January 2008 Archives

If this posts successfully, I’m going to guess my upgrade to Movable Type 4.1 went just fine.

I may write more about it later, but my 30 second review is: looks good. The new layout of the entry screen is definitely an improvement. However, they still haven’t fixed what I consider a usability bug: Tabbing from the Title field takes you to the text format drop-down (Markdown, Textile, etc.) before going to the body edit box. How often are you going to change the format on a post? Almost never, so it’s a wasted keystroke, and not the expected behavior.

In the brouhaha over Microsoft’s proposal that IE8 render pages like IE7 unless explicitly told not to, those defending the idea often said something like this:

The same people that don’t know about standards and design only for the current IE are the same people that MS is trying to avoid angering with this solution; they’re also the same people who wouldn’t know about the meta switch. If they do go ahead with this solution, it only makes sense to default to the older version.

The argument is that Microsoft is doing this for developers that don’t know any better—developers that were surprised that their sites broke when IE7 was released and will be surprised again when their site breaks in IE8. I’m having trouble buying that. Clearly, we’re not talking about everyone that builds a webpage but doesn’t know about standards. Your typical MySpace user doesn’t care if their webpage renders properly on their own browser, let alone anyone else’s. Those who work for small businesses don’t care much more, and even if they do their clients might not.

Continue reading “More Thoughts on Microsoft’s Version Targeting”…

Last month, the IEBlog had a tongue-in-cheek post about the name of the next version of IE. Considering yesterday’s announcement, I’ve come up with some new, more appropriate names:

  1. Internet Explorer: Peter Pan — It never grows up!
  2. Internet Explorer: Roman — When in lousy markup…
  3. Internet Explorer: 5·6·7·8 — 4 great browsers, 1 spectacular price!
  4. Internet Explorer: Classic — Enjoy.
  5. IE7 — Because, you know, that’s what you end up with.

You’ll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator. — Lisa Simpson, “Lisa’s Substitute”

In the latest issue of A List Apart, Aaron Gustafson explains Microsoft’s new plan for targeting browser versions and Eric Meyer grudgingly endorses the idea. If you haven’t yet, you should read those articles—and maybe skim some of the discussion—because this idea is going to have a major impact on future web development. I also recommend these blog posts on the subject:

The basic idea is this: Starting with IE8, future versions of Internet Explorer will support a new meta tag that will tell the browser what version of IE to use in rendering the page. If that tag isn’t there, the browser will assume the worst and behave like IE7.

Continue reading “Browser Targeting and Rounded Scissors”…

I’ve been using Twitterrific for several months now — probably almost as long as I’ve been using Twitter. Since upgrading to version 3.0, I’ve had a problem where sending a tweet would break the software. The tweet would be sent, but the text would stay in the textbox and Twitterrific would stop receiving tweets. The only fix was to close it and reopen it.

I couldn’t find anything about this problem anywhere online. I tried using some other clients for a while. That was when I learned just how much better Twitterrific is then any other Twitter client for the Mac.

So, in a moment of desperation, I emailed Iconfactory to ask about the problem. I’m not usually one to ask for tech support, particularly when I’m using the free version of a product. But I thought maybe, just maybe, they had heard of this problem before.

Craig Hockenberry wrote me back the next day. Why no, they had not ever seen this problem before. But, he thought it might be caused by incorrectly changing preferences via the command line. Specifically, doing this:

$ defaults write com.iconfactory.Twitterrific preferenceName YES

Instead of this:

$ defaults write com.iconfactory.Twitterrific preferenceName -bool YES

And as soon as I read that I knew that was the problem. I remembered setting a hidden preference this way, and I didn’t remember -bool being part of it. So I shut down Twitterrific, deleted the plist file from ~/Library/Preferences, and restarted the software. It worked — Twitterrific was back to normal.

Anyway, I thought I should write this up in case anyone else borks their favorite Twitter client the same way I did. Big thanks to Craig for the help and to Iconfactory for writing great software.