Talk:Internet Explorer/Archive 2

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JavaScript and NPOV issues

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

The article has been thoroughly raped by proponents of Firefox and other competitors. Each section ends with a snidey connotation/suggestion/allegation about Microsoft or Internet Explorer. It reads like a poorly-veiled Firefox advocacy page (like the allegedly informative '').

An example I recently corrected -- the JavaScript paragraph had been twisted to make out that MS was trying to 'embrace extend and extinguish' the standard, that MS has unfairly extended the standard, that IE's implementation had gone against the W3C spec blah blah blah. The unforgiveable flaw in all this anti-MS ranting was that the author had absolutely no clue about the JavaScript methods in question, and had criticised Internet Explorer for supporting addEventListener, when this is in fact the W3C DOM standard! [1]. And as for IE defying the W3C's 'Range' object, let's get the facts straight shall we? The TextRange object in IE was first seen in IE5 in 1998. The W3C made their 'Range' recommendation in 2000. So, who is defying who here? And who are we to criticise IE for supporting an innovation that Microsoft made 2 years before the burocrats at W3C decided on an alternate version?

It beggars belief that such clear anti-MS POV is allowed to fester on this page. If only the MS developers would start contributing here and set the record straight. Just look to the latest entries in the IEBlog if you want to know what's really going on with Internet Explorer. Ironically it's more neutral than the Firefox-inspired rubbish you'll find here. --Beachy 00:59, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

We can't control what W3C does. Ask W3C why they always reject Microsoft's idea. But nevertheless, vendor should follow W3C's standard, that's why standard is important. --minghong 13:41, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Hi Chris. Please take a deep breath. Relax. Chill out. Is there any chance that addEventListener was not part of the DOM Level 1 standard. Then after Microsoft added it to their implementation of the DOM, it became part of the DOM Level 2 standard? Maybe?
What you are seeing as an anti-Microsoft conspiracy, could just be bad writing. Instead of ripping out whole paragraph, you could try to make them clearer. AlistairMcMillan 01:14, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Make it clearer? What, make it more clearly wrong? :-) I thought these articles were meant to showcase reality rather than false speculation? Maybe I'm wrong, and I've been wasting my time here... --Beachy 01:18, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
You do realise that one or more of the DOM Working Group members are probably Microsoft employees? It isn't Microsoft versus the W3C, they do work together. To a certain extent. AlistairMcMillan 01:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Glad you're aware of this; it's a shame others aren't --Beachy 01:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Also personally, I would prefer if you helped make the page more clearly correct. But maybe that's just me. AlistairMcMillan 01:25, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Yep, after putting the finishing touches on my dissertation, I'm just getting started. Ironically my dissertation was a Firefox extension. Hopefully now I can't be accused of being narrow-minded (and I've also learnt a darn sight more about JavaScript) --Beachy 01:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
* Microsoft release IE 5.0 with addEventListener method in September 1998.
* W3C release DOM 2 Events standard with addEventListener method in November 2000.
AlistairMcMillan 01:32, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Beachy, you know better than to behave like this. It is utterly unacceptable for you to refer to your fellow editors' work as "rape". You have useful information to contribute. That's good. However, if you choose to behave in a manner which violates Wikipedia policy, you're not going to get to contribute it. That would be bad. Cut the personal attacks. --FOo 01:29, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Yawn, I'm sorry, perhaps I should have referred to it as a 'metaphorical sexual violation without consent'? --Beachy 01:38, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
How about instead you retract the insult, figure out why it was the wrong way to start your response to this article, apologize honestly to the editors you insulted, and resolve to behave in a constructive fashion rather than continuing to flout the rules here?
I personally think you're likely making a valid technical point here regarding DOM -- albeit one that's subject to interpretation, considering the vagaries of the standards process, as Alistair pointed out. We have a policy here to assume good faith until that assumption is disproven. But it's quite understandable that others will have trouble believing you're editing in good faith when you herald your return here with such contempt and vileness towards your fellows. --FOo 04:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah, many wise words from Fubar here, although he fails to see that Firefox advocates are not my NPOV "fellows." If anyone else is having trouble coming to terms with my language (yikes, 'rape' - what a taboo!), then I'll put a little warning above each potentially offensive paragraph so you and and any small children reading the IE discussion page know when to look away. --Beachy 11:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

You both make some valid points. Beachy is right in that it is clearly POV to frame addEventListener()'s introduction as an example of "embrace, extend, extinguish." …and Alistair is correct when he points out that part of Beachy's case — that the method is part of DOM Level 2 — is irrelevant since the method was an IE-specific extension to DOM L1 until L2 was published two years later. (Although, this counterpoint is softened a great deal by the fact that the bulk of DOM L2 Events was the work of Netscape's Tom Pixley and Microsoft's Chris Wilson, and that they added the method in question to DOM L2 between the December 1998 and March 1999 working drafts [2]).

Furthermore, FOo is probably overreacting to Beachy's "rape" hyperbole, which IMHO is not without some merit. The average contributor here does seem to be mainly interested in cataloging Internet Explorer's shortcomings and bringing up other relatively esoteric points of contention in an effort to paint the topic in as negative a light as possible, under the guise of encyclopedic phrasing. Really, I fail to see the point of bringing up addEventListener() at all. Surely whatever dead horse is being beaten here is adequately — and tersely — covered elsewhere? — mjb 04:21, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I made a serious mistake at first: addEventListener is W3C; attachEventHandler is IE. Hope this clear the thing up. The paragraph is corrected. Please don't remove it. Thanks. P.S. See also DOM Events for the details about why they are similar, yet very different. But don't "rape" that article please. See also comparison of layout engines (DOM) what the parts which are missing/wrong in IE. --minghong 07:27, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah so it's Mr "I've been spreading Firefox before the creation of Spread Firefox"[3] Minghong that wrote the inaccurate paragraph about Internet Explorer's JScript. No surprises there. What's genuinely surprising is that after reading this discussion he actually wants to put it back, albeit with two methods switched around! Clearly the point was misunderstood before and after my removal of this paragraph. Let me reiterate. Firstly, you _cannot_ criticise IE for implementing a method which later became a W3C standard (otherwise we'll have to look into Firefox's 'mozOpacity' and the like won't we?). Secondly, you WILL NOT censor the information about IE complying with the standardising organisation ECMA (I noticed you subtley slipped that one out!). Thirdly, since most of your paragraph is speculation, it carries little encyclopedic weight anyway. It's coming out.
Beachy, please be considerate. Everybody make mistake (including me). What we should do is to make the fact straight, but not including going personal. --minghong 13:15, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Noone likes a nasty personal response do they, Minghong? You seem quite happy to deal them out though:
"You really don't know what you're talking about. XPCOM is NOT XPI" 17:48, 29 Jan 2005 Minghong (history log)
Oh, and careful who you accuse of "raping" articles, Minghong -- Fubar is watching!
Thanks for the backup mjb --Beachy 10:51, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I know where you are coming from and have been seriously irritated by this article and the edit wars myself (and I barely contributed, months ago), but please to try take the high road; you can point out minghong's bias without so much vitriol. minghong has a genuine interest in improving this and many other Web-related articles, does make a lot of good contributions every day, and knows that this article is still in need of improvement. — mjb 18:12, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to point out a serious mistake: W3C event handling method is NOT support in IE [4]. Don't believe? Try it yourself with the following JavaScript:

     window.onload = function()
       alert( document.addEventListener );
       alert( document.removeEventListener );
       alert( document.dispatchEvent );

IE returns "undefined". --minghong 13:29, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Didn't Alistair (curiously) say "Microsoft release IE 5.0 with addEventListener method in September 1998"? --Beachy 14:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Why does it matter? Why is it so important to write about addEventListener in particular? So far no one has offered any explanation to counter my impression that it's just an opportunity to point to IE and go "haha, look at this standard it doesn't support. JavaScript developers hate IE because of it (and you should too. Get Firefox!)", rephrased to sound objective but not being at all necessary in this article. — mjb 18:12, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Agreed - The distinction between JavaScript, JScript and ECMAScript is important to include this article. Support for individual methods is not. Were we to continue in this respect we'd also need to insert such references into all the browser articles, for each of the W3C recommendations they don't fully support. That's a waste of time and would bloat the articles.
I'd like to put the first paragraph of the JavaScript/DOM 'limitations' into the Features section, and discard the dubious POV-based second paragraph. What do you reckon? --Beachy 19:18, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Microsoft AntiSpyware

Microsoft have released a beta of a product called Windows AntiSpyware. They bought a software house that produced an anti-spyware tool -- I have put some details and screenshots up on the web --Beachy 18:54, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Cool site :-) Is that specifically an add-on for Internet Explorer, or does it specifically relate to IE? Otherwise, we could put that info into its own article and refer to it from here! - Ta bu shi da yu 06:02, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It specifically relates to IE in that there wouldn't be an anti-spyware product market without IE. *ducks* :p It's not specifically related to IE really though. --Tubedogg 18:51, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Just want to share a joke with you guys, don't put it in the real article: [5]. --minghong 14:51, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Embrace, Extend and Extinguish

I want to add this paragraph:

The development of Internet Explorer is a classical example of a Microsoft's perceived strategy known as embrace, extend and extinguish (EEE). In the early versions of IE, IE was made to be compatible with Netscape in every possible way. From JavaScript to HTML to plugins (known as NPAPI - Netscape Plugin Application Program Interface). IE was even able to read the Netscape plugin directory to pick up plugins.
However, toward the end of browser war, various incompatible features are being introduced. For example, ActiveX and its proprietary DOM and CSS extensions.

However, in the EEE page, it said that:

The phrase "embrace, extend and extinguish" should be reserved for the particular strategy outlined above; it would be inaccurate to apply the term to a subject such as Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator.

