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Don E

What's the deal with Internet Explorer?

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Hey everyone, As everyone knows, IE has some issues... I don't know if this has been asked before or not since I can't search because of the search not working at the moment, but what is the deal with IE and why doesn't Microsoft get with the game? Why does it seem like they like or enjoy being "jerks" when it comes to their web browser? It just makes everything complicated for everyone. Is there a particular reason why they are like this? Perhaps it's because most of the world uses Windows and they think the world should comply with their standards of what a browser is or should be like? Or... does all this go back to the 'browser wars'(IE vs. Netscape) days? As their versions progress, they seem to be getting in the game, slowly, but when are they officially going to be like the other browsers? IE10? IE20? IE50? ;)I would appreciate everyone's input on this, especially those who have been in the game of web design/development for awhile now. Thank you!

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This is strictly my opinion, but: I think MS is just a power hungry monstrosity that thinks, just because they control the majority of the market, everyone should bend to their will and they can do whatever they please. Just like the government....but I won't get into that here... :P

Edited by ShadowMage
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It's not so much IE's fault than it is the users not upgrading. IE8 is a decent browser, and IE9 can actually even be called "modern", as it has pretty much everything you'd ask for. The stuff it doesn't have is shaky stuff that not all other browsers have either such as web sockets, web forms, SVG filters, all of which are currently in IE10 (so MS is not just "getting in the game" - they're already in it, though they're not winning it yet).The big problem with IE currently is that IE9 is not available on XP, and many users haven't upgraded to Windows 7 for one reason or another (including, and I quote several clients of mine, "I'm used to XP"). Combined with the resistance/ignorance users have about other browsers, IE8 is becoming the new IE6.

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It goes back to the fight against Netscape, when each vendor was doing things differently to try and make their browser better. IE9 is far superior than the previous versions, and the IE team is actually doing a lot of work towards compliance and performance recently. Microsoft recognizes the problem, if they had their way everyone would use IE9. IE6 drags everything else down still, but it's slowly being phased out by all of the businesses that still use it. The businesses who decided to build all of their internal systems specifically for IE6 and are now stuck on it because they don't want to spend the money to redevelop their systems are the main reason that older versions of IE are still in use. Illegal copies of Windows XP in China where people can't install updates for Windows are another reason. You can track IE6's death here: http://www.ie6countdown.com/ Note who runs that site. There's a breakdown on specific browser versions at Hitslink: http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=2&qpcustomd=0 Notice that more people use IE6 than IE7.

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Illegal copies of Windows XP in China where people can't install updates for Windows are another reason.
I think IE8 can be installed without a WGA check. Only IE7 had that problem. However, I can understand if users are reluctant to try out installing it, having suffered a WGA message with IE7.(Or maybe I simply haven't saw it, as the installations I deal with typically are either genuine or at least are seen as such)

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Well, almost 24% of people in China still use IE6. The next highest country is South Korea at just over 6%. So it sounds like 24% of people in China probably don't install any updates at all.

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Thanks for the responses. Interesting observations by everyone, even Shadow's remark about the gment. ;)Jsg, thanks for the links.From the looks if it.. it boils down basically to a variety of things as to why IE is the way it is... varies from Microsoft themselves and the internet users(not upgrading, or/and having illegal copies of Windows). So in the future soon, we won't have to worry about writing specific code for IE, ie: attachEvent etc.. but basically use the "standards" like we do for other browsers now like FireFox, Chrome etc..

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Well, I find Opera the most efficient web browser as i have never faced problems like bugs "in google chrome" or slow browsing as in "IE".In addition Opera has the Turbo feature that allows it to allocate more bandwidth for it to browse faster..could be pretty useful while streaming videos or so...

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In addition Opera has the Turbo feature that allows it to allocate more bandwidth for it to browse faster..
It doesn't allocate more bandwidth, it uses a proxy server run by Opera which compresses the content before sending it to your browser.
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wow, thanks for the correction, Afterall; I think that Microsoft's IE regardless of how many disasters and trouble I've been seeing from it..It'll rise again, as lately I've seen them updating it very often and with the new IE look and feel of windows 8.. I think microsoft is never going to give it up :D

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I have to agree totally with most of these comments about Bill and the boys which saves me the time I would have spent posting exactly the same things. I have just spent a week doing a freebie site for an addiction charity with lots of nice gradiated bgs, only to find guess what IE won't have it. My fault for not researching properly but why can't they just get with the same program as everyone else. After all, all we are trying to do is create good looking functional websites that don't burden servers with unnecessary graphical content where a little bit off css will suffice. Personally i am big on open source solutions and advocate all those things on my own website and use it as much as possible with my my own projects. The problem is big corporations like MS, Apple et all have marketing budgets the size of the average economy of a reasonably sized country. Unfortunately most people are blinded by branding and want to take something out of the box and for it to work perfectly instantly. If it's shiny , it must be good! Contrary to popular belief, cyberspace does not belong to American corporations. So all this talk about security and control leads me to one point made by a famous American. "He who sacrifices his freedom for security deserves neither". We all sacrifice our freedom every time we utter the words Microsoft. The whole security issue is a smoke screen for market domination and if they weren't so domineering, a little more ethical and user friendly to those of us who might like to try a bit of Linux Mint once in a while, then maybe the hackers would leave them alone. Anyway, I am off the soapbox now. Could anyone point me in the right direction of how do code so that if someone is unfortunate enough to be using IE, that my site will still render an alternative to the elements they pedantically avoid catering for. Many Thanks Si

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For the most part, developing cross browser compatible code involves using a Strict DTD, clean semantic markup with good use of CSS, and just checking on your progress incrementally, rather than just working on a website till it's done and then doing the browser checks. Over the course of the development of a site, I usually do cross browser checks at least a couple of times. At least once when I have the basic framework of the layout figured out, and then again after I've implemented some critical functionality, and then of course at the end when it's ready to go live. This usually catches little inconsistencies sooner rather than later, when it's easier to handle/fix them.

Edited by thescientist
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