SMF Dev Blog #42: The Blog About Life, The Universe And Everything

Started by Aaron, July 02, 2009, 04:30:24 PM

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Steven Hoffman
Former Team Member, 2009-2012



CarpeDiem

When I write webpages, I need to write some stuff for IE6 and the rest for all the other browsers, and it's rather a pain.  Sometimes, I just set up a separate HTML index page for IE6 (called indexIE6.html) which javascript tests and implements from my regular index.html before anything is displayed instead of constant testing and retesting for IE6 throughout my main index page (plus the constant testing and retesting slows down the main page for some users).  The separate IE6 version is actually an easier approach in my experience -- well, except when I do a lot of updating!.  The result of having two versions is that both seem to run faster.

I wonder if one of the reasons some folks stay with IE6 is that they refuse to upgrade from XP, and IE6 is the default for XP.  I use Linux, so what I'm about to say is from friends who primarily use XP, and they say if they try to upgrade IE from 6 given XP as their base that Microsoft gets more involved with their computer than they want (they may be just paranoid here).  I keep a copy of XP in a bootable partition so I can test my webpages with IE6 in it (and I don't upgrade it or else I couldn't use it for testing), but otherwise all the rest of the browsers in Window$ and Linux(free!) work pretty much alike for me in terms of programming (except IE6!).

I liked the Much Ado About IE6 and appreciated the link!  Much To Think About!

青山 素子

Quote from: CarpeDiem on September 13, 2009, 11:49:23 PM
The separate IE6 version is actually an easier approach in my experience -- well, except when I do a lot of updating!.  The result of having two versions is that both seem to run faster.

You might find it easier to use conditional comments and a special IE stylesheet. Generally, I find most well-thought pages just need a few special IE-only CSS rules to trip hasLayout or adjust some box model quirks.


Quote from: CarpeDiem on September 13, 2009, 11:49:23 PM
I wonder if one of the reasons some folks stay with IE6 is that they refuse to upgrade from XP, and IE6 is the default for XP.

According to the Digg poll and confirmed in my experience, the majority reason is either because they can't update because they are on an old release of Windows (Windows 2000 and 98/Me can only support up to IE 6 - well, Microsoft put in that restriction) or are unable to because of a policy or permission restriction (business computers with intranet sites that only support 6).

Windows XP can run IE 8 just fine, Microsoft allows this. In fact, Microsoft pushed IE 7 on XP as a critical update through both Windows Update and Automatic Update. I believe they have done the same with 8 (it's pushed, but I don't know if it is marked at the status that causes an automatic install).
Motoko-chan
Director, Simple Machines

Note: Unless otherwise stated, my posts are not representative of any official position or opinion of Simple Machines.


CarpeDiem

Thanks for the Conditional Statements link.  That was interesting!

I had more than stylesheet problems with IE6, etc.  I couldn't get some fun javascript functions to operate at all with IE6, but IE7+ and all other browsers had no problems, and there were just too many instances, so I found the separate version quite a bit simpler (and it "looks" simpler too in the IE6 version, since it just doesn't have the multiple javascript animations which are otherwise kind of eye-catching -- not essential, but neat!).

My paranoid XP friends won't even do the critical updates on XP, saying "I've got all my data backed up on USB drives that are turned off the majority of the time, and if something gets me because I'm vulnerable, I'll just format and reinstall XP and my programs again"...and, you know what, they've never had a problem (which I don't really understand -- so, who's really the paranoid one's:  my friends or those who do the critical updates out of fear).  Again, I use Linux, so it's not my battle anymore (but I've got XP on dual boots with my Linux partition like I said, and I've never done any critical updates to XP at all for years and I've not had any problems either; so, gee!).  Is it our firewalls on our routers that protect us?  Anyway, that's why my friends have IE6 on their original XP installations, but they all use Firefox and non-M$ email programs too (so IE is simply unimportant, irrelevant and unused by them)!  They're kind of radical bunch.  These are all home users by the way (at work, they do what they're told!).

In terms of our forums and the front pages we usually write ourselves, it'd be nice to see IE6 be put to bed, but since a few out there use it and they may be important to us, I guess we keep on accommodating.

c23_Mike

Hi there !

