If you are an Internet Explorer user, please, please, please, update your browser.

On a recent project, I spent considerable time trying to get the layout and controls of the site to work when viewed through Internet Explorer 6. Why did I feel this was important? Statistics show that a major portion of the web users are viewing online content using IE. Estimates run anywhere from 60% to 85% of users. Statistics vary, because no one group or organization can possibly gather data for all users, however, taking many popular sites and averaging their statistics can give you a pretty fair idea. Of the 60-85% of users that view the web with IE, a large portion still seem to be using IE version 6. This is a bad thing… a very bad thing. Why?

Simply put, IE 6 is not standards conforming. The W3C has set forth standards for the underlying code on web pages. This helps to ensure that content and data can be universally rendered and understood. Although IE6 does largely conform to the standards of HTML and CSS, very often it simply ignores rules and therefore nasty flaws in its rendering engine are revealed when viewing certain combinations of standards-compliant code. For examples, see here: http://www.positioniseverything.net/explorer.html

Tips and tricks exist to avoid most of the bugs, but seriously, should web developers be expected to side-step standards to support users that continue to use buggy software that is 8 years old (released in 2001) and is now two versions behind the latest? More importantly, money is regularly wasted in the time spent to ensure that a site or front-end to a web application can be properly viewed in IE6. If you are a web developer, how much time do you spend ensuring that IE 6 users can view your site? You might be surprised by the answer.

Internet Explorer is now up to version 8. Thankfully, this version finally takes the approach of adhering closely to the W3C’s standards. If you are an IE user, (and this post was not intended to spark that debate), please, make everyone’s life easier and update your browser.

(Reader Beware – Oncoming Rant)

With a snowy afternoon and a hot cup of tea I decided to make good use of my time and start a document I’ve put on hold for long enough. In an attempt to open my eyes to more than the Microsoft Office Suite, I started learning/using Pages (Part of the iWork ’08). 

The initial keystrokes were hard enough just to get the thoughts flowing. I was able to get out of the mental rut and put down a few good paragraphs. Unexpectedly Pages crashed. No issue there, it should just restore my document…Right? 

Lets pause there for a moment to note a few things:
1. In the time that I’ve started this blog the automatic autosave in blogger.com has protected my work every minute, autosaving some 15 times.

2. TextEdit, a very basic word processing program has an autosave feature backing up SQL code I was messing with.
3. Time Machine on my MacBook Pro has backed up my system 12 times since the start of today.
In our world of computing backups, redundancy and autosaving, being able to recover has become common-law! So it was in disbelief that I re-opened my Pages file to find that NOTHING was recovered. There wasn’t even an indication that it tried! Thats right…no autosave in Pages!
I won’t drag on with any more rhetoric on the subject. This isn’t a bash on Pages. Just a rant that the simple programmable things in life should never be forgotten. Autosave is one of them!
Command – S