News, Pointers & Commentary: June 1-14 1997
Happy Friday the 13th. Well, the latest buzz is about a newly-discovered security hole in Netscape, first reported by CNNfn and then the San Jose Merc. Okay, the main topic of conversation is about how much of a non-Net-friendly slimeball the Dane is for not reporting the bug like any other bug; he's demanding a much higher 'reward' for providing details of the bug.
But my beef with this whole event is that no one has yet confirmed or denied that the bug affects anything but the Windows version of the browser. Hello? Did anyone even think to ask if the Unix or Mac versions are affected? Why are you alarming the whole world with news of a bug that may be (I would venture to say is likely to be) limited to the platform that's historically more prone to have security holes? It's like the non-Windows world is invisible to the media. Yeesh.
For more news related to the bug, check out Dave Garaffa's BrowserWatch site, specifically:
Office 97 news: the file format converter which should let Word 97 save into Word 6.0/95 format properly is now available. A properly contrite letter to customers is posted along with it. I hope this will smooth the ride for tech support staffs everywhere, including ours...
Bill Machrone of PC Week strikes again with a piercingly perceptive commentary: Web standards wars: What if nobody came? I'm definitely of the same mindset: why add features to your pages that only an ever-dwindling percentage of users will have access to? Keep to the features which ALL major browsers support, preferably in their older versions. Some people in our building are two browser versions behind, and what's wrong with that? Why exactly should they upgrade if they're getting along with it fine?
Another informative PC Week column is Scott Langdoc's Why I had to bid adieu to my Macintosh. The issues he raises are extremely important for Apple -- specifically, why isn't there an Office 97 for the Mac yet? Microsoft is making one, but is taking its sweet time about it. Their Office propaganda page says it will ship "by the end of 1997". Why so long?
To make matters worse, so far Microsoft hasn't said that the Mac Office 97 will include anything but Word, Powerpoint "&" Excel. I've given up on having Microsoft Access on the Mac, but Outlook can't be that hard to implement, and if everyone on a network is using Outlook for their scheduling and task lists, where's the Mac's place in that environment? What's Apple doing about this? Microsoft won't necessarily choose on its own to add those features to its Mac line; it's in its interest to force people to buy Windows. Apple should be negotiating with Microsoft for a full-size Office suite for the Mac.
On my day off yesterday I encountered a nifty goof-off site, the web-only comic strip Argon Zark. Check it out; there are some great Internet puns and some pretty cool graphics. Look out, though; it's a lot of data to push through a modem. If you've got less than a 28.8 connection it will be way too long to wait for each panel.
I've been a bit under the weather lately, so I haven't been able to keep updating content at the rate that I'd like... here's a quick one: I overlooked Webintosh's VirtualPC Sneak Peek before. It's another good preview of this cool cool program.