Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 14:20 UTC
Internet Explorer "The saga of Internet Explorer, the piece of software that once brought the Department of Justice to the brink of breaking up Microsoft, continues to eat away at the company. Several Microsoft employees have been reporting on their blogs that they feel the browser is not receiving adequate attention from upper management, and that it reflects badly on Microsoft as a result."
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JustThinkIt
Member since:
2005-09-04

Other than being a target of spyware, etc. due to ActiveX being too open and too powerful, IE fulfils my browser needs. But then I run and update a free anti-virus, and use a firewall -- so nothing happens so I have nothing to complain about here.

The times I tried Opera were very brief and unpleasant experiences so I am not interested in it even when it is free.

Tabbed browsing is something I definitely do not want. I surf by using shift-click to open new windows and when I am down to one IE tab on the Start bar I am done. Hiding stuff behind tabs puts it out of sight, the opposite of what I want. If I did want them I could use Maxthon and in fact I tried it without being impressed.

Is there another browser feature that IE doesn't have?

Pop-ups are gone, flash is a two-edged sword that is needed and reviled, so I don't want to start filtering some-but-not-all flash files -- too tedious.

The main drawback with non-IE browsers is that they take time to load over and above what it takes IE to load, and from what I have read FireFox is a supreme memory hog. I've got a gig of ram, but I don't have 100 or 150MB to spare for a browser -- IE never gets even to 50MB. The last time IE memory usage was out of control was IE v3 in Windows 95.

Reply Score: 2

cwdrake Member since:
2005-08-09

Guess what... IE7 includes tabbed browsing. I am using the beta right now. It also includes a Phishing Filter and support for RSS Feeds.

Reply Score: 2

DKR Member since:
2005-08-22

Yeah, but it's still slower than Firefox, and by the way things are going right now, I don't think that it will ever support Web standards.

Microsoft: Just give up. Please.

Reply Score: 5

cwdrake Member since:
2005-08-09

I use Firefox at times also. In my experience, Firefox is dog slow compared to IE. And Firefox defintely seems to be a memory hog.

Edited 2006-01-03 14:54

Reply Score: 4

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

Is that a comparisson to the upcomming IE 7, or the current IE? You didn't really specify.

Reply Score: 1

cwdrake Member since:
2005-08-09

Just for more information, how does Internet Explorer not support web standards? From my experience, it supports everything that other browsers support. But of course IE also supports some extra things like ActiveX which aren't good.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

PNG just to mention one. Buggy implementation. Javascript is wrongly implemented. IE supports a lot of non-standard HTML-tags and has non-standard XML-support.

Firefox has other issues, like poor support for CSS2 (not that IE is better, it just a different kind of poor support).

So far I personally haven't had problems with memory usage in Firefox, but I know other have had problems. Usually I use less than 40 MB even with 10+ tabs loaded (incl. skyos.org , osnews.com and other sites). So with 1 GB in my PC I don't suffer from memory problems.

But it is slow to load, and 1.5 is even slower than 1.0.7 (on Windows).

If security and usability (combined with customizability) is important to you, leave IE behind and switch to either Mozilla, Netscape, FireFox or Opera (or even K-Meleon).

Mozilla, Netscape (I prefer 7.2) and K-Meleon all have the option to preload the browser for quick opening of windows.

Reply Score: 5

Kitty Member since:
2005-10-01

Its support of many CSS features is broken or plain absent. And I'm not talking of exotic, obscure features that only the most obsessive web experts can complain about.
I'm talking about almost basic things like 'position: fixed' that allow a coder to write a really better site, both visually and usabilty-wise. I ran into the limitations of IE the very same day I started to write web pages.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Its support of many CSS features is broken or plain absent.

Fiefox isn;t all that good at CSS2 either, you know. Try using CSS2's ability to render text shadows, and you'll see that the only two browsers supporting that correctly are Konqueror and Safari.

Do this little test: open up http://cogscanthink.blogsome.com , and see if there's a shadow underneath the big header. If not, you are running a non-standards compliant browser.

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Fiefox isn;t all that good at CSS2 either, you know

I know too well, FF isn't.

Konqueror and Safari however have other problems, so they aren't standard compliant either ;)

Reply Score: 1

Kitty Member since:
2005-10-01

Fiefox isn;t all that good at CSS2 either, you know. Try using CSS2's ability to render text shadows, and you'll see that the only two browsers supporting that correctly are Konqueror and Safari.

Hardly relevant.
Yep, Firefox does not render shadows, and its support of CSS is not 100% perfect. But I don't think any browser can claim to be 100% CSS 2 compliant.
The point in discussion is how much do they support, and the quality of that support. Gecko-based browsers (and also Opera) support the vast majority of the specifications in a sane manner, and certainly all the important parts of it. I don't really care for the number 100% or 99%, if the difference is rendering shadows.
Shadows can be nice, but are hardly a showstopper.
IE's problems with 'postion: fixed', with overflowing text or with hover metaclass of anything but links mean that you have difficulty in basic layout or in basic appearance tweaking, and that horrible tricks with js have to be performed.
Firefox _is_ good at CSS, and your counter example doesn't change that. If you want to go deeper on the subject, see the extensive documentation of browsers' peculiarities at http://www.quirksmode.org
Very instructive.

