Joel Spolsky: 98% of the world will install IE8 and say, “It has bugs and I can’t see my sites.” They don’t give a flicking flick about your stupid religious enthusiasm for making web browsers which conform to some mythical, platonic “standard” that is not actually implemented anywhere. They don’t want to hear your stories about messy hacks. They want web browsers that work with actual web sites
Boy do I miss Mark “pleasesirmayihaveanother” Pilgrim. For now, this will have to do:
It is not true that 98% of the world runs IE today. Nor is it true that 98% of the world that runs IE runs IE7. Nor is it likely to be true that 98% of the world that today runs IE7 will install IE8. I personally even doubt that 98% of the world that today runs IE7 and installs IE8 will make that particular statement.
Joel’s argument works both ways. Why can’t Google Maps developers be pragmatic, touchy feely, warm and fuzzy engineering types? “Can’t we just default to IE7 mode? One line of code … Zip! Solved!”. The real question is what is the right default for the long term. There is no need to resort to name calling (Trotskyist, left wing, America’s Toughest Sheriff, pink pajamas). If the default bothers you, write the one line of code and move on.
Defaulting to IE7 mode doesn’t work.
If people want web browsers that work with actual web sites, they still have three choices.
Update: Mark delivers.