design. That header is not easy reading right now. I’m trying to decide if that’s acceptable since it’s a read-once kind of thing, or if I need to at least left-justify it. Aesthetics still need work as well. I won’t make a final decision until I get the last graphic up there.

    And finally, soon I’ll be getting the post size limit increased to 3000. It’s good to have articulate, long-winded guests. It gives people something to read even when I’m feeling lazy.

  6. To respond to another of Jesse’s comments here in the hope of getting more feedback, I’m thinking of putting a section on the sidebar with links to the most heavily commented blog entries.

    I curious how you guys feel about that. Is there a time to let entries die? Which entries do you wish you could still reach from the main page? The politics entries are heavily commented, but there aren’t that many of them, so you can already pop over to them by clicking the Politics category. Is that good enough?

    Oh, and thanks again for the feedback on browsers. If there’s a service pack that fixes the png problem, maybe I’ll keep going with it.

  7. I have an XP runing IE over a not-so-good dial-up connection. The header is legible, but pale grey. Parrrdon myk spelling, i just woke up from a verry long social studdies lecture have an hour ago. Oh, at my school, there are two browsers, IE and Netscape 3.0. Both suck, butt IE iss betr thn Netcsape.

  8. Do the links to heavily comented entries(like Suicide Squirrel Death Cult. That will become a classic blog entry. Somtime way in the future there will be a museum about the internet. On a small display about blogs, tucked into a back corner, there will be one entry withe coments printed out on 8.5 by 11 inch peices of paper, a material that is no long er used to put data on…. This is the fate of SSDC). Also, My XP running IE doesn’t show gaps in the title icon.

  9. I have service pack 2 XP, and it looks bad. I’d suspect drivers since some instals work and others don’t but Mozilla doesn’t seem to have any problem.

    It may just be the caffeine talking, but as long as designers work around IE’s shortcomings, nothing will ever change. I’m leaning toward letting i be ugly and putting up a message when IE for windows is the browser.

    I may change my tune in the morning.

  10. When the new header first started to appear over my archaically slow (officially 56K but never signs on faster than 28K) rural-phone-line dial-up service, I thought, “this is beginning to look cool.” When it finally finished loading, I thought, “this looks cool, but it’s so pale.” Now I know why.

    Meanwhile, putting in a direct link to the squirrels would be doing the world a service. You’d never guess what they’re up to now.

  11. I just downloaded Mozilla Firefox, and it’s almost like Safari on Windows (Not surprising, really – if I’m not mistaken Safari is a Mozilla derivative also). A funny thing happened almost right away – I expected other things on my wintel to start working better also.

    What a breath of fresh air!

  12. Tell me more about this Mozilla thing. Is is freeware or shareware? Is it compatible with Windows XP over a very slow dial-up connection? Where’s the link to download it?

    At work, I’m stuck with IE, but if I can use Mozilla at home or at the cabin, it sounds like what I want.


    It’ll probably improve your download performance, but probably not very much. It is a much lighter-weight app than IE.

    And it’s FREE! I’m using it with XP right now. It was a completely painless install.

    Speaking of free, would you believe there is a site

    I boggled. I had been asking myself, where the heck am I going to find a nice free typewrier font? It’s like they have a site for EVERYTHING.

  14. Mozilla is free, its great, and it sounds like Jerry (software samurai) already knows more about it than me. Firefox who? Gerald should encourage his school sysadmins to install it at school. Under the heading “theres’ no such thing as a free lunch” I should point out, that mozilla isn’t perfect. At least on linux, there were certain issues that my sysadmins had to fix, and that ain’t me. And there seems to be a java script “leak” where certain applets don’t stop running when you’re done with them. Eventually my favorite weather radar page just stops working, and I have to kill a bunch of java processes.

  15. The main problem I’ve had with Firefox is that there are compatibility problems. One site (Microsoft Updates) refuses to let me sign on using anything other than IE (and since I still have to use Windows, I still have to download updates periodically). The other is the fancy new computer system at work, which lets me sign on grudgingly while giving me dire warnings that my browser isn’t supported by their system — although other than the warning, I haven’t had any problems.

    So in less than 24 hours, I’ve found two supposed incompatibility problems. I still like the screen appearance of Firefox, however (speaking of Clint Eastwood movies).

  16. That Microsoft would require their own browser is no surprise at all. That is more a measure of the lack of standards compliance of IE than anything else. Of course, Mocrosoft never misses an opportunity to solidify its hegemony over the computing world.

    There are all sorts of ways that software tries to understand what browser it’s talking to, and most of them are bad. If people wrote to the standards instead of to the platforms most of those problems would go away.

    Right now I’m trying to come up with a transparent graphic that looks fine when the browser renders it correctly but says “Your browser sucks” when the browser doesn’t draw it correctly.

    So far just a mind experiment, as I have a big deadline in the morning.

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