So, should we add that paragraph? :-P It seems to be a waste for not adding it, since IE is a classic example for EEE.

--minghong 20:06, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

That paragraph would sit perfectly in Conspiracy_theory - though I believe even there it's gonna look daft... No offense intended - you did at least qualify it with the word 'perceived.' --Beachy 18:02, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the "inaccurate to apply to IE v NN" bit from the EEE article. CyborgTosser never explained why he thought that and it didn't make sense when the article discussed IE technologies throughout. Anyway, Microsoft cheering crowd aside, EEE does belong in the IE article. As bad as it is now with things like ActiveX, the next version of IE is going to be even further from the standard. Keep in mind though that the IE article is already overly long. AlistairMcMillan 19:26, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me that Microsoft's allegedly-anticompetitive behavior against Netscape is really a case of EEE. Extending the term "EEE" to include all anticompetitive behavior with software is probably a bad idea, because it obliterates a useful distinction -- kind of like how the term "FUD" has been recently extended to refer to any negative marketing, rather than just a particular kind.
The difference, I suspect, is that EEE has to do with standards -- altering a standards-compliant program with gratuitous incompatibilities for the purpose of locking users in. The popularity boom of IE didn't happen because people were locked in to it, but rather because it was bundled with Windows. It's true that IE has some pretty blatant incompatibilities, but saying "EEE" means claiming that they were introduced deliberately for the purpose of locking users in. I don't think we have evidence of that.
There are definitive cases of EEE in Microsoft's conduct -- the big one being Java, which they ended up being on the wrong side of a court case about. In that case, ISTR there were Microsoft internal documents dug up which showed that they created the incompatibilities intentionally so that Windows Java programmers would end up creating Windows-only Java programs. IIRC, the Halloween documents also proposed the use of EEE against open-source software, under the rubric of "de-commoditizing" open protocols.
However, I don't think IE is a real case of EEE. It's just bundling. --FOo 20:54, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Alistair: "As bad as it is now with things like ActiveX, the next version of IE is going to be even further from the standard." -- so perhaps you could explain why it's alright for Mozilla to make their own standards (*ahem* XPI), but not Microsoft? And, out of curiosity, what gives you the idea that the next version of IE is going to be further away from the standard (whatever "the" standard is)? All the IE blogs point to the fact that IE7 will support transparent PNG, and CSS2.1 with elements of CSS3. If you're offering speculation, you should qualify it with an 'I think' or an 'in my opinion.' --Beachy 01:19, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
So you think we should compare a closed binary plugin format that was developed in private behind closed doors (ActiveX) with an open text-based plugin format that was developed in public (XPI)? If a browser developer wanted to include support for XPIs in their browser, what would stop them? All the code is sitting their in Mozilla CVS. There are docs lying around on the Mozilla website explaining the format. Similarly with the other technologies that Mozilla has developed, like XUL, XBL, whatever. There is nothing stopping another developer from using these technologies because they are all sitting out in public. However if another developer wants to add support for ActiveX plugins to their browser... well first you have to reverse engineer the plugins... then if you actually get your version completed and shipping, you have to worry about Microsoft suing your ass... all kinds of fun and games.
And I'm not speculating about the next version of IE. You are aware that there are Longhorn developer previews available right? You have seen people discussing Longhorn technologies on the net right? You have heard of Microsoft's funky new, NIH technologies right? For example, XAML (similar to XUL), WVG (similar to SVG) and AFF (similar to CSS) right? AlistairMcMillan 11:15, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Explain why they abruptly removed NPAPI support from IE? Support for NPAPI and ActiveX plugins was introduced at the same time in version 3, then they abruptly removed NPAPI support in 5.5 SP2. If you remember a number of plug-in developers suddenly found they had to rush to develop ActiveX versions of their plugins with no prior warning. [6] What else is this except embracing the standard (NPAPI), enhancing it with (ActiveX) and extinguishing it (now that we're popular, bye bye NPAPI). AlistairMcMillan 21:22, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
To put it another way. Bundling was used to make it popular. EEE was used to make sure it stayed popular. AlistairMcMillan 21:31, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Firefox supports Microsoft's proprietary innerHTML property in JavaScript. Now imagine this - in a few months, FF really takes off and becomes the most popular browser. Suddenly Goodger pulls out innerHTML support from Firefox (after all, it's non-standard). All those who developed around IE's "quirk" will now have to do it the Firefox way, and quickly.
Will Mozilla be charged with "EEE" practises? Of course not - not only are open-source outfits like Mozilla politically untouchable, but they're simply doing their bit for the W3C, right? And of course, if it harms IE's developer share then it's the fault of MS for coming up with proprietary technology in the first place, isn't it.
My point is that web-standards, even major ones like ActiveX and XPI will never be enough to "extinguish" the competition in a browser war. Most consumers just want to be able to browse the web, and do it free of charge. So when Netscape charges for their browser do you think it's any wonder they died a death? "EEE" at the hands of MS - my arse! People didn't want to pay for a (technically inferior) browser.
Anyone else think this anti-MS conspiracy theorist stuff is nonsense? Notice the growing desperation amongst MS cynics now that Microsoft are tackling the security and spyware issues - I think the cynics are running low on the sensationalist steam that powers the Mozilla advocacy engine. --Beachy 01:04, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think you might do well to re-read Wikipedia's no personal attacks policy. We're trying to build an encyclopedia here, and calling your fellow editors "conspiracy theorists" is not acceptable conduct. --FOo 03:19, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Don't patronise me. A "personal attack" (as you put it) rather necessitates being directed towards a person, doesn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong but I never made personal accusations towards any one person of being a conspiracy theorist.
Wikipedia's NPA states: "Comment on content, not on the contributor" - which is exactly what I was doing when I referred to "this anti-MS conspiracy theorist stuff." In any case, to call someone a conspiracy theorist would hardly be the worst insult I've seen on here. How come you didn't pull Alistair up when he referred to me personally as a "cheerleader?" Pah, anyway, it's pretty obvious to me what's going on here. I'm sure it's obvious to most other observers too. If you want to draw attention away from points that you don't agree with then I cannot and will not stop you. However, you will not discourage me from expressing them. --Beachy 03:38, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Beachy, I'd say that your persistent accusations that your fellow editors are biased certainly do constitute personal attacks. Note, I'm not talking about criticism of content -- I'm talking about your incessant refrain that others are "ridiculously anti-Microsoft", "biased", are the "extreme end of the anti-IE camp", and so on. This is not an occasional behavior or once-in-a-while over-the-top comments. It is a persistent sequence of attacks upon your fellow editors' motives, and it is not acceptable behavior on Wikipedia.

I agree with you that Alistair and others have from time to time made personal remarks towards you. That's also unacceptable, and I don't pretend that it's okay. I'd point out that neither Alistair nor you responded when I pointed out that you were both engaging in an edit war contrary to policy, so I think you have both done some damage in that regard. However, the constant beating of the "everyone else is biased!" drum is something that you in particular have been doing, and it has got to stop.

