[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Friday, July 28, 2006

IE7 will be 'High Priority'

According to CNet:

IE 7 will be delivered in the fourth quarter as a "high priority" update via Automatic Updates in Windows XP, Gary Schare, Microsoft's director of IE product management, said in an interview Tuesday.

As much as I dislike Microsoft "forcing" new software on people through their Automatic Updates system, I'm pleased to hear this. I have a few musings on this from a couple of the different perspectives I inhabit as a nerd and IT professional.

Web Developer:
Squashing bugs that appear only in IE6 is a hugely frustrating part of a development cycle, and takes up entirely too much time. Designing for IE5 is far worst, but that browser has been largely ignored by the design community (as far as serving those user-agents rich content, at least) for the past couple of years. Now, given the above news, we'll be ignoring that dinosaur. As for IE6 users, the numbers will spike downwards sharply. Hopefully it won't be long before we can ignore that beast as well.

This makes me very very happy.

User Support Consultant:
So basically, users will be forced to upgrade to a new (and very different-looking) browser unless they actively try not to. This scares the poop out of me. There are a LOT of people out there who barely feel comfortable using IE6 after having used it for several years now. These people don't adapt well to even small changes to their computing environment. And yes, there are even those people still out there who don't know how to type a capital letter (you know, by using the shift key?). I kid you not.

These people won't understand what's going on, why things have changed, or how to use their new browser. They will freak out. We will have to help them not to freak out, and set their world straight.

To you wonderful (and technologically compentant) people reading this blog: if you haven't tested the IE7 beta, now is the time to start. If, for some reason, you are unlucky enough to be stuck using some required service that doesn't play nice with anything besides IE6, you can still be clever enough to run both browsers side-by-side. I've written about this trick previously.

Also, tell your IE-using friends and family. Get them to upgrade now (or try the clever hack above). Walk them through the transition now, and on your own time. It's easier to ease a few people into new software in small groups than it is to field tons of calls for help all at once. At the very least, spread the word so people aren't caught by surprise.

Cyber-Security Dork:
IE7 is better than IE6. It has better default settings, better default behavior, and is designed to play happily in your system with far less permissions than the previous version. Improved anti-phishing tools, better handling and control over scripting. Widespread use of this browser will (at least until the black-hat-wearers figure out new exploits and methods of social hackery) make people safer. At least initially. But as always, we'll fight those next battles when we get there.

Read more (via Mezzoblue)


  • Here's some addition interesting stuff concerning IE7:

    firstly, although IE7 will be offered via Automatic Updates, Automatic Updates will first notify users when Internet Explorer 7 is ready to install and then show a welcome screen that presents key features and the choices to “_Install_, “_Don’t Install_” or “_Ask Me Later_.” In short, you won't be forced to install it, it won't be a silent install, it won't be a hidden install.

    Secondly, Microsoft will provide a free Internet Explorer 7 Blocker Toolkit for enterprise customers who may want to block automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 7 in their organization. The Blocker Toolkit will *not* expire and will include a Group Policy template and an executable script. The Blocker Toolkit will be/is available from the Microsoft Download Center to provide ample lead time for deployment.
    Additional information for IT administrators will be/is at the Windows Update/Microsoft Update site on TechNet.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 3:10 PM  

  • I heard that IE7 has got some problems with displaying Google ads!! Do you know something about it??

    By Anonymous Rakeshsgk, at 4:15 PM  

  • This post was designed mostly to prod folks who are of the "user support" type who have to deal with people outside of the "enterprise" environment. In a managed environment, all you SysAdmin folks will (hopefully) have full control over updates and patches and whatnot. That's where the IE7 Blocker Toolkit will come in handy.

    In a more open environment where a lot of updating and patching is left to the end user (like what I typically deal with...College faculty tend to demand such things...) the toolkit isn't much of an option. Same thing with all of the ad-hoc support a lot of us nerd-types tend to do.

    This is an instance where poking and educating users is important. The number of people who thoughtlessly click "yes" and "install" to everything that Windows Update puts in front of them is rather spectacular. Besides, giving people a chance to try it out and get their feet wet first, without fully migrating away from an application they're comfortable with (see the nifty hack I mentioned) tends to be a good thing to do.