To get new version several days earlier is a good reason to be a charter member ... also if for private the amount not so less. but I think this software is quuite worth it, so I did it just several minutes ago!
Hope that other will follow!

I also follow every day the bug tracker, not so many entries now more ... whenn all is green it is ready?
So long, Mike

http://www.c23.at
c23 - DER Computer Club
~ never play alone ~

TurtleKicker

Quote from: Kenny01 on August 24, 2009, 01:27:47 AM
Why the rush for version 2, it's not a do or die game.
Guys leave the devs alone, i'm ready to wait till when the script is well bake.

Because many mod developers have abandoned development of 1.1.x versions of their mods, leaving them to feature and bug rot. If they've even bothered making 1.1.x versions of the mods to begin with.

So we've had many months of features, functionality, and bug-fixes dangled in-front of us but only obtainable if we're willing to run beta software in a production environment... something we're told we shouldn't do.

Quote from: Dragooon on September 13, 2009, 03:26:13 AM
You got no idea how much head banging IE(Especially IE6, IE8 is actually decent) has given to the developers. All hail IE for its all-mighty powers!

Drop IE6 support, I say. Good riddance. Put up a notice that warns of limited/buggy functionality when they visit the forum due to their use of an ancient, outdated and severely-flawed web browser.

A lot of these luddites are never going to budge unless they're forced to. I see no reason to waste excess effort due to their stubbornness/laziness.

Arantor

There are also plenty of mods coming out now that rely on 2.0 features and so *can't* be written without significant extra work for 1.1.

Were SMF to drop IE6 support, it would actually lose a lot of users; IE6 still accounts for a frightening percentage of users, of people who more often can't rather than won't upgrade, e.g. business users. SMF is trying to push corporate use as well, remember.

For the record you are cautioned on running the RCs on a production environment but it isn't "you must not". This site does. I do on my sites, and I don't have a problem.
Perhaps it would have been better if I'd simply never bothered. Y'all clearly would be less unhappy that way.

TurtleKicker

Quote from: Arantor on September 21, 2009, 11:45:11 AM
There are also plenty of mods coming out now that rely on 2.0 features and so *can't* be written without significant extra work for 1.1.
I understand, and as a software developer of sorts I respect that. However, there are also plenty which had 1.1.x versions but were stopped because the author simply stated he "lost interest" or whatnot in developing for that branch. So the bugs persist.

But I know: "SMF has no control over mod developers". Been down that discussion already. ;) Still, policy or not, it doesn't change the frustrating landscape that SMF users are left in.

QuoteWere SMF to drop IE6 support, it would actually lose a lot of users; IE6 still accounts for a frightening percentage of users, of people who more often can't rather than won't upgrade, e.g. business users. SMF is trying to push corporate use as well, remember.
It's just the internet version of chicken. They can change, they just don't have reason to for as long as websites are willing to waste hundreds/millions of development dollars catering to them. We're stuck in a rut... neither side is willing to blink because developers feel they have to and end users (or businesses) see no motivation to.

Give them reason/motivation, and they will change. There is no "can't". The software was written... it can be modified.

Potential loss of business hasn't stopped sites like Youtube from moving forward in eliminating IE6 support. We need some inertia going here.

And since SMF is free, SMF has no money to be lost by loss of some corporate users working for companies that made bad business decisions in regards to developing core applications locked to a specific version of a proprietary web technology.

QuoteFor the record you are cautioned on running the RCs on a production environment but it isn't "you must not". This site does. I do on my sites, and I don't have a problem.
Not everyone has problems, true, but enough do that it warrants caution. I follow the threads and notice too many "too many problems, how do I downgrade back to 1.1.x?" threads.

I am not trying to rush the devs and am all about "release it when it's ready/done." ;) I'm just being honest about the frustrating year this has been and admittedly SMF2 has taken a very long time to come. Here's hoping that once it's finally released, it can live up to all the expectation that has been built over the 1+ years of patience, waiting, and promises. ;)

Cheers...

babjusi

QuoteHere's hoping that once it's finally released, it can live up to all the expectation that has been built over the 1+ years of patience, waiting, and promises.

