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03-05-2014 12:08 PM
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  1. IlkkaV's Avatar
    Well you see, this is my point. That doesn't necessarily mean Google is singling out IE. You would have also had to test a few other non-webkit based mobile browsers, like Opera. Only if they also all worked correctly, could we start suspecting IE is being singled out for 'special treatment'.

    Based on those tests, I'd suspect Google does the same thing they do on their other sites...

    "this is what works with webkit, see what works for you"

    I'm not saying you are wrong. You could be right. We just need be careful before going too far with accusations.
    You're right. I managed for a while forget that both Android and iOS do use a webkit-based browser and they seem to be delivering the Communities option only to webkit-based browsers as e.g. Firefox OS UA string also gave the version without the Communities option. Seems like I was a little too quick to jump to conclusions based on Google's earlier behavior. However, I'm still wondering whatever happened to the "don't check for user agent, test for features instead" recommendation here.
    a5cent likes this.
    03-04-2014 11:56 PM
  2. bsayegh's Avatar
    I do believe it could just be a matter of testing for webkit and ignoring other browsers (IE), but I am also amazed at how complex their javascript must be in order for IE 11 not to support it. Why would the back button do something different in IE than it does in Chrome or even Fire Fox? Why would it take me down to the comments section instead of to the previous page in my history? Im guessing there is an anchor that links to the comments section, but I cant imagine why they would hijack my history to take me to the comments section. I THINK the screen scrolls down a little at the end of a video to show the Sharing options, but that should work without messing with my history.

    IE 11 has pretty strong support of the Html 5 and CSS 3 standards. It isn't 100%, but it should be close enough to support what Google is trying to do. I could maybe see gchat having problems since its a little more complex than a home link or a back button, but my problem with gchat is that I get logged out of it. I don't think that is happening on the client.

    Maybe ill download a browser that isn't IE or FireFox (FF seems to be pretty well supported by Google's sites) and see how things work.
    03-05-2014 08:06 AM
  3. a5cent's Avatar
    but I am also amazed at how complex their javascript must be in order for IE 11 not to support it.
    <snipped>
    Maybe ill download a browser that isn't IE or FireFox (FF seems to be pretty well supported by Google's sites) and see how things work.
    Okay, I'll say it. This has absolutely nothing to do with the complexity of the code behind that button. In the second line I quoted, you yourself provided the real reason why this happens... you'll download another browser... maybe Chrome, or at least something based on Webkit.

    Google has (or at least had - I haven't checked for a while) a few services which serve a sub-par version of their website to IE (or any other non webkit based browser), despite IE being fully capable of handling the code of their deluxe version, which they reserve for people using a browser that they control, either partially (any Webkit browser), or fully (Chrome). Although in some cases the code really is very proprietary (like Google Maps), in most cases it's just because Google wants consumers to think that all browsers except the ones they control are crippled. Then more people switch. Google cripples more. More people switch... and so on...

    It's quite effective.

    Finally, Google doesn't do a good job supporting FireFox. FireFox does a good job of supporting Google. The Mozilla group felt they had to mimic some of Google's proprietary features to keep their browser viable. Microsoft once chose to do the same, but their Enterprise customers demanded a standards compliant HTML renderer, so they had to backtrack.
    Last edited by a5cent; 03-05-2014 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph
    bsayegh likes this.
    03-05-2014 08:54 AM
  4. bsayegh's Avatar
    Okay, I'll say it. This has absolutely nothing to do with the complexity of the code behind that button. In the second line I quoted, you yourself provided the real reason why this happens... you'll download another browser... maybe Chrome, or at least something based on Webkit.

    Google has (or at least had - I haven't checked for a while) a few services which serve a sub-par version of their website to IE (or any other non webkit based browser), despite IE being fully capable of handling the code of their deluxe version, which they reserve for people using a browser that they control, either partially (any Webkit browser), or fully (Chrome). Although in some cases the code really is very proprietary (like Google Maps), in most cases it's just because Google wants consumers to think that all browsers except the ones they control are crippled. Then more people switch. Google cripples more. More people switch... and so on...

    It's quite effective.

    Finally, Google doesn't do a good job supporting FireFox. FireFox does a good job of supporting Google. The Mozilla group felt they had to mimic some of Google's proprietary features to keep their browser viable. Microsoft once chose to do the same, but their Enterprise customers demanded a standards compliant HTML renderer, so they had to backtrack.
    Okay, thanks for clarifying.

    If Google is using these shady (albeit effective) practices, then why doesn't MS do the same thing? Sure many of the popular sites are owned by Google, but the most popular OS is owned by MS. They COULD make running Chrome on a Windows machine a nightmare. I am not saying that they should (it isn't very ethical and might make them look bad in the end), but Google started it. They have given themselves an unfair advantage that was essentially stripped of MS years ago (simply because Windows came preloaded with IE).

    I wouldn't say Google gets away with everything. They seem to be on trial for unfair business practices all the time. I think this is just specifically frustrating to me because I prefer IE in general, especially since it has become must faster and cleaner.
    Last edited by bsayegh; 03-05-2014 at 09:50 AM.
    03-05-2014 09:22 AM
  5. a5cent's Avatar
    If Google is using these shady (albeit effective) practices, then why doesn't MS do the same thing? Sure many of the popular sites are owned by Google, but the most popular OS is owned by MS. They COULD make running Chrome on a Windows machine a nightmare. I am not saying that they should (it isn't very ethical and might make them look bad in the end), but Google started it. They have given themselves an unfair advantage that was essentially stripped of MS years ago (simply because Windows came preloaded with IE).
    Well, on the mobile web that is impossible at this point. Webkit owns 95% of mobile web traffic, so if MS used the same tactic, they would be crippling their websites for 95% of consumers. That is the exact opposite of how it works for Android and iOS, which is an absolute necessity for the tactic to be affective. Not to mention that no version of mobile IE currently exists that runs on Android or iOS, so even if consumers wanted to, they wouldn't be able to switch to IE to improve their browsing experience on MS' websites.

    For the desktop I do not know. I can only guess. Note however, that Google is also much more well behaved on the desktop than they are on mobile. Google could easily claim that the differences are down to bugs or just small oversights.
    03-05-2014 12:08 PM
30 12

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