Edited to fix the link formatting

Edited 2006-01-03 15:58

Reply Score: 2

cwdrake Member since:
2005-08-09

Ahhh... I don't do any web design except for some very basic HTML pages. I guess that is why I haven't had any problems. But that would defintely be a big pain in the arse for web developers.

Reply Score: 1

dotMatt Member since:
2005-07-29

CSS 2.x support is still spotty (not sure about CSS 3). xhtml1.x still seems to have a way to go. PNG support I think has just caught up -- but I think the jury is still out on that one.

On a tangent, I vaguely remember an article about IE sending a special "broken" TCP (SYN?) packet to open an HTTP connection. If IIS was on the other end, it would recognize the special packet, and respond without the full handshake, thus "increasing" performance. However, other web servers / operating systems would be confused by the packet, and cause a performance decrease re-negotiating. Does anyone have any links to that article?

Reply Score: 1

thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Some CSS1, lots of CSS2. IE6 doesn't support transparent PNGs. There are javascript stupidities, unsupported mimetype application/xhtml+xml. And it just doesn't seem to render things properly in XHTML+CSS (dashed and dotted borders for example are both dashed, things are the wrong sizes, etc.).

Reply Score: 1

FreakyT Member since:
2005-07-17

I installed the Beta of IE7, and, while I haven't done any extensive tests, it does at least support alpha transparent PNG graphics now, though I've noted that the "dotted" border CSS property still renders as dashed.

I still think IE's salvageable, so long as Microsoft actually puts some time into it. Of course, their continuing failure to so do doesn't bode well.

Reply Score: 1

TownDrunk Member since:
2005-11-28

Hmmm... IE seems a lot faster than Firefox for me when starting up and loading pages... Also, the Favorites menu is very slow to render on Firefox where as IE its instantanious.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I can see Firefox taking longer to load, since it's not preloaded like IE is on boot. However, pages do not take longer to load, nor does the Favorites menu take longer to render.

To each his/her own, however for me the choice is Firefox for quite a few reasons:

- Tabbed browsing
- Google Preview extension
- Mouse gestures extension
- Themes (I like me eye candy)
- Adblock extension
- Gspace extension (impressive)
- Check Gmail extension

Basically, its open nature and great extensibility make it very customizable, which I like.

Reply Score: 2

Lumbergh Member since:
2005-06-29

The extensions are what is so great about Firefox. But Firefox does have some memory issues. I've also felt that IE has a faster renderer, but with a beefy enough machine to deal with all the XUL stuff its not even noticeable with Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

TownDrunk Member since:
2005-11-28

"However, pages do not take longer to load, nor does the Favorites menu take longer to render."

Bullshit! It sure does take longer on my machine.

Reply Score: 1

Snifflez Member since:
2005-11-15

"Yeah, but it's still slower than Firefox, [...]"

That's hardly an objective statement; as you can see, for some people IE is a lot faster than Firefox.

"[...] and by the way things are going right now, I don't think that it will ever support Web standards."

Newsflash, pal: the majority of those 90% of the market who use IE don't give a clean-shaved rat's arse about your Web standards. You and I care about stuff like that, but let's face it: Joe Shmoe doesn't, even though I personally think he should.

I tend to agree with the original poster (even though I use Firefox exclusively): for a lot of people there isn't a truly compelling reason to switch.

Reply Score: 1

CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

IE is most certainly NOT slower.

Try this out. Load this page...
http://www.digg.com/deals/Abusive_New_York_Camera_Store_Threatens_B...

Time it and see how long it takes Firefox to load, how long it takes for IE to load, and then for kicks, how long for Opera.

Opera is by FAR the fastest, and Firefox (Gecko) takes BY FAR the longest.

Not only that but FF consumes a lot more RAM.

Reply Score: 0

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Now Firefox have something between 5-35% of the market depending on how, and in what country, you measure it. with a worldwide avererage of about 10%. However, all percentage figures are not born alike, at least not from a marketing perspective.

The people that install some other browser have shown that they are more prepeared to change things around them than the ones that stays with IE.

This means that they probably are more likely to change other things e.g. by buying other new trendy stuff. This makes them trend leaders and the people you want to target with your web site in case you are selling something. So your website will need to look good for that browser.

Doing this will be probably much easier when IE7 comes out, as it is likely to be somewhat more standards compliant. IE7 will only come on XP and Vista, so people still using IE6 will send the message that they are not interested in new stuff, and they are as expendable as Netscape 4.7.x users when you develop a new company site to sell or promote something.

This means that most remaining win2k users probably will upgrade to Firefox 2.0, or whatever version number it will have by the time IE7 is out.

In turn that will make the web a very unfriendly space for people still running the old IE6 you like. So enjoy while it lasts.

Me on the other hand, welcomes the more standard based web that is the likely result of more diversified browser base.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

If I remember right FF has around 35% in Finland, and >10% in Denmark (unfortunately).

Microsoft will see IE keep losing ground, unless they do something radically about it.

Reply Score: 1

Mn72 Member since:
2006-01-03

Some of the browser features missing from IE and probably from IE 7 too .