Please note, I'm not trying to run you off or discourage you from working on this article. I think you've made some very useful and informative contributions, and I do not in any way intend to impugn your privilege as a Wikipedia editor to work on this or any other subject. I am trying to get the attacks to stop. Not only are they against Wikipedia rules, they are also the chief problem drawing attention away from serious collaboration on this article. --FOo 00:20, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There have also been many attacks on my motives too, but to be honest that doesn't bother me. In many ways we are ALL biased, and each tend to make our edits with either a pro-IE or a (more common) anti-IE leaning. To pretend that editors are all "NPOV" is rather missing the reality of the debate (which is what this page is designed for). Like you say, I am outspoken in this forum, but I do not consider my criticisms to be unfair or unwarranted. And if they are mean enough to hurt the feelings of other editors, then I apologise -- I just thought people in here were made of stronger stuff. Beachy 15:53, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Whether or not individual editors are biased is beside the point. Speculations (and that's all they can ever be) concerning an editor's motives is irrelevant. It is the content of the article which is important, and which should be the subject of the debate. It is the content of the article which should be NPOV. Making claims about individual editors biases or motives serves no useful purpose, and should be assiduously avoided by all. Paul August 16:40, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
Whether there have been attacks on your motives is irrelevant. Whether it bothers you is irrelevant. Whether we are all biased is irrelevant. Whether all editors are NPOV is irrelevant. Whether you are outspoken on the forum is irrelevant. Whether you consider your criticisms unfair or unwarranted is irrelevant. Whether people here are "made of stronger stuff" is irrelevant. Your entire post fails to address the comment given. -- MIT Trekkie 17:28, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
Well he did apologize, that is relevant and does address, to some extent, "the comment given". Paul August 18:34, Jan 18, 2005 (UTC)
In my view, the purpose of the WP:NPA policy has nothing to do with "hurt feelings" and everything to do with the productivity of the Wikipedia project. We are here to build an encyclopedia. If we could do that more effectively by insulting and accusing each other all the time, then Wikipedia policy would require personal attacks, instead of forbidding them. We would have a policy that says that every edit must be made with an insulting edit summary, that every talk comment must accuse other editors of everything from bias to bestiality, and that we are all expected to go to each other's User Talk pages and berate each other every once in a while. (No, I'm not saying you do those things. They are silly examples.)
The present policy reflects a judgment that the opposite is the case: that insulting and accusing one another reduces the productivity of the Wikipedia project. I happen to agree with that judgment. The more time and effort people spend fussing about themselves and each other, the less encyclopedia gets written. (That's why this will be my last post on the subject of WP:NPA here. Writing this isn't getting any encyclopedia written.)
I think the real problem with accusations of bias is that they come across as attacks against people's suitability to work on Wikipedia. Because we value neutrality here, the accusation "You're biased" translates as "Go away." Whereas it's frequently fitting to deal with a piece of biased article text by deleting it or modifying it to be more neutral, we do not have the privilege to tell other editors to go away or modify themselves. So the accusation of bias comes across as "I, the accuser, am privileged to judge who is fit to work on this article."
A thought on "bias": It is true that we all come to discussions of any subject (such as Internet Explorer) with pre-existing beliefs and ideas. It is not true that these beliefs are all biases or prejudices. For instance, if a person has had very good experiences with Internet Explorer, I would expect him or her to have a positive view of it. This positive view is not a "bias" -- it is experience.
We expect people to form views from experience; doing so is usually called "learning". Moreover, we expect that people who have experience are more worth listening to on a subject than people without experience. Not only does experience not constitute a threat to neutrality, it constitutes a benefit. (This may have something to do with Larry Sanger's rant about "anti-elitism", but not terribly much.)
Different people can have experiences which disagree with one another. My boss, for instance, uses Internet Explorer all the time, doesn't use anti-spyware software, and yet never gets spyware. Other coworkers of mine use Internet Explorer all the time and have awful problems with spyware. My boss's positive view of Internet Explorer is not formed by bias ... but by experience. The same is true for the others' negative view of it.
If a person makes a faulty generalization from their own experience -- for instance, if my boss said (which he does not) that everyone can use IE and no anti-spyware software and yet be trouble-free -- that still is not "bias". It's just a logical fallacy. You can't do induction from one case to a universal.
When is it useful to say that someone is biased? I'm not sure it ever really is. Possibly when a person has no experience of something and yet has oh so many opinions about it. But even then, on Wikipedia it is probably more useful to simply point out (with citations) where such a person's claims are wrong, and leave their ego problem out of it. --FOo 21:53, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate the mature responses in this thread, and do take heed of them. I agree that debating sometimes leads to fighting and fighting is not a useful practise in building WP articles. However, in my defense I would say there's a bit of an over-emphasis on accusations I have made in the past. Looking over the last 250 edits of the article, I've found far more personal attacks from Alistair, for example, than from myself:
17:48, 9 Jan 2005 AlistairMcMillan (...When you actually know what you are talking about, I'll stop reverting.)
19:01, 26 Dec 2004 AlistairMcMillan (→Concerns and problems - Revert Beachy's muddy language.)
14:03, 26 Dec 2004 AlistairMcMillan (Revert Beachy. Please take your agenda elsewhere.)
12:06, 24 Dec 2004 AlistairMcMillan (→Concerns and problems - Restore passage deleted by the Microsoft and Internet Explorer and SP2 cheerleader.)
11:49, 24 Dec 2004 Beachy (Alistair, let's hear the reason behind your repeated, unexplained revokes of this edit. Or is it just general anti-MS FUD about SP2?)
00:34, 24 Dec 2004 Beachy (This inane FUD about Service Pack 2 is getting ridiculous. Alistair - name some spyware that ad aware will not remove, and requires hacking about in the registry.)
Note also that my comments are on the content, whereas his are regularly personal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to prove that I'm innocent here - but I'm putting this in context and I certainly don't think I'm the worst offender. One thing is clear - that I have too much spare time, and should be revising for my finals. If anyone wants to continue this thread it had probably ought to be on my talk page as the debate seems no longer on IE itself Beachy 22:10, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

If anyone has a problem with my edits or edit comments or whatever, then please feel free to log an RFC or whatever the appropriate procedure is in that situation. Otherwise can we please get back to discussing minghong's EEE passage. AlistairMcMillan 00:06, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Firefox Ad?

I'm an ardent anti-IE campaigner, but:

As of 2005 Internet Explorer is by far the most widely-used web browser, although in 2004 it began losing market share to Mozilla Firefox.

Does anyone else agree that mentioning Firefox is just advertising? The statement is not entirely truthful anyway (general statistics mention Mozilla/Netscape browsers gaining ground). This certainly isn't suited to the opening paragraph, it should probably confined to Web browser only. NB: I do note a huge portion of this page is dedicated to NPOV, but I figure this particular issue could be quickly dealt with. — Leedar 05:06, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I thoroughly agree. This article is rife with subtle (and less subtle) advertising for Firefox, and that's not what the Wikipedia is about. The Firefox page itself is a world apart from this, with talk of the design process of it's logo, detailed descriptions of its features and the frivoulous 'delicious delicacies' section. At least there is also a large "criticisms" section.
Looking at the IE article is like reading a big statement that says "IE is BAD, use Firefox." Mozilla evangelists must love it! What a joke.--Beachy 05:31, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Reverted Beachy's edit (with some minor corrections so that it is not biased to anyone). Please don't remove fact! --minghong 07:03, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Minghong's talk page: "Since Year 2004, I've been addicted to Mozilla, web standards, open-source.. I've been spreading Firefox before the creation of Spread Firefox community site.." --Beachy 16:35, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I note this edit comment: "Remove Firefox mention. What does the Firefox web browser have to do with ActiveX controls?" - this seems to be a recurring theme - comparisons with Firefox technologies are censored unless they make out in some way that Firefox is more functional or more secure than IE. In this case XPCOM and ActiveX are practically identical technologies, but the mention has been removed, probably because it balanced the criticism of ActiveX in IE. The pattern of unwavering, unbalanced assault on IE/MS has to stop, before this article loses all neutrality and credibility. If any editor wants to remove one comparison with Firefox he should remove them all --Beachy 16:32, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Good idea. Your idea has been implemented. AlistairMcMillan 18:05, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, I appreciate that --Beachy 18:15, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

Alistair, I have had a good look around on the net regarding BHO's, and although they appear to manifest as spyware in some cases, I can't see how they can silently install themselves from websites. The only examples I have found of malware in the form of BHO's have been DLL's that have installed as part of other, downloaded software. Do you have any examples of BHO's self-installing from websites? Beachy 20:30, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Plain and simple, does IE display a warning when a BHO is installed? Plain and simple answer, NO. That is one of the reasons that Microsoft added the Add-On Manager with SP2 and purchased GIANT's AntiSpyware software. As I'm sure you are aware, AntiSpyware DOES display a warning when a BHO attempts to install on someone's machine.
The specific vector you mention is only one or MANY ways for a BHO to get installed on someone's machine. AlistairMcMillan 21:55, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What other ways can a BHO be installed on a user's machine (in particular, without a prompt)? Beachy 16:00, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
What other ways???
* Someone downloads some other program that installs a BHO (e.g. Morpheus).
* Someone download a file from a p2p network, thinking it is Britney Spear's latest album, when in reality it is a BHO.
* Someone receives a BHO as an email attachment and automatically runs it because they don't know better.
* Installing software from a third-party CD, from a company that is otherwise trust-worthy.
* Installing software from one of those useless crap CDs that you get when you sign up with an ISP.
* etc etc etc
Internet Explorer does not warn you before installing a new BHO. It (at least IE on XP SP2) may warn you about certain vectors, for example the pop-ups that install BHOs or ActiveX controls that install BHO, but in both cases it is not warning you about the BHO installation, it is warning you about the pop-up and ActiveX control. And that leaves aside all the other possible vectors. Right now IIRC Internet Explorer will quite happily and quite quietly install any BHO you asking it without question. And a lot of the time without you even being aware that anything happened.
If you really don't believe me I think I probably have a couple sitting around somewhere that I saved from someone's machine. I could email you a copy and you can try for yourself.  :) AlistairMcMillan 01:24, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed response. You have clarified what I originally supposed. Although BHO's can be silently installed, they cannot be silently installed from the web - they require other downloaded/acquired software as a "vector" (as you put it). In which case the comparison with XPI's ("unlike the situation with BHOs in Internet Explorer, the user is prompted before an XPI installer is executed") is moot, right? If you're going to take into account the actions of software already downloaded / acquired by the user themselves, then it hardly seems to suggest a security hole in the browser. Whilst I understand IE opens a rich API to BHO's, I'm sure it would be equally easy for a third-party app to manipulate the chrome / XUL files behind Firefox and therefore have the same effect as BHO spyware does on IE. Do you agree? --Beachy 03:02, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Not really no. You keep talking as if direct download from the Internet is the only way that people are likely to get a BHO installed. People get spyware from a great number of sources, not just downloads from dodgy web pages. And I'm not sure I'm being clear about BHO installation, it doesn't depend on third-party software.
If you have a BHO installer sitting on your desktop and you double-click on it, Windows will automatically install it. Since BHOs are basically just DLL files, you don't even require an instance of Internet Explorer to be running for this to work and it can all happen quietly in the background with zero feedback. Aside from perhaps hearing your hard drive spring to life, there may be no indication that anything happened.
If you have an XPI sitting on your desktop and you double-click on it, Windows won't have a clue what to do with it and will pop up the "Windows cannot open this file" "Windows needs to know what program created it" prompt. Then if you go to the trouble of telling it to open the XPI with Firefox, an instance of Firefox opens up and the usual Software Installation dialog opens with "Malicious software can damage your computer or violate your privacy" and "You should only install software from sources that you trust" in bold.
Do you see the difference? Simply, both browser developers provide a method to extend their browser. Microsoft make it incredibly simple to extend your browser, even making it possible to do it without even realising anything has happened. Mozilla make it relatively easy, although they put enough of a roadblock in the way that, at the very least, you are clear what you are doing and you are aware that something has happened. AlistairMcMillan 07:14, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
But really, both Firefox and IE allow malware to potentially be downloaded from the web. Both display a warning beforehand. With full access to the filesystem, surely it would be equally easy for malware to affect both IE and Firefox from the inside. After all, an XPI installer just copies some files into the extensions directory within the user's profile. The only difference is that IE now has a mechanism to detect such activity, and Firefox doesn't.
If, on the other hand, BHO's can install themselves silently from a webpage without user intervention, then that would clearly be cause for alarm, and would be a significant hole in IE worth mentioning in this context. --Beachy 15:18, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think you are so desperate to defend IE that you aren't even listening.

