So there I was, 10 minutes into typing a new blog entry, when I thought I’d use the Google search toolbar in IE (using my father-in-law’s computer). When I was done searching and hit the Back button, I came back to the blog compose page, but alas, it was blank! F*#K! What the hell is wrong with IE? Mozilla Firefox has had the feature of saving your form input for at least the last several years, and still IE does not? How is Microsoft going to appeal to the new generation of web users if they can’t respect what their users are creating? I say this because think about what Web 2.0 is — Web 2.0 is all about participating and creating content online. This is almost entirely done via the web browser. How is anyone expected to contribute effectively if the bloody browser is losing everything they just entered?
Then it dawned on me why the Yahoo blog compose page is so weird. It’s working around this very issue. As you type into the Yahoo compose page, it’s saving everything (to the server, I presume), so if for any reason you leave that page, the content is restored when you return. For Mozilla, this is basically unnecessary, except if the browser crashes. So even Yahoo recognized this problem in IE and has had to work around the faults of the lame browser from Redmond.
It follows then that many Rails-based web applications do not have such fancy editors, as the developers of those applications are generally running on Macintosh or Linux systems, where IE cannot be found. That is, those developers are using browsers that aren’t stupid.
Not wanting to waste another 10 minutes, I’ve installed Firefox on my father-in-law’s computer. I just tested the Google search toolbar, and naturally everything I’ve typed is still in the form when I return. Thank you, Mozilla team, for respecting me as a user.