I’ve been having a bit of a debate with @Casablanca about the need or merits of designing and developing for people who use Outlook or IE. It started with:
@cdent: This #fixoutlook thing is bullshit. Just don’t use outlook!
@Casablanca: @cdent it’s not about whether you use outlook. It’s about having to design for people who do (e.g. our client’s customers)
@cdent: @Casablanca don’t design for those people! Design well enough that they’ll want to use what you’re using. If U cowtow, they’ll never learn.
@Casablanca: @cdent you mean we should tell our clients to tell their customers to change their email clients? A bit impractical, no?
@cdent: @Casablanca Just because it is impractical doesn’t make it wrong.
@Casablanca: @cdent does that mean you’ve never tested code in ie, because you don’t want to design for those people either?
@cdent: @Casablanca I haven’t personally tested code in IE for several years, if ever. Nor do I test other code in non-posix envs.
My basic assertion here is that people or organizations won’t change to things that are better if they can get the cool stuff on what they already have.
A secondary assertion is that by requesting Microsoft fix Outlook, Microsoft is not getting the punishment they deserve for causing the problems they have caused over the last…well the last very long time. There shouldn’t be a campaign to fix Outlook, there should be a campaign to boycott Outlook and boycott developing for Outlook.
I understand the economic considerations involved in the calculus used to determine “shall we do the work to make this work in IE”. For people encumbered by relationships with the corporate world, it’s kind of inevitable that someone along the chain will declare an operating environment where things must work. Likely that is an environment where openness, consensual standards and interoperability are meaningless tokens, not thriving actors in the system.
I try to avoid those kinds of relationships, and think other people should as well. I’m well aware that some people can’t and some people don’t, and more power to them. In fact it works out quite well for me: Because I work on open code in open environments, if there are people who are interested in making the stuff I do work in non-standard environments, they have easy access to do so. The pain stays with the people who need or want to suffer it.
Yes, I’m being impractical. Yes, I’m being unrealistic. But I can see little to suggest that the practical realities of the world are the best ways of doing things, so I’ll continue.