Migrate apps from Internet Explorer to Mozilla without completely losing your Mind.

Over on IBM Developer Works is an article on Migrate apps from Internet Explorer to Mozilla. Lots of useful information, evey if its too late for me….

Is Mozilla / FireFox important? Should you care Yes.

Given FireFox’s increasing market share amongst the average user ( ~ 9% and much much high in the pointed head population), it’s large download rate (curenttly 75 million in 8 1/2 months), and the stagnation of IE 6 (released Oct 2001!), and the – finally – pending release of a IE 7 beat (soon-ish? (see IE Blog).

If your web application only work in Internet Explorer, you might be tempted to say “Don’t care” or “Our users only use IE”. But, will your application work with IE 7. Does it work for people using Mac OS X (which has a different version of IE)?

How many users, customers or partners are you prepared to annoy?

Mozilla (of which FireFox is the web browser part of the Mozilla effort) it made the conscious decision to support W3C, and other, standards when ever possible. As a result, Mozilla is not fully backwards-compatible with Netscape Navigator 4.x and Microsoft Internet Explorer legacy code.

IE7 is expected to have Better Standards support (improved CSS, Transparent PNG support, XHTML, etc), although MS is known for its flexible ideas of what is a “Standard”.

The IBM article covers topics such as : General cross-browser coding tips; Differences between Mozilla and Internet Explorer (Tooltips and Entities); DOM; JavaScript; CSS; Quirks versus standards mode; Event differences; Rich text editing; XML; XSLT differences.

July 28th Update : speak of the devil….the is out, although not as a public release:

Contrary to some expectations, Microsoft says Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 will not be publicly available for download. Only invited beta testers and Microsoft TechNet subscribers will be provided access to the bits. The company did not say whether a public beta would follow, and has no timeline for a final IE7 release.

details from the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 Technical Overview, claims wrt CSS :

Internet Explorer 7 is prioritizing compliance to CSS standards by first implementing the features that developers have said are most important to them. As a result, in Internet Explorer 7 beta 1 Microsoft has addressed some of the major inconsistencies that can cause Web developers problems producing rich, interactive Web pages.

and says it addresses the IE 6 Peekaboo Bug and the Guillotine Bug. Also limited support for Alpha Channel Transparency to PNG graphics has been added. Very, Very, little in general standards support (CSS/DOM/etc) at this point. Disappointing. Within a week I would expect more detailed reviews on the this aspect of the beta. Most of the changes relate to improving the underlying security architecture (badly needed). Its also looking like MS will sacrifice Standards for Backwards complatiblity (“It’s not a Bug it’s a Feature”).

Position is Everything looks like a amazing source of CSS and information on CSS problems.

Aug 1 Update: in the IEBLog : Standards and CSS in IE confirms where we are at and where they are going. Good, but not good enough….

and GMSV says “Our browser’s plenty smart; it just suffers from test anxiety”, and more about MS faliure to even attempt to pass the Acid2 test and other standard they have publicly committed to supporting.

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