For a long time now I've wanted to convert my Hard Rock site, DaveCafe, over to a database so that it would be easier to maintain and update. I had played around with using PHP and MySQL to do this, but I'm just not talented enough to figure it out. Then it occurred to me that I might be able to use my blogging system, Movable Type, to run the site. It ended up working out amazingly well. The development curve went something like this:
10 MINUTES: Approximate time it took to figure out how to store variables in my blog by using a terrific Movable Type plugin called KeywordVariable.
20 MINUTES: Approximate time it took to convert the seven templates required for the site over to Movable Type and test all of them.
30 MINUTES: Approximate time it took to automate and convert the 100 Hard Rock Cafe reviews from an Excel spreadsheet to MT blog entries, thanks to the delicious scriptability of ecto (the blogging software I use). That's astoundingly fast... AppleScript rules!
And that was it! Thanks to Movable Type, ecto, AppleScript, and my Mac, I was able to completely create a database-driven web site in one hour with no database ability! Amazing. Simply amazing. At least it was, until the final step...
THREE HOURS AND COUNTING: Amount of time it's taking me to figure out why the pages will display perfectly in every browser I can find EXCEPT Internet Explorer in Microsoft Windows.WHAT THE f#@%?!?
Seriously. This is stupid, STUPID, STUPID!!! I just don't get it. Why doesn't Microsoft feel any obligation whatsoever to fix rendering bugs that ONLY appear in their browser? I'll tell you why... they don't give a shit. And why should they? 90% of the people on earth are using their shitty software, so web designers have no choice but to grab their ankles and waste hours and hours of time trying to make sites compatible with a bug-ridden pile of crap browser. Microsoft is law unto itself and is apparently not accountable to their customers, web standards, the US government, or anybody else.
What this boils down to is that if you are using Internet Explorer, odds are that many of the web sites you visit are not looking as they were intended to be displayed. That defeats the entire purpose of the web, and is just wrong. Not only that, but the security holes in Explorer are opening your computer up to all kinds of spyware, nasty viruses and other problems. Microsoft sucks total ass, and I can only hope that one day in the near-future people will wake up and start refusing to put up with their crap.
So do yourself (and the entire web-using universe) a favor... dump Internet Explorer if you are still using it and get a real browser. Go grab yourself a copy of Firefox right now and be amazed at how a browser is supposed to work. You might just be surprised, and web designers will thank you.