Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Putting the lie to Internet Explorer 8

As an INTJ, I look at the world a bit judgmentally through my Objectivist eyes. One way to judge the suitability of a conversation for effectively communicating a valid message, is to ask yourself, "How many deceptions or lies are being conveyed, and to what extent does either party have to analyze or decode what is being said in order to get to a true representation?" A conversation full of lies is not well-suited to communicating truth.

Similarly, we can judge the suitability of any tool to a given task, by asking how much one must modify ones' own goals and outcomes in order to use the tool. Do you quickly get what you want, or do you lose time with a lot of waste and results that are fragile and likely to break?

One overriding goal I have as a coder is to express a solution directly, without gratuitous vendor-specific code. By that measure, Internet Explorer 8 continues to be as unsuitable for Web development as previous versions, because it requires me to insert tags for parsing HTML5. These tags serve Microsoft's goals of making my pages appear to be endorsing Internet Explorer as a brand, which is at odds with my professional goal of writing to standards.

That's why I DO NOT advocate using shims or shivs or libraries to make up specifically for IE's defects. By doing so, we only reward a company for bad practices, and put more lies in our own Web conversations.

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