Fronteers — vakvereniging voor front-end developers

Artikel in NRC

Op dinsdag 5 oktober werd bekend dat Internet Explorer wereldwijd tot onder de 50% martkaandeel is gezakt — als we althans StatCounter mogen geloven (wat ikzelf op dit moment doe). (In Nederland is dat aandeel overigens nog 64%.)

Marc Hijink van NRC Handelsblad pikte dit nieuwtje op, zag in dat hij achtergrondinformatie miste, ging naar Fronteers 2010 en schoot daar de keynote spreker van dag 1, Jeremy Keith, aan voor nadere uitleg.

Jeremy kweet zich overtuigend van zijn taak en het resultaat is een uiterst helder stuk in het NRC van zaterdag 9 oktober, waar de browsersituatie correct in staat beschreven, alle vijf browsers behandeld worden, en ook aandacht wordt besteed aan progressive enhancement op mobiel en de videoformaatoorlog. Ook Fronteers wordt expliciet genoemd.

Voor zover ik weet is dit de eerste keer dat de ideeën van webontwikkelaars zo veel aandacht krijgen in de Nederlandse pers.

Jammer blijft natuurlijk dat het artikel online niet te vinden is. Oude media, zullen we maar zeggen. Gelukkig is er wel een scan beschikbaar.

Mocht iemand zich geroepen voelen het in het Engels te vertalen, dan zou Jeremy daar blij mee zijn.


1 Sander v L. op 10-10-2010 om 16:08 uur:
Judging by the twitters, Jeremy already received several translation offers, but for other English speaking readers (and so there's something to link to on, here's my translation:

Conflict of interests is no longer about browsers, but about videoformats

Less than half clicks on Microsoft's 'blue E'

The powerful position which Internet Explorer used to have on the web, is disappearing. Consumers prefer surfing with browsers which work with open standards.

By our editor
Marc Hijink
Amsterdam, October 9th. What percentage of computer users knows with which browser they go on the internet? "Not that many", says Irish webdesigner (sic) Jeremy Keith, "most people still simply click on the big blue E on their desktop." That E stands for Internet Explorer, a Microsoft product which in 2002 was still used by 95 percent of internet users. But statistics published this week show that the marketshare of Internet Explorer worldwide has descended to below 50 percent.
That is a historic border, according to Jeremy Keith, who opened Amsterdam Fronteers 2010 (sic) this week, a conference of the trade organization of Dutch webdesigners (sic). "Microsoft always left a big mark on internet technology. When the first browser war was in full swing, Explorer and the then-existing Netscape tried to differentiate as much as possible. As webdesigner (sic) you had to build two completely distinct sites."
In the competition (?) which is raging at the moment, between Internet Explorer, Mozzilla (sic) Firefox, the fast growing Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera, there's more agreement about the used web technology, due to open standards. Keith: "I can now create one version of a website, with a few differentiating lines. That saves a lot of time."
Microsoft also acknowledges the importance of open standards. Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), of which a testing version can be downloaded since recently, supports HTML5 - the new standard language of the web. Critics do point out that Microsoft is trying to give that its own twist.
The consumer benefits from standardisation, thinks Keith. "The browser vendors can concentrate on things like security, speed and extra functionality." Those extras should be taken with a grain of salt: the browser frequently is nothing more than two arrows to navigate back and forth. The address bar (where you type and the search field, have already amalgated into one element, also in the upcoming Internet Explorer. Consumers prefer to see more functionality in the sites they're visiting. That's possible: the next generation of browsers can also use the computational power of the graphical card to show fancy 3D-graphics. And due to the (sic) HTML5 the difference between the local computer and the web diminishes even further. It's possible to drag and drop files between browser and desktop, as if this is happening on a single computer. On the mobile web the ratios are completely different. There Microsoft and Firefox are left behind, and are the browsers of Apple, Google and Opera populair. Mobile websites are "an absolute blessing" for web-designers (sic), according to Jeremy Keith. "There's so many different screen resolutions; a website no longer has to, nor can, look the same on each browser. My clients realize this as well now. The most important thing is that information displays correctly, after that you'll see if you can still dress it up nicely."
According to Keith the web isn't suffering from the massively hypes apps - application for mobile phones: "If you're betting everything on iPhone apps, you run the risk that those phones will be less relevant in two years. The web works on every device, and has the longest shelf life."
Smartphones did start a discussion about video formats. Most video's on the web are presented in Flash, software by Adobe. But a lot of mobile devices - chief amongst them those by Apple - do not support Flash. It would cost too much battery power. Work is beeing done on an open video standard, but the browser vendors are fighting over what exactly open is. "It's about money", says Jeremy Keith, "No one wants to get the bill for licenses afterward."
The last development is that Google itself has promoted a videocodec to open standard, named WebM. It's freely available. Apple prefers to use a different codec which works better with its hardware. "But if Google protects that standard with its army of lawyers, most browser vendors will choose for it," Keith thinks.

More on the ball
Internet Explorer (IE) has been the most used browser in the world since 1999. But Microsoft has let its web software grow sloven: between 2001 and 2006 Internet Explorer 6 remained mostly unchanged. This was due to the lack of competitors (Netscape had been defeated after all). Besides this, Microsoft was fully engaged by security holes. The last few years IE versions succeed each other much faster: between IE8 and IE9 there's less than two years. Microsoft is on the ball again when Google and Firefox present the new competitors: Chrome 7 and Firefox 4.
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