Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Comments for Half Lives


It seems to me that its actually out of Microsoft's hands. The various anti-trust suits in the US and Europe have put MS in a position where they can't force updates of their browsers for fear of running afoul of regulators who deem it anti-competitive.

To be clear, I don't actually think it is, but I think the 'hammer of (misguided) justice' would fall on them very quickly if they tried.

by Matthew at
Not to mention the *ten years old* XHTML and SVG is not supported by IE8!
I agree 100% on what you say on IE, but I thought I'd point out that just maybe Chrome's updating policy is a wee bit too aggressive. I'm not asking for the choice to upgrade: I think we know by now that auto-upgrade that you can't refuse are the way to go; but if it could just *tell me* that it just upgraded, I would feel a little bit less puzzled when it regresses under my feet. (also, the version numbering is just silly). Cheers.
I'd have to agree with Bertrand; I just went through no less than 7 reboots on my main development machine, only to find that even though I use Chrome infrequently (pun intended), it's up to version 10 without me knowing it's up to version 10.

I can understand the aggressiveness because of MS's history, but at the same time when I don't understand why my computer is acting funny I get pissed. It means either the transparent process in which the upgrades happen has to be super-uber-rock solid, or I'm basically agreeing to let you, the browser authors, slip something onto my machine which can be construed as a trojan and that pisses me off to no end.

That's the kind of thing that makes me not want to use Chrome at all, which would be a shame.

I think part of the problem is that IE is the de facto choice of old-school corporations and government IT departments, which often use very old and browser-tied security systems (I know several cases in which people are literally required to use IE7 at work: can't even upgrade to IE8).

This is one reason why Microsoft goes so slowly, and also why they often build completely off-standard/divergent methods for things like CORS. They have a lot of crazy security edge-cases and special enterprise-level products to worry about supporting.

I'm not saying that this excuses MS for basically saddling the world with outdated technologies (IE9 will start to suck no matter how good it is for this reason: it will quickly get overtaken and out-featured within a couple of months), but it is worth noting that it's a lot of these corporate and government policies that saddle their user with old browser tech. They need to get with the program too. And, honestly, Chrome and Firefox could definitely stand to put more time and effort into making their browsers more friendly to huge IT departments, who often have to manage and control updates and security policies fairly tightly.

by Drew at
I just read that Chrome Frame has OVER 3,000,000 ACTIVE INSTALLATIONS! WOW!

As you know, I've always been skeptical of GCF, but with those numbers you sure proved me wrong. It's probably a great feeling to know that all of your hard work is really making a difference on the web, as opposed to it being some irrelevant endeavour you waste years of your life on.

by Laura_ at
Bertrand:

The version number is silly because we'd prefer you simply not use it. The thing about everyone getting the same version at the same time and at breakneck speed is that you can stop caring about the number. Either it works or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, you can file a bug and we can fix it. Fast.

Drew:

Have you seen http://dev.chromium.org/administrators ? Most things can be centrally administered. Chrome Frame supports all the same controls and MSI deployment options.

Matthew:

I'm not sure that argument works. This isn't about competition per sae, since it's only about upgrades between versions of the same product. Perhaps there's a decision point that's removed by the lack of upgrade prompting, but I think we can easily make the case that auto-upgrades of other OS components would run afoul of the same arguments.

Regards

by alex at
"IE 8 is the end of the upgrade road for XP."

Those people using XP can still use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera and have a modern, real Web browser. ie is irrelevant.