Zeldman, whom I very much admire for his book Designing With Web Standards, seems to have a left a very bad example for the rest of the web development community when it comes to Internet Explorer 7 beta.
What’s he doing exactly? He’s concerning himself with incompatibilities between his site and IE7 beta.
If you’re wondering if you should be doing the same, testing your existing sites with this beta, in a word, don’t. The next beta will obviously improve upon the last beta as will the final release that comes some time after that (and the service packs and bug fixes that come after that) and if you spend your time looking for incompatibilities between now and then, you’ll be wasting a lot of time chasing a moving target. When it gets close to final release, you’ll know it’s time to check out how it fair with standards-happy code. (Just look for the multiple stories on Digg.) In the meantime, isn’t that time better spent getting real work done? What about that novel you’re always talking about writing?
If you do like this sort of compatibility exploration, why not delve into the next line of web standards we are looking forward to, like real implementations of CSS3 and SVG support? Exploring standards compatibility for your code is certainly a more healthy exercise than exploring IE7′s beta foibles.
Internet Explorer 7 is Not a Community Project
The other mistake Zeldman seems to be making and encourage others to join an unpaid test team for Microsoft.
Using IE7? Finding bugs? Microsoft and The Web Standards Project want to hear from you.
Microsoft has no shortage of money to hire oodles of testers and shouldn’t need your help in squashing their bugs. Remember, this isn’t Firefox. If you spend your time bug hunting with IE7 and the time to write up a bug report to Microsoft, you’re simply helping them make more money without paying you for your work. (Note that if they somehow rewarding people for finding these problems, that would make a little more sense to me.) If you do the same for Firefox, then you are creating something everyone gets to enjoy and benefit from.
Finding Beta Bugs Is Not Our Problem
Microsoft is a corporation and they certainly don’t need your charity to develop a web browser. Finding IE7′s bugs is not a community problem. It’s a business problem and it’s one that belongs to Microsoft.