  1. Go and download some program that includes a BHO. Yahoo Messenger used to include one, not sure if it does now. Morpheus used to include one, not sure if it does now. I'm sure you are capable if you really try, of finding one.
  2. Run the installer. Watch in stupefied amazement as Windows quite happily installs a BHO in IE without a single bloody warning.

AlistairMcMillan 15:42, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Firstly, calm down. Secondly you have just reiterated my point. 3rd party software must be installed first. And what happens when you download (potentially malicious) 3rd-party software in IE? You get a warning. See? If dumbasses download and install a P2P client / toolbar / 1000 new smilies or whatever, they deserve every bit of spyware they get packaged in there. My point is that you shouldn't try to suggest that BHO's can be silently and directly installed from the web - this is simply not the case. --Beachy 15:50, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Beachy, please stop putting incorrect information here... XPCOM is not COM. Do some researches (like visiting sites like,,, etc) before making up the edits. Google is your friend. --Minghong 17:55, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You may wish to consult the actual content of my edits before you revert or modify them. I never claimed XPCOM was COM. Regarding your section on scripting, you may be interested to read the following page [7] to see how remote scripting and XPCOM interact through XPConnect. I'll let you do the reverting .. --Beachy 18:17, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
If you ever coded with Mozilla, you'll know that unprivileged script cannot execute enablePrivilege(). Only signed script can do that. (chrome script doesn't have to do that because they have the privileges already) Even for signed one, a confirmation dialog will appear when it comes to the line enablePrivilege. We know that digital signing is painful and expensive and very few people do that. Please. Please check before you claim. --Minghong 20:21, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This article is about IE, not Firefox

It seems to me that the article on Internet Explorer does not really need to contain extensive descriptions of technologies that are found in Mozilla Firefox but not in Internet Explorer. Perhaps some of the material about Firefox technologies — and Firefox security — should be moved to the Mozilla Firefox article.

This would also help remedy some of the above complaints about the disparity of structure between the two articles, viz. Beachy's repeated complaints that this article deals more with problems with IE while the Firefox article deals with the popularity and growth of that browser.

I would, however, like to warn against hypotheticals. It is not our place, here or at Mozilla Firefox, to speculate about potential security problems that have not actually been demonstrated. We need to stick to what is and not waste our time on what might be. For example, It's quite true that there might be, one day in the near future, spyware that attacks Mozilla Firefox. There is no magic Open Source Security Pixie-Dust that would categorically prevent it. However, to date there is not any spyware attacking Firefox. Since Wikipedia is about confirmed and refernced facts rather than about original research and speculations, we really need to be careful to restrain our speculations and focus on things that actually exist today. --FOo 20:38, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Totally agree. Beachy you should stop your wild imagination for a while... ;-) --Minghong 21:20, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Hehe, well perhaps you ought to take out all that stuff about the projected rise of Firefox ;-) Beachy 21:37, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'm not going to say again. Check the statistics then. Time will tell. --Minghong 22:01, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'm outta here - guys, I've been proved wrong more times than I care to mention, but it's been a pleasure to lock horns with knowledgeable people like yourselves. Hopefully this and the Firefox article will be free of edit-wars for some time to come :-) --Beachy 15:53, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

In my opinion, this article is not blantantly pro-Firefox, but it does have an anti-MSIE tone in sections. On the other hand, after just removing a huge bunch of spyware and trojans from my Father's computer (not the first time!), it is hard not to fall into the anti-MSIE camp. With the regular reports of additional exploits of MSIE, which Micro$loth seems to take forever to fix, the perception is that MSIE is a leaky ship that will never be made water-tight, so the only thing that Microsoft can do is bail water. The easy conclusion is that MSIE is not a safe web browser for my septuagenarian father, nor any naïve computer user. Compare that to my experience using the Opera, Mozilla, and Mozilla Firefox browers—I've never had a trojan or spyware program on my computers, and I can't remember the last time that I saw an unwanted popup.

I've finally convinced my father to use another web browser instead of MSIE (he has chosen Opera instead of my current favorite, Firefox). He is enjoying the difference in speed, and he is now realizing the ease of use that features such as tabbed browsing can provide (which is just one of the reasons to point out those features that MSIE is missing). The statistics on browser usage from some of the more techie-oriented websites have already shown a significant shift in browser usage away from MSIE, but when even stubborn, conservative computer users such as my father start join the anything-but-MSIE crowd then the percentage of MSIE users can only continue to drop. 04:59, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Web Standards

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

Which browsers completely comply with W3C standards? I thought a good majority of browsers were not fully compliant, and if so I think that is worth a small mention in this section. I haven't checked lately, but for a long time Opera did not comply, and I thought one of their stated objectives was to make a reference browser for the purpose of testing compliancy (not sure about this). --Paraphelion 06:34, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As far as I know, no browsers completely comply with web standards. Amaya probably comes closest. The problem with IE is the degree of its lack of support for standards. The first paragraph should be changed to clarify this point. Schapel 08:19, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I was going to add something like 'Like most web browsers, ' to that paragraph, but was reluctant after reading about all the controversy on this talk page. Perhaps it should be 'Like nearly all, '. --Paraphelion 08:51, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Although it is factually correct that no browser has complete and correct support for the standards, the main point of this section is that IE has far worse standards support than the other major browsers (e.g. Firefox, Opera, Safari). This is what leads to the "design for IE" vs. "design for standards" issues described in the Consequences. The first paragraph needs to be changed to match the rest of this section. Schapel 16:35, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is odd, then, that this section does not talk about IE's standards compliance in the context of comparing them to other major browsers, however even if it did, and perhaps it would be more so in that case, I think it is worth at least a minor reference of the kind that I added. --Paraphelion 18:41, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Uh, the section certainly does compare IE's standards compliance to that of other browsers. Look for "Unlike other browsers" and "This leads to problems for users who use other web browsers." Maybe this point needs some further clarification. It looks to me to be the main point of the entire section. Schapel 14:08, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think to be totally techically gramaticalzodical about it, "Like nearly all web browsers, Internet Explorer's rendering engine, known as Trident," doesn't make sense... it implies Internet Explorer's rendering engine is what is being compared rather than Internet Explorer. I'm not sure how else to add mention without it being more than a passing reference as it is now. --Paraphelion 07:12, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

But it is Trident that is being compared here isn't it? It is the rendering engine that is responsible for supporting or not supporting standards. AlistairMcMillan 18:44, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
it is, but it's not a web browser, it's the engine for the web browser, if we wanted to get very technical about it... I could have written "like nearly all rendering engines" I guess.. but I'm not sure that's better. --Paraphelion 18:41, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The css2 example is not correct

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

The example page for CSS2 is not a correct example. If you make a local installement of the page, IE shows it fine. The thing is, that IE considers @import url("/css/css-server") to be relational link (url) (as it ought to be), but it is actually supposed to be absolute by the author (server side - / means root). Many browsers understand / in url as absolute root (the server domain), but it should actually be considered relative (it must be file:/ for absolute - http:/ means something else) so actually IE is correct and others are wrong! The @import statement is a reference to a non-existant document and therefore brousers default stylesheet must be used.

No. "/" means absolute URL. e.g. "w/index.php" -> "". If you view HTTP request header, it looks something like "GET /w/index.php HTTP/1.1". Anyway, the link is removed as it is not that meaningful. --Minghong 21:18, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I am sorry - it all seemed to be working on localhost - so I must have jumped to conclusions. I also checed the traffic with ethereal, that showed that IE actually did request all these stylesheets. However, IE is known to act suspiciously sometimes. I also do understand, that there are some trouble with CSS2 and IE (like the :first-child pseudo class selector seems to be working only in some cases, not always).

I would just like to point out another thing about this article: W3C doesn't produce standards - it creates recommendations (there are W3C Recommendations not standards). Otherwise, my regards to all of you who are keeping this aricle up to date (I know, it must be time-consuming).


I'm up to number 27, if anyone else wants to help convert this to references! See Wikipedia:Cite sources for more info. - Ta bu shi da yu 12:45, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)


I think that Internet Explorer can be used in many different languages. I'm thinking that it might be an idea to go into this as it's a fairly major feature of IE. I'm also wondering if we're missing any features of IE. What about the ability to embed it into apps (or is that part of the component object model)? - Ta bu shi da yu 05:32, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Most well-designed applications are available in multiple languages AFAIK. Internet Explorer may support more languages than your average application but not that many more than competing browsers. [8] [9] [10].
Embedding IE should be mentioned (I'm surprised it isn't).
Right now, IMHO, what this page needs most is to be shortened and cleaned up generally. We seem to go into incredible detail about things that only need a paragraph at most. Removing IE which, as Rhobite pointed out, hardly anyone does. The Feature lists which should probably be dissolved into other sections wherever appropriate, for example all the SP2 features being added to the appropriate place in the version history. A couple of times now I've thought about moving most of the ActiveX content to the Component Object Model page, but that page is such a mess I always lose heart. Anyway. AlistairMcMillan 05:59, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm... maybe we could shift content to other articles and briefly mention them? Those pages might get placed on VfD, but I'd doubt they get deleted. I sort of think that the COM stuff is pretty good in this article - I found it quite informative. - Ta bu shi da yu 06:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm not saying I don't like the COM stuff (I think I wrote most of it :) ). I just think stuff about ActiveX security problems may belong more in Component Object Model. Then again maybe not, because people only really come across the security problems in Internet Explorer. I dunno. AlistairMcMillan 06:18, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Just noticed embedding is covered. Right at the end before "See also". AlistairMcMillan 06:13, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

External Link

I think that the "Why I support IE..." article, written by Beachy, is not neccessary since they are "an undergraduate" and not a web developer or part of a web standards project. They are not necessarily part of an internet project or even actively use the internet...

