A lot of students, both high school and college, use the Moderne Wiskunde books to study maths. These books include CD-ROMs that should aid the student in comprehending the new material. The contain various Flash animations per subject, as well as a number of tests and assignments.
Sounds good right? Were it not for the fact that these CD-ROMs only work properly in Windows. I've verified it this morning: while all of the contents are web apps, they are written purely for Windows XP and Internet Explorer.
Not even the combination Windows + Firefox works, since apparently Wolters Noordhoff only use specific IE commands to work with Flash. If there is such a thing. The software wouldn't work in my Firefox, complaining about the Flash version.
As one can expect I also tried to run the CD in Mac OS X. This can be done by inserting the CD and then directing Safari to open $CD/dlo/index.htm. This part of the procedure works as expected, as can be seen from the screenshot above. However, when you attempt to start an animation it all goes to dust. No dice. I just get a blank screen.
Seriously, how hard could it be to re-write a fricking web application to work with non-Windows, non-IE systems? *sigh* I've e-mailed W-N for comments. Let's see if they'll react. Their website also sucks in Safari, clearly written for Windows-folks as well. :(
For now the only way to run this software properly on a Mac is either by installing Bootcamp, Parallels, or VMWare. You can then run Windows in a secured and tucked away place.
Updated on the 6th of september, 2007.
I've received an e-mail from the Wolters Noordhoff helpdesk. They inform me that they are aware of the compatibility issues when using anything but Internet Explorer on Windows.
They also inform me that they -are- indeed working on making all their software and websites W3c standards-compliant. However, this process will take a lot of time, since there's just so much code to go through. So unfortunately, for the next few years I guess, we'll be stuck with IE.
One tip they gave me: the first thing they'll start reworking so it fits all the standards are the online study resources. Getal en ruimte makes use of a bunch of online aids and tools and these will be recoded ASAP. These tools can be found at the method's website.
Updated on the 9th of october, 2007.
This year, Wolters-Noordhoff published the latest edition of the Moderne Wiskunde series: version 9. A new feature for this method is the inclusion of additional, online resources called I-Clips. These can be accessed through the W-N site, or through Schoolwise.nl
Ironically, even these new ICT features only work properly on a Windows system. On Mac OS X, in Safari the screen stay mostly empty while Firefox does show me some images, but goes run-away on the processor :(
Naturally I've sent N-W another e-mail about this.
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All content, with exception of "borrowed" blogpost images, or unless otherwise indicated, is copyright of Thomas Sluyter. The character Kilala the cat-demon is copyright of Rumiko Takahashi and used here without permission.