Last week was like Christmas in my office. I received an iMac and Windows XP.
I have been working my legs too hard over the last couple of weeks with my non-stop cycling. Last weekend certainly was not enough time to let me legs recuperate. I decided to drive to work this morning in hopes that a third day will be enough to get my legs back to normal.
Anyhow, while walking from my truck to the University of Lethbridge on one of the new paths, I was reflecting on how the path has a lot to do with web design.
Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2 yesterday. Part of the service pack includes updates to Internet Explorer.
On the plus side, IE now comes with a native pop-up blocker. It also requires user authentication for drive-by downloads. Another cool feature is the â€œAdd-On Mangerâ€, which is similar to Firefoxâ€™s extensions manager.
I ditched Internet Explorer at home a few moths ago for Netscape. Every time I opened IE for the first time, it would take nearly a minute to load the first page. That was simply unacceptable and since I could not find the problem, I simply switched to another browser.
While I was using Netscape, I became addicted to tabbed browsing. It has come to the point where I detest using IE at work because I always have to open new windows instead of new tabs. There were some other cool features as well.
I heard a lot about Firefox and decided to try it. It was a nice download; less than a minute on DSL. It automatically imported my Netscape bookmarks, favourites, links and passwords. Very cool.
My remote control was not designed to include a battery indicator. My cell phone was designed with one. My PocketPC was designed with one. My digital camera was designed with one. Nearly every electronic device I own that runs on batteries was designed to include a battery indicator to let me know when the batteries are low. The remote control was not. Why is this a problem?
A common issue such designers have is users having the ability to resize webpage text to meet their level of reading comfort. All modern browsers have resizing capabilities; however, some have more powerful capabilities than others do. For example, IE can only size text to five sizes (smallest, smaller, medium, larger, and largest) while Opera can resize text and images from 20% to 1000% of the original size. As well, IE can only resize relatively sized text (i.e. em, pt, cm, in, %), while other browsers can resize even absolutely sized text (i.e. px).
Given the common and predominant disapproval of IEâ€™s relatively low support for CSS 2.1, many people often attribute IEâ€™s inability to resize absolutely sized text as a bug. Some even go as far as saying IE is broken in this regard. I strongly disagree with this notion.