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Why Web Developers Hate Internet Explorer

Why Web Developers Hate Internet Explorer

Years ago I used to browse the internet with IE6 and from a user's perspective I didn't
really think much about the performance of the program, the speed of download or tabbed browsing. As far as I
was concerned that was the the internet and that was how it was. It wasn't until
my brother showed me this cool new web browser he'd started using (something called "Firefox") that I realised
exactly how slow and buggy my internet experiance had been.
My biggest shock came when I started to develop websites, Internet Explorer quickly became the cause of so
many head aches for me. I'd write what seemed to me a perfectly coded page, upload the files and view it on Firefox
, Safari and Opera (these were the days before Google Chrome) and it looked exactly as I intended it to look. But
then I'd try it on Internet Explorer ... and it was a complete mess!
I think I went through the standard phases most web designers go through when they start out; Confusion, "The code's
perfectly XHTML compliant, how is this possible?". Self Doubt, "Is it me? Maybe I'm not up to the grade, my code
must be wrong some where". Frustration, "But it works perfectly on every other web browser! What's going on?". Denial,
"Well it can't be the browser, maybe it's my computer.". For a long time I think I settled some where between Self
Doubt and Frustration, and stayed there until I relalised my problem wasn't unique to me.
I found alot of guys out there that were having the very same problems as me, check out <a href="http://icanhazrealbrowser.com/">
I can haz real browser?</a>. Infact when you read about IE and search for it you find that an overwhelming number
developers have a real dislike for it, and the same issues keep cropping up;
It is not a standard-compliant browser. Microsoft has set its own ’standard’ with IE.
I don't think MS have ever heard of W3C.
CSS rendering doesn’t happen.
IE needs very specific (non-valid) commands within your CSS to render properly (opaicy/alpha anyone?).
It’s a Microsoft product. (Just saying)
No support for transparent PNGs.(IE6 has Zero support. Granted IE7 does but very poorly, ever tried gradiented
levels of transparancy? Not pretty in IE7.)
Random non-specific general buggieness.
Javascript errors only show line number, not the file name.
The biggest problem of all with IE is that you can't ignore it, if you are a developer you are tied down to the
buggy limbo that is coding for Internet Explorer because <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers">
65% of web users are browsing with IE</a>. That's alot less than it used to be, it was around the 90% mark
a few years ago, so we are going in the right direction, but we are not where we'd like to be (and for me that would be
ZERO %).
IE is a Microsoft product, it's not like there is a shortage of funds that would
hinder development of a quality product. So how is it that IE is the most inferior web browser about? How is it
that a team of supposed paid professionals are being out stripped by people who develop as a hobby? I've heard
people argue that it is complacancy with a lack of competition they stagnated and their products became stale.
Probably so, but that doesn't excuse non-compliance with the standards or being a resource hog. Regardless of the answer
this is translating in to IE becoming less and less attractive, from a user point of view, when compared to the
<a href="#alts">alternatives</a> out there (as is evident with the fall in market share over the years). Alot of
people seem to have a lot of hate for Internet Explorer, one Twitter campaign that made me laugh was the
<a href="http://twibbon.com/join/IE6-Must-Die">IE6 Must DIE</a> campaign.
So if IE is so bad why do people continue to use it? Most of the time it is convience, ignorance or impotance.
For most people they use a computer, which runs on windows, and it will be preinstalled with Internet Explorer,
and so why would they need another browser? For others they know that IE is a pain and that it crashes alot and
makes the computer go slow or stop altogether, but they aren't aware that there is another way. The most frustrating
senario is when you want to change browser but you can't, and this is where alot of users find themselves. I read
an <a href"http://blog.digg.com/?p=878">interesting article on Dig</a> on this subject, and the jist is basically
people want to surf with the browser of their choice but lack the admin powers to make this happen.
What about the future then? I hope that IE get their act together and finally produce a product that can stand up
against its rivals. Not so much for IE's sake but for my own, if I don't have to spend an extra half hour to sometimes
five hours IE debugging, for every one hour spent writing web code I'll be very happy. My ideal solution would
be for Internet Explorer to vanish altogether, Whether that will come to pass I don't know, but I really hope so.
<a name="alts">If you are using IE</a>, why not investigate (if you can) the joys of the other browsers;
<a href="http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/">Firefox</a>
<a href="http://www.google.co.uk/chrome">Google Chrome</a> (my primary browser)
<a href="http://www.opera.com/download/">Opera</a>
<a href="http://www.apple.com/safari/download/">Safari</a>

Years ago I used to browse the internet with IE6 and from a user's perspective I didn't really think much about the performance of the program, the speed of download or tabbed browsing. As far as I was concerned that was the the internet and that was how it was. It wasn't until my brother showed me this cool new web browser he'd started using (something called "Firefox") that I realised exactly how slow and buggy my internet experiance had been.

