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Showing posts from October, 2011

Steve Jobs

By all accounts, Steve Jobs was the kind of guy who you didn't want to work with. To put it bluntly, he was a perfectionistic pain in the butt, the Boss from Hell for whom good was never good enough. Yet that intensity was driven by a vision that has transformed technology in the past decade.

Many successful businesses make their fortune by carefully calculating how much people can spend and squeezing every bit from them via tricks, gimmicks, and sometimes even outright lies. Advertising and marketing create demand for a product that is often much different than it appears to be. When people find out that the reality doesn't match what they were promised, the outcome is bitterness and anger towards the company that deceived them.

Jobs was different in that he figured out what people really wanted--so often in sync with what he really wanted--and gave it to them. He seemed to figure it out not by focus groups or statistical analysis of consumer trends, but by a gut feeling that…

Running out of Lipstick

Over the past several months, I've spent some time fixing lots of jQuery event bugs related to Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 in preparation for the upcoming jQuery 1.7 release. Most of these were jQuery bugs in the sense that we didn't put enough extra lipstick on the pig to make it seem as attractive and standards-compatible as modern browsers. One phenomenon that interested me about these bugs was that they had all been reported in the past 18 months, but had been in jQuery for several years. So if that is the case, why were they just being reported now? I have a theory.

If you were a web developer five years ago, you had to really know the quirks and inconsistencies of the major browsers of the day, primarily Internet Explorer 6/7, Firefox 2/3, and Safari 2/3. Libraries like jQuery were created to help developers deal with those problems, but nearly all developers were well aware of the issues that were being normalized within the library. That usually meant their own battl…