Vendor (un)Lock

PCWorld.com – IE Continues to Lose Grip on Market

PC World suspects continued bleeding of Internet Explorer’s market share may be staunched somewhat by dependence on proprietary markup and scripting practices to access certain websites. My emphasis added:

Firefox still appears to be maintaining the momentum of its highly publicized 1.0 launch ten weeks ago—the project says users have downloaded more than 19 million copies of the browser. But it could ultimately be stalled at a low figure by factors such as incompatibility with some websites. Enterprises also frequently build in-house applications on the proprietary Microsoft technology supported by Explorer, a factor Microsoft says it is counting on to maintain its dominance. If for nothing else, Explorer is necessary to access Microsoft’s Windows Update site.

However, it is ultimately in enterprises’ interest to support standards rather that proprietary technology, since every Explorer-centric application increases a business’ dependence on Microsoft, according to Francois Bancilhon, chief executive of Linux vendor MandrakeSoft SA.

Well, Francois surely isn’t the only one that says this. Any sane and non-masochistic web developer will say the same thing if they understand the benefits of web standards. (And when I say non-masochistic, I mean that strictly in a web-design-productivity sense. I’m sure there’s plenty of practicing masochists of the beat-me-whip-me-make-me-write-bad-checks variety out there who also cannot stand to see sloppy code.)

Quite simply, making the decision to support MSIE only – rather than taking a standards-based approach – is a risky business proposition. Because what if all of a sudden more than half of your potential customers are now using Firefox as their system default? Would you want to just turn away half of your customer base just because you neglected to do a standards-based design in the first place? What if that number jumped even higher? It’s not inconceivable. Even the current numbers are significant: non-IE browsers make up 10% of the potential visitors to any given garden-variety public website. Who in their right mind turns away 10% of their customers? It’s like the sign at the roller coaster entrance that says “you must be this high to take this ride”. All an upstart new competitor has to do is to code a website to standards and invite those outcasts over to have a compelling feature that might attract that many of their clients away.

I Need More Details

Apple – iLife – GarageBand – Explore

While you’re recording Software Instrument performances, you can watch your performance unfold by viewing the tracks in full music notation. Fast on its feet, GarageBand generates notation in real time, instantly displaying notes, rests and other musical events.

Great news for those of you who read music (and maybe even better for those who%u2019d like to learn), notation view includes all common music notation symbols. That includes time signature, key and clef signs. GarageBand uses vertical lines to indicate divisions between measures. Automatic notation.

And Garageband lets you edit Software instrument recordings in music notation view. You can move, adjust or replace notes. Even edit pedal markings.

OK. Let me just say an emphatic yea! Now I can relate to this program on a much more familiar level. Seriously – of all the announcements today from Apple, this one knocked my socks off. But I need more details – can I do keyboard notation input? (i.e. compose notes via QWERTY keybaord shortcuts?) Are there a limit to the number of staves? How are slurs and ties handled?

There’s plenty of software out there that will do music notation well, and I particularly like Sibelius. Obviously this is going nowhere near Sibelius’ sophistication level in terms of notation, but I am very curious to know what a GarageBand user can expect in terms of notation. I guess I need to go down to the store and give it a test drive.

Also of worthy note here is the addition of Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra. Very cool…

Pacific Collegium Premieres This Weekend

Go check out the Pacific Collegium, directed by my good friend Chris Kula! I’m going to try to make one of these, probably the Saturday nite one…

The Pacific Collegium:
From Advent to Epiphany
  • Heinrich Sch��Ωtz, selections from the Geistliche Chormusik
  • Benjamin Britten, A Boy was Born

Friday, January 14th 8 pm St. Paul��Ωs Episcopal Church
114 Montecito Ave., Oakland
Saturday, January 15th 8 pm Trinity Episcopal Church
1668 Bush St., San Francisco

The music of the greater Christmas season from Advent through Epiphany is celebrated in the elegant and expressive counterpoint of the brilliant German baroque church musician Heinrich Sch��Ωtz. Working three centuries later, Benjamin Britten caught the attention of the world with the extended Christmas fantasia, A Boy was Born, scored for 8-part a cappella choir with descant boy choir, here sung by the School Choristers of the Pacific Boychoir Academy of Oakland.

General admission $18 students and seniors $12

Tickets on sale through City Box Office 415-392-4400. For more information go to www.pacificcollegium.org.