When I started to develop websites, Internet Explorer quickly became the cause of so many head aches for me. I'd write what seemed to me a perfectly coded page, upload the files and view it on Firefox, Safari and Opera (these were the days before Google Chrome) and it looked exactly as I intended it to look. But then I'd try it on Internet Explorer ... and it was a complete mess!

Was it Just Me?

I think I went through the standard phases most web designers go through when they start out;

Confusion, "The code's perfectly XHTML compliant, how is this possible?".

Self Doubt, "Is it me? Maybe I'm not up to the grade, my code must be wrong some where.".

Frustration, "But it works perfectly on every other web browser! What's going on?".

Denial, "Well it can't be the browser, maybe it's my computer.".

For a long time I think I settled some where between Self Doubt and Frustration, and stayed there until I relalised my problem wasn't unique to me.

Why Hate IE?

I found alot of guys out there that were having the very same problems as me, check out I can haz real browser? Infact when you read about IE and search for it you find that an overwhelming number developers have a real dislike for it, and the same issues keep cropping up;

  • It is not a standard-compliant browser. Microsoft has set its own ’standard’ with IE.
  • I don't think MS have ever heard of W3C.
  • CSS rendering doesn’t happen.
  • IE needs very specific (non-valid) commands within your CSS to render properly (opaicy/alpha anyone?).
  • It’s a Microsoft product. (Just saying)
  • No support for transparent PNGs.(IE6 has Zero support. Granted IE7 does but very poorly, ever tried gradiented
  • levels of transparancy? Not pretty in IE7.)
  • Random non-specific general buggieness.
  • Javascript errors only show line number, not the file name.

The biggest problem of all with IE is that you can't ignore it, if you are a developer you are tied down to the buggy limbo that is coding for Internet Explorer because 65% of web users are browsing with IE. That's alot less than it used to be, it was around the 90% mark a few years ago, so we are going in the right direction, but we are not where we'd like to be.

IE is a Microsoft product, it's not like there is a shortage of funds that would hinder development of a quality product. So how is it that IE is the most inferior web browser about? How is it that a team of supposed paid professionals are being out stripped by people who develop as a hobby? I've heard people argue that it is complacancy with a lack of competition they stagnated and their products became stale. Probably so, but that doesn't excuse non-compliance with the standards or being a resource hog. Regardless of the answer this is translating in to IE becoming less and less attractive, from a user point of view, when compared to the alternatives out there (as is evident with the fall in market share over the years). Alot of  people seem to have a lot of hate for Internet Explorer, one Twitter campaign that made me laugh was the IE6 Must DIE campaign.

If It Is So Bad, Why Is It Used?

So if IE is so bad why do people continue to use it? Most of the time it is convience, ignorance or impotance. For most people they use a computer, which runs on windows, and it will be preinstalled with Internet Explorer, and so why would they need another browser? For others they know that IE is a pain and that it crashes alot and  makes the computer go slow or stop altogether, but they aren't aware that there is another way. The most frustrating senario is when you want to change browser but you can't, and this is where alot of users find themselves. I read an interesting article on Dig on this subject, and the jist is basically people want to surf with the browser of their choice but lack the admin powers to make this happen.

Moving Forward, to a Brighter Future ...

What about the future then? I hope that IE get their act together and finally produce a product that can stand up next to its rivals. Not so much for IE's sake but for my own, if I don't have to spend an extra half hour to sometimes five hours IE debugging, for every one hour spent writing web code I'll be very happy. My ideal solution would be for Internet Explorer to vanish altogether, Whether that will come to pass I don't know, but I really hope so.

Why not investigate (if you can) the joys of the other browsers;

Firefox

Google Chrome (my primary browser)

Opera

Safari

13 Responses

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  11. Hi ,

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  13. […] ketika menggunakan IE, terutama versi 6. IE 6 memang dikenal “bermasalah” dan “tidak disukai” oleh sementara desainer/pengembang web, bahkan terdapat kelompok-kelompok yang […]

  14. Erwinus

    I like to say stop developing for IE. Stop supporting it, stop IE hacks so users can see the difference. IE is is not only a problem but also that webdesigners and webdevelopers use hacks so it looks like there is no problem with IE. Users cannot see the ‘pain’ that was needed to implement the design for IE. Why switch?, it looks good and works perfectly…….. That’s the real problem. Don’t use hacks, if it is working it is done. If it looks beter in another browser, so be it, tell your client to use that other browser. Stop hacking things, it is not a challenge!

    Put something like thison your website:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ieghostbuster/

    Stop the hoax called Internet Exploder.