UI toolkits for Python

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Wed Oct 19 22:49:26 CEST 2005

aleaxit at yahoo.com (Alex Martelli) writes:
> Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> wrote:
>> aleaxit at yahoo.com (Alex Martelli) writes:
>> > Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> wrote:
>> >> What surprises me is that marketing types will accept turning away -
>> >> what's the current internet user base? 200 million? - 10 million
>> >> potential customers without a complaint. Or maybe they just don't get
>> >> told that that's what's going on.
>> > In firms where marketing has lots of power, they may indeed well decide
>> > to pursue those "10 millions" by demanding an expenditure of effort
>> > that's totally out of proportion
>> What makes you think that the expenditure of effort is "totally out of
>> proportion"? In my experience, that isn't the case - at least if you
>> go into it planning on doing things that way. Retrofitting a site that
>> was built without any thought but "make it work in my favoriter
>> browser in my favorite configuration" can be a radically different
>> thing.
> We ARE talking about moving from supporting 95% to supporting
> (*supposedly*!) 100%, after all -- very much into the long, *LONG* tail
> of obscure buggy versions of this browser or that, which SOME users
> within those last centiles may have forgotten to patch/upgrade, etc.

I'm talking about supporting standards instead of clients, which is
how you get interoperability. You clearly can't support all the buggy
browsers that exist, especially not when even commercial browsers are
releasing betas to the public. Reality is that you *have* to support
the most popular browser(s) - except for the betas, anyway. Other
browsers that have bugs - well, you can patch around them if it's
trivial enough, and identify where the browser is out of spec
otherwise in hopes the author will fix it. Unless you're out of spec,
in which case you fix your code.

>> > Maybe that's part of the explanation for the
>> > outstanding success of some enterprises founded by engineers, led by
>> > engineers, and staffed overwhelmingly with engineers, competing with
>> > other firms where marketing wield power...?
>> You mean like google? Until recently, they're an outstanding example
>> of doing things right, and providing functionality that degrades
>> gracefully as the clients capabilities go down.
> I'm not sure what you mean by "until recently" in this context.  AFAIK,
> we've NEVER wasted our efforts by pouring them into the quixotic task of
> supporting *100%* of possible browsers that may hit us, with the near
> infinite number of combinations of browsers, versions and disabled
> feature that this would require.

Google's sites have been very good about working with many browsers
and configurations, especially when compared with the run of the mill
on the web. If that's unintentional - well, that's simply a shame.

> One may quibble whether the target percentage should be, say, 93%,
> 95%, or 97%, and what level of degradation can still be considered
> "graceful" around various axes, but the 100% goal which you so
> clearly imply above would, in my personal opinion, be simply foolish
> now, just as it would have been 3 years ago.

I never meant to imply that you should try and support 100% of all
browsers, merely that they should try and support every browser that
follows the specifications (and IE). I can see how what I said might
be construed to mean the latter, and I'm sorry about that.

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>			http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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