and I'm all out of bubble gum…

I just saw two articles with in the space of ten minutes: one on the substantial/frustrating/obscenity-inducing work behind building web sites compatible with different web browsers (and, because A List Apart is so cool, another matching article on the same topic) and another on converting API interface hooks into a filesystem.

What, I hear you cry, is the connection here? While I would not describe myself as a professional web developer, I have spent a shocking amount of time fighting with the variance and vagrancies of different web browsers over the past ten years. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment, perhaps it’s something more pathological (at one point, in an earlier edition of this blog, I had a post that was basically a permanent shooting -of-the-bird at JavaScript as a technology).

I passionately believe that the development approach of the major browser developers has been sloppy at best and at worst an example of poor design and implementation. Browser releases that break existing web sites (or that are flagrantly incompatible with either standards or other major browsers) are not supportive of an open and free flow of information (and design).

That said, the article on the Accessibility Filesystem is a fascinating example of a piece of software that is so well-designed and open that it is compatible with innovative, unexpected and bizarrely wonderful new applications. Being able to browse the interface components of my running applications as though it were a filesystem? How cool is that!?! And check out the other Fuse plugins. It’s a neat technology with a lot of interesting applications in search, organization and possibly even data visualization.We need more Fuse and less browser skirmishing.

January 23rd, 2008

Posted In: Educational Technology

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