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Internet Explorer Compatibility Views

 
 
Garrett Smith
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      05-27-2010
While setting up IE8 today, I was presented with a dialog box "wizard"
that provided a series of questions, one of which happened to be:

"Do you want to use Compatibility View updates?"
[ ] Yes, I want updates
[ ] No, I don't want updates

I assume that a "no", selection means that Internet Explorer's
compatibility view won't update, but will remain the same, whereas a
"yes" would allow updates to compatibility view.

It is in poor taste to push this complexity off to the end user.

Most normal users will have no idea what that means. They will likely
either guess randomly or end up searching, as I did, and finding a total
of two results:

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Do...ie=UTF-8&tbo=1

If the user follows advice in the first result, he'll choose "No", and
that probably means he won't get updates to compatibility view.

The second article did not provide advice either way, but seemed to be
complaining about the question itself, and much to my own sentiments:

http://petercai.com/its-because-i-dont-care/

| One of the many ideas I keep in mind designing software is that the
| user doesn’t care. If you assume the user cares, then all your
| assumptions going forward will be wrong.
|
| As a user, what frustrates me to no end is that stupid, annoying
| firstrun wizard that starts up in Internet Explorer 8 and Windows
| Media Player 12. They violate this principle to the point of
| absurdity.
|
| 1. Do you want to use compatibility view updates?

Good article.

IE8's "Compatibility view" indicates a range of compatibility.

The code that is least likely to experience problems in compatibility
mode will be the one codebase that runs in IE8 and IE7 without browser
detection.
 
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johncoltrane
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      05-27-2010
Le 27/05/10 05:55, Garrett Smith a écrit :

> "Do you want to use Compatibility View updates?"
> [ ] Yes, I want updates
> [ ] No, I don't want updates


Some time ago I had to upgrade the whole Silverlight stack on my Windows
machine. The whole process took the most of a work day...

At one point the installer somehow detected that the required conditions
were not met and alerted me that (no kidding) :

An Error Has Occured:
Silverlight Tools cannot be installed because one or more of the
following conditions are true:

1. Visual Studio 2008 RTM is not installed.
2. The Web Authoring feature of VS is not installed.
3. A previous version of the Silverlight Runtime is installed.
4. A previous version of the Silverlight SDK is installed.
.... (2 or 3 more problems)

Isn't that the worst error message possible?

I mean, come on... when testing a series of requirements it MUST be
trivial to list the errors to the user, like the numbered list above.
The user now has a readable list of actions to perform. He may still be
****ed off but... in a straight and positive way.

But no. They somehow decided that it was better to drive their user mad
by forcing him to go through the list and perform a dozen of semi-random
install/uninstall with their fuzzy undetermined error message.

"One or more condition is true." But which one(s) for ****'s sake? It's
your job to tell me.

Of course they are talking to developers used to that kind of logical
constructs, but is that a reason to not work seriously on their UI?

Oh well...

> IE8's "Compatibility view" indicates a range of compatibility.


I was under the impression that "Compatibility View" whas some kind of B
plan supposed to provide a safe environment for pages full of old hacks.
The possibility that this feature can be updated/changed kind of makes
it totally useless, doesn't it?

--
(ôlô)
 
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Richard Cornford
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      05-27-2010
On May 27, 6:59 am, johncoltrane wrote:
> Le 27/05/10 05:55, Garrett Smith a écrit :

<snip>
>> IE8's "Compatibility view" indicates a range of compatibility.

>
> I was under the impression that "Compatibility View" whas some
> kind of B plan supposed to provide a safe environment for pages
> full of old hacks.


Yes, because many old Internet applications are full of IE hacks
(which mostly means IE 6 hacks) and if Microsoft want people
(businesses) to upgrade their operating systems (which they most
certainly do, as selling OSs is their business) the new operating
systems are going to need to come with a browser capable of supporting
the existing Intranet applications (hacks and all).

> The possibility that this feature can be updated/changed
> kind of makes it totally useless, doesn't it?


It certainly makes it hugely problematic, as it means that it is
possibly not compatible now and will/may change in its relative
'compatibility' (which may go down as well as up).

If some 'compatibility' mode represents running the same code as the
version that it is supposed to be compatible with then the result
should be compatibility, but if the code being executed is new code
that is only designed to be compatible then it may or may not actually
be compatible. The design may not have taken everything into account
(especially if the designers never worked on the original code and so
were not intimately familiar with it), and even if it did its
implementation may contain bugs. Thus failures to be fully/properly
compatible may get fixed in the future.

Richard.
 
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