Microsoft Expression Web Super Preview

I just read an article on ZDNet that mentioned a recent “showing off” of Expression Web SuperPreview by Microsoft. SuperPreview allows web developers to view and debug web output and rendering as it would appear in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. And I can’t help but wonder… why would we need a tool to check rendering if Microsoft actually handled rendering properly to begin with?

I am glad they have introduced this tool. Before this you had to install an application that would literally install multiple versions of IE on your machine. Then you would need to load your page in a new instance of whatever version you wanted to test. That really sucked. So having the option to inspect your rendering in one app across multiple versions of IE is definitely a boon. But still, why should you have to do that?

And speaking of browsers, a friend of mine the a few weeks back brought up a point that I still enjoy… why are we still coding for browser based output anyway? The web as we know it is totally breaking out of the browser. Why are there still cross-browser compatibility issues and rendering problems?

While I applaud Microsoft on their efforts to help developers code for their broken, crappy, waste-of-software browser, I think I am leaning more towards my friend’s way of thinking. Maybe it is time to start thinking outside the browser box?

Regardless, if you are a developer developing on Windows and you need a tool that will help you see how things are going to work for you in IE 6, 7 and 8, this might be the tool for you.

This has to be an April Fools Joke

A coworker of mine had a problem at work today and asked if I could help him. Of course, I told him sure.

The problem was something that is not really relevant here. What is relevant is that while attempting to troubleshoot his issue I ran across something so amazingly shocking that I had to surmise it was an April Fools prank. Sadly, I was wrong.

While attempting to do something on a web site for a very large certification organization, I ran across this error message:

My browser is way too modern

Too modern? Firefox is too modern? How can something be too modern? What the carp?

Is it too much to ask a web developer to code for a standard, not a browser? Seriously, if this page were coded for a standard (which it most certainly is not looking at the source) it would render in any modern browser, too modern or otherwise. I find it so very funny that an organization that throws its name onto almost anything electronic can have a web site that claims to be less modern than your browser can handle.

The organization in question?
Underwriters Laboratory

WOW! Better hope they never have to test or certify something that is too modern for your home.

PS Apparently IE7 is not too modern but just archaic enough to be considered a stable, old fashioned piece of garbage. At least UL proved something here that many developers have been saying for a long time.