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RE: rant rant rant (was: Re: Issue 4: Text-Indent and DIV)

From: Chris Wilson (PSD) <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 11:05:08 -0700
Message-ID: <41F7F4CE3CA2CF11BC5000805F14B2A9023AC00B@RED-31-MSG.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'E. Stephen Mack'" <estephen@emf.net>, www-style@w3.org
> E. Stephen Mack [SMTP:estephen@emf.net] wrote:
>(Similarly, while I accept from Chris Wilson that he can
>either document IE 4.0 PP2's CSS1 shortcomings or fix the holes,
>there is a much higher documentation burden when IE 4 does ship.)

? Well, yes and no - there'll be less of a burden, because hopefully
I've used some of the time I saved from documenting alphas and betas to
fix the bugs.

>...and the simultaneous miraculous appearance
>of a bug-free final version of IE 4.0 before the middle of a
>year that ends in 8.)

Oh, I'm sure we'll ship before June 2008.  ;^)

>[But don't get me wrong: I'd rather see no version of IE this year
>than a broken version.]

The real issue here lies in the question "how broken?"  I'm guessing my
answer is different than some others' - I have a comfort zone about how
important a bug needs to be before I'd ship the product anyway.  I'll be
perfectly frank - there are a few issues I'm still trying to resolve,
but there are also a few bugs that I'm fairly comfortable shipping IE4
with.  If we don't ship until next year, it is again a moot point - we
will have lost any market share that we have gained in the last year,
and killed our chances at gaining any in the future, no matter how pure
our product is.

>The IE 3.x ... support of CSS1 ... has done far more
>to hurt CSS1's chances of becoming established as a general Web
>practice than would have been done if these browsers had contained
>no support for CSS1 at all.

(I removed the comments about Nav 4 from the above because I don't wish
to comment on it.)  I understand your frustration, but I disagree with
your comment as it pertains to IE3.  How many press articles did you see
on CSS before I implemented some of it in IE3?  Do you believe IE4's CSS
implementation would be as complete if IE3 didn't have any CSS support
at all, or that there would be as much content using CSS when we
release?  Do you believe, for that matter, that there would even be ANY
CSS support in Navigator if IE3 hadn't had some CSS support?  <LAYER>
tag sound familiar?

>If we can prod vendors to get fixed implementations out there,
>and convince them to tell people that the old versions had "serious
>CSS1 bugs and everyone should upgrade or else disable style sheets"
>then we might get somewhere with CSS1 soon.

This sounds exactly like words that come out of my mouth every day.
IE3's stylesheet implementation was essentially proof-of-concept.  I
believe it's a good - nay, great - concept: separation of style and
content, and additional stylistic control.  I hope everyone upgrades to
IE4, and is happy with the CSS1 support in it.  I hope IE5 is that much
closer to Stylesheet Nirvana, and I'll probably personally be there
pushing that along.

Chris Wilson
Received on Monday, 4 August 1997 14:05:34 UTC

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