Not Looking Back

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With the new set of W3C standards implementation coming up, it feels like the browser war will get a second round. The Mozilla project has been very active with the SVG support and the results are very impressive. Web applications will be more dynamic than ever. The problem developpers encounter is that very few browsers actually support this new technology and millions of Internet Explorer users will be left behind.

Is there a real problem? All Gecko browsers are Free and accessible to anyone on about all known platforms. Is there anything wrong in asking for requirements on an application? The website can remain accessible even if not all fancy effects are present, but this goes back to having two versions of the application, but this is simply a normal transition phase. Overhead is always present when major changes occur. It wasthe same thing during the 16->32 bit transition, until JavaScript stabilized and even right now, 64 bit processors support the 32 bit instruction sets. It’s simply a sacrifice that has to be made. Unless people actually use those technologies massively, they simply won’t spread and we will remain stuck with the current partial CSS2 support.

SVG is only the tip of the iceberg. Mozilla’s XForm implementation, which is supposed to replace the forms in XHTML 2.0, has already begun. A few elements CSS3 start to appear. Right now, XHTML 1.1 is impossible to use if IE support is required. Can a sinlge browser really slow down the technology development process?

We can only hope Microsoft will release a new version that at least comply to the standards soon. I wouldn’t expect new technology anytime soon.

Mozilla has been mentionned a lot, but the growing popularity of Macs since OS X also helps the cause. Safari also offers good support for new technologies.

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