Dan Maharry

Removing The Search Box From IE7

by DanM

Now as far as I’m concerned, the search box in the menu bar of IE7 is probably the feature I most use - Alt+D, Tab gets me there in half a second - but it takes up some screen realty I’d rather use for other purposes when it comes to taking screenshots for the book, so here’s how to remove it and then add it back again should you ever need to do so.

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Infodelivery\Restrictions or create it if it isn’t there already.
  3. Add a DWORD key called NoSearchBox.
  4. To turn off the search box, set this value to 1
  5. To turn it back on, set this value to 0

That is all.

Why IE v.next? Why not IE2 v1

by DanM

Chris Wilson on the IE team blogs about the current thread on the HTML WG where he fights his corner for maintaining backwards compatibility in IE against becoming more standards compliant. It’s a good post too. But here’s a thought - why not leave IE as it is and release a new completely compliant (as far as possible) browser which is not called Internet Explorer? The Expression team already wrote a new renderer from scratch that now sits in Expression Web and VS Orcas, so why not build around that and not worry about backward compatibility. If it’s not the same product (and you can make it stand alone too so it can be uninstalled if required ;) you don’t need to worry about it.

So, we’re having a fun thread on the HTML WG. I’m explaining what Microsoft must do, given the half-billion or so users that rely on us to not break their web experience.  A certain contingent disagrees with me (okay) and seems to want to beat it out of me (not okay).

Source: The joy of being me

Why RSS Reading In IE7 and Office 2007 Is Almost There But Not Quite

by DanM

Outlook 2007 and IE7 have this nice ability to sync subscribed RSS feeds with each other. Subscribe in one and it appears in another. Lovely. Outlook also has the fastest OPML parser I've come across thus far. Feed it the OPML file for blogs.msdn.com (3000+ feeds and counting) and ten seconds later there's a rather impressive list of feed to start pruning. IE7 also has a lovely nice, clean look for raw RSS feeds as well. But there are still some large kinks in the system and as I'm just a public tester with no way to log a bug other than unofficially through the smile program and by adding trackbacks from this post to the IE team's blog, here is my wishlist of things for both teams to work on before I completely get rid of RSSBandit which remains my feed reader of choice.

  • Feed comments. Neither IE nor Outlook allow you to view the comment thread for a post in an RSS feed. Sometimes the comment thread is almost as important as the post. At least give us the option to see the comments rather than ignoring their existence.
  • Proper synchronization between IE and Outlook. If I've read a post from a feed in Outlook, I'd like it to be marked as read in IE as well and vice versa. You cant just keep the list of feeds sync'd and nothing else.
  • The ability to store the contents of the RSS Feeds folder in Outlook in a .pst file other than the one containing my mail and still keep the feeds in the RSS Feeds folder.
  • RSS integration with OneNote 2007. If I open a mail in Outlook, the ribbon automatically includes an icon to Send this to OneNote. If I open a RSS post, this option is not in the ribbon. Admittedly, you can close it, select the post and then hit send to onenote in the Outlook main window, but why isn't it present in the post window?
  • In Outlook, if I read the posts in a feed and then delete them, Outlook notices and then downloads them again for me to read. Why can't it realise I've deleted them and not download them again?
  • Further to that last post, Outlook repeatedly downloads posts from some feeds (e.g. http://www.alistapart.com/rss.xml) whether or not they have been read. Isn't there some sort of check on this?
  • Images in feeds. Once an image is downloaded, couldn't it stay downloaded? For example, say you subscribe to a Flickr feed and say not to download all content for each post. Each post is an image. If I select a post (post1) so the image it contains is downloaded (very slowly - why so slow?), click a different post (post2) and then go back to post1, the image must be redownloaded? But why? It's already been downloaded once - can you not use IE's temporary internet files or something?
  • Broadsheet view. Would it be possible to just click a feed folder and have the preview pane display all the (unread) posts (or even just the first ten) in that folder display in one page?
  • RSS Feeds Account settings. If I right-click the RSS Feeds folder in the Folder List and select properties, I get the properties of that folder. What I would like to get is to have some way to get to the RSS feeds Account Settings dialog that you actually get to via Tools \ Account Settings \ RSS Feeds. It seems very logical to me to have access to the details of the RSS feed a folder contains via the context menu for the folder.
  • Enclosures. In Outlook (not IE), if an RSS feed contains an enclosure, you get a hyperlink to the file in the enclosure, but you can't right click the link and ask to download the file. You can only Select, Open or Copy the hyperlink.
  • In IE, when viewing a raw feed, a right hand column sometimes lists the number of posts per category within the feed - for example when looking at feedburner feeds. However, when looking at .Text feeds, the categories disappear. What XML does IE7 require to get the categories working for a feed? Shouldn't it be able to parse different ways of categorizing posts?
  • The RSS Feeds folder only gets updated if you open Outlook and not if you access your mail through Outlook Web Access. Exchange does not check RSS feeds as far as I can see (I'm happy to be proven wrong of course)

That's enough for now. Seriously, I'm very happy that IE7 doesn't treat feeds like Firefox does. The live bookmarks thing really doesn't work for me and stinks of how channels worked in IE which was a blessing. But, and its a big but, they really need to iron this and a load more little things before it's the nice user experience it could be. And don't even get me started on blogging from Word....