Re: CSS is doomed (10 years per version ?!?)

On 6/30/05, Orion Adrian <> wrote:

>Few people moved to Firefox because of it's improved rendering engine.
>Firefox's sucess has been entirely based on its usability improvements
>and the increased security if offers.
>And lets' not jump the gun; Microsoft still has the vast majority of
>the market. If Microsoft does it right Firefox will be another
>footnote in history before it gets to 35% market share.
>That being said, it's nice when things interoperate and are technology
>agnostic, but the key problem I see is this: I have enough trouble
>remembering what I just said or wrote, beyond the fact that you're
>asking me to accomplish true platform independance which requires me
>to duplicate the exact meaning on a platform with a different model.
>Historically no major technology has been able to port platforms and
>behave exactly the same. Look at text files; line endings still
>haven't been solved in over 20 years of use.
>So what is being asked of these developers is to implement a standard
>duplicating it perfectly. Why the need for perfection? Because authors
>can only use the least common denominator. That or everyone has to
>back the same horse (in this case: Microsoft).
>My mother, who isn't involved in this debate, has stated on several
>occasions that she loves what Microsoft did when they became a
>monopoly. I asked her why and her answer was surprising. She said that
>when Microsoft became the standard, everything worked. She no longer
>had to worry about this working or that working. She no longer had to
>deal with multiple programs trying to interoperate: everything just
>This is still the foundation of Microsoft development. It is their
>slogan and it appears on their products: "Play for Sure". Users don't
>care about how developers do it, they only care that they do. They
>hate that there are subtle or major differences between applications.
>They don't understand it and they don't care. From a typical user's
>perspective, IE is correct and Mozilla, Opera and Safari are broken.
>Why? Because features work on IE that don't work elsewhere. Is this
>because authors coded for IE? YES!, but it's a moot point since users
>only care about sucess.
>Orion Adrian

While I understand what you're saying Orion, I don't view MS as a
neccessary evil.  Especially in the world of the Internet.  Considering
that greater than 50% of the web runs on Open Source platforms (ie. Linux
largely) I don't see any reason to begin to accept the MS monopoly.  Every
day I deal with people who are unwilling to change to open source
solutions.  In almost every instance they are either forced to change by a
corporate demand, or because they themselves understand the need for it.
The world is changing, it will continue to do so, and while I understand
your mother's sentiment (and it's probably a good indicator for the typical
user) the typical user IS becoming more educated about both the evils of
microsoft, and the benefits of Open Source.  At least once I week I tell
someone about Open Office.  I mention that it's free, that it does
everything MS Office does and more (including xforms) and people go nuts.
If you weigh to cost of MS Office (monetarily) against the cost of Open
Office... Open Office wins in almost all instances.

Concerning Firefox again...  I agree... if Microsoft plays their hand
perfectly, they might be able to turn Firefox into a foot note in history.
However I find that unlikely.  MS is stuck supporting a regime of webpages
that are IE specific... specifically they don't support most of CSS, and
use IE specific html code.  Often this is bloated code from frontpage or
word...  Support for "standards" other than their own would break most of
those legacy webpages.

What I'm trying to illustrate is this.  Open Source (as of today) has
better products all around.  Conforming to standards reduced time to
produce product, and promotes usability on multiple platforms.  Konqueror's
css renderer as well as gecko's renderer both render most websites
beautifully.  W3C has been kind enough to provide us with the !important
portion of css which gives us the power to easily code css for legacy IE

The truth is that MS is responsible for the lack of acceptence of standards
in the main stream.  Whether the general public understands that, or likes
it, is rather irrelivant to me.  I'm a designer.  I've been exposed to the
standards, and I use them.  Thus far they've made my life infinitely
easier... not harder.  I know other designers (the people who actually use
css on a daily basis) and we are always delving deeper into css, and
understanding more about what it does.  CSS is far from "doomed" in my
opinion.  It's quite possible W3C's greatest gift to designers.  I use
Firefox because the CSS I like, and want to use is working there...  I use
!important (again a wonderful portion of the standards) to make my sites
look good to IE users.  But, I pitty them.  MS's standards and additional
abilities in IE have largely led to the problems of spyware and viruses...
is that truly a standard you wish to continue using?  If so be my guest.
At least computer repair techs will continue to have a job.  But as for me,
I'll pick standards compliant technology that truly works the way it was
intended and doesn't open my computer up to 99.999% of the worlds hacks.
I'm not alone in this opinion, and the Open Source balls is already
rolling... stopping it's gonna be difficult.

Again, I understand what you're saying, but my basic point is that:

1.) MS's monopoly has undermined the way the web SHOULD have worked years
ago... we are only now starting to correct that problem.

2.) Open Source products are better, and work the way I expect them to.

3.) Standards have helped me infinitely more than they've hindered me.  I
cannot say the same for MicroSoft.

4.) The average user is becoming more educated about these issues all the
time, and MicroSoft's backed themselves into a corner that's going to make
them have to lie cheat and steal to get out of it again.  It's only a
matter of time before some Open Source product unseats the MS beast and
puts it in its grave.  I hope it's Firefox, it may not be, but I can hope
and support it.  If everyone just decided that it was all hopeless, no one
would ever beat MS.


Again, not trying to cause trouble, just trying to point out what I
perceive as a flaw in your arguement.

Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 18:55:34 UTC