- Mouse or Voice driven navigation - Its one of the best features of Opera, and available as an extension in FF.
- Built in SVG or JPEG 2000 support.
- <Canvas> tag

Reply Score: 1

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

Some of the browser features missing from IE and probably from IE 7 too .

- Mouse or Voice driven navigation - Its one of the best features of Opera, and available as an extension in FF.
- Built in SVG or JPEG 2000 support.


Voice-driven commands are a disaster. Accuracy is horrible (I used Dragon) yet the consequences of mistaken commands are serious. Voice-driven dictation, in emails where accuracy is less important, is about the only useful voice application.

I have no idea what SVG and JPEG 2000 are, so I find it hard to imagine these are killers features.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

SVG is a vector image format, and support for it is rather important for me, and something I expect from any OS and is supported by most OS'es (except Windows (and perhaps a few others) which cannot handle it).

JPEG 2000 is a new image standard from the JPEG Group:
http://www.jpeg.org/jpeg2000/

Reply Score: 1

RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

On SVG and why it is important: do you know googlemaps?

All those maps are vector data, converted to tiles of raster images (jpeg,png, whatever), and sent to you.

SVG is a vector format, so that extra step would not be necessary, even when zooming: you can zoom a vector image indefinitely, without pixelation.

Another possibility is sheer eye-candy: you could have dynamic graphics on a website (responding to actions of the user), without flash or other plugins.
(by the way: flash is mainly a vector format)

For other examples, look at the SVG themes for KDE and Gnome: icons are clean, and can be scaled up or down without redoing the icon from scratch.
(with the exception of very small icons: it is very hard to properly do those with vector graphics)

Reply Score: 1

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

On SVG and why it is important: do you know googlemaps?

All those maps are vector data, converted to tiles of raster images (jpeg,png, whatever), and sent to you.


I use GoogleMaps, MapQuest or YahooMaps when I need to find a new business or navigate to someone's home. How often do I use any of them? About once a month.

These nav maps would still need a zoom in/out regardless of graphic image type, so the only thing saved is a pull from a server. Sounds like you could have the user install a plugin as easily as try to change the MS beast.

It is interesting how many FireFox users love their browser, then rattle off a half dozen extensions they are running. It is probably safe to say that IE+extensions >= FireFox + extensions.

Reply Score: 1

JustThoughtIt Member since:
2006-01-04

Sorry, I just thought it and decided to register in order to comment your comments, JustThinkIt.

"When I programmed and updated a major site (several million visitors per year) for half a dozen years, I tested it with Linx, WebTV, all version of Netscape and IE. In a time when most sites were not doing this."

Hopefully you paid more attention for that project than you did to your own page. People without any knowledge of web standards shouldn't work as developers. http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.just...

"I have no idea what SVG and JPEG 2000 are, so I find it hard to imagine these are killers features."

I find these formats quite nice. SVG (let's say vector graphics and open standards) is a killer feature, I'd say. Both Opera and FX support it partially and the support will most likely improve in upcoming versions. Hopefully IE will support it as well. Also, I'd like to see JPEG2000 support in the low-cost cameras instead of plain JPEG. It's lossless, after all. Read more at http://www.jpeg.org/jpeg2000/

Reply Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there another browser feature that IE doesn't have?



DHTML Accessibility:

"Firefox 1.5 (Windows version) is also the first browser to meet US federal government requirements that software be easily accessible to users with physical impairments." (from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/)

This may not be important to you, but it is certainly important to governments and other institutions that need, or are required to supply informaton all kinds of people.

Just look how important it was in Massachusetts when they wanted to switch to ODF and perhaps OpenOffice, but somehow I suspect that they will find it much less important in a web browser. I wonder why.

Reply Score: 2

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

(A feature that IE supposedly doesn't have is) DHTML

A weird feature to say IE is missing, since IE was the first I know of to offer Dynamic HTML (a fancified term to say Javascript and style sheets).

DHTML was the beginning of the end of Netscape...

As to the MA ODF thing, what was actually important was to fire the guy with the good idea. Hardly encouraging for someone trying to promote a non-IE browser in the corporate space. I don't like it but MS won, big time.

Reply Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

DHTML was the beginning of the end of Netscape...

Sure, IE have DHTML, but if you want it to be accessible you are out of luck. E.g. to make DHTML widgets that behaves like normal windows widgets with respect to tab ordering, or to get arrow key navigation work properly in DHTML defined menus etc.

Reply Score: 1

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

DHTML was the beginning of the end of Netscape...

Sure, IE have DHTML, but if you want it to be accessible you are out of luck. E.g. to make DHTML widgets that behaves like normal windows widgets with respect to tab ordering, or to get arrow key navigation work properly in DHTML defined menus etc.

Tab ordering... I am trying to think of the last time I cared about tab ordering in a browser window. Ding, times up.

Reply Score: 1

Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

Tab ordering doesn't mean anything to you, but it sure does to a disabled person trying to navigate a web menu. So stuff your attitude, the internet doesn't revolve around you.

Reply Score: 2

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

Tab ordering doesn't mean anything to you, but it sure does to a disabled person trying to navigate a web menu. So stuff your attitude, the internet doesn't revolve around you.

