Perhaps I ask too much of a browser

Time for a rant.  It’s just gonna make me feel better.

So, the day we decided to ditch Internet Explorer 6 and 7, there was much rejoicing around the office, agency colleagues would exclaim, “What?  You only have to test for IE8 compatibility?!” and in our pity the next round of beers would wind up on our tab.

Internet Explorer, now in it’s 8th incarnation, is still the headache that all of the previous abominations versions were.  Sure, getting HTML to render something close to what you intended is far more likely to happen than in IE6, but when it comes to DOM manipulation and javascript performance… omfg.   Perhaps I ask too much of a web browser?

I think not.  This is 2010.  Not 2001.

Truth be told, IE8 doesn’t know it’s ass from it’s elbow with some perfectly valid web pages from 2001.  But I digress.

Safari and Chrome are gems.  Opera too.  They do just about everything right and they don’t break a sweat doing it.  Firefox, while not the zippiest of browsers, at least does what you tell it.  Internet Explorer?  …endless code rewrites just to keep it from yacking up all over itself.  Recently, IE8 has started bitching about some Nirvana js code, saying “A script on this page is causing Internet Explorer to run slowly. If it continues to run, your computer may become unresponsive. Do you want to abort the script?”  Uh, no sir… I’d like you to run the script. That’s why we wrote it.  Dear Microsoft, how about fixing Internet Explorer rather than tossing a warning at the user?  It’s not like any other browser has a problem with doing what’s asked of it. There’s even a support page on the subject, though it reads suspiciously as though the message only pops up when there’s a problem with the website, not with the browser.  Makes us look bad even though we’re doing things right.  Nice.

So, we’ll continue to slug away, rewriting perfectly acceptable code, yet again, to run under the lowest-common-denominator browser that is IE8… but what a waste of time and resources.  Considering that every other browser on planet earth thinks Nirvana is just peachy, is this really not just the IE guys passing the buck?

Man, life is too short.  Ok, back to work…

Working on fix for context menus

Wanted folks to know that we are actively working on a fix for the context menus (to the far right of each task) so that they actually work on IE8, and stop slowing things down on all other browsers.

For the technically inclined: the hierarchical menu jquery plugin currently in place works great if you only have a handful of tasks, but starts to really drag its feet as the number of tasks grows.  Think we found an alternative that doesn’t exhibit this behavior.  With any luck it won’t be too involved to swap out the old menus for the new.

UX Experimentation for Upcoming Features

Been working all weekend (yes, wife and son are out of town) on some engineering and UX challenges that have been holding up the works for Areas of Responsibility and Smart Lists.  I’m quite happy with where things are going.

left navi in progress...

left navi - work in progress

Adding new features without cluttering up the interface (or confusing non-power users) is always a challenge, but I think this shows promise.

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