carbon copy...

2005-03-31 – Thursday – 00:55:20
carbon copy

I spotted these Australian White Ibises today while taking the scenic route home from lunch. They immediately stood out because they looked fake, aligned and frozen gazes from their industrial perch. Anyone who has seen these birds knows that they're reasonably tall (about 70cm), so seeing them balanced like this is an odd sight.

I didn't have my camera with me at the time but conveniently they stayed there long enough for me to drive home, grab the war bag, return, change lenses and snap away.

Speaking of camera stuff, the order for a Lian Li internal Compact Flash card reader I've had with AusPCMarket for about three months was cancelled last week because their supplier is unable to find any stock. When I found out about this today I immediately Googled for other online stores that might have one left. Within a few minutes: bingo! It's already been sent and it should arrive within two days.

And now to something completely different.

With IE7 on the way it got me thinking some more about how it might change the browser landscape for users and developers.

The user impact is easy to determine: it will be a non-event; simply a new name for more security updates and for what has become an endless and tired stream of vulnerabilities and bugs. For developers though, will it help?

While the IE7 release has been shrouded by Microsoft's noxious gas of silence it is increasingly obvious that it won't address many of the CSS issues that are important to developers. Most people seem to believe that this will be a huge problem, but I'm starting to think that it's entirely inconsequential.

Whether IE7 has no new CSS features/fixes, or whether by some miracle IE7 correctly supports the CSS1/CSS2 standards in their entirety is irrelevant, as developers will be unable to solely use these new or corrected features unless all existing IE users were to switch to IE7.

This is similar to the IE6 release four years ago which corrected the flawed CSS "box model" present in IE4 and IE5. It wasn't possible to only use the corrected behaviour in IE6 because this would break support for the numerous users running IE4 and IE5, so hacks were required. To this day there is still a large percentage of users with IE4 and IE5, though thankfully more of the latter than of the former.

Similarly, if IE7 were to correctly support floated element behaviour, that users would still be running IE6 and earlier versions for years to come would prevent the sole use of the corrected behaviour; more hacks would again be needed to support the behaviour of the prior versions.

The problem of users retaining old versions will be exacerbated with the IE7 release because there will be no possibility of upgrading to IE7 for users running anything before XP SP2, effectively locking millions of users running Windows 2000 and previous operating systems to IE6, subsequently destroying the ability to migrate and develop new sites to solely use any corrected behaviours in IE7 without again resorting to hacks.

Thus, developers will be stuck in the same situation they're in right now with standards compliant browsers versus IE6 and its prior versions.

And now to something completely different, again.

While walking someone home earlier tonight I was bitten/stung on the neck by something. Given that it was night time I obviously couldn't see what it was, but I quickly brushed it off (as you do when something bites/stings you!) and kept walking. It left quite a large mark and now, hours later, I'm not feeling 100% - my balance is a little off. Hopefully it wasn't some ultra-poisonous insect or spider, but I figure that if it were then I'd have died by now...