You know nothing about my attitude, so stuff your (inaccurate) judgments. I never said it didn't mean anything, I said I could not remember the last time (if ever) it was raised as an issue.

When I programmed and updated a major site (several million visitors per year) for half a dozen years, I tested it with Linx, WebTV, all version of Netscape and IE. In a time when most sites were not doing this.

However, I am _still_ trying to imagine why tab order is at all important on the web, in general. There are no "menus" that I know of on this page, for example. Are you referring to script-based drop-down menus when you roll over them? Care to clarify?

As to disabled people's needs, it sounds like they need a browser designed from the ground up for them. Such a device should be tuned for different types of disability or degrees of functionality. It would probably end up being a very different browsing experience from the norm. In no way would I expect IE, or any other common program, to handle this with default settings. My approach would be a custom app.

Reply Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, script based roll over menus would be one example. Only, that mouse roll over would not be the only accepted way to activate the menu. To satisfy US government requirements regarding access to federally funded programs and services, you would have to be able to activate the menu by the keyboard as well. Similar laws exists in many other countries.

And Yes, it probably would be a quite different browsing experience but the browser shouldn't need to be different as the browser should hook onto assistive technologies available at OS level. E.g. screen readers and such. This should work regardless if the button or menu belongs to the browser application itself or to dynamic contents in the browser window.

Today the trend is to provide a more interactive web experience. Just look at new services from google. As web pages becomes more and more application-like, the need for things like tab ordering increases.

As for developing separate applications/sites for disabled significantly raises the cost of development and and maintainance of such a site. The alternative would in many cases to a less interactive interface for all users, and thereby perhaps limit the possibilities of what's doable on the site.

Reply Score: 1

RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

You do not appear to understand: if the browser supports accessibility, disabled people can use it *WITHOUT* having to *BUY* a costly and custom made browser (where are those, btw?).

If you code a site with web standards it will work well in braille readers, too. But lazy coders used to IE tricks don't care.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

As to the MA ODF thing, what was actually important was to fire the guy with the good idea. Hardly encouraging for someone trying to promote a non-IE browser in the corporate space. I don't like it but MS won, big time.

Well no actually. The people backing ODF are still there, despite the pressure put on one person. In reality, the legislature and the places Microsoft are putting pressure on in reality have no power whatsoever to undermine the policy on ODF. The only people who can change it are those responsible for IT, and they're firmly backing ODF. Microsoft would have to get them to pass legislation that would explicitely say "We must buy Microsoft Office" to get around this, and they simply can't do that.

Reply Score: 1

suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

I see your point. But I still think IE can be improved a lot. I just checked out Maxthon and it is what I would like a browser to be. Fast and light as IE with all the cool features like adblock etc etc and tabbed browsing, RSS...but I would like to to be secure like Firefox. I think being that the computer is useless without the Internet and being that the only way to surf the web is through a browser i think it is just about the second most important piece of software after the OS on a computer...so development can definitely not allowed to be stagnated.

Reply Score: 1

d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

Sorry - but I often see IE using over 100Mb RAM in our Terminal Server environment.

Yes, Firefox does often seem to use an inordinate amount of RAM but IE is not free from this problem by any means.

Reply Score: 1

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

Sorry - but I often see IE using over 100Mb RAM in our Terminal Server environment.

No need to apologize. Everyone using Terminal Server at home needs to know IE usage can sky rocket.

My IE has been running for a few days now, currently using 17MB.

Reply Score: 1

Unbeliever Member since:
2005-07-09

That's because each window takes about 50 MB. Try and have 5+ windows open in IE (the equivalent of 5+ tabs in Firefox) and add that up using simple mathematics and you'll be closer to the real number.

Reply Score: 1

JustThinkIt Member since:
2005-09-04

That's because each window takes about 50 MB. Try and have 5+ windows open in IE (the equivalent of 5+ tabs in Firefox) and add that up using simple mathematics and you'll be closer to the real number.

Totally wrong. I've had 8 to 14 java chat windows open in IE at once for up to a dozen hours per day. 50MB was the upper usage limit under those circumstances. Currently using 15MB...

Reply Score: 1

Unbeliever Member since:
2005-07-09

Then we must be talking about two different IEs. Yours is a super sleek, super light, fast and modern browser, mine is a horribly coded, dark-ages timed, featureless piece of crap.

Funny that they're both named Internet Explorer 6 though. Must be a coincidence.

Reply Score: 1

Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

Just for more information, how does Internet Explorer not support web standards?

Just try writing a web site using anything beyond HTML 2.0 that looks the same in IE and Firefox/Safari/Opera and you'll quickly realise that MS has its very own interpretation of Web Standards. You can't imagine what web developers have to put up with, IE has to be the most despised piece of software that ever got written.

Reply Score: 5

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I use HTML 4.01 Transitional on what passes for my web site, and both MSIE and other browsers seem to work fine. The idea I had was to use nothing fancy and to implement things like ALT tags to make things a little easier for the text browser folks.

The OSNews web site also seems to work fairly well on several different browsers. :-)

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The OSNews web site also seems to work fairly well on several different browsers. :-)

It works on every browser ;) .

Reply Score: 5

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

It works on every browser ;) .

Liar, Liar, pants on fire !! etc

OSnews does not even try to load into the browser on my mobile phone !

