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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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With the imminent release of Internet Explorer 7 and my MetaWeblog feature in the can, it's time to start taking care of a few visual glitches in IE7 with my app. I installed it, requiring my first restart in 59.5 days. (Side note: I abhor restarting. I can't think of a Windows restart that wasn't a royal pain in the butt and this restart was no exception. Somehow my projects unbound themselves from source control and so I had to wait forever to re-establish the connection. Boy do I hate restarting.)

I was slightly ready for IE7 since I had read its upcoming feature lists since it was announced. I knew that there would be some CSS issues and that the UI had changed to add tabs and such. My first impression? Firefox use is going to skyrocket!

I was at first confused by the blank tab to the right of the normal tab line. I've got a malfunctioning extension on my Firefox that makes something like that when you right click in the tab line so I thought it was a glitch. Then I clicked on it. Hoo ah! That blows! I didn't know what to expect but it wasn't opening a new tab and retaining that faux tab.

So then I needed to go to our defect tracking system, which I've helpfully bookmarked. Umm, where's the bookmarks? Uhh, where's the menu? I had to bust out laughing because I can't believe anyone in their right mind would eliminate the menu bar from a Windows application. There's UI experimentation and then there's UI madness. A colleague finally pointed me out to the star under the address bar. Lo and behold, there's my wayward bookmark.

I'm not sure what it is, but the interface leaves me unsettled. I feel like there's so much missing or hidden. It's not just a lack of familiarity because Safari has a very similar, minimalist appearance by default. Oh, but it does have a menu. I think the menu is the biggest factor in my unease.

I consider myself a power user and a browser afficionado. Hell, I have bought browsers because they had neato features. If I had this first impression with IE7 given my context, how are the masses of Windows users going to react when this thing is foisted on them and there's no easy path back to IE6? I stayed on IE5.5 much longer than anyone I knew because there were some quirks with IE6 I didn't like. I ended up upgrading because of the constant nagging and pressure to do so. And there was no way to downgrade by that time. People are going to go nuts about this.

Luckily, there's an excellent alternative just waiting for the forced update.

[UPDATE (10/19/2006): GAAAAH! They released it! Time to step up the fixin’ something awful.]