I am going to rant now.

A friend of mine has a website she updates once a week. I have been visiting and enjoying this site for two years, chatted with her about it on Yahoo! Messenger, and corresponded with her by e-mail, We’ve exchanged pictures of spouses and (in her case) child, and get along pretty well. But she has other things to do besides learn HTML, so she has a friend build her site with updates she passes along.

And now I can’t get in her site. Why? Because her webmaster has fallen in love with the nonstandard JavaScript tricks available to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.

I use a Macintosh. I don’t apologize for that, I love it. It’s not perfect, I can point out some of the issues involved long before any Windows user can, but it’s a solid machine that I can get all my work done on. Just about the only thing I haven’t been able to do with my Mac is play “Half-Life”, and even that’s been ported to the PlayStation 2 now.

So I write politely to the webmaster, pointing out that the latest IE I can access is 5.1, and suggesting that he might want to design a more flexible site. Heck, with JavaScript you can ask the browser who it is and reconfigure on the fly.

What do I hear back? “Can’t be bothered. Your machine sucks. Why don’t you buy a PC?”

I gently point out that there are still plenty of users out there who don’t use Windows. Heck, some of the Windows users I know won’t install IE 6 ’cause (I’m told) it’s a buggy, bloated piece of work that rewrites half your system when you install it. Does he want to block every one of those users from his sites?

Response? “Don’t care. Buy a PC so you can look at my site. If Macs were so great, they could handle IE 6 JavaScript.”

At this point, I realized, I was talking to a brick wall. I’m not bothering to respond by telling him that I can, if I want, run a more cutting edge version of MS Office than he can and get great framerate in Quake III at the same time. But I have to miss out on a friend’s website because he’s some l33t idiot who figures, “The hell with standards; it’s from Redmond, so it’s perfection and the wave of the future!”

I’m done now. I wish to point out here that in no part of this rant have I been rude about the general capabilities of PCs as hardware, or of Windows as an operating system.

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