IE Users: You’re Screwing Up The Web For All of Us

You may not know this, but if you use Internet Explorer, you’re slowing down the progress of the internet.

Most people merely visit websites. They don’t develop them. They don’t make applications for them. They don’t need to manage data flow into and out of them. They just visit them. Therefore, they don’t think much about what’s happening as they click from one place to another.

Those who design for the internet, however, will tell you that doing so is made magnitudes more difficult by the boneheads at Microsoft. Their quest to keep open standards at bay, given how much they long for the days when their monopoly was intact, have led them to infect Internet Explorer and other software with proprietary ways of doing things.

That’s fine when you’re writing a letter to mom. You don’t care how your word processor makes a paragraph a paragraph. It’s not fine online, however. Imagine designing a web interface that looks beautiful on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and — oops! — not Internet Explorer. Sounds like a rare, unfortunate occurence, right? Nope. It happens every darned time. IE is the dipstick kid in the dunce cap who never frickin’ gets it.

And you know what? That dipstick is holding the whole room back. Think how far ahead we’d be if we didn’t have to keep stopping to figure out how to make everything work with the dipstick. Simple stuff, like displaying images where you place them, the stupid kid still can’t do!

When I write stupid, I mean stupid. You wouldn’t believe the workarounds designers have to devise to make perfectly functional and standards-based websites work with the dipstick. Imagine, every browser understands 1+1=2. Fine, until you get to IE, and then you have to go through something like this: [if this user is stuck seeing the web with the dipstick] [then] [teach the dipstick how to get to 2 this way] (456+342-432-356) / 5 = 2. No wonder IE is the slowest browser made.

Such a browser should be relegated to a tiny minority of online users who, frankly, still think the world is flat. Instead, it’s the most widely used browser because it’s bundled on every PC and few people know that fresh air is only a free click and download away. On platforms that don’t include IE, such as Macs, it’s not even available. That should tell you something. Nobody, when forced to make a choice, chooses it. If we could just get a few more PC users to wake up and insist on standards-based browsers, which happen to sport better user interfaces and offer features you’ll wonder how you ever lived without, then we might be able to stop slowing everybody down for the dipstick.

So, if you’re reading this on IE, do yourself and everybody else online a huge favor and get with modern times. Download and install either Chrome or Firefox, and know that you’ve done a good deed even as you improved your own online experience.

From all of us online, thank you.

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33 Comments

  1. Costantino
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Hi! As a developer I can only agree! When we have the requirement to write a web application that has as target-platforms also IE we plan always 30% more time!

  2. Nick
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    As a developer I can say that all browsers seem to fall short of the mark in one area or another. While it seems fashionable to attack Microsoft, especially from the Apple and Linux user crowds, it’s typically a very low brow bashing with very little real information or merit. I have found that if you program in a standards complient way the browsers will work in a uniform way. Sometimes one or anther browser has issues. I can not count the number of times that something worked fine in IE but didn’t in Firefox. I find very little discussion on that mark from the IE hating crowds, mostly because it goes against the point they want to make. It’s no different than skewing statistics to support your conclusions. I would say IE 8 has made great strides to resolve a lot of the issues you guys are having. It still maintains a quirks mode, but if you know how to really write a web page, like I do, you can get it into standards mode. So what about learning how to really program instead of complaining about the most popular browser on the market. I use IE all the time, mostly because that is the market. I program for the market. So instead of knee jerk reactions against the market, why not work with it an reap the benefits of a larger, happier user base.

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