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Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, 7:06 am

Condolences to Internet Explorer

Firefox in the dock
Internet Explorer remains aside for the time being

For quite some time I have been kind to Internet Explorer (IE) despite its obnoxious limitations. Those who follow this blog may have noticed that its layout is IE-friendly. It comes with a cost though, in terms of flexibility in particular.

One of the prominent IE deficiencies, which constantly puts me aback, is its lack of support for high-depth colour blending — something for which I have great affinity. Earlier this week I decided to give up on Internet Explorer visual compatibility as far as my Ph.D. progress reports are concerned. I did likewise when assembling the talk that I prepare for an audience of surgeons at the Royal Eye Hospital. I went along with what should work in any modern browser like Mozilla, Opera, Firefox and Safari, to name just the major ones. I incorporated 32-bit PNG transparencies in Web pages — or put differently — I have included 32-bit alpha blending effects in my reports. I used to reluctantly stick to JPEG‘s, but I wanted some nicer effects that resemble shadows.

If you are curious, the result is in my latest progress report 1. See the slides which contain figures to get an example of blending with the background 2. I am assuming that they will appear with white background in Internet Explorer, which is not aesthetic and seems like a complete misfit. All I can say is that Internet Explorer 7 will render this properly, having surveyed some and reviews on the topic. Either way, my supervisor and I use Firefox. I even urge him to use it more often and sometimes set it as his default browser (it will be our little secret).

To those anticipating the arrival of Internet Explorer 7, it is worth mentioning that, on the face of it, it will still be adverse to Web standards. As an intersting statistical side note, Firefox and IE usage is more or less in state of equality on this domain as a whole.

1 The report is yet to be delivered at 11 this morning

2 There is a nice story behind the background image. It depicts the Maths Tower which is being demolished the moment. The reports might commemorate its existence.

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