Today's controversy is brought to you by the letter J

First, Tony posts an innocuous message about the XP SP2 updates to IE on the IEBlog:

[...] We also came up with a very original idea – popup blocking. J Sites can now no longer open windows except when the user clicks a link or button to initiate it. Similarly, sites cannot change your home page without a user click as well. [...]

IE users will see a smiley () and Mozilla / Firefox users just see a "J" after the "popup blocking" announcement. That's because the post HTML used the Webdings font which is only supported on IE[1]. The stage is now set - Tony makes a joke about Microsoft inventing popup blocking. The fact that he's joking is obvious to IE users. Unfortunately, the IE blog is heavily trolled by anti-MS zealots who don't see the smiley, take him seriously, and go nuts! Let the games begin!

Luckily Jim picked this up or we'd be calling in the riot squad. And Jim's analysis is brilliant: "You see why writing correct HTML and having browsers interpret it correctly is important?"

More postgame analysis here.

Lessons learned:

  1. World War I was started by the assasignation of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. World War III will likely be sparked by a post or comment on the IE Blog.
  2. The IE Blog could probably post the cure for cancer and there would still be the standard comments about how the cure (1) is overdue (2) is suspect based on MS's record (3) is not standards compliant, and (4) shows how appallingly MS is out of touch.
  3. The cross browser, peace on earth friendly smiley character, ☺ is the preferred HTML implementation.[2]
  4. [1] It was also written in Word (it's full of mso specific tags), which is somehow implicated in all this as well.
    [2] Either Freetextbox or IE's inplace edit makes using ☺ tough, since it converts it to a smiley character in the HTML code. Try creating a post, adding ☺, and switch back and forth between design and HTML view.

1 Comment

  • Interestingly enough, that's a newsgator issue from what I see - I've got the same problem - I write :), IE turns it into the J character in windings, and newsgator doesn't fix it up when it writes the HTML.

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