Category Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft products and services.

IE File Upload Validation

At last, Microsoft have finally fixed an extraordinarily annoying broken feature of IE introduced with Windows XP Service Pack 2. The problem, for which I previously published a temporary solution and which has been experienced and documented by many since at least September last year, has been resolved. The W3C’s Bug 838 tracked and discussed this issue up until its resolution that has come with Microsoft’s Security Bulletin MS05-014. The patch is available through Windows Update.

The W3C QA team have published a document explaining the issue and solutions, which has been linked from the MarkUp Validator. Hopefully, this now means the continuing flow of error reports to www-validator will cease, or at least slow down. Of course my recommended solution has been, and always will be, to use an alternate browser that does not suffer from such fatal bugs. This is especially the case for user’s of the validator since most will be web developers that really need to develop within standards compliant environments; however, the persistent use of IE among many developers is one thing I fail to understand.

Standards Policy

I have finally got around to publishing the final version of my standards policy today. The document is designed to explain my opinions about accessibility, graceful degredation and proprietary extensions; and to explain why this site fails to render correctly, yet remains accessible for IE users.

Additionally I’ve made use of a conditional comment in order to provide a message to IE users to explain why this site degrades so noticeably. If you don’t have IE, or just don’t feel like opening it up, the message, which appears at the top of the page, simply states:

Find out why this site degrades in Internet Explorer.

Don’t Support IE

Recently, Charl van Niekerk posted his comments about dumping IE, and I totally agree with everything he said. This site does not, and will not support IE until such time as IE supports the standards – like that will ever happen!. If you haven’t already, fire up IE and take a look at this site. You should notice that it degrades somewhat gracefully. The content is fully accessible, though it’s not quite as visually appealing as it is in Firefox and Opera.

Here are my reasons, especially for web developers like myself, to stop supporting IE and allow websites to noticably degrade in IE and other older browsers. Most have already totally given up on Netscape 4.x, so it’s about time we did the same for IE.

The target audience for developer sites like this is, of course, web developers. If web developers start to find that the resources they need to learn and improve their skills do not work in IE, they will be forced to use alternative browsers. Of course, many developers like us already know about the plethora of bugs and serious lack of standards complaince in IE, but as can be seen by the stats at W3Schools, around 70% of web developers (well, of those that are just learning) still use IE. It is these developers that we need to convert to better alternative browsers, and the sooner the better.

By converting the developers, they will learn more about standards compliant, and interoperable code. They will notice the severe flaws in IE’s implementation. They will be forced to make sites that work properly in non-IE browsers, since they’ll be using one themselves. As more sites adopt standards, and stop locking out non-IE browsers, we will have a better chance of taking back the web!

The Firefox community may be aiming for a 10% market share within 12 months among the general population, but among web developers we need to work harder. I want to aim to completely reverse those stats on W3Schools. Let’s aim for 70% market share for non-IE browsers, including Firefox, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, Omni-Web and Mosaic (just kidding), etc… So join us! Remove the countless IE hacks from your stylesheet, except the ones that are absolutely necessary to maintain accessibility. Indeed, there is even a single hack in my stylesheet that simply prevents the menu overlapping the main content. Let’s send a message to those that build the sites! Let’s give them a reason to switch!