Web Browsers – the good, bad and downright ugly
The web developer community are generally pretty vocal about their opinions of web browsers. A quick search on Google for ‘IE6’ for instance brings up a fair amount of frustrated comments and websites dedicated to the cause to stop support for the brick wall to progress that is Internet Explorer 6.
Even Microsoft themselves have joined the cause – http://ie6countdown.com/
It wouldn’t be so bad, only, when you do find bugs in IE6 that aren’t mimicked in other browsers, it is very difficult to resolve them, since unlike webkit browsers it doesn’t have any (useful) debugging tools. It doesn’t help that it’s full of unexplainable bugs anyway – the layering order of IE6 is wrong, the box model is wrong and if you float a few elements on a page with comments (which we should all use) then it starts placing random letters across your page!
The biggest pain of all is the alpha-transparency issues of Internet Explorer which to this day (including IE9) still have not been fixed.
This, to be polite, is highly frustrating.
The only saving grace is that in Windows 7, on install, you can now choose what browser to install, you are not forced to use Internet Explorer (not even to download Firefox [other browsers are available]!). Hopefully people will start choosing non-IE browsers when they move to Windows 7 and beyond.
On the plus side, recently the big 3 all brought out their newest web browsers in a push for achieving the best online experience for their users, with varying levels of success (Firefox 4, Chrome 10, Internet Explorer 9).
As a joke, on April fool’s day 2009, someone set up this site http://www.saveie6.com/ – that’s how detested it is! Sad thing is, some people thought it was serious…
For more information on why people still use IE6 and why you should join the cause, visit http://css-tricks.com/why-people-still-use-ie-6/
Senior Developer at Big Dot Media Ltd