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Attention Internet Users: We have a Nerd Swarm on Aisle 3

from the they'll-be-sorry-they-asked dept.

The U.S. Copyright office asked for a little input. They want to know if, since Microsoft refuses to write a browser that actually uses internet standards, if it would be OK with their users if they made their site an IE only site.

Now, the obvious answer is that is why we have internet standards. Make the site comply with the standards and if Microsoft won't support that standard, let the marketplace take care if it. Instead the copyright office wants to bend over and let Microsoft become the de-facto internet governing body.

As you might imagine, this has more than a few people hacked. In fact there is a letter writing campaign starting over at Slashdot. If /. does it's usual job, I'm thinking the Copyright office will be sorry they asked.

BTW- One poster at /. took the words out my mouth (see below)

I find it extremely interesting that the government in the past has brought an anti-trust suit against Microsoft for being a monopoly, however they themselves would help to propagate this by using their software. Not to mention allowing ONLY their software, they are ensuring that any user who wants to visit their site also must "pay" Microsoft, thus even further contributing to the "monopoly".

I would have thought that if the government was under the impression that Microsoft was a monopoly (true or not), they would have taken steps to help prevent adding to that situation, and support a different browser for their site, or *gasp* don't require *ANY* browser, but rather just design it to be functionally usable by any W3C compliant browser. Add in the 508 compliance for web accessbility, and you can't go wrong.

Government, make up your mind.

That pretty much sums up.


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Comments (18)

I'm feeling disenfranchised... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

I'm feeling disenfranchised.

Rather than follow code that is universally defined and accepted, the government (well, the USCO) wants to force all citizens to use one commercial product that doesn't want to play by anyone else's rules, effectively closing out any competition. I wonder how many other agencies will adopt the move? You're right, Paul... except the catgory could be asshats.

Is that supposed to be nerd... (Below threshold)

Is that supposed to be nerd *swarm*?

That's what I was wondering... (Below threshold)

That's what I was wondering.

You know, i thought that I was the only conservative who is disgusted by Microsoft. I guess I was wrong. :oD

crap- thanks jeff... (Below threshold)
Paul:

crap- thanks jeff

If you Firefox/Netscape hip... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

If you Firefox/Netscape hippies would just use a real browser, and, incidentally, shave and bathe, we wouldn't have these problems in the first place.

Hating microsoft doesn't make you cool, it just makes you look like a puny little runt screaming about the good old days.

RE: Gringo's post (August 1... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Gringo's post (August 15, 2005 01:13 PM)

If you Firefox/Netscape hippies would just use a real browser, and, incidentally, shave and bathe, we wouldn't have these problems in the first place.

If it wasn't for Mozilla/Netscape, MSIE probably wouldn't exist. To be sure the internet wouldn't be as vibrant as it is.

I think we should hand the ... (Below threshold)
The Hague:

I think we should hand the entire internet over to MS.

Also, we should let Wal Mart get into banking.

The Invisble Hand is NEVER WRONG!

Great blog by the way. Sorr... (Below threshold)
The Hague:

Great blog by the way. Sorry, I'm kind of a center-left type, but I'm always looking for the other POV.

I did vote for McCain...

Yeah, IE7 is ripping off Fi... (Below threshold)
John:

Yeah, IE7 is ripping off Firefox big time. The only time MS 'innovates' (and I use that term loosely) is when its market dominance is threatened.

Capitalism only works when there is competition. Once a monopoly forms, its no better than if it was run by Communists.

It might help if you read t... (Below threshold)

It might help if you read the actual request for comments from the Copyright Office. They are building an internal system for online preregistration. They are not *sure* that it will work with other browsers. They are testing it first with the browser that has over 70% of the market, and will test it with others later. What could be more logical than that? It should work with other browsers from the beginning.

By the way, this is excatly the same process used by every sensible commercial website. First test to make sure it works with IE, since that gets most web users, then test with other browsers. There is nothing to indicate any abandonment of common standards or specific design for Microsoft only.

They are testing it firs... (Below threshold)

They are testing it first with the browser that has over 70% of the market, and will test it with others later.

That's bass-ackwards. You code for the standards, and tweak for the oddballs. IE may have 70% of the browser market, but it's still the oddball.

Besides -- didn't IE used to be 90%?

Designing for only 70%, or ... (Below threshold)

Designing for only 70%, or even 90%, of internet users is much like telling a percentage of your customers to go to hell.

And as for idiot Microsoft supporters like Gringo: I don't use Internet Explorer because it sucks. It has nothing to do with wanting to be "cool." Mozilla had pop up blocking and tabbed browsing years ago. I can control things like Flash, Javascript, Java and cookies easier with Firefox.

Oh, and despite the name of the site, try this on for size: Microsoft's Really Hidden Files.

Don't worry guys... as soon... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

Don't worry guys... as soon as IE offers tabbed browsing and the new features coming up in Vista, Firefox et al will be relegated to 5% of the market again.

Posted by: Gringo at August... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Posted by: Gringo at August 15, 2005 04:53 PM

Don't worry guys... as soon as IE offers tabbed browsing and the new features coming up in Vista, Firefox et al will be relegated to 5% of the market again.

I've always wondered about that UA percentage getting thrown around. Who derives it and how is it derived? I know I've set my User Agent (UA) to be any number of things. Some sites that "require" MSIE because the webmaster used Frontpage to code it are usually browseable, even if imperfectly, by redefining one's UA. I remember using Opera for about a year under the declared MSIE UA and don't recall it ever being a problem. Either I was lucky and the sites I visited did not require MSIE or I was missing something I didn't know I was missing. Either way, that would have shown up in server logs and thrown off the UA statistics. Consequently, I don't trust those UA percentages very much.

From Paul's post, quoted sl... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

From Paul's post, quoted slashdot poster:
I find it extremely interesting that the government in the past has brought an anti-trust suit against Microsoft for being a monopoly, however they themselves would help to propagate this by using their software.

The Feds and the state AGs went after Microsoft not because they were a monopoly. That was the cover story. The government went after MS for the payoffs, plain and simple, just like they did with "Big Tobacco." They used the exact same attack template for both of them, in fact.

Guess how MS paid them off? What else - software.

Therein lies the logic of ignoring platform-independent standards and going with IE "standards" instead.

I agree the Copyright Offic... (Below threshold)

I agree the Copyright Office should use the standards, but blaming Microsoft is so tired.

For one thing, there was never a monopoly. There were always alternatives, MS just never got ridiculous enough to make them worthwhile, and the competitors never got good enough to make a dent. MS has ZERO power over what I do with my time, what computer I use, etc.

What I like is that people are surprised that MS hasn't done crap to improve IE in years. Why would they? Using it to sell Windows (Gasp! The horror!) got them completely slapped down and almost split up. And yet they should keep allocating resources to improving it?

The problem is not Microsoft, and not non-existent monopolies. The problem has been government "solutions" from the start.

Follow one of the links to ... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

Follow one of the links to the actual announcement.

The Department is saying that some browsers may experience, and that a work-around if that happens is to use IE - or wait until their system is upgraded. And they want to hear if you can't use your browser or IE, so they an address the ones that don't work. Will Firefox and Mozilla and off-by-one work on the site? Probably: the usual problem is coding for those using features IE does not support, not the other way around.

They are NOT saying you have to use IE.

Yeah, you don't have to buy... (Below threshold)
John:

Yeah, you don't have to buy power from the one local electric company. It's not a monopoly You can use solar to power your home. What's the big deal?




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