When I wrote that article I was actually working as full time developer for an investment bank in Canary Wharf, London. I'm soon to graduate and return there. Am I an active Internet user? Well, I've been making web sites since 1996, including one for a printing company that netted them a multi-million pound contract to produce Pokemon cards (I was 16 at the time). Whilst in London I wrote and installed a system to broadcast local information via the web and a TV channel to a housing estate in Chelsea. I also developed a Firefox extension for my dissertation.
I can see why you prefer to hear the opinion of the web standards project. They make it nice and easy to understand their point of view. Nice soundbites and annecdotes to fuel an argument they consider to be black and white, good vs evil. My article was written in the hope that people could expand their outlook and consider both sides of this debate objectively. My time was, in the most part, wasted. --Beachy 14:52, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Headings and organization

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

I've made the headings to "Limitations" and "Criticisms". I think that matches the content exactly. The original headings are "Web standards" and "Security", but the contents are actually critizing how bad its standards support is and how bad its security measures are. --minghong 03:41, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

P.S. Hopefully after the rewrites and reorganizations, this can become a featured article. :-P --minghong 03:42, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This article could go one of two ways:
a) It becomes another clichéd mock-informative Firefox advocacy page
b) It loses ALL of the droll, obvious, negative, speculative and downright slanderous anti-Microsoft POV. Only then could it regain its status as a featured article
It's up to you --Beachy 17:40, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
"Web standards" should document MSIE's history, current successes and failures, and future plans in the field of web standards. ("Limitations" would have to also cover interface design, other capabilities, etc., and would have a very different scope.) MSIE's web standards record is poor compared to every other currently supported HTML engine, but it's not all bad. Michael Z. 2005-05-11 21:05 Z
After a second thought, "Limitations" is merged with "Criticisms", since it is a criticism about what IE has such limitations in the first place. --minghong

EEE and vendor lock-in

Please don't remove this information. IE is a perfect example of this. See how many organizations are still depending on IE/ActiveX. --minghong 09:36, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Do you mean 'depending on' or 'actively developing for'? The investment bank I worked in preferred to lock down to a single browser -- this situation is not the work of the 'evil' MS Corporation, it is the work of the 'responsive to customer need' MS Corporation. You ought to see that the business world has a choice here, and most businesses appear to choose IE, much to the annoyance of open-sourcists. The annoyance is their problem, not the customer's. --Beachy 14:36, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm a Mac user. "MSIE only" web sites built by lazy/stupid IT organizations almost invariably fail in MSIE/Mac, or are blocked from displaying in MSIE/Mac and other Mac browsers (sometimes even when they would work in those browsers). I couldn't disagree with you more. Michael Z. 2005-05-11 20:29 Z
I didn't make myself clear. By corporate lockdown I meant an internal lockdown (eg over an intranet). When a corporation locks its users down to a single browser, they reduce the support burden, they reduce the amount of coding that has to be done and noone is concerned cos everyone in the company is on a unified installation (that is everyone has Internet Explorer installed on their work PC), certainly true in my workplace anyway --Beachy 21:15, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Ideally, if every browser vendor obey the open standards, the "amount of coding that has to be done" would not be greatly increased. Currently, the worst player (in terms of standard support) is the Internet Explorer. This is a fact that no one can deny. --minghong 21:26, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Ideally, if every browser vendor obeyed the open standards, you wouldn't need to lock down to one browser. Can you imagine a corp having to lock down to only one make of television? AlistairMcMillan 21:37, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I misunderstood. What bugs me is when an IT department decides to treat their public customers as if they were an intranet. There are still banks out there whose web sites are not usable on a Mac at all. Michael Z. 2005-05-11 21:29 Z

Please help summarizing

I've splitted the contents into history of Internet Explorer, features of Internet Explorer, and criticisms of Internet Explorer. I'm sleepy. Please help summarizing these 3 articles and put the summary into this article. Don't know what to do? See the Mozilla Firefox article. --minghong 21:08, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Done. Blame me if you want. :-P --minghong 08:24, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

PNG "optional" feature set?

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

It was kept saying that alpha channel it an "optional" feature. What are those "optional" features actually? From, PNG has the following features [11]:

  • Compression (palette-based, grayscale and full color)
  • Compression Filters
  • Alpha Channels (not supported, well-known fact)
  • Gamma Correction (not supported, try the demo [12])
  • Color Correction (not listed in that page, but try googling it, there is color correction based on color profile)
  • 2D Interlacing (IE renders as 1D interlacing only, try the demo [13])
  • File Integrity Checks

--minghong 16:17, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I think Beachy is getting confused by the PNG standard mentioning: "This document describes PNG (Portable Network Graphics), an extensible file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel." [14]
This means the alpha channel is optional for images. I'm not sure, but I don't think it means the alpha channel is optional for software that implements the standard. I could be wrong though. AlistairMcMillan 18:12, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually, reading further... "Viewers can support transparency control partially, or not at all." [15] Does this mean alpha channel support is optional? AlistairMcMillan 18:14, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
According to Dave Massy (IE developer) "This is an optional part of the PNG specification" [16] --Beachy 21:37, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
But Dave Massy is not the maker of PNG specification. A prove in would be much better. --minghong 08:20, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
W3C: 'Viewers can support transparency control partially, or not at all.' [17] Case closed. --Beachy 22:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
You missed this: "Decoders are not required to support this most general case. It is expected that most will be able to support compositing against a single background color, however." [18]. It is such an expected feature and one of the main selling points of PNG. Not supporting this make PNG much less usable. We have to admit it. --minghong 06:53, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, the W3C is known for making contradictory and ambigous specifications, but this one really takes the biscuit! The main selling point of PNG is that it doesn't have the patent protection of GIF. Look into the history of this format and you'll understand. Of course transparency in PNGs will be a good feature but I fear it will make web developers lazy, and much graphical compositing that could be pre-rendered will instead be done on the fly in the browser and bring a slow machine to a grinding halt. Back in 2000/2001 when IE6 was being developed, this was probably an important consideration for the IE developers. But anyway, arguments about alpha-channel support are largely moot since IE7 will support this technology. And to those who are still whining "why so late?" etc etc just give it a rest, eh! If the IE devs add a feature that's been requested then the mature response is not to whine, but to be pleased at the progress. --Beachy 03:52, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
No, it is ok to ask "why does it take so long". Remember that the PNG specification was in W3C recommendation since 1996, that's 9 years from now. The same applied to some of the Mozilla bugs which no one care for years. --minghong 07:40, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
It's okay to ask "why does it take so long" as long as you ask it in a sincere way, and not just to implicate that MS is incompetant/evasive/consipiratorial or whatever. Too many OSS/Mozilla zealots use CSS/PNG/XHTML support as a cheap shot at MS -- "Firefox managed it first, yah boo suxxors!" --Beachy 22:58, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree, it's not a good basis for whinging about MS as compared to other browsers, but definately is when it's a sincere complaint in IE only terms. Oh, & now to ignore what I just stated: what ground do FOSS/FF people have anyway? They tend to ignore the fact that Opera beat them! — SirPavlova (minus my password longtime) 11:18 6th July 2005 (UTC)

Degrees of "Conformance"

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

See also: Web Standards, above.

Just to add more food for future NPOV thought… Even if PNG alpha support were not explicitly listed as optional, one must realize that many standards and guidelines are written in a manner that does not dictate exactly what feature set an application must implement. Well-defined levels of conformance are rare. Many specs define what data encoded in a certain way means (e.g., font-family has a certain meaning in a CSS document), but do not require that a processor of such data be capable of handling it. At best, some specs (XSLT 1.0 serialization rules are a good example) only go so far as to say that if the data is handled, then it must be handled in a certain way. As another example, very few, if any, HTTP servers implement every aspect of HTTP as defined in RFC 2616 — they don't need to, as perhaps they aren't operating as proxies, or more likely, just because there is some general level of functionality that is sufficient for most users or for the server's intended use.

Does this mean that implementations that fail to achieve 100% conformance to 100% of specs or that go above and beyond the specs are necessarily "broken"? Is it misleading for an application to claim support for a technology, when that technology is not fully implemented? Perhaps, perhaps not. Internet Explorer does support PNG, CSS 1 and parts of CSS 2. To err on the side of calling it "broken"/"buggy"/"nonconformant" instead of noting implementation gaps as sometimes being deliberate, if not inconsequential to the majority of users (for whom the technologies are supported quite well enough) reflects ignorance and bias. — mjb 02:42, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

