Not a review of IE8beta2

Everybody will offer you a review of the new beta 2 of Internet Explorer, so I won't bother to do it as you won't read it ;-)

Instead I'll just point out that in a 5 minutes test drive I was able to make it crash constantly, so I've created a simplified testcase and filed a bug in the MS Connect.

I'm not sure about what to expect here from MS. On one hand every crasher should be taken seriously, the tab crash restoration system is very good, but anyway it's a really unexpected situation that should be handled better. I don't think that they have announced the plans for the next version, would it be a Beta3 or RC1 ?

Releasing another beta makes sense because although there have been lots of improvements in this version, it still have lots of thing to polish, opacity isn't supported, dynamic VML doesn't work, there are a bunch of crash reports. I'm not sure that many developers are going to adjust their sites at the moment in this state of things, so it won't be tested properly and there might be still some other issues that are not gonna be known. A RC should be something that can safely be renamed as the final version because all the work that it's planned has been done and there are no big issues pending, and I'm a little sceptical that they can manage to fix all the big issues without another public beta in order to test that they have been fixed and nothing new has been introduced.

For example, the editing part wasn't ready for Beta1, this new version works quite better in FCKeditor, but even using the latest nightly if you try to insert a table it's done at the start of the content, (I guess that it will fail also with other elements, but I haven't done too much research about it), and the fact is that many times the errors can't be discovered just in one session. Some parts are clear and can be tested very easily, but other times it's the interaction between some elements the one that can trigger the problem.

Another example is the wrong dimensions for the content of the dialogs, seems related to the overflow:hidden in the body of the content, but why does it affect it that way, and sometimes it's displayed properly and then it goes wrong?

Trying to apply patches in FCKeditor for a beta that might change in drastic ways for the next release doesn't make sense, what we need are nightly builds of IE8 and more detailed info about the problems that they are working on. Yes, mark as invalid any ticket in Connect regarding new features, just give as a IE8 that does work at least as well as IE7 and that aims to be as good as the rest of the browsers.



Write Area: It's Alive

Finally, after waiting for almost three months since the release of version 0.7 , the extension has been approved in AMO and you can install it in Firefox without the need to be registered!!!.

Wow, I didn't thought that it would take that long since I created the first prototype at the end of 2007. The code itself didn't take too long, there were only a few problems due to the restrictions of being in chrome and a few differences (one problem that still remains is the fact that no tooltip is shown in the toolbar icons, I still haven't tried to find out if it's just a bug or there is some workaround that doesn't means rewritting the toolbar with XUL.

One interesting fact about running inside chrome (besides the fact that the clipboard buttons work without the need of any other special setting) is that images from the clipboard can be pasted inside the content.

Yes, that means that if you have a document with some images inside and try to paste it inside Write Area, those images will be shown while you are editing (trying to do it in any other site won't show anything because it's using a path to your computer). But when you press the save button the images will remain in your Hard Disk, and they won't be shown in the final web.

But let's think about it: Write Area is running as an extension, it has the ability to read local files, so that means that when the Save button is pushed, I can check if there's any image in the content that it's pointing to the local disk, and send it to a web server, get the proper path to use that image and replace the original reference with this one.


It needs a little coding and a way to know where to send the pasted files.

Wouldn't it be really nice? You just write your content, prepare any screenshot and paste directly there, and when you press Save everything is uploaded (or maybe even after pasting, the file is automatically uploaded while you keep on writing)

Ok, let's not digress any longer and install Write Area right now!