Monday, February 16, 2009

Standards, please!

Ah, looks like time for a rant post. To be honest, I have been planning this post for ever, just never quite got around to actually writing it. So here we go...

Standards, as you all know, are very important, especially in the constantly shifting environment that is the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a company or a piece of software that will try as hard as possible to combat standards with their own proprietary technology. It sounds ridiculous, idiotic, and silly, but it's completely true.

As it happens, I have to tell you about something that has happened to me recently at school (and, in fact, is still happening, as this is a year-long project). My Algebra class has been assigned this year-long project, where we research and write about a famous mathematician (who has been assigned to us by the teacher), a mathematical concept, and a mathematical symbol. This project takes the form of an MS Sharepoint "wiki". Sounds simple enough, and it is. The problem is the fact that the school system is using MS Sharepoint Server for all of its teachers' websites. To me as a student its OK, as long as I don't try to edit my page with something other than Internet Explorer... but I have Firefox. That means that when I click the "Edit" button on my page, it gives me a box with mangled, proprietary HTML, and when I try to upload an image to the Image Library, I simply can't. Now all this is not a problem (I threw the HTML into KompoZer cause I didn't have the patience to screw around with all that disgusting code). But it's all very unnecessary and annoying. Why do I have to download another program to my computer just to do a school project?? Cause Microsoft wants to expand its market share? Come on. Even though this is more of the school's fault than Microsoft's (it's actually completely the school's fault), why not just let other browsers access the simplified editing page, and make everyone happy? Forget it, man...

Just wanted to get that off my chest, as they say. Hope you don't hate me.

Ta ta for now.. :)

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