The month of March has seen a mini-burst of hype around CSS grid, with Mozilla kicking things off by releasing Firefox 52, closely followed by Google with Chrome 57. Even Safari has gotten in on the grid game, which is scheduled to ship in the upcoming 10.1. Microsoft has the Update CSS Grid task marked as On the backlog.
Microsoft has a platform for garnering feedback from developers called Windows Developer Feedback. It is a place for developers to add new ideas for features they want to see in Edge, and let’s other developers vote on these ideas. It’s also a way for the Edge engineers to inform developers which features have made it to public release.
A short while back I came across this tweet by Patrick Kettner, who is part of the team working on Edge at Microsoft.
Jen Simmons, who has been one of the most passionate people I know when it comes to the web, wrote a really nice piece of feedback on the Update CSS grid thread. Here it is in totality:
Thank you Microsoft for making CSS Grid happen. For working on the spec. For shipping the early implementation back when IE10 was new.
Firefox shipped Grid last week. Chrome shipped it today. And Safari will ship it very soon. It honestly makes me sad that Microsoft missed the boat, and isn't shipping right now as well. From the looks of things, other priorities have pushed out updating your implementation of Grid. I hope you can change that very soon, and get Grid out the door.
You worked so hard in 2010-2015 to improve the reputation of your browser. You even renamed it! And now, the biggest feature to ship in CSS in recent memory, and your browser is once again behind. I don't want people to curse you anymore! I want your amazing team to be proud of the great work they've done. And get credit! I want you to ship Grid, too. Soon. Well, as soon as you can.
I then scrolled through the rest of the comments on that thread, and found that overall, the tone of the comments are not as pleasant. I don’t even know who these comments are being directed to exactly, and I suspect some of these commenters themselves don’t know but just want to blow off steam.
I understand that those of us who build for the web get frustrated as cross-browser support and dealing with bugs or features that aren’t implemented consistently. Oh, trust me, I really understand. But I don’t think that frustration is a good enough reason to lash out.
The web has been really good to me. I’ve gained a tonne of knowledge, learned about places far away, peeked into the lives of people halfway around the world. I’ve made friends across the globe, managed to keep in contact with those who have moved far away, shared stories, photos and videos with them. Hey, I’m even being paid to work on the web.
But I’ve also seen the ugly side of the web. There’s something about anonymity that brings out the worst in people. The level of vitriol and spite found in the comments section of most sites is mind-blowing. Although I’m aware that some people are capable of such behaviour even in real life, I think most people would never say such things to another person’s face.
Several of my friends have had terrible things said about them online, in response to valuable content they created and shared for free. Granted this negative feedback is not the bulk of what they receive, but I think most of us can relate to how in spite of having 9 nice things said about you, that 1 nasty piece of feedback can gnaw at you for the rest of the day.
The world is not a perfect place. Life is not fair. But the matter of fact is, we live in this world together. All 7 billion (and more) of us share this planet. Nobody asked to be born, but we’re all here now. We all have a choice on how we want to behave, and these choices will have an impact on someone else, whether we are aware of it or not.
Microsoft is a big corporation and I’m sure everyone has their own perception and opinion of them. But within Microsoft, every employee is an individual human being, just like you, with thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, in a large corporation such as Microsoft, there will definitely be many internal dynamics and decisions outsiders like us are not privy to. Many engineers themselves probably won’t have the full picture.
I can’t speak for the Edge team because I don’t personally know any of them. But what I do know is that they too are developers like you and I. They too are somebody’s son or daughter, friend or lover, and they definitely have feelings. Before we project our own frustrations onto others, we have to understand that we are seeing things from our perspective but not theirs.
Yes, it is important to provide feedback, but we can choose how we want to word that feedback. At the very least, be respectful and be kind. Imagine how you would feel if that nasty comment was directed to yourself. Then also think about how you would feel if somebody said something nice to you. These little things matter more than you think.
Credits: OG:image by Chibird