Friday 29 July 2005

Standards, Me, and IE

Chris Wilson has posted the list of bug fixes, corrections and implementations to IE that will appear in Beta 2 of IE7. I saw this list two weeks ago and it was decidedly not for public consumption, so I think the mere fact that Chris is making this information available is of itself a monumental shift in the way Microsoft relates to the public. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet, but it’s even possible he just made a decision to put himself out on a limb and do it no matter the consequences to show people that the promises being made are not empty ones.

Somehow by being an advocate and defending Microsoft and doing one thing – asking for patience from the community while all this unravels – has made a lot of people mad at me. This includes friends, some within WaSP and at least two I really have deep personal feelings for. That hurt so much I crawled into a bottle of wine and cried for most of the day.

I’m a sensitive girl.

For some, the idea of standards implementation is work-related, placed in a box, not worried about beyond the end of the day. For me, it’s religion. Why? I really don’t know the full answer to that, but I do know that it has to do in part with wanting to do something that strengthens the foundations of a technology I truly believe can, does and will continue to change the world in positive ways. Give something to the world that matters before I die.

Some women have families, husbands, children and other passions besides their careers. I don’t have those things. Unless I’m at a conference socializing with Web people, I live alone, eat alone, drink alone and mostly move through the world alone caring about the Web and the people who work it with a consuming, fiery passion. You can make fun of me all you want, say I’m wasting my time, I’m Don Quixote, self-destructive, I’m tilting windmills, I should get a life, I’m a dreamer, an idealist, a stupid girl.

And you’d be right.

But I can’t be what I’m not, so for those people I hurt or upset or angered or enraged or whatever it is that I did to deserve the deluge of hate mail in my inbox, I truly am sorry.

Here’s the list of fixes for IE Beta 2.

  • Peekaboo bug
  • Guillotine bug
  • Duplicate Character bug
  • Border Chaos
  • No Scroll bug
  • 3 Pixel Text Jog
  • Magic Creeping Text bug
  • Bottom Margin bug on Hover
  • Losing the ability to highlight text under the top border
  • IE/Win Line-height bug
  • Double Float Margin Bug
  • Quirky Percentages in IE
  • Duplicate indent
  • Moving viewport scrollbar outside HTML borders
  • 1 px border style
  • Disappearing List-background
  • Fix width:auto
  • HTML 4.01 ABBR tag
  • Improved (though not yet perfect) object fallback
  • CSS 2.1 Selector support (child, adjacent, attribute, first-child etc.)
  • CSS 2.1 Fixed positioning
  • Alpha channel in PNG images
  • Fix :hover on all elements
  • Background-attachment: fixed on all elements not just body

Okay? OKAY?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 21:37 | Comments (71)

Comments (71)

  1. Thanks Molly, for all the great work you’re doing. Many people admire you as much as they hate IE so get out of that bad mood 🙂

  2. Molly I work in simliar areas but I find it hard to find other women in the areas we work in. I just wanted to say as a newbie to all this I really like your site alot and thans for posting all the great ideas and stories that you do.

  3. Who will be left for web developers to hate once Microsoft gets its shit together? Opera? 😉 Would be nice if Acid2 was on the IE7 to-do list. This list of fixes is a massive leap.. even if it is just catching up with Mozilla et al. Browser wars anyone?

  4. It’s nice to know that there are other sensative girls out there.

  5. I still like you, Molly! 🙂
    Thanks for keeping up the good work!

  6. I can’t think of anything you’ve done to even remotely deserve hate mail. You associated yourself with Microsoft, so you became a lightning rod for all the pent-up frustrations that Microsoft have caused over the last four years, that’s all. Easier said than done, I know, but try not to take it personally, you weren’t the one that caused the frustration.

    > Who will be left for web developers to hate once Microsoft gets its shit together?

    The users that won’t upgrade, of course 🙂

  7. Courage and caring will ALWAYS be trump cards, Molly. Thank you for having both. I’m a web dabbler, not a developer; but I see its huge potential and also how much work like yours has already contributed to the betterment of human kind. Through the web we get to know each other better and come together in thought and vision, all over the world. And that’s the very best of things. What you do matters.

    It matters a great deal.

    Thank you and keep it up.

  8. Molly, you are NOT alone, truely. It’s all I can say here at this moment – don’t forget the truth. You may be alone physically, but – in other aspects, absolutely NOT.

  9. Sorry to hear you’ve had so many impatient and edgy people to deal with, sweetie. *big hugs*

    Beta 2 seems very promising. 🙂

  10. Go Molly! I like the way you give someting back to the world.

  11. I think you have taken on a challenging task working with Microsoft and IE and all power to you; there aren’t many people with the perosnality (or the motivation) to carry it off! Unfortunatley, there are plenty of people with the personality (and the motivation) to be crap to people.

    As for crawling into a bottle of wine, now there’s a party trick I must see you do if we ever actually get to meet!

    Take care Molly and keep doing what you do! 🙂

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  13. This list definitely looks good. Acid2 would be great, but I can only hope it is on the roadmap somewhere before the final release. Would be a bit much to ask for B2.

    Passion comes with a prize sometimes. It also comes with great rewards.
    I don’t think living/being alone has got anything to do with it. If you have a passion, you will always have that, no matter what.

    It does require crawling into various bottles occasionally or reside to physical violence once in awhile. In the end it is all worth it.

    Keep up the good work. There are a lot of supportive people behind you.

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  15. Hey Molly – you’re one of my Web Heroes: I’ve always identified with how you want to see the web achieve its potential…your passionate belief in the technology’s fulfillment for good, positive things. How you live your life is a personal choice that should always be respected (it is sounding a hell of a lot like my own life right now though – which is surprising! Minus the conference bits obviously…and that you’re a lady – which is obvioulsy going to be different too!)

    I agree with John’s comments about your efforts with MS and IE…you’re taking on a mighty challenge (in web industry terms) and I’m not sure if other people really appreciate the scope of how much you’re doing. Microsoft have the most frequently used Internet Browser on the planet…but also the most disliked too – so asking for patience from some people can be a risky venture in itself. But I can relate to why you’d want to see IE7 (or/and future versions) achieve better’s not for any explicit Microsoft-fandom but more to ensure that all those IE users out there – globally – are getting a good product.
    They are…after all – the majority of web users across the globe! They are THE CUSTOMERS that web professionals should be caring about the most.

    Your sensitive nature only underlines your sincere humanity – you have feelings and they should be respected. Shame on other people for not realising that…you seem like a lovely person who is just trying to help make the world a bit better in the way you know how.

    Just know you have a vast legion of fans out there…and you’re an inspiration to many. Don’t feel down for doing the right thing…if other people can’t recognise that – then it is there own short-sightedness and lack of judgement…you are not to blame for that.

    Best wishes,


  16. “For me, it’s religion.”
    Ok I feel like less of a geek now, I’m not alone.

    Molly you and D. L. Byron are doing a really good job. Instead of complaining about Microsoft you’re getting in there and making the differences that we’ve all been asking for. You guys are representative of our collective voice.

    Anyone who has a problem with the WASP/Microsoft TaskForce probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Either that or they’re angry little individuals.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Wow, even people within WaSP are mad at you? That’s appalling. I, for one, am really impressed with the way that you’re communicating with the world about the work you’re doing with MS, please don’t stop. Please also don’t stop the excellent work in general that you’re doing with WaSP and specifically this “project”.

    This is a really encouraging list of bug fixes and should easily stop the nay-sayers (me included) who thought that the beta 1 improvements were a real let down.

  18. Part 1 of 2: Apologize to Molly

    It’s hard to be angry with a faceless business decision made at MS a long time ago, so some people senselessly take out their frustrations on the nearest person associated with the problem. Shame on them for being so immature and thoughtless.

    THANKS Molly for doing what WaSPs do, nudging the browser publishers onward, and telling us about the progress … even if it isn’t as instantaneous as some might want. It’s really stupid to attack the WaSPs for doing what we all want done.

    Keep up the great work Molly, and don’t let a a very small minority of your readers get you down.

    For those who have behaved angrily, rethink what it is that bothers you and then apologize to Molly for acting so rashly. She’s on your side, doing what you want, helping improve the situation.

  19. Part 2 of 2: Be careful where you direct your anger next

    Molly’s on our side and doesn’t deserve angry attacks.

