Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the web blame list

I'm starting to make a list of who to blame for technologies that are annoying and/or widely despised. Specifically, the web browsers (and their makers) to introduce annoying and despised aspects of web development.

In (very) roughly chronological order:

  • Browser history as a one-dimensional array through which one can only navigate "forward" and "back": (probably) NCSA Mosaic
  • The poverty of HTML forms: Mosaic
  • What the REST guys derisively call "overloaded POST": Mosaic
  • Browsers not supporting PUT, DELETE, or WebDAV: Mosaic
  • The suckiness of HTTP authentication prompts, leading to it never being used except on intranets: Mosaic (I think)
  • FONT, BLINK, @BGCOLOR, and most other presentational markup: Netscape
  • Use of tables for page layout: Netscape
  • SSL/TLS not being part of HTTP; SSL/TLS not doing anything to prevent phishing: Netscape
  • 40-bit SSL: Good ole Uncle Sam
  • Animated GIFs on web pages: Netscape
  • Browser "plugins", leading ultimately to all-Flash "web pages": Netscape (yes, Flash is cool and useful - without it there' be no Youtube - but you can't tell me it's not also frequently annoying and widely dispised)
  • Javascript: Netscape (see above)
  • Cookies: Netscape (again)
  • Applets: Netscape and Sun (and again)
  • Why you have to use both EMBED and OBJECT tags to put a movie on a webpage in order to make sure "both" browsers play it: Netscape and Microsoft
  • The poverty of DOM Level 0: Netscape
  • Frames: Netscape
  • IFrames: Microsoft
  • "DOM wars", aka "DHTML": Netscape and Microsoft
  • Crappy non-compliant CSS implementations as a normal fact of everyday life: Netscape and Microsoft (especially Microsoft)
  • PNG support being adopted so slowly that even today few sites use it: (mostly) Microsoft
  • ActiveX controls on web pages: Microsoft
  • NTLM authentication: Microsoft