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

OSnews does not even try to load into the browser on my mobile phone !

wap.osnews.com will most certainly load on your phone's browser. The fact that you cannot load the 'full' mobile version is because your phone manufacturor has limited the amount of memory available to your phone's browser (ie. Openwave).

Reply Score: 5

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

thanks for that thom.

Although, my mobile does use a version of opera, if is usually rubbish at normal sites.
I did not know about wap.osnews.com.

That means I will be spending more time browsing the site when I should be working ;)

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I haven't tested every browser <g>, but it's even quite usable using Xiino on my Palm m105. :-)

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

It's CSS and Javascript where browsers end up being a royal pain in the butt to get them to work at all the same; that's been my experience.
And it's CSS which is really useful for making a nice website.

There are definitely a lot of suddle differences. I'm not even sure if all of my sites work in IE; I stopped testing on it ;) .

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/03/09/391362.aspx

That blog is good affirmation that Microsoft cares more about developers than users. Instead of helping out every little web-developer (and hence every web user) Microsoft is concerned about catering to a few developers who've chosen their locked-in environment for internal server-client applications.
They'd rather not anger these guys than fix an actual fault. He calls it keeping old quirky behaviour: I call it, ignoring a problem and screwing most of your customers for the most important 1% of them.
Most important because, and Microsoft knows this well, people use platforms for their applications available not for the usefulness of the platform. That's a sad truth; but that's "practical thinking" at its best: Short sighted.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yeah, HTML 4.01 Transitional combined with relaxed use of CSS1 is quite browser friendly. That's how I'm doing it.
And it looks (almost) the same in IE, Mozilla, FireFox, Netscape, Konqueror, Ephiphany, K-Meleon. Links, Elinks and Lynx also handles it very well, though (naturally) with some limitations.

But HTML 4.01 is around 5 years old, so the whole not-compliant-browser issue is a setback.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm not so concerned with the age of a spec as I am with the raw functionality present in that spec as well as how widely that spec seems to be supported.

ASCII is quite old, for example, and yet it still seems to serve its purpose (electronic textual data interchange for American English speakers) quite well. Much better multilingual standards admittedly do exist for general text communications, but if you're only communicating in English then vanilla ASCII is still rather hard to beat.

Thus it is with HTML. :-)

Besides, in some corners of the computing universe five years is nothing. I still use utilities here in the Unisys mainframe environment that were written (and last compiled) in 1978. They still work fine!

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I agree, I agree.

I use the same approach. I'm fine using "old" specs as long as it works ... if it works don't fix it, and that's pretty much how I think most of the time.

Reply Score: 1

Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

The OSNews web site also seems to work fairly well on several different browsers. :-)

And I'm sure if you peeked at the code runing OSNews you'd see lots of tags that say "Okay, everyone draw this, unless you happen to be IE, in which case do this workaround so you'll draw it the same way as everyone else."

There are innumerable kludges to force IE into some semblance of standards compliance. That's pretty much MicroSoft's point, to make you do it their way as a method of least resistance and coincidentally lock out the competition.

Reply Score: 2

CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

That's funny, because IE was once the premier browser for standards support.

Reply Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually not. It has never been that.

What Microsoft did with IE was faster support for new standards, faster than Netscape that is. However: IE has never been standard compliant. Netscape was much better at that, to the extent it supported the standard.

1999:
Netscape, the browser with the best standard compliance, but also with few supported standards.
IE, the browser with the widest standard support, but also with the lowest standard compliance.

This hasn't changed, except that IE does not today support that many standards anymore when compared with its competitors.

Reply Score: 1

Lumbergh Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't put the blame on Microsoft. ALL browsers have their own quirks, and why DHTML is such a mess.

Reply Score: 1

surely shows its age
by nii_ on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 15:17 UTC
nii_
Member since:
2005-07-11

With Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), truly showing its age with its lack of development over the last five years, its ongoing and worsening security problems being the one of the most insecure part of MSs OS suite, and its lack of compatibility with International Standards, then it truly is a big embarassment for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

People will use IE anyway
by Tyr. on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 15:22 UTC
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people will use IE no matter what. An otherwise intelligent friend of mine recently asked me for advice because some spyware had got on his pc and now IE was always popping up windows and such (apparently this spyware also evades the regular antispyware tools).
When I asked him why he doesn't install firefox he explained he actually had it installed, but didn't use it because "it's just a habit to use explorer". After I gently explained I'm not going to spend my precious time on this kind of self-inflicted problem another friend went on to outline a 20 minute procedure he could use to deinstall the spyware.

Just to illustrate that some people will always use IE as long as it's bundled with Windows. MS knows that too, so why try harder ?

Reply Score: 3

They should dump IE or.....
by halfmanhalfamazing on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 15:23 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

They should *do their jobs* as programmers and *FIX THE PROBLEMS*.

IE has been so neglected since the IE5 days it's gone beyond being pitiful. And it's due partly, if not mainly because of the lack of competition.(until recently with firefox)

IE is at the very core of the "microsoft = swiss cheese coding" argument. Fix it or get rid of it.(or replace it with something secure, fast, efficient, secure, and effective. Did I mention secure?)