    Now, in case you’re considering going after Chris Wilson next, don’t. Chris is on your side too.

    My acquaintance with Chris is not very long or deep. We are both corporate representatives on the W3C CSS Working Group. Chris for MS, me for IBM. I know Chris from our weekly meetings. He returned to the CSS WG a few months ago after a long absence. Chris is as eager as anyone to make the IE browser standards compliant. He’s on your side.

    I can’t speak for the long period that IE stopped evolving, but is is typical of management decisions that are made when some part of a technology portfolio has enough market share that it need not be constantly improved. When the market share starts slipping, it’s time for improvement again. MS management realized passing that point some time ago, and let Chris and the rest of the IE team get back to work. Those people are on your side.

    Don’t be angry with the people who are trying to help you.

    …and just in case you want to direct any anger my way, ask yourselves when was the last time you saw MS and IBM holding hands. I’m not an MS defender, but certainly recognize how business decisions get made. As one of the themes in Donald Trump’s Apprentice series said, “It’s business; It’s not personal.” Please, stop making it personal.

  20. Just thought I’d chime in too, although you must be feeling a bit better by now! IE has been a pain in the backside to design for for years if you’re trying to makes browser-independent sites.

    People like yourself, who are trying to raise the bar with Microsoft should be praised, not criticised.

  21. Thanks for the list, and thank Chris fore letting it be made public.

    Now, can you nag him about min-width and max-width? 🙂

  22. You tell ’em, girl.

  23. I do find that WaSP’s response to Microsoft’s effort to be a puzzle after what the group did to Mozilla about five years back. When one considers that it has taken Microsoft what, those same five years and more to finally start fixing these problems I can understand both the frustration and wariness. I would have been surprised if the WaSP expected anything less.

    Having said that, I don’t think anyone should have personally attacked you, and wasn’t aware that they had. From comments I read attached to the post, it seemed more that they were angry at WaSP and Microsoft. If you were personally attacked, of course it’s wrong.

    As for being a ‘sensitive girl’, and mentioning not having family, friends, etc. not sure what this has to do with your position in WaSP or your being a technologist or even your being an advocate.

  24. You go girl! Real friends will stick with you through thick and thin and the world certainly could use a lot more sensitive folks. Don’t need no hate! Far too much of that in the world already.

  25. Thanks for all the kind words, folks. I needed some love as I was feeling pretty beat up there.

    Many people have pointed out that taking any stand when it comes to Microsoft is going to arouse anger and frustration. Intellectually, I knew that, but until I began getting emails the other day calling me a “whore for satan” and questioning my personal agenda “oh, you just want to keep yourself close to the consulting gigs” and otherwise stating that what was perceived as my apologetics on behalf of Microsoft was the wrong thing to do, I had to face up to a fact I prefer to ignore: people sometimes really suck.

    And once again, I’ve been asked to explain why there’s no apparent separation between the personal and the professional in my writing. Shelley says:

    “As for being a ’sensitive girl’, and mentioning not having family, friends, etc. not sure what this has to do with your position in WaSP or your being a technologist or even your being an advocate.”

    Shelley, first, please don’t misquote me – I never wrote I don’t have family or friends. I referred to husband, children and outside passions. I’m really struggling to get this communicated properly: there is no separation from the flesh-and-blood-person that I am and what I do in my career.

    I am not compartmentalized. I realize that’s a fairly unique quality, and I also know that I seem to generally feel more emotion than most people. That passion and unity of vision is what enables me to do the amount of work I do, to achieve what I hope are good things for the Web and for the community of designers and developers with whom I work.

    I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Even if one day I decide to stop blogging or walk away from the Web (and I actually see that happening at some point) I will still be the same way. My mother tells me I was like that from birth, and here it is 42 years later: singleminded, stubborn, highly emotional and exceptionally productive.

  26. Early June 2005 I met someone face-to-face for the first time. Someone I already had a lot of respect for. She wrote me a short message that had me grinning from ear to ear for days. And those words have helped me through my crisis of confidences over the last few weeks – when I felt isolated and under attack (but nowhere near the scale of what you are enduring).

