Saturday, 9 August 2008

Stop Avoiding Coding For Internet Explorer


Apple are the latest participant in a very limiting trend that I've seen on the Internet and that's developers making the choice to simply not support Internet Explorer for some functionality. I pick Apple because of it's high profile warning when you access MobileMe using Microsoft's browser. Instead of taking the time necessary to code for the most popular browser in the world they just stick up this warning and think that that is the way web development works. Well I'm afraid it isn't. In the end it would be much easier to be able throw up a message stating that the service doesn't work with Safari, an unsafe and unstable browser with a tiny share of the browser market, or Firefox, competent but again a browser without a majority share. I'm fed up with seeing web pages telling me that the developers couldn't be bothered programming for the majority of their viewers and if they don't care about providing me with a fully working service then why should I bother using it at all. If they can't develop for Internet Explorer then say so but don't blame it on the browser.


And for all the fan-bois out there who think that this is the behaviour that will bring down the Redmond Giant and is being done to make some sort of stand then just bare in mind that the iPhone and all iPods are fully compatible with Windows with no difference in functionality between Mac and PC. The major products are compatible because they won't sell if they aren't and profits are what matters most, bottom line. Minor services don't matter as much and obviously get less attention so ask yourself is your service minor and insignificant or will it be the next big thing? If the answer is the latter then sit down at you development environment, remove the warning message and get to work.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Hands Up Who Wants To Be Sued?

ASUS have produced an excellent new controller that has motion sensing technology. It's an excellent idea and I think it could catch on in a huge way. In fact any console with this technology would be a massive hit.....and the Wii is. I'm not saying there will be a lawsuit from Nintendo but you've got to admit there's a pretty good chance. By the way for those interested the ASUS controller is called the Eee Stick and works with a new range PC games that will be packaged along with the Stick and Eee PC or Eee Box.

If they want to keep tempting fate I hear loading Apple Operating Systems onto PC's and then selling them is a good way to get attention.

You can find the story and above image here.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Apple Admits It Made Mistakes With MobileMe

stevejobs_painting Steve Jobs has admitted in an email to the company that Apple made mistakes with the launch of MobileMe. The email makes a few very fair points and shows the Apple is willing to at least admit their mistakes. We'll see soon if they're learning from them too. The email was published in it's entirety on Ars Technica and I've copied it below:

Team,
The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour.  There are several things we could have done better:
– MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards – it clearly needed more time and testing.
– Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one – Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.
– It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store.  We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.
We are taking many steps to learn from this experience so that we can grow MobileMe into a service that our customers will love.  One step that I can share with you today is that the MobileMe team will now report to Eddy Cue, who will lead all of our internet services – iTunes, the App Store and, starting today, MobileMe.  Eddy's new title will be Vice President, Internet Services and he will now report directly to me.
The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services.  And learn we will.  The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.
Steve

Image from Ars Technica too.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Unnecessary Complexity

I just read David Pogue's latest post, which can be found here, about the complexity of software and I could not agree with him more. In fact at one stage I worked on installation applications and constantly pushed for the process to be streamlined and made easier. I thought that about 3 screens could do it for the average user and maybe 5 for the more adventurous. This was not the way it was built however because of the terrible idea in software design: the user is stupid and doesn't know what they're doing so we must take them through it step-by-step by the hand. That did include showing them options on 10 different screen just incase seeing one screen with multiple options might make their head explode.

Anyway fair play to you David I'd love to see software made simpler and here's a cartoon from flickr showing how the software process basically works: