Friday, 9 April 2010

A plea to all surfers out there

When I started out as a wee trainee web developer back in 2000, nothing fazed me. I was a keen, wide eyed young whippersnapper who was keen to prove his worth.

Back then, the main challenge when designing and coding a website was getting it to work in both Internet Explorer and Netscape. At first I saw this as a great challenge. However, the keenness soon wore off and before long I was joining the rest of the industry in wishing death upon the people at Netscape.

So it was with great joy and much celebration amongst the web community when the general public started to tire of Netscape crashing every 30 seconds and stopped using it altogether. Internet Explorer was brilliant and anybody who wasn’t using it as a browser was an idiot and shouldn’t have been allowed on the Internet – or was a Mac user, which surmounts to the same thing.

Once Microsoft got their monopoly, however, things started to change. Darth Gates and his band of evil software Stormtroopers started releasing new versions of Internet Explorer that were always less reliable and full of more bugs than the previous ones.

Then came along Firefox and Google Chrome. Almost immediately, these two browsers surpassed Internet Explorer in both reliability and usability so needless to say I now use these two instead.

The problem now of course is that I have to get sites to work in Firefox and IE. Firefox is easy. A site will look exactly the same in Firefox as it does in Google Chrome and even Mac’s Safari browser. But IE? Oh dear me no. Not only does the latest version (8 as I write this) render HTML and CSS differently but it also renders it differently in EI7 and IE6. This means I have to effectively make sure a website runs in 6 different types of browser. It is a complete waste of time and energy!

Now personally I view people who are still using IE6 with the same contempt I held for people who used Netscape back in the day and I would recommend to them that they read up on the history of the T-Rex to see what happens to creatures who are not able to adapt.

So what is the point of this rant? Well, frankly, it is to urge all of you to ditch Internet Explorer and switch to Firefox. As well as making my life easier, you will also be able to rid yourself of that annoying clicking sound that it makes every time you open a new link.

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