Thursday, October 19, 2006

IE7 and the future of browsing

So in non-database related news, IE7 was released today. I have actually been using it for some time now and there are many things I like and many things I don't. I assume most of you will be the same, although what we like and dislike will differ. One of my favorite features is the built in RSS feed reader. It is a side bar thing that lists favorites, history and feeds. I find this reader and adding feeds via the browser to be the best that I have seen. If you are reading this blog now in IE7 there is a little radio wave looking icon next to the home icon that is lit up orange. This only happens if the site you are at has an RSS feed. To add that page to your RSS feeds list, simply click the button. It takes you to an add page and asks you if you want to add this feed. You of course do and just like that it is added.

Having said that there are several things I don't like. It is much slower than Firefox and I don't think it handles multiple tabs as well as Firefox does. All of that said, at what point do we realize the truth? What truth you say. The truth that we can't be pleased when it comes to technology. Each of us want what we want and we want it the way we want it, in the time we want it. This is problematic because you and I don't want the same things all of the time. In fact we don't want the same thing most of the time. For example, have you ever gone to your friends house to find his Internet explorer to be really slow, and in an effort to help him, try to clean up the files and things in cache and his history. You get done patting yourself on the back for improving their IE performance and making them a little safer from would be prying eyes, only to have him them say "what happened to all of my addresses?" You of course respond in the only way you know how, "What in the hell are you talking about?" After a little more back and forth you realize that you friend, rather than having favorites or using any of the various websites to keep things book marked, uses the address bar drop down for that purpose. Now all of his site addresses are gone and you are to blame.

So back to my point (yes, I have a point). The browser can't be everything that we each need it to be. In fact, most technologies can't be what we want or expect them to be. But yet we have higher expectations of technology then we do other things when it comes to this. You never expected your stereo to be built for you. It was built a certain way and you accepted that. The same with your TV and most other manufactured items. So why do we expect technology to be different? One word, software.

People don't get software, yet they think they do. I think people believe that writing software is easy. Not easy in that anyone can sit down and do it, but easy in the sense that anyone could sit down and learn how to do it. No one thinks they can sit down and learn how to build a TV, but I think most people think if they had the time they could sit down and learn to write software, and write it better than you could. Wow how is that for a shot to your ego. Before you go getting all bent up, check yourself to see if that isn't what we do when we complain or want or expect more from the browser? (Of all the dumb luck, I was actually able to bring that back to the topic :-). Maybe not on the surface, but deep down inside isn't it really about adding the code so you can do this or that? So if we, who know what it takes to fix the things we don't like still complain, how can we change the mindset of the people that have no idea? Should we even try, or is it just inevitable that the TV repair man will be looked at as much more of a specialist with a much harder job, then we ever will? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and we will follow up in the next couple of days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I personally think it comes down to more that people are used to having preferences and such in software that allow them to customize it to their behavior. Hardware doesn't usually have those type of customizations, or at least not usually to the same extent. (Alicia)