Reply Score: 1

IE must die
by CharAznable on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 15:34 UTC
CharAznable
Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the very first times I started coding a website I tried putting up a transparent PNG.. bzzzt! wrong!

The life of a web developer is hell thanks to IE. You can't stick to even basic standards and expect anything to work. You always end up having to put together a kludge to get your code to work the way you intended, thanks to IE lossage. More often than not, you end up having to send and entirely different site to the client according to what browser they're using. And you just can't ignore IE as long as 90% of everyone uses it. IE is setting back web development a good five years.

Reply Score: 2

Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

You and I care about stuff like that, but let's face it: Joe Shmoe doesn't, even though I personally think he should.

Yes, the problem is not really whether IE is compliant or not, the problem is that it's the only non compliant browser and that its deviations from the standard are largely undocumented. IE drives the development costs of web sites up, probably by a factor of at least two, so wether Joe Shmoe cares about web standards or not he most likely is the one ultimately supporting this additional cost one way or another.

Edited 2006-01-03 15:42

Reply Score: 3

My biggest struggle is
by pecisk on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 15:57 UTC
pecisk
Member since:
2005-10-20

...to understand WHY Microsoft can't make superb web browser. They can create it standard compilant AND add then some things additionally. For me, it is not abuse of monopoly, it is more laziness and lack of iniciative from management.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My biggest struggle is
by rcsteiner on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 21:39 UTC in reply to "My biggest struggle is"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

There's simply no profit in making a superb web browser.

The fact that a feature-rich and *secure* web browser would be a nice first step in regaining user trust seems to have completely escaped them, at least for a while.

Maybe IE7 will mark a change in Microsoft's attitude, but I have my doubts. Historically MS has been very good at producing products which are just good enough to maintain their existing user base but not much better (one of the reasons that so many hobbyist types find themselves a bit restricted when using vanilla MS software).

Reply Score: 1

Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

OSNews might work on every browser but it uses outdated table layouts and cautiously avoids any advanced use of CSS, not to mention the ugly use of document.write here and there. So yes it works, but it's far from being optimal and not the best example of a well written site I would give (my apologies to Thom, coping with the current browser market is a fine art).

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

(my apologies to Thom, coping with the current browser market is a fine art).

All credit goes to Adam and Eugenia. I get scared when I need more than the img/a/u/b/i tags ;) .

Reply Score: 5

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

There is no easy way to get advanced design elements to work in all browsers.

In that regard OSNews is doing quite fine. Outdated solution perhaps, but the only viable solution for the moment.

Reply Score: 1

AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

RE osnews web-site, I come here to read text, ie what people have written, not to see advanced use of CSS, maybe they should go for Flash for a full feature rich way of reading the same bits of text?

Reply Score: 1

Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

I come here to read text, ie what people have written, not to see advanced use of CSS

Advanced use of CSS isn't something that you are supposed to see to begin with. That's the point. While CSS can add some flash to a site, it's basic premise is to make your site viewable across any platform.

For instance, you can write a simple web page and then, by use of a CSS sheet, create a clean version of the page for printing, offer a large text version of the seeing impaired or a parred down version for RSS or Cell phones. All without actually altering your website's structural code or writing 7 different versions of the same page. CSS is good for the developer and the user.

Reply Score: 1

just use firefox here
by viator on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 17:35 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

We dont use ie here in our office anymore what i did to keep people from whining is make firefox LOOK as much like ie as i can. We use the internet explorer icons to launch firefox. And a few other tweaks so they dont know they have even been changed. 99% of the people never notice really.

Reply Score: 1

Opera :-)
by joerstad on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 17:58 UTC
joerstad
Member since:
2006-01-03

I have used Opera for years, each time I use IE (almost every day at work) it feels like going back in time. It's slow, acts strange...and not to mention all the security issues.

Reply Score: 1

And just what if they let IE die?
by microshag on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 19:16 UTC
microshag
Member since:
2005-11-30

They don't need it anymore. It's the embarassment of the browser world now, they're not putting much into it these days and there's a lot of alternatives out there. So what further purpose does IE serve? None at all. MS should let it wither and die, and instead concentrate on improving Vista's security...the project which should be of utmost importance to them.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They don't need it anymore. It's the embarassment of the browser world now, they're not putting much into it these days and there's a lot of alternatives out there. So what further purpose does IE serve? None at all. MS should let it wither and die, and instead concentrate on improving Vista's security...the project which should be of utmost importance to them.

IE7 is going to kick back to Firefox majorly, simply because IE7 has all the fancy stuff (tabbed browsing and such) while being in a much safer contained security zone (it's locked down). So, IE might still suck when Vista is released (and judging by the December CTP's version, it sucks big time), but at least it sucks in its own zone where it can do no harm to the system ;) (supposedly).

Reply Score: 5

ApproachingZero Member since:
2005-11-10

But why does IE need "Security Zones" at all? Is adding a new zone and new security levels to those zones really going to solve anyting? How come Firefox, Safari, Konqueror, Opera, etc, seem to get along so well without having any concept of "zones"?

Reply Score: 1

RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

And when a new spyware/trojan horse will exploit a bug and trigger the "safe zone" how will that help?

