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rwandering.net

The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Abandoning Chrome until it supports WSR

I use speech recognition a great deal – and I recently switched to Windows Speech Recognition on Vista.  And I’ve been using Chrome exclusively for Google Apps, because I think it offers superior performance for JavaScript apps.

Unfortunately, Chrome doesn’t support WSR.  According to Rob Chambers this would be easy for Google to do, and I suspect it is just an oversight on their part (both in terms of making their software more accessible as well as following Windows best practices).

Google:  when are you going to put the effort into this?  The Chrome 2.0 Beta doesn’t do it either.

Rob Chambers: how easy is this really?  You also said that Firefox does support WSR – maybe it does, but not in Google Docs.

So now, I’m using IE8.  Google Docs with WSR works great there.

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GestureBank Beta 2

The GestureBank beta 2 went live yesterday.  This beta is open.  Go to http://attentiontrust.org/gesturebank for more info.  Special thanks to Cori Shlegel for his work to get this done.

The GestureBank will be rolling out new Affinity Service capabilities next.  This is where it will start to really resonate. 

By the way: IE is not supported in this beta (as it was previously); it will take a bit of effort to get a new IE port.  This is because managed extensions are kind of a dead-end for IE.  So the existing managed port will be discarded in favor of an (eventual) unmanaged one written from scratch.  See this (techie) thread for more information: Create a Shell Extension Handler thumbnail extractor with .net?.  In this thread you can think of the words Explorer, Shell, IE, IE6, IE7, and Excel as synonyms. 

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Zoom Bug in IE7

Last week I wrote in Bug in IE7? that I thought there was a problem viewing this site:

In Firefox and IE6, my horizontal list (menu) works correctly. The picture below shows the “Link Blog” item highlighted and mouse-over.

Looks good

In IE7, all of the text is crowded together, but the mouse-over regions are in the correct place. Again, the picture below shows in the “Link Blog” item highlighted. Noticed that the highlight is in the same place, but the text is all crowded to the left.

Looks bad

This alone looks like a bug. I don’t see how the text and the highlight can be in two different locations.

It turns out that this is related to the zoom feature.  This site looks fine if zoom isn’t used (i.e., at 100%).  More or less zoom crowds just the text, but not the mouse-overs.

Must be a bug.

 

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Bug in IE7?

Before I report this as a bug, I thought I’d write it up and see if any CSS gurus can help me.

In Firefox and IE6, my horizontal list (menu) works correctly. The picture below shows the “Link Blog” item highlighted and mouse-over.

Looks good

In IE7, all of the text is crowded together, but the mouse-over regions are in the correct place. Again, the picture below shows in the “Link Blog” item highlighted. Noticed that the highlight is in the same place, but the text is all crowded to the left.

Looks bad

This alone looks like a bug. I don’t see how the text and the highlight can be in two different locations.

I have run this through the CSS Validator (here) and the XHTML Validator (here) and sounds nothing I can pin this on. (Note the XHTML Validator reports several errors having to do with individual posts).

So, is this a problem in my site or a bug in IE7?

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IE7 release date decoupled from Vista

It appears that IE7 has been decoupled from Vista. According to the IEBlog, the final release will be in “a few weeks”.

On a couple of occasions, I have requested that IE7 and .NET 3.0 be released when ready (post here) — presumably before Vista. I guess I have gotten part of my wish, though it is really the RTM of .NET 3.0 that I would like to see released.

On a side note: the last I checked IE7 is not dependent on .NET. Unfortunate to say the least. I would like to see managed Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) being easy without requiring COM — that could have gotten IE7 much closer to the Firefox extension model. What will ever drive .NET installs onto XP so that it is, in fact, ubiquitous?

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Replace IE7 with Firefox?

Kevin Burton suggests that the Vista IE7 delay can be eliminated by tossing IE7 and adopting Firefox. I would be surprised if IE7 is on the Vista critical path, but the idea of Microsoft replacing IE7 made me laugh.

At first, I thought he was kidding, but he is serious (see the discussion between Robert Scoble and Kevin in the comments for that post). Fundamentally, Kevin’s idea is an interesting one, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Too many developers have products that rely on IE (e.g., NewsGator uses the IE browser control) with large installed user bases. Microsoft cannot just leave those developers and users in the lurch without a migration path.

Kevin suggests that since Firefox is a whole new application, that existing applications wouldn’t break. Good point, but remember, IE6 is considered a security problem. Abandoning IE7 doesn’t solve the IE6 problem for Microsoft.

They own the problem by winning the first Browser Wars and then letting IE stagnate.

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