I second this point -- it definitely reflects bias when a feature is described as 'broken' --Beachy 20:02, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
The most unbiased comparison is by comparing apple by apple, right? What wrong for setting the bar to "full" instead of "minimal"? I can't see the line of reasoning here, except "forgiving" Internet Explorer for supporting thing at the very minimal level. --minghong 09:16, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
What does it mean to conform to the standard? It is difficult and expensive, after all, to test full conformance. Some standards documents put forward the idea that an implementation can be said to purport to conform to the standard. This does not mean that the implementation has been tested and guaranteed to conform in its present version to every point of the standard. Rather, it means that the developers make a good-faith effort to conform to the standard -- as an important instance, to regard discovered deviations from the standard as bugs.
Under this rubric, if IE purports to conform to a particular Web or graphics standard, that would mean that Microsoft makes a good-faith effort to conform, and regards deviations from the standard to be bugs. Is this the case? I can't say.
Conforming to a standard is an all-or-nothing proposition: either you do conform, or you fail to conform in some specific point of operation. Purporting to conform is a matter of intent and practice. I do not know enough about the interactions of the IE developers with the Web standards community to say whether Microsoft intends for IE to conform with Web standards.
In the absence of data in support of that proposition, perhaps this article should be silent on whether IE is intended to conform to particular standards. Nonetheless it should still state cases where IE doesn't conform, so as to make the point clear to readers who might assume otherwise. --FOo 05:15, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with your position, at least in the way that you've stated it. Drawing attention to a piece of software's deviation from being a 100% thorough implementation of a specification, and framing these deviations as "failures" or "bugs" when there are in fact no specific claims of conformance being made, is POV.
If a product claims it has "support for technology X", that is not, in my book, a claim of implementing to the ultimate degree any and all specifications related to X. There are degrees of completeness of an implementation, and specs often leave much gray area. I'm a core developer of a software toolkit that "implements" and/or "supports" the processing of XML, DOM, SAX, XML and SGML Catalogs, XPath, XSLT, XLink, XInclude, XPointer, XUpdate, RELAX NG, URIs, IRIs, HTTP, and SOAP. There are numerous specs governing these technologies, and we try to fulfill all the "musts" that we can, but there places where we have to draw a line and say that we've implemented "enough" of a technology to put it in the list of things we support.
For example, we support RELAX NG, but we don't support its compact syntax, and not all of the XSD datatypes are supported. Yet, for 95% of the use cases we have had so far, our RELAX NG support has been quite effective. Our DOM implementation does not support the non-namespace-aware methods, and we use Pythonic OOP design for certain things, rather than the cumbersome C-and-Java-centric APIs. By your all-or-nothing reasoning, we are "nonconformant" and should be made to hang our heads in shame. Yet one could not point to a spec that says that an implementation of RELAX NG must support the compact syntax and that it must fully implement XSD, or that a DOM implementation cannot omit or replace outdated and burdensome methods. Nevertheless, I did start making some documentation of our implementation gaps and conformance issues, but the first thing I felt I had to do in it was counter people's tendency to think that this topic is as noteworthy as they think it is. As another example, there's XUpdate, where there are conflicts and ambiguities between different parts of the spec, the test cases, and the reference implementation. However, in the last few months we've already had several "bug reports" where people are complaining that our XUpdate support is deficient/nonconformant and people seem to be quite upset about it, despite the fact that we have probably the best implementation there is, and the only one native for Python.
It would be gross POV to publish an article about our software that says "Despite its claims to support DOM, RELAX NG and XUpdate, for years it has failed to conform to the specs in multiple ways, and the developers have even said that they don't take reports of these bugs very seriously". Yet making that kind of statement is exactly what you seem to be rationalizing here in the Internet Explorer article. — mjb 07:13, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
You seem to be reading my comments as an attack on IE's standards support, which was not at all my intention. (Simply because I use the words "Microsoft" and "good faith" in the same paragraph doesn't mean I'm accusing Microsoft of bad faith. It's a strange world in which a reader would seem to make that assumption.)
My intention was to discuss just how we can talk about software and standards in a world where full compliance is so rare and so difficult (or, indeed, intractable) to prove. The language of "purporting to conform" was used in the Common Lisp specification (for one) as a way of talking about implementations that are intended but not guaranteed to conform.
(I understand that the connotation of the verb "to purport" is sometimes that the purported claim is misleading -- e.g. "Joe purports to be a doctor" suggests that Joe is not really a doctor, or not a very good one. That is not the intention here.)
Nonetheless, it is not clear to me whether listing a specification as "supported" should be treated as purporting to conform to that specification. You bring up the issue of deliberately listing a partially-supported standard as "supported" on your own software. I can't speak to your case in particular, but I know that many pieces of software do describe some of their features with words like "partial support for X" or "support for a subset of X" -- especially when X is a language, and the product does not support the full standard library of that language.
Still, it's very much worth mentioning areas such as PNG support where users reasonably expect standard behavior and get something else instead; or where standards-nonconformance creates notable compatibility problems. We do not need to use terms such as "broken", but we can certainly say "partial" or "incomplete".
(By the way, please consider using the normal English word "biased" rather than the Newspeak "POV". Everyone has a point of view, and this is no shame -- the problem occurs when Wikipedia articles are biased.) --FOo 15:50, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Simply avoid to use negative word like "broken", "poor", etc. Now the article use "partial" which IMO a neutral word. --minghong 08:24, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Resubmission to peer review

I suggest a resubmission of this article for Wikipedia:Peer review next week. Let's not make huge changes to the article for a week (a featured article need to be stable and not under edit wars). --minghong 09:38, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

You have put the most work into this article, so I understand you're proud of it, but it still needs work. If the article needs work, it's going to get edited. — mjb 19:31, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Peer review can help speeding up this process. P.S. I don't mean there should be no changes at all, but no huge changes please, i.e. no edit wars. --minghong 09:50, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
For the sheer volume of edits, I congratulate you, Minghong. However, the article needs to be NPOVed before it becomes a featured article. Some examples:
"Version 6 was released in October 2001 together with Windows XP. There were no major changes, instead focusing on privacy and security features." -- why say 'no major changes?' Why not just say, 'This version included new privacy and security features.' Remember, what you consider to be a 'major change' might not be the same as other people.
Invalid. Because there was really no big changes. What "privacy and security features"? You mean "privacy and security patches"? Even in MS's official website about IE history, there is just a just sentence describing its major change: "Because privacy and security had become customer priorities, Microsoft implemented tools that support Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), a technology under development by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).". --minghong 09:44, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid - Just because you don't know about the enhancements in IE6, you should not taint the article with your ignorance. IE6 brought DHTML enhancements, full CSS level 1 support, DOM level 1 support, enhanced SMIL 2.0 multimedia support, content restricted iframes, MSXML 3.0, new Internet Explorer Administration Kit (programs and tools to allow deployment and management of custom browser software packages), new Explorer bars, Media bar, IM integration, fault collection, support for automatic image resizing, P3P, and a brand new look-and-feel, compliant with the style of Windows XP. --Beachy 19:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"In a May 7, 2003 Microsoft online chat, Brian Countryman, Internet Explorer Program Manager, declared that on Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer will cease to be distributed separately from the operating system" etc -- there's no need to include this - it is annecdotal, obsolete information that serves no purpose except to make out that MS 'went back on their word.' How many times has the Firefox development plan changed? Should we document every little quote that got later proved incorrect I'm sure we could make several new articles. You wanna start that?
Invalid. It is of historial significant (from "no IE until Longhorn" to "IE7 for XP"). And yes, we document every significant changes in the Firefox roadmap. --minghong 09:47, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
The point are over-elaborated and largely obsolete. I have made the necessary reductions --Beachy 19:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"Web standard evangelists see such announcement as a result of the rising usage share of other web browsers, noticeably Mozilla Firefox" And don't they just love it. Plus they get to advertise for free with quotes like this in the IE article! btw there's no evidence to support this point, and I think what's more likely is that IE7 got pushed forward because of all the hysteria Firefox advocates have created over security in IE6.
"It is now generally considered by critics to be technically inferior to its competition, and is hindering further standard-based development of websites." This is in the "features" summary and is badly placed - it should be in the criticisms section, or better, removed since it's just weasel words
Fixed by moving to the right place. --minghong 09:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
" Some view this as an example of what is called "embrace, extend and extinguish" (EEE), a way to drive competitors out of business by forcing them to use proprietary technology that Microsoft controls, resulting in vendor lock-in." Again just weasel words ( 'some view this') to hide the fact that this view is only held by isolated conspiracy theorists.
Invalid. If this issue is a view held by isolated conspiracy theorists, the EEE article should had been deleted for a long long time. --minghong 10:08, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Damn right, it should have been deleted a long time ago. I know at least one editor that would kick up a fuss and put it back though, unfortunately --Beachy 18:19, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Nah, it should be kept; it's a recognised (among some) phonemenon, & it's definately a valid method from a modus operandi angle. Only problem is that the EEE article is so MS-centered… I mean come on. It's not like they're the devil & everyone else is a lovely white angel. They're guilty, & so are a hell of a lot of other companies, & I dare say people. — SirPavlova (less one password; got a spare?) 11:51 6th July 2005 (UTC)
"Some of them even use the proprietary extensions offered by Internet Explorer" - no need for the word 'even' here -- it suggests that it is surprising or extreme behaviour in which people used IE's extensions, when the truth is that many of the extensions, like innerHTML were so useful and well-adopted that Firefox now supports them (even though they are not W3C recommendations).
"Pages that are designed to be compliant with W3C standards may not render correctly in Internet Explorer." Dubious, since the standards are backwardly compatible, and since most developers test their sites in the most significant browser - Internet Explorer. If pages are deliberately designed to render incorrectly in IE, then of course they will render incorrectly!
Fixed by rewording. --minghong 09:26, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"to account for Internet Explorer's rendering inadequacies" POV POV POV
Invalid. This is your POV. --minghong 09:26, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid - Both sides of this argument are POV, which should NOT be included in the article. 'Inadequecy' is a ridiculous adjective to use in this context, in a supposedly neutral article. Whilst you can't see that, I'm sure others can --Beachy 18:19, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
'Inadequecy' is a bad choice, but it's true, Trident isn't up to scratch. Although if you're going to say it's rubbish now, you should prob'ly also mention it was once king of the pile, minghong. — SirPavlova (eh, passwords suck.) 11:55 6th July 2005 (UTC)
"Exploitation of Internet Explorer's security holes has earned IE the reputation as the least secure of the major browsers." Evidence to support this huge statement? I consider Firefox to be just as insecure, in light of the recent evidence, and the fact it has 12 vulns reported in 2005, vs IE's 6.
Invalid. Take a good look of criticisms of Internet Explorer for the quotes of security experts. --minghong 10:02, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid - You can't use a few quotes and annecdotes to say IE is the least secure of the major browsers. I'm sure there are quotes from people who would claim that Firefox is starting to look shaky, but are these included? No. And if I put them in the Firefox advocates would just remove them. Hypocrites. --Beachy 18:19, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"The embedding of COM into the Internet Explorer created a combination of functions that has led to an explosion of computer virus, trojan and spyware infections" POV POV POV -- COM is not responsible for spyware - spyware writers are responsible for spyware. To blame it on COM is simplistic and dubious. The ActiveX security issue is overstated and largely fallacy.
Fixed by rewording. --minghong 10:05, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"One of the main problems in Internet Explorer's security measure is the total reliance on human judgment." - as does Firefox, which also uses code signing and brings warning dialogs. Besides, IE doesn't totally rely on human judgement, the zones will be default filter many permissions without user intervention.
Invalid. Details on criticisms of Internet Explorer. P.S. By default, only Mozilla Update can install software to Firefox (due to website whitelisting), so user won't even see the warning dialog that you mentioned. Extensions in Mozilla Update are "approved", so there should be no risk installing them. --minghong 09:30, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid. Just because Firefox has whitelists, this doesn't mean that IE has a 'total reliance on human judgement.' Lets not forget that users can easily expand that Firefox whitelist using their human judgement.
So security in Firefox relies on a lack of human judgement? — SirPavlova 11:58 2005-07-06 (UTC)
"Critics have claimed that security fixes take too long to be released after discovery of the problems, and that the problems are not always completely fixed." The "evidence" is the words of a teenage hacker turned 'security expert,' who is fairly criticised by the later quote.
"By 2002, the user base of its main rival Netscape was almost evaporated." Noone 'evaporated' - the user base chose to use IE. MS doesn't force anyone not to use Netscape. How many times do I have to say this?
Invalid, the same wordings are used in Mosaic (web browser) (and that was not added by me): "Mosaic's popularity as a separate browser began to dry up upon the release of Netscape Navigator, and by 1998 its userbase had almost completely evaporated.". P.S. I changed "was" to "had". --minghong 09:35, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
'Evaporated' is a daft word here. --Beachy 19:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
"This has been attributed to the emergence of viable free of charge/free as in beer alternatives, mainly the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox." More cheap advertising for Firefox. There is no evidence to support this claim. There is no reason why this 'information' should be here. There's DEFINITELY no reason why such references to Firefox should occur continuously throughout the article. Weren't these all flushed out once? Interesting to see how they've crept back in again...
Invalid. As "it has been in a steady decline", something must had happened. The emergence of "alternative browser" is a strong reason. --minghong 09:59, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid - It's the reason you'd like to proclaim. You have no evidence. Noone does. And anyway, you miss the point that the rise of Firefox has also coincided with a flurry of criticism of the security of IE compared to Firefox - which is just Firefox propaganda. It's hype, FUD and propaganda that has led to IE's decline, if anything.
Well it's not like people have just stopped using browsers — they haven't gone over to TELNET shells or anything. If they're not using IE, they must be using Opera, FF, Mozilla, Netscape, Amaya (somehow I doubt that), whatever… but it will be an alternative browser of some breed. But there's no need to name one, or state that they're necessarily free. That is just someone's agenda. Simply state: "This has been attributed to the emergence of viable alternative browsers.", maybe with a link to the list of web browsers page? — SirPavlova (no pw) 12:09 6th July 2005 (UTC)
"Critics felt that user should have the right to uninstall Internet Explorer freely just like any other application software." Weasel words - suggesting that MS has 'taken away our liberties' by OS integration. Next you'll be talking 'human rights'! What about the users who are happy to have a browser that performs well and offers useful features as a result of this integration? I wouldn't change it for the world. I hate waiting half a minute for Firefox to load up!
Invalid. What about users who are happy to have Windows but don't want to keep IE? And you're right, we are talking about freedom here. Integration is not bad, as seem from Safari in Mac OS X. But Safari (I believe) can be uninstalled just like any other software in Mac OS X. --minghong 09:41, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Valid - The information on removing IE is surrounded by quips and snide connotations. If you think that's neutral then you're frankly wrong. --Beachy 18:19, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Time for my POV. Removing IE should have it's own page, not too big; it's something some people are interested in. & being interested doesn't mean wanting to do it, which widens the field somewhat, eh? Anyway, it deserves no more than a cursory look at why it is done & that it's not recommended on the main IE page. — SirPavlova (you get the idea now, I'm sure) 12:11 6th July 2005 (UTC)
"Later, some security advocates took up the idea as a way to protect Windows systems from attack via IE vulnerabilities." Who? Anyone vaguely authoritative? No, didn't think so. And are these more weasel words? YES!
Fixed by removing. --minghong 10:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
For the love of God remove this POV, it's all so damned obvious --Beachy 00:12, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Beachy, your response is so lengthy. That's why we need peer review: to get comments from the outsiders, not just POV from AlistairMcMillan, mjb, you and me. --minghong 09:13, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