We've seen it happen dozens of times in these years, why do you honestly think this time it will be better?

I clearly remember a bug in the help system that allowed to execute (through IE, obviously) any script as "trusted code".

And the "allow only signed ActiveX"? As if spyware makers could not simply buy a certificate and sign it!

I hope Vista (with the LUA and the restricted zones) will be better, but let's not have too high hopes, Thom.

Reply Score: 1

RE: And just what if they let IE die?
by microshag on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 20:27 UTC
microshag
Member since:
2005-11-30

And it's not just IE vs. Firefox. Avante is better than IE.

Reply Score: 1

Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

Of course, from a purely user perspective there is little to gain from the use of CSS in place of table layout, although you do gain in accessibility (think user defined style sheets) and functionality (e.g. full width layout, printing oriented style sheets and so on). But the main gain is from the developer point of view, maintaining a cleanly designed site with content neatly separated from presentation is a lot easier and costs less, which also means more time and money for things that matter to readers like yourself: content.

Edited 2006-01-03 20:32

Reply Score: 1

Time...
by joerstad on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 20:59 UTC
joerstad
Member since:
2006-01-03

For me it was:
Opera 8.51 - 40 sec (68.4 MB)
IE 6 - 1 min and 18 sec. (73.8 MB)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Time...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 21:09 UTC in reply to "Time..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Wooot.... what are you running on.. a 300 MHz K6-2 with 96 MB of RAM or what? ;)

IE 6 at my system: < 5 seconds
FireFox: ~ 5 seconds
Netscape 7.2: Instantly (due to preloading)
K-Meleon: Instantly (due to preloading)

Memory usage for all browsers are around 20-30 MB.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Time...
by joerstad on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 23:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Time..."
joerstad Member since:
2006-01-03

Yeah it takes that time here at the worlds end... 2Mbit (down) ADSL

This is from the page has started to load until it's finished.

Edited 2006-01-03 23:24

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Time...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 4th Jan 2006 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Faster connection that what I got, but it sure sounds like your're running it on something really old :p

On my sempron 2200+ with 1 GB ram it takes around 5 seconds for cold boot of firefox, from doubleclicking the icon (or clicking on the quick icon) till the page has been loaded. Warm boots takes even less time. Both on linux and windows.

Reply Score: 1

Everyone has their own tastes, but...
by Decius on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 21:13 UTC
Decius
Member since:
2006-01-03

For some IE will always be the only way that they wish to see the web. I built a computer for my sister with both FF and Opera readily available to her, but whenever I've seen her on her machine she's always using IE! I could quote security and speed differences to my hearts delight, but she stubbornly refuses to consider an alternative, because ONCE she received a 'This site is best viewed with...' or 'You must have...' message regarding IE. She didn't want to hear about User-Agents or anything else, her mind was made up.

It is a fact that IE is presently one of the poorest choices for browsing the modern web (a point tacitly acknowledged by MS on the Mac, when they bowed out of MacIE support), due to the fact that it is simply outdated and insecure in such a dynamic environment. I don't know what IE7 will be like, and won't likely find out for a long time due to money...I can't afford to upgrade hardware just to use Vista. I'm not inclined to spend this money even if I had it, because I am very satisfied with the computer I have. If MS is still serious about IE they need to reconsider where they want to go with it.

P.S. For all those who are inclined to get involved in the "My browser's better" argument, I suggest checking out the following site before making any claims: http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/browserSpeed.html

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Look at the load times for Links and lynx at the bottom. And people wonder why I use Links so much for news and forum browsing. :-)

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I don't wonder about that ;)

links -g works miracles ;)

Reply Score: 1

This hurts to say...
by AmigaRobbo on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 22:31 UTC
AmigaRobbo
Member since:
2005-11-15

As much as I hate MS, but I still use ie6, I've tried FF and Opera, but I find both bloated and slow, I liked the adblockers on FF but the rest was, simply not for me, Opera was better, but when it's loading pictures and you scroll down it stops loaded them! Also both are pretty useless for offline browsing.

Maybe I'm old fashioned on that, but I like Offline browsing.

And I find tab browsing THE most over rated concept in OSS, it's like the bars on the taskbar!

And I hate Microsoft too...

Reply Score: 1

RE: This hurts to say...
by ma_d on Wed 4th Jan 2006 00:36 UTC in reply to "This hurts to say..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

MDI (Multiple Document Interface) is not an FOSS thing. Almost every major program out there supports some form of MDI. Usually on the Windows platform it's via WiW (Window in Window).
For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_document_interface
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabbed_document_interface

This document seperates TDI (tabs) from MDI. I think that's a bit cooky as TDI is a form of MDI; but that's their opinion.

What's wrong with FF's offline browsing? Do you mean, turning it to offline mode and looking at pages in your history; or saving pages and browsing them on your disk?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: This hurts to say...
by AmigaRobbo on Wed 4th Jan 2006 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE: This hurts to say..."
AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

"What's wrong with FF's offline browsing? Do you mean, turning it to offline mode and looking at pages in your history; or saving pages and browsing them on your disk?"

it dosn't work as well as MSIE. Or aWeb which is my main Web Browser these days. And that's otherwise a bit rubbish if I'm being honest!

