J. Blustein

CS4173 > Materials > Lecture Slides (file list) > Graceful Degradation > (3 of 3)

Web-centric Computing

[Course | Announcements | Mats | Resources]

Lecture Slides

Graceful Degradation

Part 3: But wait, there's more!

De Facto vs. De Jure Standards

Here examples of the use of object as shown in two versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser:

Version 5 for the Macintosh
objects are displayed perfectly
Version 5 for Windows NT
objects are shown as very small rectangles containing miniscule scrollbars

Why Does The Windows Version of MSIE Make Such A Mess?

It is not because of an error in the markup. It is not because object would not gracefully degrade — <object> works perfectly in older version of MSIE.

Just to show that there is nothing weird abou the markup code, here is a snippet:

<li><a href="Lecture/HTML/graceful.shtml" type="text/html"
       >Part 1 of Example of Graceful Degradation in <acronym
         >XHTML</acronym></a> <object
          title="HTML format"
          type="image/gif"  data="/~jamie/image/html-icon.gif"
          > (in <acronym
              title="extensible hypertext markup language"
              >XHTML</acronym> format)</object></li>

The problem could be due to an oversight (that would make this behaviour a bug). But it might — just possibly — be a decision that was intended to sabotage an innovative feature of an emerging standard.

What Are The Practical Implications?

This is an excellent time to discuss the following concepts:

How does this differ from cynicism and pessimism?
What does the W3C's WAI recommend that authors do in cases like this? [For Homework]
The Business Case
This would be a good time to read Jakob Nielsen's comments about Metcalfe's Law.

[Back to part 1] or [Back to part 2]

Wednesday, 30-Nov-2005 13:52:43 AST
CS 4173 Prof.:
J. Blustein <jamie@cs.dal.ca>

This webpage uses valid XHTML 1.0