The reason this article was rejected by peer reviewers is because of the anti-MS POV. Look at many objections in the subpage. Just because you and Alistair are the most vocal, and the most participative editors here it does not mean you are correct. I can't succeed in removing the POV content this because I'm outnumbered by editors who want to keep the anti-MS flavour. I'm close to giving up again, but I wanted to make all my points here, in order that others may consider them (rather than my changes just being reverted in the main article). Of course, I should have predicted that you would delete them, even here! --Beachy 18:19, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Peer review is a good idea but posting on FAC is currently out of the question, given the dispute. Until this article is no longer listed on WP:RFC, please don't submit it to FAC. Rhobite 17:03, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
You're right. As I said, what I suggested is "peer review", not "featured article candidate"... --minghong 19:23, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

In response to Beachy's commment on "delete his points", I wasn't. The points are only marked as delete (not physically deleted), so as to make the whole thing more readable (easier to distinguish what are fixed and what aren't). Anyway, I won't do that again if it is no good. --minghong 20:08, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Firstly you know damned well that you shouldn't strikethrough other people's comments. And let's not forget that you struck off all of the comments you disagreed with, not just the ones you fixed by reordering paragraphs in the article. Glad to hear you won't be doing this again. --Beachy 20:18, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

PNG petition

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

Regarding Beachy constant removal of the mentioning of PNG petition, I'd like to hear comment from Wikipedians other than Beachy and I. PNG petition is a well-known online pentition since 2003 (and since IE 4.0) that asks Microsoft to support PNGs properly (fully). Why is it not worth mentioning it here?

FYI, Beachy's arguments for removal:

  • "LOL, giving a google search as evidence of how 'professional' the petition is! Minghong - the petition just contains unqualified names, has Google adverts on it, and the whitepaper link is broken"
  • "(a) the petition is full of dodgy looking names b) the link to IE4 whitepaper in the petition description is broken c) This is just POV"

To the best of my knowledge, this is not "unprofessional" and not "POV". --minghong 20:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Pressure groups can petition for all they like. Their behaviour should not be used to discredit Microsoft's customer response to PNG. Firstly, this petition was NOT begun at the time of IE4 (1997), so to claim this is to lie. Secondly, a 'professional' petition records more than just the name of its respondants. We need some unique identifier at the very least (email, for example). Thirdly, professional petitions have evidence to back up their claims. There are two principle errors in this petition statement:
  • Alpha-channel support is NOT a mandatory part of the PNG spec [19]
  • There is no working link to prove that PNG alpha support was promised in IE4.
All in all, it's a sham, and to use it in this article is even more shambolic. In any case, the point is largely moot now, seeing as PNG support has already been written into IE7 [20] --Beachy 20:26, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
According to the petition website: "Full native support for PNG still has not been implemented in the Windows version of MSIE, despite the fact that MSIE for Mac and others browsers have full support, and it was promised to the users of MSIE for Windows over four years ago. ". So the demand already existed since IE version 4. And about "optional" or not, we are not sure. --minghong 20:42, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Again, this petition was NOT begun at the time of IE4 (1997), and to say so is to lie. Secondly, you ought to know that support for alpha-channel is an optional part of the spec - "Viewers can support transparency control partially, or not at all." [21] --Beachy 22:15, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Sandbox and chrome

Note: Since the content being discussed below has been moved to the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, any further discussion of this topic should take place on Talk:Criticisms of Internet Explorer.

Chrome has nothing to do with sandbox. As said before, chrome has nothing to do with trusted zones either. A bug in Mozilla/Firefox doesn't "prove" that the sandbox model is problematic. No software is prefect. Of course one can find hole(s) in a particular implementation of sandbox model (again, not limited to Mozilla). The criticisms to security section should just be a summary of criticisms of Internet Explorer. We should summarize based on the main article. --minghong 07:05, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

"A bug in Mozilla/Firefox doesn't "prove" that the sandbox model is problematic. No software is prefect."
In which case why are you criticising IE's security model based on annecdotes and dubious evidence? And yes, the chrome directory is considered a 'trusted zone' by Firefox, since any JavaScript code there is given system privileges. Perhaps you ought to do some background reading --Beachy 00:36, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Criticism section

I took another crack at the criticism section. It's better than I expected, but I have two issues. One, it's wrong to say that using IE extensions "essentially blocks the websites from access of other browsers". As a Firefox user I know that it's extremely rare to find a web page which "blocks" me entirely due to IE-specific extensions. Whoever wrote this, did you have a specific IE feature in mind? Also further down in the criticism section, IE is criticized for being able to render malformed HTML. It seems pretty silly to complain that IE should be less forgiving.. I think I'm going to ask for this criticism to be cited, please. Also, isn't this the same as Gecko's quirks mode? Mozilla browsers are also very forgiving of poor HTML. Yet that criticism is nowhere to be found in their articles. Rhobite 07:28, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