Reply Score: 1

IE and standards....
by Guru_Meditation on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 22:57 UTC
Guru_Meditation
Member since:
2006-01-03

First....I am an engineer that is working in the automotive industry. I like standards. So dont get me wrong when I writing what I write. So many of you are complaing on IE that it is not following standards or IE is not safe enough.....

But what says MS has to follow the standards? IE is the leading web-brower on the market. If web-sites want customers to their sites they want their site to look good at the brower that has the biggest market-share. Why bother to code for the rest if that cost extra money and donīt give so much in return?

For me IE is safe as long as I visit sites like my internet-bank. My point is that it is up to the user how safe IE will be.

I use IE because the online-help for my CAD-program doesnīt look good in Opera or FF. And as I wrote.....IE is safe for me for those sites I visit.

Sorry for my english. It is not my native language.

Reply Score: 1

RE: IE and standards....
by Finalzone on Wed 4th Jan 2006 00:23 UTC in reply to "IE and standards...."
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

But what says MS has to follow the standards? IE is the leading web-brower on the market. If web-sites want customers to their sites they want their site to look good at the brower that has the biggest market-share. Why bother to code for the rest if that cost extra money and donīt give so much in return?

There is a reason why there is a web standard, to ease development of website on any browsers. Did you see how the source codes of particular beautiful website were a mess, hard to maintain? Updating these pages take a lot of times.

For me IE is safe as long as I visit sites like my internet-bank. My point is that it is up to the user how safe IE will be.

In that case, you, as user, should put a pressure for your internet-bank managers to redesign their website to be standard complain instead of doing nothing.

I use IE because the online-help for my CAD-program doesnīt look good in Opera or FF. And as I wrote.....IE is safe for me for those sites I visit.
The reason is CAD program is optimised for IE.

Reply Score: 1

RE: IE and standards....
by unoengborg on Wed 4th Jan 2006 03:08 UTC in reply to "IE and standards...."
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06


But what says MS has to follow the standards? IE is the leading web-brower on the market. If web-sites want customers to their sites they want their site to look good at the brower that has the biggest market-share. Why bother to code for the rest if that cost extra money and donīt give so much in return?


The problem is that they stopped developing IE when they thaught they controlled the market. To make things worse they totally abandoned first the Solaris/sparc platform (not that many people ever used it) and then MacOS-X, and they still don't have a Linux port That left room for new competitors.

The competitors went for the w3c standard, and the standards of w3c makes up very cool, well thought out things, that is rather hard to outcool. If you do similar things without following the standard, you get the question - Why didn't you do it in the standard way as people tend to like standards as they give a sense of stability.

If you really need to outcool the w3c standards, very much could be done by using Flash or Java. Both these technologies are cross platform cross browser solutions that keeps development costs of a website down. If Microsoft should have a chance to win people over, they would need to significantly outcool both w3c standards, Flash and Java. To do that could be very expensive.

All of a sudden the competitors not only followed the standard better than IE and created a better user interface such as tabs, and not the least important, a much better reputation for security, mostly earned on the fact that Microsoft security was appallingly low.

The abandoned MacOS-X users were people who wanted the best and were willing to spend money to get it. If you want to sell something through your website, you want them as visitors and potential future customers.

Some windows users changed to Firefox and other as well. If you sell or promote something on the web you want them too to visit your site as they act as trend leaders. Just like the Mac users they tend to be more educated, have a higher level computer litteracy than the average user. This often translates to higher saleries, so if you can get them to your website the chances are that they have more money to spend.

This means websites will be developed in a way that they look good in both IE and Firefox and Safari.
The easiest, and least expensive, way to do that is to follow the standard and keep it simple, and above all not use extensions that any of theese browsers might offer.

I would also suspect that IE7 will have about the same standard compliance and feature set as Firefox 15 when it arrives. This creates another problem for Microsoft. It will only run on XP and Vista hanging users of older windows versions out to dry and probably contributing to raising the Firfox, Opera, Safari,.. to even higher levels.

The only area where Microsoft could benefit from adding more non standard features, would be for intranet use. In a controlled environment it is much easier to write applications that take advantage of such features as you don't have take other browsers into account.

However, even here, Microsoft will find hard competition. Even in Firefox 1.5 it is possible to use plugins for things like XForms and can use AJAX and SVG to create highly interactive cross platform web applications. Active-X has a much weaker case in the intranet than it had a couple of years ago. By the time IE7 is released Firefox will be at version 2 with even more goodies to catch up with.

Remember that 10 years ago Netscape had the same hold over the market as Microsoft has today. By not being present in growing markets such as MacOS-X and Linux they expose themselves to competiton that once again could change the browser landscape.

Reply Score: 1

@JustThinkIt
by abdavidson on Wed 4th Jan 2006 05:35 UTC
abdavidson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your first post here made me think "Uh oh, got a live one here".

Your recent post about accessibility not being something that a standard browser should or could do just confirms that opinion.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Well, it doesn't noticeably on my PC at work.

Reply Score: 1

Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

That is just not true. I can do a DHTML site using HTML4, CSS2 and JS and have it look and behave the same without any tweaking on all browser engines (Mozilla/Opera/KHTML) but IE.

IE is an exception.

Reply Score: 1