Would you rather be a Navigator or an Explorer?

There's an interesting comment in this Amazon user review of The Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/01/would-you-rather-be-a-navigator-or-an-explorer.html

Bear in mind that the MSTP has been developed over many years for internal use by user education teams at Microsoft, and internal use remains its primary function by far, with Microsoft Press releasing a “scrubbed” version to bookstore shelves every few years almost as an afterthought. The “navigate” vs. “explore” bit has probably been in there since 1998 and simply hasn’t been important enough to take out in any of the updates since then.

The dates on the page about the IE logo say October 1997, not 2001.

Overall Statistics from my Google analytics, IE users is about 22%. I still remember two years ago when I shift from IE to firefox, since then I stop using IE.

Bowing to popular demand, I corrected the date and added the pictures.

I’ve actually talked to a few people on the IE team and the cake doesn’t surprise me at all. Despite the evil image people apply to Microsoft, most of the developers there are typical programming geeks just like the rest of us.

Maybe I should start sending cakes to competitors…

That link to Frederics post wont arrange his bandwith cost problems…

I think it’s not coincidence the cake is black and white though. Reminds me of the website a while back that got some publicity for displaying in black and white if you used the wrong browser (can’t remember which way it went, IE/FireFox/Opera/etc). Seems somewhat like a “you shipped, but you’re still not in color” type thing, probably somewhat of an inside joke.

That being said, perhaps it’s just a nice gesture, but it certainly seems a bit odd that they’d just “accidentally” have a black and white cake, which we can all agree is very bland and ugly. Considering a custom cake at Walmart is something like $20?

All said, I do believe Microsoft workers are probably mostly great people, no different than any of those who criticize the company for not living up to people’s high expectations at the prices consumers want. People want perfect security, absolutely every feature, smoothly compatible with millions of different hardware components, and all for under $100. Don’t get it? Let’s blame the Microsoft. They’re still great, and often brilliant, people.

Netscape’s response to the IE prank was particularly pathetic. Just accept that you’ve been pranked and prank in return…taking a can of spraypaint to the logo and putting your $12.99 Walmart blowup lizard on top of the cool-ass logo that MS built and deployed just made them look like asses.

Have you gone mad? I believe it says Navigation cancelled because that’s how you get around the web. Navigation. It’s what they call the link at the top of most websites. It’s how usability experts (and I know you’ve read Krug) describe movement around a website.

The cake is a great idea. It just goes to show, that while corporations fight it out in terms of profits, copyrighting and the courts every day, the people on the shop floor are still human and like a laugh.

Josh: I the point Jeff was making is that Microsoft’s own guidelines state that navigation should be called “Exploration”. That message really should’ve read “Exploration Cancelled”.



I love black white cakes!

I use both IE Firefox.

I use IE sometimes, trying to give it another opportunity :frowning:

IE 7.0 eats al my RAM memory and works really badly.

Firefox let me open lot of pages at the same time and doesn’t eat my memory and works much better than IE.

since this is turning into a debate on who’s using what to explore(underline “explore”) the internet, i’ve just got to say this:

I know IE lacks compared to firefox (and opera?) but i can say that it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m against monopolies, but in the case of Exploring the internet, nothing would make me happier than to have just one browser. This is why i don’t use opera or firefox or any other. IE still rules and therefore it should be the only one out there. (okay it could support the standards a bit better, but what the heck)

That being said, perhaps it’s just a nice gesture, but it certainly seems a bit odd that they’d just “accidentally” have a black and white cake, which we can all agree is very bland and ugly. Considering a custom cake at Walmart is something like $20?

Jebus Christ. How about you take the gesture at face value and appreciate the cake? Yeesh.

And a custom cake from Wal-mart of all places? What, are your taste buds broken?

The current version of MSTP

Yes, but that review was written in April 2000…

I would NOT eat that cake… Who knows what they did to it.

FWIW, the reviewer is misinformed. The current version of MSTP says the following.



Do not use to refer to the act of going from place to place on the World Wide Web or on an intranet Web. Use browse instead.

To refer to the act of going directly to a Web page or Web site, whether by typing a URL in the Address bar of a browser or by clicking a hyperlink, use go to. Avoid see in this context.

“Just to add to the off-topic debate, remember that Microsoft always has to worry about one thing that open-source development teams almost never have to worry about: compatibility”

Gee, how I feel sorry for them. It’s about time they had to worry about compatibility issues that others didn’t - they can eat some of their own crow.

When we were building ODBC and OLE-DB drivers back in 1999/2000, if we built the driver to the standards, our drivers worked with nearly every other DB and DB tool out there except Microsoft Access. Access never adhered to the standards. However, because Microsoft kept dumping Access virtually for free with Office, it was the desktop “standard” of sorts, especially as query tools go, so we always had to reverse engineer all the Access idiosyncracies in order to bandage our drivers to support that abomination.

My heart bleeds for the poor IE team.

That said, I use IE because I value my time and waiting five minutes for Firesnail to start up just isn’t practical for me.

-waiting five minutes for firesnail to start up-

What are you talking about? Firefox and IE both come up in the same amount of time on my machines. You must have a plugin that goes out to a slow website in the background. I would say this is a flaw in firefox (a slow or crappy plugin can screw up your browsing experience).

Of course, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

All that having been said I use firefox, mozilla, and IE. Haven’t used opera or any other browser in at least 6 months or so.

Chris B. Behrens, I didn’t see anything wrong with what they did. Your response is what seems mean to me.