Your second point is right. The whole paragraph removed. But the first point is just partially correct. Maybe you can talk a look of many of those Chinese/Japanese websites which are IE-only. e.g. they use object element as an ActiveX wrapper for multimedia content. Users of other browser are blocked from viewing the movie/flash clips. Anyway, I reworded the paragraph to "it could blocks the users of other browsers from using parts of the sites". --minghong 08:41, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, I think it's better without that paragraph. Rhobite 17:02, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

The criticism section can be gutted, now that there is a separate article for it. Don't list any specific criticisms here, because it is very quickly turning verbose and ugly, once again. Just list what topics the criticisms deal with, and maybe say who/what kind of people are doing the criticizing and why these topics are sensitive issues for them. Reduce it to bare essentials, and resist the temptation to expand on every little point while summarizing. Report on the fact that there is voluminous criticism, not on all the criticisms themselves. That's what the other article is for. — mjb 01:46, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

OK, following my own advice, I have now taken the content that was in the criticism section and moved it temporarily to User:Mjb/Sandbox. I think some of this content can be folded into the Criticisms of Internet Explorer article, since in some cases the "summary" (cough) paragraphs are better phrased than the originals. In the Internet Explorer article, I've replaced the content with something that I hope is going to be much less contentious and much less prone to expansion. — mjb 02:57, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

That seems fine. But the listing of headings in the main article seems to be not so meaningful. What about paraphrasing into a paragraph? --minghong 04:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
I removed the list. --minghong 04:25, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'm afraid any paraphrasing would just end up resulting in further problems. :) — mjb 15:41, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Wow.. this is the first time I've looked at the Criticisms section and thought "yes, that's fair." Good work, guys --Beachy 21:28, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Resubmission to featured article

It seems that the article is rather stable now. Although there were one or two minor "edit wars", a consent was reached. Let's wait for another week before the resubmission so that issues, if any, can settle down. :-) --minghong 01:41, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

A 'consent' is not reached by your censorship of valid information. I appreciate your recent reshuffling of sections, and removal of much of the FUD content (or at least you have separated it off into other articles). However, you are not the editor-in-chief of this article, and you do not have the right to remove content simply because you personally disagree with it. Your issue with the 'speculative' content has been resolved. However, you have continued using the word 'speculation' to justify removing other content, most of which is NOT speculative. Quit the edit wars and then suggest this article for peer review. --Beachy 01:55, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
This is definately not "my censorship" since multiple Wikipedians, inlcuind Paul August, AlistairMcMillan and I, agree on this issue. Quit FUDing Spread Firefox, this is an Internet Explorer article. "Be polite" and "Work toward agreement".--minghong 14:07, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Relevance of Firefox Advocacy Campaigns on Firefox Adoption / IE Decline

For those that don't know, there is a well-organised campaign to "Spread Firefox" [22], of which our most vocal editor (Minghong) is an active member [23]. This campaign is responsible for:

  • Ballot stuffing the cnet download chart with votes for Firefox [24]
  • Promising various incentives such as referrer points and "unique prizes" to the most effective Firefox spreaders
  • Seeking donations in order to advertise Firefox in print media and high traffic websites
  • Contacting bloggers in a massive grass-roots campaign
  • Infiltrating colleges with advocacy campaigns

We have a section in our article about IE adoption, a significant portion of which talks about IE's decline and Firefox's rise. I believe the Firefox advocacy campaign is very relevant to this, as it has been instrumental in the rise of Firefox usage. I would like to add the following paragraph:

"Much money and effort has been spent on a marketing campaign for Firefox and on the Web, an aggressive grass-roots campaign called Spread Firefox advertises this open source browser as a superior product to Internet Explorer."

Unsurprisingly Minghong would prefer that these details are omitted. Together with one other editor, Minghong has removed this paragraph several times, claiming it is 'speculation,' and 'irrelevant.' What do other editors think about this? Is the Firefox advocacy campaign relevant to the rise of Firefox and the decline of IE? Or am I just going crazy? --Beachy 14:53, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

We don't mention Microsoft's aggresive marketing campaign(s) and other actions that lead to IE's domination of the browser marketplace, so why is it so important to mention Mozilla's marketing efforts? AlistairMcMillan 15:07, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
You're wrong, Alistair. There is plenty of criticism of IE's integration with the OS, and this is used to explain the dominance of IE over Netscape. As for the existence of MS's "aggressive marketing campaigns" for IE, I don't think you'll find Microsoft flyposting colleges, ballot stuffing CNET or giving prizes for the best "community marketers." :-) You are simply evading my question. Is the Firefox advocacy campaign relevant to the rise of Firefox and the decline of IE? --Beachy 15:12, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
You're at university. You don't have Microsoft posters here or there... or special discounts on Microsoft software for students? Things like that. Anyway, I was meaning stuff like the "Best Viewed with..." buttons that you used to be able to stick on your site... isn't that an effort to start a grass roots campaign? Anyway, I only think this would be notable if Firefox usage had increased without marketing. I don't see how their use of marketing is notable. AlistairMcMillan 15:18, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
You think that the Firefox advocacy campaign would only be notable if it hadn't been successful? I don't follow. BTW thanks for your agreement on my stem-cell post --Beachy 15:38, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
We have a significant portion on the fall of IE, but not the rise of Firefox. It is an article about Internet Explorer, so marketing activities of other browsers are not highly relevant here. Feel free to add marketing activities of IE (with references). --minghong 16:39, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Everyone uses marketing campaigns to increase the use of their products. Why should we point out that Mozilla use a marketing campaign in an article about Microsoft's web browser? I wasn't saying it would be notable the campaign failed (lots of campaign fail), I was saying it would be notable if it became popular without any marketing. AlistairMcMillan 16:15, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Another reason why this was pulled off is that this sentence is misleading. As written in one of my original modifications, the fall of IE is due to mixed reasons (that are somehow hard to confirm), e.g.:

  • Increased security concern (especially when lots of holes are still affecting IE6 SP1 users of earlier versions of Windows)
  • Increased awareness of browser choices
  • Various media coverages
  • Community spreading of Firefox via blogosphere, media, school/organization promotional activities, etc

So, why mention only Spread Firefox? That sounds like SFX is the only reason. As it is not nice to spam the IE article with these reasons, it's better to not mention any of them at all. --minghong 17:08, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

The Spread Firefox campaign is responsible for all of those!! It's zealous advocates are to blame for the increased security concerns (by fudding about IE throughout the web). It is responsible for creating the media coverage eg. the 2 page advert. It is responsible for increasing awareness of browser choice (albeit Firefox only). It is definitely responsible for the final point too, as I have already discussed. --Beachy 17:28, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
That's bold, but definately not true, at least not the whole story. The campaign didn't create holes for IE. The media just want stories, no matter what browser it is. So it is factually incorrect to blame everything to SFX. And as I said before, there may be one or two "zealous" cases, but that doesn't represent the whole campaign/movement. P.S. Try to use some positive word like "proactive" instead of "zealous". That's not polite and is lowering your credibility. --minghong 17:45, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Let's not confuse the terms 'pro-active' and 'zealous!' SFX is the home of Firefox zealotry. Maybe because you're a part of it, you can't see it for what it is --Beachy 18:02, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
That shows how little your understanding of SFX is. "Admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste." --minghong 18:10, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
Do you contest any of the five points I made about Spread Firefox in the first post in this section? They are all examples of zealotry around Firefox. Please stop righteously quoting Wikipedia rules at me. Don't be so patronising. --Beachy 18:18, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
The point is that SFX is just one of the many reasons (that are hard to confirm) for the fall of IE (or rise of Firefox). This had already obsoleted your "5 points". --minghong 18:52, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
No. We have jointly come up reasons to explain the rise of Firefox and the fall of IE. As I have shown, SFX is largely behind all of these factors, and referring to it in the Internet Explorer article would neatly encompass the whole argument. You have chosen to remove the SFX paragraph because the campaign is obviously highly zealous and makes Firefox advocates (like yourself) look highly manipulated. --Beachy 19:08, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
You showed nothing. As I said, it's hard to confirm the real reason(s) for this trend, given that the thing happened just within a year. We shouldn't be suggesting any reason here. The mentioning of Firefox is, however, based on statistical facts. For the real reason(s), time will tell, e.g. maybe we can add this paragraph back after 2 years, or after some trusty studies carried out by big firms or organizations. P.S. Adding your paragraph made it sound zealous, while the fact isn't. --minghong 19:17, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I really am talking to the wrong person about "Spread Firefox." The organisation claims victory for every million downloads of Firefox, for every 1% market share that IE loses to Firefox. SFX is clearly relevant. However, the obvious zealotry and fanatacism of the campaign makes it look out-of-place in a serious article about IE. We'll leave it out for the time being --Beachy 03:38, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

ActiveX - eBay

Can someone confirm that eBay does use ActiveX? AlistairMcMillan 15:23, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Surely it uses ActiveX. --minghong 16:34, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I wonder whether it would be better then to list a site whose funtionality actually depends on ActiveX, instead of one where the ActiveX content is just optional. I'll leave it for someone else to decide. AlistairMcMillan 17:14, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
I know of a lot of corporate pages that rely on ActiveX, at, but unfortunately login is restricted to employees/clients --Beachy 18:04, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
That's not well-known. We need big names, except Microsoft (as Microsoft should eat its own dog food). --minghong 18:54, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
It is amusing that you chose to link on this topics.. i.e. instead of eating our own dog food by linking to Wikipedia you linked to answers which is our regurgitated dog food. Pcb21| Pete 22:17, 22 May 2005 (UTC)
LOL, maybe is a more Firefox-friendly website? --Beachy 03:42, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Stop that. It is off topic. (Don't reply this sub-thread). --minghong 07:33, 23 May 2005 (UTC)