On 23rd of April 2015, Mihai Șucan passed away due to metastatic
cancer caused by RDEB.
26 June 2010, 20:08
Three days ago we received great news from Microsoft: the
third platform preview release of Internet Explorer 9 includes
support for the
Canvas 2D Context API. Canvas comes
into IE 9 together with numerous other platform improvements.
These days I have been working on my open source project, PaintWeb. I am quite
excited to see it running quite well in MSIE 9.
Go ahead and try the
PaintWeb demo page in Internet Explorer 9!
What works? Almost everything. Known issues:
globalCompositeOperation property is not yet
supported by MSIE 9. The Color mixer visualization looks a bit
weird because of this.
- If you change the
properties the Canvas element is cleared. This is wrong and breaks
the implementation of image load and zoom. Check a minimal test case.
integration into TinyMCE demo page fails to work. It seems that
TinyMCE 3.2.5 fails to work properly in MSIE 9. I shall upgrade it
to the latest version, and thus update the PaintWeb plugin as well.
You may also check the
PaintWeb change log, for more details.
24 March 2006, 18:53
Internet Explorer 7. What is this in essence? Is it an Opera and
Firefox killer? Microsoft would like us to believe this, but I
don't, even if I wanted to believe they'll bring IE to a decent
Almost all the CSS-based layouts look almost the same in IE 7 beta
2 as in IE 6. No big difference. I still can't drop *any* of those
hacks I have in my layouts. I know they fixed *some* bugs, I know
some pages render perfectly, or even better, but it's not enough.
Why urge developers to drop the hacks when they are still needed?
The Internet has become the central part of computing. To me, the
computer is almost useless without the Internet. When I boot I also
start my favourite browser. I
generally don't close it unless it crashes (which doesn't happen
more than once a month or so), or I upgrade it.
The web and communication capabilities of the Internet are
invaluable. Microsoft seems to get the trend, since there was some
buzz around Windows Live and other Microsoft Fluffy products.
Having that in mind: why does IE 7 suck? Is it on purpose? Is it
because they don't have the time to make it much better? Take your
pick. I'd go for the latter option, since ... Microsoft initially
didn't plan to have any updates for Internet Explorer, except
updates bundled together with Windows. A huge mistake that even Bill
One thing's for sure (IMHO): if they would like a much better
browser (comparable to Opera and/or Firefox) they do have to start
by asking the cleaning lady to clean their hard drives where
they've stored the current IE engine. They should do this without
blinking and without looking back. Look at what Netscape got after
they did that: Firefox :). Yes, I know, that was very stupid what
Netscape Corp. did: rewriting
code is a big mistake. Nonetheless ... they now have a much
better product (erm, Mozilla Corp. does :) ).
Five years since IE 6, Microsoft should have had the time to do
what Netscape did. But, if they did't want to screw-up like
Netscape did, they could have taken on the daunting task of
improving the rendering engine, every minute, every second, every
night and day, sundays and saturdays too.
They didn't do so. They actually started working on IE 7 last
summer or so. That's because if they would've worked on improving
IE since 2001, then ... IE 7 would simply be much better than Opera
and Firefox combined. Microsoft has the resources to do that, they
did it with IE 4, 5 and even 6. At that time, IE was really better
than Netscape 4. Microsoft really had a better product. It was even
better than the Gecko engine which was in its infancy at the end of
90's and the beginning of 2000. Opera was better only as a browser
(features-wise) and better at CSS rendering, but it was not coping
with the tag-soup affecting the majority of web pages (hence it
didn't gain much popularity).
Once all the vaporware, buzz and fuzz surrounding the release of
this cutting-edge browser (IE 7), users who switched back from
Opera/Firefox (IMHO quite many) will start missing the features
they've got used to in the alternative browser, and probably most
of them will feel disappointed by IE (after the "wow" factor
dries). Plus, they'll continue seeing "too cool for IE" and
The main point of this post is actually to propose a new way of
looking at Microsoft failing to deliver a good browser. It's not
just on purpose
(because things have changed since then and Microsoft seems to
realize the importance of the Internet and the Web). It's also
about the possiblity of MS losing the entire market share dominance
in respect to operating systems. Will this ever happen? Yes, no
doubt. The only question is "when?".
Losing the web browsers market share dominance is not that hard as
some think so. It's not impossible. Lets take the example of MP3
players: Winamp versus Windows Media Player. Winamp is not
integrated into Windows, but WMP is. Guess which one dominates?
Everybody I know uses Winamp (including myself, actually I use
now, but the point is I used Winamp with Windows). WMP is simply
not good enough: it's slower and it's a resource hog compared to
Winamp. Yes, I've tried WMP and yes, it has some nice features, but
The same can happen in the browsers world. I know it's very hard,
but not impossible (nothing is impossible :) ). If browsers like
Opera and Firefox start providing extremely advanced new features
and capabilities that will render IE simply obsolete, out-dated,
developers and corporations might actually make Opera/Firefox-only
web applications (unless MS pays them enough not to do so). Users
will switch, because the alternatives are better. Microsoft can't
pay all companies, all developers to make IE-only sites because it
cannot afford to so and it's not something anybody can do (not even
Firefox is already being installed on new computers by geeks for
friends and families who don't know much about computing. I also
install Opera browser on all computers I have to setup and
configure, I even try to remove IE shortcuts, so the user can't
start it by mistake. This is the same approach used with Winamp.
It's just standard procedure: stop useless services, install Opera
That's the first step to losing the operating systems market
dominance. Why? Once users realize the benefits of alternatives,
the fact alternatives are better, they are more and more interested
in alternative operating systems too. That's what happend to me as
Browsers are probably even more important than any piece of
software on any OS. If you no longer use IE, you can already make
the switch easier. Many web applications also make it easier to
make the switch. Does Jane use Gmail? No problem, that one works
under GNU/Linux too. Does she use Firefox, Thunderbird or Opera?
All function under Linux better and faster.
A good move by Microsoft would be to release IE 7 ASAP, but make it
stable and with enough "wow" factor for gullible users. Then, in
one year develop IE 8, which has the "wow" factor for developers
I don't ignore the improvements in IE 7. Quite good ones, except
the interface which is worse than what IE 6 looks like. IE 6
actually has an acceptable interface.
If anything's going to be "blamed" for the fall of Windows market
dominance, that's the Web. It's not Google, and no other startup
nor corporation, because they'll all make use of the Internet and