IE is an SUV

I'm used to work in widely different modes all day long, switching my mind from pure intuition, dream, creativity, to pragmatism, analytical, rational, engineer and business thinking in very short periods of time (and probably lots of other unconscious modes that I'd rather leave that way). I must have had some hidden skills in my childhood that prevented years of scientific education to take over my brain, and the business experience did the rest. It has many advantages, such as being an engineer with a CIO diploma and 24 years of IT experience, and still, not be considered like the alien in the Nostromo by my colleagues of Corporate Communications (I know of other CIOs who have met their Ripley here).

It also has its quirks. Such as my habit of having lots of ideas popping into my mind and making perfect sense, as long as they remain in my intuition pipeline. The trick lies in the baking before getting them out. And the trouble comes when I start expressing them while they are half-baked -- it looks like I've been doing that more often than not, lately.

That said, I'll take the risk to blog this one that came as a series of metaphors for one of my subjects du jour: web standards.

The network is like a highway. When you start to have too much traffic, one way to handle it is to build more lines to increase the bandwidth. But it's expensive and once you've reached the double six-ways superhighway, what can you do? Reduce the length of cars(*). Your web pages are cars on the highway. If switching a page to web standards halves its size, it's equivalent to divide cars length by two. It means that you can have twice as many cars on the same portion of the highway, effectively doubling the flow for the same bandwidth.

And while we're at this car metaphor, on the information superhighway IE is an SUV. Unless it starts to behave like a good citizen on standards, the IE factor won't do good to the global warming of the tag soup. Unfortunately, it seems that too many people fancy the SUVs, and they're going to remain a big annoyance unless we convert their drivers to better vehicles.

(*) Ever wondered why cars are really smaller in Europe than in the U.S. and why all brands have small cars, even Mercedes and BMW? Because we can't extend our roads by making them wider, we decided to reduce their size to fit more cars on the same surface. The EU actually imposes to all manufacturers selling in the Union to have at least one small car on their catalog. Plus they suck less oil and reject less pollutants, which is not bad either. By the way, the EU wants to cut Windows in half, but I'm out of metaphors for tonight.

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