    Its only fair I remind you of those words – since it works both ways:

    Molly, thanks for all you do! 🙂

  27. I’m also the same – my life is one whole. I can’t subdivide my life into little boxes and throw switches to turn off aspects of me. That’s part of why when something interesting consumes me, I’m totally immersed in seeing it through.

    And there is nothing wrong with it. I’m the guy who during performance managements reviews gets the criticisms that I take my work personally. I’d have it no other way – when I do something really well, its because I’ve poured everything I have into doing it.

    That’s what appeals to me about WaSP – particularly your involvement. The driving force is passion – not politics. Passionate about making the web the best environment it can be. And that’s a refreshing approach.

  28. Not the first time I’ve seen you take heat, Molly. But this time, like the others, I think you are taking the right, sensible approach. Like many in the web developer commmunity, I too have strong feelings about Microsoft. I don’t think they’d fall under the realm of “hate” as they do for most, but instead for me it’s a profound disappointment. Still, one is not going to get them to straighten their act up by continually bashing the bloody bejeezers out of them. Someone (or some group, such as WASP), has to at some point extend the olive branch and at least try to work with them.

    As usual, you’re doing the right thing.

  29. I don’t understand why people have to get hateful about this sort of thing. Why can’t discussions be kept civil? I don’t think someone’s web browser, software, operating system, etc. should get them beat up on.

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  31. Never before I have been so happy to be wrong. This is incredible news and this
    gives us some arguments to convince those
    developers who claim that nobody cares
    about standards. “IE has the biggest market share, MS doesn’t care, so why should we bla bla bla”, I guess you have heard it thousand of times.
    So Microsoft does indeed care, and I think
    we do owe a bit “Thank You” to you, WaSP and folks at MS who want web to be a better place.
    So Thank You for your efforts, energy and passion, thank you for being personal. Isn’t it a personal passion that makes incredible things like this to happen? It IS incredible, who could imagine back in 1998 it was possible?
    What amount of faith, passion and energy
    does it take not to give up and achieve
    this result? It takes a fair amount of
    support from friends and close ones too, so I wish you plenty of this.

    It was a honor and pleasure to meet you in London, hope it was not the last time.

    Looking forward to hear more good news from you. People love good news, and people love those who bring them 😉

  32. anybody who makes my little girl cry again will get their kneecaps readjusted.

  33. Molly, then state that you, personally, couldn’t handle the heat, rather than stress that you, as a girl, a girl without the typical womanly interests, couldn’t handle it.

    This has nothing to do with you being a woman, and everything to do with you being you.

  34. The fact that so many people can be so emotional about this, sending you hate mail, shows that there are lots of Don Quixotes out there, some much more tilted than others.

    I for one am VERY happy to see the WaSP working closely with Microsoft, and judging from Chris’s post today, it’s obviously working. Kudos and keep up the good fight!

  35. Chris’s list of fixes, as reproduced by you here, was the wish list we’d have all come up with for IE7. I just can’t believe quite how well it’s all going. Molly, you’re doing great work. We’ll all be thanking you for many years to come.

  36. Keep taking the high road, Molly.

  37. Hey Molly. I don’t really get to check out your site too often, so I’m just catching up on everything that happened. Wow, it’s been a bit hectic around here ey? 😉 Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing! I’m behind you all the way!

    Shelly… Geez give it a rest. I think you are over-analysing her use of words. The post is title “Standards, Me and IE”. She talked about standards. She talked about herself (me), and she talked about IE. Nuff said.

    Which part of that didn’t you understand? I suppose if she said “I’m a sensitive PERSON”, it would have made everything alright in your eyes?

  38. As John Oxton mentioned somewhere in the swamp of comments above, it’s commendable that you’re taking time to work with Microsoft in regards to beefing up standards support for IE 7.

    I for one thank you and I believe many, many, many (as proven above) others do as well.

    What’s important is setting things straight and avoiding any kind of future slump.

    Keep it up!

  39. Shelley,

    It seems to me that this post was an attempt by Molly to explain a little about herself. She is, among many other things, a woman. She never said (explicitly or otherwise) that any of her possible failings were because she is a woman, only that she is one. I don’t see what injustice was done by mentioning this. I’m not a legal expert, though, so it could very well be a crime to mention one’s gender now.

