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Web browser changes wanted

Update. Thanks to Joel for linking to this post (…probably the reason for you reading this).

Another good post from Joel on Software. This one about wanted changes in web browser. As a web developer I find many tasks more time consuming and difficult to accomplish when building a web application - we develop a web-based ERP system. Most of these tasks could be overcomed by implementing more standards which web developers can use. Joel list a good handful of changes he would want, and I have added some:
<li>Generic XML support. I recently made a report generator which extensively used the Microsoft XML Parser. It’s great to use XML instead of having a several large JavaScript array’s, but unfortunately the XML Parser is from Microsoft and only works in IE. I really would to see a standard support for XML in JavaScript without using a active-x object.</li>
<li>Standard ways of presenting data in a grid, a desktop(see my post about web-based desktop and make sure you check out the JavaScript gurus from WebFx with their Bindows project), tabbed interface etc.</li>
<li>Better printing support. I want to at least specify header and footer without use of active-x.</li>
<li>A generic way of handling plug-ins and component. I don’t want to use a plug-in that only is available for Firefox, I don’t want to use active-x because it’s only available on IE. In cases where html/JavaScript/CSS does not cover my needs I want to use an object I can use on all browsers.</li>
<li>Better client-server handling. Much of the data presented in our web-application is data that is not changed. I want to save this on the client so I don’t have to make a trip to the server each time. Yes, I know this is possible, but I want a standard way of doing it.</li>
<li>Most of all I really want things to work. I don’t want to spend hours figuring out why Firefox does this and IE does this, and then try Opera and find out that it doesn’t work at all. All browsers must support the same standards.</li>
I think Joel covered many good points, I especially agree with him when he talks about standard controls for uploading & drag-drop (we have made a custom active-x object to do this), better content editing (could the msdhtml control be any worse? And what about other browsers!!?), compiled JavaScript (some scripts can be become slow), standardized windows features such as treeview, menu etc.

Written on 19 June 2004.
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