    By Blogger theMatt, at 4:56 PM  

  • Please see the following blog for more my thoughts on this Techfast News


    By Blogger politickedoff, at 5:09 PM  

  • rakeshsgk:

    It wouldn't surprise me to find that IE7 has some trouble with Google Ads. Unfortunately, it's a more complicated issue than simply "IE7 barfs on them".

    Google ads are implemented in a rather odd (and unfortunately uncool) manner.

    Each ad group of ads is loaded dynamically into the page you view by some javascript. If IE7 (or any other browser) barfs on that javascript (or has it disabled) you'll see anything from script errors to no ads at all.

    What the javascript actually does is to dynamically write "iframe" elements into the page, inside which the actual ad content is then called. Additionally, the javascript allows the site administrator to define some stylistic properties that are applied to the ad content. That's how Google Adsense ads blend in so nicely and unobtrusively.

    This is problematic in a couple of ways. Firstly, iframes are inherently inflexible elements. Because they are essentially embedded frame elements, their dimensions have nothing to do with the content inside them. Secondly, the handy styling functionality can accidentally make the ads incorrectly fill the viewable frame area. This can be caused by either the site's design, the number of words in the ads themselves, or even a browser client's set text size.

    Okay, so to sum up this rather long comment...
    Google Ads can "not work" in the following parts of the system:
    * Browser support for javascript
    * Browser support for iframes
    * Site design
    * Client-side text size settings
    * Content of individual ads

    To check out what's going on for yourself, view the page-source of any page on this site. The javascript file that does the grunt work is called from http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js

    And for the record, IE7 Beta2 handles the Adsense ads on this page perfectly fine. I've also seen Adsense ads on other sites fail in multiple browsers (including IE7 and Firefox).

    By Blogger theMatt, at 5:15 PM  

  • I haven't yet tried out IE7, but if they can just fix half the CSS bugs that are in IE6 I'll be happy to treat IE7 as a required upgrade.

    By Anonymous Sterling Camden, at 6:09 PM  

  • I will most likely stick with firefox. It has all the plugins I want: session manager and add block. It is also pretty safe compared to ie6. I am sure that ie7 will be unsafe in about 2 months.

    By Blogger Tyler, at 11:15 PM  

  • IE7's CSS support isn't bad. It's a very significan't improvement over IE6. But it isn't quite up to where the likes of Gecko and Web Kit are yet. My biggest happy-point: .png support. There's a way to fake png's alpha channel behavior in IE6, but it's limited, somewhat quirky, and requires javascript. There's also a CSS trick that can be used, but it's also limited in what it can do.

    Anyway, there's no way IE7 is going to replace Firefox for me. I rely on too many very powerful extensions. IE would either have to incorporate some pretty intense add-on features (which would bloat it terribly) or deploy its own extensions-like plugin framework. Either way, it'd be at least a couple of years before such things would be functional enough to be of use to me. And by then, Firefox will be light-years ahead anyway.

    If the only extensions you're wanting are adblock and session functionality, it's possible IE might work for you. I'm not holding my breath, but features like that seem to be becoming the norm.

    By Blogger theMatt, at 1:01 AM  

  • Why do I fear the worst!

    Timothy Graf

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 PM  

  • Well, none of the CSS I've tried has gone awry in IE7 (I'm using beta 2), but I haven't given it any very rigorous tests. The biggest problem for us web designers will be that not everything is fixed, but the * hack has been removed. I go with putting *angle bracket*!--[if lt IE 7]>
    *angle bracket*link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="iehacks.css" />
    *angle bracket*![endif]-->
    in the head tag so that the buggy IE5 & IE6 stuff gets its own style sheet. Another one can be made for if IE 7 so that anything that's still wrong can be fixed. Designers will have to do that or risk having their sites break in IE7 because they weren't paying attention to web standards.

    It wouldn't let me put a real angle bracket or a & lt ; in there

    By Blogger Mackenzie, at 11:20 PM  

  • I appreciate your spirits!!

    a few days back I'd posteda comment asking some thing about IE7 n Google Adsense!! (I'am an Adsense Publisher too)

    I'm so happy to receive an excat answer for my question and that tooa big one!!

    Thanks a lot.

    Keep up the good work!!

    By Anonymous Rakeshsgk, at 5:14 PM  

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