Web Browsers No Longer At Fault

“Web browsers still don’t do what developers want them to. This is the fault of the browser developers.” – Mathieu Gosbee

I might argue this comment and be among some of the world’s most qualified people to take anyone to task for why that is most decidedly no longer the case.

I might provide one exception – the long-term damage done by delays in implementation do in fact haunt us in the very real present.

I might have made this argument at another time, when I didn’t work for Vivaldi Web Browser – a noble and innovative Web Browser Company who loves and cares for its family – which includes you. All of you – “a browser for our friends.”

I most certainly would be lauding the incredibly hard work my colleagues in developer relations at Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer (since version 7.0), Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Brave Browser and all cooperative peers, the thousands (tens of thousands) software engineers and developers, their management, the entirety of their infrastructure from the Chief Executive Officers to the basement server maintenance folks for their years of dedication to solving measurable problems.

I might also add with passion aforethought the significant role W3C Working Groups (specifically #CSS #a11y #ARIA #wcag #HTML #XML #SVG) have played in taking an entire industry and making change. The WHATWG and its controversy must be acknowledged for pushing forward design principles that do – at least prosaically – demand we pay attention to backward compatibility, accessibility and other core Open Web ideals.

And I could not even consider forgetting to loudly applaud the most important players in the game – every single one of us including the individual who is quoted at the top of this post – who have contributed workarounds, hacks, issues, effective advocacy groups such as The Web Standards Project (WaSP), real solutions (see SASS, etc.), real-world labor and incalculable human hours in a span of slightly more than two decades to, in very literal terms, change the world.

Would I answer the question: Do we have problems with implementations still? Yes, and I’d also tell you to guess what, we always will. This is the physical reality – the literal condition of evolution with its pauses and leaps, diversions and failures, successes and innovations.

Might I suggest this is the reality of our jobs as the architects of the Web, as the developers of its every quirk, flaw, non-linear magnificent possibility? Progress, Regress, Progress. Solution, Evolution, Revolution, ReSolution – the patterns are known and crystal clear. It is not the technology that is impatient, rather it is we who must set the pace and course correct when we come together and acknowledge that course correction is required.

I might argue that the perpetuation of the idea that browsers have stopped innovating is as ridiculous as insisting that the earth is flat.

I might argue. I’d rather just say.


2 Replies to “Web Browsers No Longer At Fault”

  1. Although I do put up an occasional page, I’m a relative novice. So I’m left with this summary of your article:
    Some (unnamed) people seem to be saying (though there are no references or links to such comments) that the browsers don’t “do” enough, though there are no examples given of even one such deficiency and no references or links to any other articles on the web providing such examples.

    1. Hi James! I’m not understanding why you say there are no references or links. There absolutely are references and links in this article, and there are also hashtags for search. This is the Web – and I would like to give you more context but it is also an interactive, search-based medium. I’m also not unknown despite having been out of circulation due to bone marrow failure disease. Actually – I have a great idea – if you feel that I haven’t documented or referenced an article enough – I’m happy to give you blog access if you’d like to help me get back up on my feet as I return to the workforce and begin advocating for Open Web and browser implementation again. I quite seriously could use the help. And perhaps you don’t know of me from adam or eve, but if you are working on a career in Web dev, I might not be so bad a person to give a hand to if you’re concerned that my commentary lacks substance.

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