Joel on Software - “Martian Headsets” - Fortune

Joel on Software - “Martian Headsets”

And the whole problem hinges on the little tiny decision of what IE8 should do when it encounters a page that claims to support “standards”, but has probably only been tested against IE7.

What the hell is a standard?

Don’t they have standards in all kinds of engineering endeavors? (Yes.)

Don’t they usually work? (Mmmm…..)

Why are “web standards” so frigging messed up? (It’s not just Microsoft’s fault. It’s your fault too. And Jon Postel’s (1943-1998). I’ll explain that later.)

There is no solution. Each solution is terribly wrong. Eric Bangeman at ars technica writes, “The IE team has to walk a fine line between tight support for W3C standards and making sure sites coded for earlier versions of IE still display correctly.” This is incorrect. It’s not a fine line. It’s a line of negative width. There is no place to walk. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Author Joel Spolsky
Work Martian Headsets