Enterprise Software

Shadow chasing in browsers

The punching and counterpunching continued in the ongoing web browser development bout. Each time one browser closes a feature gap, a new feature appears in one of the others -- how we ever put up with the years of browser stagnation, I'll never know.

The punching and counterpunching continued in the ongoing web browser development bout. Each time one browser closes a feature gap, a new feature appears in one of the others — how we ever put up with the years of browser stagnation, I'll never know.

A second beta of Internet Explorer appeared on Wednesday, with the main addition being a new safe browsing mode dubbed InPrivate. Another handy feature is the ability to crash a tab without crashing the entire browser.

While Internet Explorer played catch up, Mozilla was reaching into parts unknown. To start this week, a new javascript interpreter, TraceMonkey, appeared in the nightly builds. With some impressive speed up stats, it had some asking whether Javascript could take on Flash.

Then came the big one — Ubiquity. If this feature takes off and is implemented correctly, it promises to completely change the way we interact with the Web and each other. I likely recommend watching the video included with the story.

Of course the inner cynic has seen similar attempts at natural language interfaces, and watched them fail. But with proper backing from Mozilla, it's just possible that your grandmother will be using Web services like a pro.

Completing the triumvirate of browsers this week is Safari — with Google finally giving Gears support to the browser.

Onto other news of the week, and we find that even space isn't a safe place to avoid computer viruses. Thankfully, the virus has only affected the astronaut's laptops and not the critical systems on the International Space Station.

Microsoft gave a good example of where a switch statement could save some face. Seems someone assumed that the only non-Windows operating system in the world was OS X — once again assumption is the mother of all screw ups — and some proper testing wouldn't have hurt either.

Next week Builder AU will be covering Microsoft's Tech.Ed conference, and it's sure to bring out the tin foil hat community. Attendees to the conference will be RFID tagged, and join the elite ranks of prison inmates as people being tracked with the technology. There's sure to be some embarrassing moments thanks to the tracking, and we hope to bring them to you.

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