Introducing my WebLog


hi my name is Ali Alvi. I am a developer for Internet Explorer. I have been working at Microsoft almost for the past 4 years now with (in my opinion) the greatest browser team on the planet.

I did my BS in computer science from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). I worked for a while with ABN AMRO Bank's Global IT department, mostly working with Banking applications and their deployment. I then got a chance to interview with Microsoft. And since then i've been here with the IE team, albeit in different roles over the years.

The things that i am passionate about in my job is the tremendous challenge of working on the single most widely used application in the world. The application that truly takes more CPU time on any computer than anything else that has ever been created. The immense impact in ppl's everyday lives of what we do here is mind boggling. But with that great impact comes responsibility of making sure that the world is secure and free of any malware. Ppl have lately become very skeptical about web security. One of the biggest challenges that the browser development community faces is to get back ppl's confidence in connecting to the internet and thinking of it as a safe place. This blog is just another attempt to get everyone to talk about what hurts them the most and what they love about browsing by using IE and how they feel their lives could be made a lot easier by making small/big changes in the way IE works.

Comments (10)

  1. KC says:

    Couple of quick questions?

    1) What do you think of firefox?

    2) What is stopping the IE team from adding tabs on their browser?

  2. lynn eriksen says:

    Make IE better than FireFox both in function and standard compliance.

    Make IE better than FireFox both in function and standard compliance.

    Make IE better than FireFox both in function and standard compliance.

    Make IE better than FireFox …

  3. Ivan says:

    IE needs to have better support for web standards. 🙂

  4. Vatsan says:

    "…greatest browser team on planet.."

    sounds like a flamebait to me… 🙂

  5. Ali Alvi says:

    I was counting seconds before someone brought up firefox on this blog 🙂 and I wasn’t disappointed. I have played with firefox on my home machine and what it brings more than anything else an option for people to use and see for themselves what avenues are available in the browsing domain.

    As for functionality with firefox, I feel they have a long way to go before they can be successfully deployed in a Corporate environment. However, they do have good innovations in terms of tabbed browsing and history maintenance.

    As for the standard compliance, one cannot say for sure how spec compliant firefox really is, not until we have a wide customer base using it. I do believe that IE has better compatibility with applications and servers when it comes HTML. One of the benefits of being a new browser is that you don’t have to worry about application compatibility and you can easily dismiss spec non-compliant applications. IE, unfortunately cannot simply dismiss everything that isn’t fully spec compliant due to its HUGE consumer base and dependencies. However, whenever there’s an issue of IE misbehaving wrt http or other standards specifications, effort is made to ensure compliance, even though it might be conditional compliance (as defined by the RFC).

  6. Ali Alvi says:

    "sounds like a flamebait to me… 🙂 "

    I stand corrected. I will update my statement to say .. "In my opinion, the greatest browser team in the world"

    Greatness is a relative thing anyway.

  7. I’d really like full PNG alpha support! Thanks!

    This feature alone will save a great deal of time for web developers all over the world, as we’ll no longer have to waste time matching background colors to transparent GIFs and such. It would make the web a lot prettier too if the dominant browser (IE) supported it.

    Also, I do a lot of ASP.NET development, and I’ve found it really annoying that IE will not re-request my Web Form if the URL hasn’t changed. For instance, I’m developing a web app at http://localhost/MyApp/ and I make a change. I’m several postbacks in, so I can’t just hit the Refresh button or I’ll get an Invalid Viewstate error. In IE, if I just go to the URL bar and hit Enter, it will load the HTML from cache, not the new changes I’ve made. I have to do something like http://localhost/MyApp/?foo=1 and keep incrementing the number every time I make a change to my ASPX.

    More feature requests…

    1) Allow :hover on things other than just anchors.

    I know the W3 spec is ambiguous about this area, but it’s really, really helpful to us web developers. For instance, I can easily highlight an entire table row when the user mouses over it.

    2) Support the :focus pseudo-selector.

    I know any effect done using :focus in CSS could also be done using OnFocus() and OnBlur() with javascript, but :focus in CSS is much easier and more reliable. And making things easier for developers is what MS is all about, right? 😉

  8. Kris says:

    There’s one aspect of IE I dont like. I can live without tabbed browsing and other nifty UI features but the ability for Spyware to hijack IE for its own ends is something I cant tolerate about IE. At home I use IE for all my banking needs and only recently I found out that my IE has been hijacked. And what a pain it is to reinstall IE. So I had to switch to Firefox. I am not sure if FF is more secure than IE, but atleast it has not become vulnerable to majority of the spyware yet. I think features like BHO and ActiveX can wreak havoc if not properly used. MS should atleast provide software to enable the end user to regularly check their machines for any vulnerabilities exposed by the above features.

  9. Manage AddOn with XPSP2 says:

    with Windows XPSP2 .. you have the ability to do just what you are talking about. If you go to Tools->manage AddOns .. it will show you all the BHOs running inside your browser process and it also gives you the ability to disable any objects that you haven’t consciously intended to run. Also with the Active Content blocking via the information Bar stops a lot of these ActiveX controls from installing silently on your machine and with the comfort of the NON-MODAL information bar, you don’t have to click any dialogs to continue browsing.

  10. Ali Pasha says:

    Security is all good but it should be assumed and not necessarily a customer requirment!

    I do want tabbed browsing…

    Ali

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