It''s more like 2 years now.

Arantor

Having actually worked for a company whose intranet relied on IE6, it would have cost a colossal amount of cash for them to make it compliant with anything else - and given the current economic climate it just isn't something they'd be doing, so they won't be moving to anything for a couple of years yet. I suspect many other firms are in a similar boat.
Perhaps it would have been better if I'd simply never bothered. Y'all clearly would be less unhappy that way.

TurtleKicker

Quote from: Arantor on September 21, 2009, 02:39:49 PM
Having actually worked for a company whose intranet relied on IE6, it would have cost a colossal amount of cash for them to make it compliant with anything else - and given the current economic climate it just isn't something they'd be doing, so they won't be moving to anything for a couple of years yet. I suspect many other firms are in a similar boat.
Even if some companies are in that position (and some I know claim to be, but really aren't... having worked for them too)... there's still a simple solution:

IE6 is transitioned from "web browser" to "that special legacy thing needed to run legacy apps A, B and C"
and Firefox becomes the "web browser" for everything else (all normal web browsing activity).

Corporate environments are used to such situations... heck, the one I'm in now has core functionality spread across multiple icons/apps, and some apps are run via special Citrix icons.

What's we're faced with is not a technology problem, but a management problem. There's nothing technically preventing any corp like you mention from installing a proper web browser alongside IE6 and just using IE6 for legacy apps they're insisting on keeping.

I still don't think it's SMF's position to be wasting resources catering to business' management problems, stubbornness, etc. There are enough hurdles holding up SMF2's release without wasting time supporting a antiquated browser almost a decade old, 2 major versions behind, and one that even the company making it has said to leave[1].



[1]: "Friends don't let friends use IE6 ... It's certainly part of our approach to consumers to get them to upgrade to IE8" -Amy Bazdukas, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer

青山 素子

Quote from: sremick on September 21, 2009, 02:54:48 PM
What's we're faced with is not a technology problem, but a management problem. There's nothing technically preventing any corp like you mention from installing a proper web browser alongside IE6 and just using IE6 for legacy apps they're insisting on keeping.

Have you worked at a large company before? Most companies like to centrally manage things. Items like software updates, security configuration, etc. No other browser currently supports those corporate "needs" for their Windows desktops. There is a technical issue, and it's that Firefox can't be deployed via MSI, can't be controled on when and how updates are done, and mostly ignores deskop policy settings. The only browser that listens to those Windows policies is IE.

Microsoft decided long ago to tie IE in as a single-version-only product, so the companies have to choose between updating and breaking many of their corporate apps, some developed by outside vendors or staying with an old version that Microsoft has pledged to support until 2012.
Motoko-chan
Director, Simple Machines

Note: Unless otherwise stated, my posts are not representative of any official position or opinion of Simple Machines.


Chasingu


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Arantor

It depends what plugin it is. If it's for 2.0, there's a fair chance it might - but it might not. Many (probably nearly every) plugin will have to be tested and tweaked for Curve.
Perhaps it would have been better if I'd simply never bothered. Y'all clearly would be less unhappy that way.

Chasingu


Please help me fulfill my dream of owning a iPod Touch. Swagbucks is a search engine powered by Google and ask that allows you to gain swagbucks by searching. You can redeem these for even a PS3. Click and join today.

Arantor

There's a chance it'll work but like I said, virtually every plugin will have to be retested - and likely updated - for RC2.
Perhaps it would have been better if I'd simply never bothered. Y'all clearly would be less unhappy that way.

TurtleKicker

Quote from: Motoko-chan on September 21, 2009, 03:29:20 PM
Have you worked at a large company before?

A quick check in AD shows approximately 10,000 employees.

And Firefox is part of our standard system image. ;)

But this is kind of drifting off-topic...

Powerbob

It sure is 8)

Summer is gone. Autumn is here and still no RC2 (the bugtracker is nearly empty as well!)



My SMF 2.1 Beta test site; http://www.pplb.net/smf21/index.php

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