[Nottingham] Here's something to annoying you

Mat Booth mbooth at fedoraproject.org
Wed Jun 29 12:53:17 UTC 2011

On 29 June 2011 12:54, Martin <martin at ml1.co.uk> wrote:
>> So long as the browser supports the required features (and it's fair enough
>> to check for those), I'm at a loss as to why the OS matters.  Not like their
>> doing harum-scarum stuff or hosting cutting-edge ActiveX controls... :-P
> Indeed, there should be no need to test for which OS is being used.
> Unless that is we're still back in the dark old days where a certain
> company's application famously tested whether "MSDOS" was being used
> rather than the equally capable DRDOS or others, or the silliness with
> the "Naughty Intel" (CPU cripple) test... I'm sure there will be other
> underhand examples...
> In any case, I thought that no respectable website would host any
> ActiveX on the web. Just for the sake of security even if not for
> compatibility or for the fact that most will have ActiveX disabled...
> The real question for your example of the assumed laziness on the part
> of the website developer and the misleading requirements is: Did it
> work ok regardless?
> And what response you get from your enquiry?
> Cheers,
> Martin
> "Microsoft also used a variety of tactics in MS-DOS and several of
> their applications and development tools that, while operating
> perfectly when running on genuine MS-DOS (and PC DOS), would break
> when run on another vendor's implementation of DOS"
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-DOS#Use_of_undocumented_APIs
> Intel's compiler: is crippling the competition acceptable?
> http://www.swallowtail.org/naughty-intel.shtml
> And only recently after many years (meaning old crippled stuff is
> still out there for a long time yet):
> FTC settles Intel lawsuit to 'help consumers'
> 'Disturbing behavior' curbed
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/04/ftc_settles_with_intel/

In my experience, the explanation for these notices is usually a case
of not having any spare QA resources to test all browser/platform
combinations rather than laziness.

Of course the same browser can behave differently on different
platforms! The leading example is text rendering -- you cannot
guarantee what fonts are available on the client side and I have seen
cases sites with translations to languages requiring unicode fonts
failing to render correctly on certain platforms with poorly
implemented fonts.

Good luck to you if you want to display the new Indian rupee symbol on
a stock Windows install in *any* browser. ;-)

Mat Booth

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