    Replace “I’m a sensitive girl” with “I’m a sensitive guy.” Would the notion of using one’s gender as a shield have ever entered your mind? I don’t know—I’m just a stupid guy.

    But hey, keep fighting the good fight. Girl power, and all that.


    It’s sad you received such a negative response. Hopefully you got some solace for being pretty much right. I’ll admit that I completely doubted you, but like I’ve mentioned already—I’m an idiot. Thanks for your work.

  40. hey everyone, let’s not allow this thread of all threads to become a platform for arguing feminism.

    It goes back to the bottom line: My blog, my writing style, my right to call myself what I want 🙂

  41. Shelley,

    You look like you were trying to find a reason to attack Molly. “I’m a sensitive girl” is not “I’m sensitive because I’m a girl” but rather “I’m a girl who is sensitive”.

    Microsoft today isn’t the Microsoft that we all loved to loath. Brian Goldfarb and others have really shown that Microsoft are now committed to our cause. We have two options of how to act here.

    Be childish and decide that we should never play with Microsoft because they ignored us.
    Become friends with Microsoft. We don’t need to change who we are. But we can help Microsoft help us.

    Should Molly have defended Microsoft over IE7 b1? Yes. I wish others would have the strength to do the same. Molly knew that the real impressive changes that we were wanting weren’t going to be shown til Beta 2.

    Those that aren’t helping the situation shouldn’t criticize those who are really trying to make a difference.

  42. Hey Molly, you have a gun right? Just thought it should be pointed out. Now, who was having a pop at our Molly? Eh?

    Barstewards! Don’t let ’em get you down.

  43. I get annoyed with Microsoft’s downfalls as much as the next Web developer, but you can’t knock them for trying even if it has been this long. The alternative “good thing” is that they ‘turn off’ IE somehow or that everyone suddenly decides to download Firefox / Opera (although not long ago I would have said the latter was more likely than Chris’ message). We should be happy and encouraging them (MS) to come out of their world and step into this one; So Molly don’t worry about the critiscm and keep up the good work.

  44. Please note: I do not condone people u[setting Molly, especially those close to her who she may feel have somehow betrayed her or hurther deeply. Nor is this meant as an attack, just an observation.

    Have I missed something? IE7 requires XP SP2 does it not? M$ have still got the wretched thing integrated into the OS, right?

    M$ could do a lot more: adhere to standards rather than re-writing them; divorcing their browser from system-level OS functions; allowing the benefits of IE7 to be enjoyed by people who don’t want to (or cannot afford to) upgrade to XP/SP2. Until then, they’re crapping in the playgraound’s sandpit.

    So why try to defend the indefencible?

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  47. I think this means that someone will need to go around and collect all of the foil helmets constructed over the past week.

  48. Known CSS 2.1 bugs which will NOT be fixed in IE 7:

    overflow: visible: the box will stretch beyond the declared dimensions. Everything was nevertheless nicely, cleanly and clearly reported, testcase, etc.

    C. Wilson lists several bugs which are supposed to be fixed in beta 2 but he does not say a word about the several *_dozens_* of bugs and spec violations which were reported cleanly, clearly often with testcase at

    C. Wilson lists 2 HTML 4.01 elements which will get better support: and . C. Wilson has nothing to say about, for example, implicit version of label (where label is associated with contained control). C. Wilson says nothing about at least 30 bugs or spec violations or unsupported attributes which were all clearly, cleanly and corrected listed, explained and described at
    There is no victory for web standards here.
    MSIE 7 beta 2 will score maybe 10 points more in the results grid of Robin Lionheart:

    10 points and that it’s. You’ll have to wait for MSIE 8 for more.

    C. Wilson has avoided all DOM 2 HTML known bugs in his list. Also the entire omission of the entire DOM 2 Events module is something we, developers, will have to deal with for at least the next 10 years. Even if MSIE 8 in, say, 5 years is released with DOM 3 Events module support (and that is again an hypothetical if), then we will have to code for proprietary’s MSIE 7 DOM event at least 5 more years. I don’t see any kind of victory for web standards here.

    Gérard Talbot

  49. Molly, don’t worry about the rude people. They don’t have the guts to keep it up. You will outlast them all.

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