Minor upgrade, major pain in the butt

Okay, not a very elegant headline. Slightly crass and maybe even obtuse. When considering the Eolas vs. Microsoft case I think many will be uttering worse than that. Blasphemous even.

Now I must concede that I wasn’t to hot and bothered about all this shenanigans. Zeldman (if it was up to many of his fans it would be Sir Zeldman) had already noted some of the conspiracies floating around the net. They maybe true but seriously how much should we care? As we can see from Dave Shea’s post others like sidesh0w have already taken a serious look at the problem. Those that rely on plugins like Flash for their work are in a real pickle, they are forced to take up a position on how to deal with this. Tod Dominey oviously is one of those designers where competency in both Flash and xHTML is an issue. The fact that four major players (Microsoft, Apple, Macromedia, Real networks) found the need to setup webpages says something, although I’m not sure what. The Eolas ruling has put a shadow on the efforts of making the web easier and more standards compliant. This work of course still stands. In fact the whole issue is still up in the air and Mircosoft, by publishing a fix of sorts, is taking up a position that benefits them PR wise. The same goes for the others, cynical maybe but that’s how I see it. The pressure is now on Eolas because many will be looking to him to do something about it. But Microsoft is seeking to overturn this decision so his hands are tied and his mouth shut. He could with some PR himself, nobody seems to like very much anymore.

With all the attention given to the situation by the Internet media (CNET, Mozillazine, Slashdot and Web Graphics) one might start thinking that we will have no more Internet before the year is out. It’s become a storm in a tea cup. We will just have to wait and see how many users will be affected by the IE upgrade. Will the ‘adjusted’ IE version be installed on all new computers? How many users are we talking about until Microsofts new browser comes out? Will the Eolas decision be overturned? And what if you don’t change anything? Could you live with that? Could the user? I think it’s an option to consider.

Well I’m not going to do a damn thing. No corrections, no fixes, no workarounds, nothing at all. Everybody can say what they like but it’s all way to soon to get ones knickers in a twist. In fact I seriously advise everybody to consider whether any fix should be applied at all. I don’t think it’s a question of validation, getting xHTML with plugins to validate is a pain in any case and most let validation slide when applying plugins. Making the situation worse by applying the suggested fix isn’t really what anybody wants. I just wonder if this issue is bad enough to warrant all the fuss. The whole show has a distinctly Y2K smell about it.

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