Firebird stops me from blogging

maybe that’s a deliberate feature.. 😉

seriously, when I try to write a new post from inside Firebird, the formatting buttons that pop up in IE don’t appear. Is there a setting/plug-in I can use to fix this?

Comments (11)

  1. no, the control that is used for that is not cross-browser, unfortunately.

  2. Scott says:

    Welcome to the world of "rich web controls" that Microsoft promised. They are rich provided you play in their sandbox. Otherwise you have to write code twice, once to get the functionality you want in your app and once to plug all the holes in ASP.NET that didn’t make the virtual gold CD.

    On one hand you can’t blame them for pushing their products first, that’s their job as a company.

    On the other hand, you’re making them more money by building applications using their tools on their platforms. Why can’t they make it a little easier for you?

  3. Cameron says:

    I think Scoble talked about this a little while ago, but with respect to why we don’t build stuff for other platforms. The story went something like "our dev teams are small, under pressure and under-resourced, so they do what they can with what they have, which means they do what they know best… build for Windows, which also happens to be the biggest market"… I imagine the same goes for the IE / tools teams.

  4. AndrewSeven says:

    What control is used to provide the formatting?

  5. Dimitri Glazkov says:

    Seriously guys, do your research before typing.

    The formatting in .Text is provided by the FreeTextBox ( control, developed by and individual by the name of John Dyer, which in turn uses the features MSHTML editor that is built into the IE starting from version 5.5.

    Scott, how do holes in ASP.NET have anything to do with this?

    Cameron, how would you imagine this having anything to do with Microsoft building stuff for other platforms?

  6. Scott says:

    "Scott, how do holes in ASP.NET have anything to do with this? "

    uh, duh… What’s the first thing this guy did when he looked at ASP.NET. Wrote a new editor for the TextBox. Why? Because even though developers have been creating components and controls to provide that kind of functionality since CGI first came about, MS didn’t include one by default in the ASP.NET controls. There are lots of "DUH, why didn’t they include that in the ASP.NET WebControls in the first place" 3rd party controls out there. The ImageRollover controls, of which there are many, come to mind also.

    I’ve had the "small team, under pressure" spiel from different groups at MS before. I usually counter with the "55,000 employees and 50 Billion in the bank vs. my one member team that has to fill in the holes in your API" argument. So they are a small team and under pressure, but it only took one guy to create this really cool control. hmmmmm. I realize that they are strapped for time and you really need to aggresively triage bugs and features when crunch time is coming. However given the ability to rapidly deliver components over the internet, you’d think some of the "gotta ship" constraints on controls, not bug fixes, would be relaxed. "We can’t get this finished before the ship date, we’ll have to release it over the web later."

    "features MSHTML editor that is built into the IE starting from version 5.5. "

    "Cameron, how would you imagine this having anything to do with Microsoft building stuff for other platforms?"

    hmmmmmm, maybe because it only works on IE?

    PS, I’m using <a href="">b2</a> and <a href="">GeekLog</a> for my blogging needs and their editors work find with Firebird. You can’t blame the browser for the blocking, blame the blog developer. 🙂

  7. Jon Galloway says:

    There are cross-browser html edit controls ( although the Mozilla line only recently supported "contenteditable" (IE has for years).

  8. Dude says:

    It’s disappointing to see any type of web application limit itself to IE, or Firebird, or whatever. After all, the whole point of a web application is to break the client server paradigm where you had a specific client to access a specific server. You should be able to access the app from any web client. Now theory versus practice is a different argument altogether but I find it disappointing none the less.

  9. Cameron, I am able to use FireBird to have a rich blog editing experience with .Text if I do the following:

    (1) Download the free User-Agent Switcher extension –

    (2) Set the User Agent to IE 6.0

    (3) Visit the blog admin page.

    Works fine for me! Using Mozilla FireBird 0.7. hth

  10. Cameron says:

    Scott – works like a charm. Thanks very much! Now I can get on with my Firebird eval. 🙂

    Cheers, Cameron

  11. Scott says:

    i wonder if you could modify the machine.config and change the target of "rich" browsers also?