Monday, 10 December 2007

Got them Internet Explorer blues...

One thing I hear a lot on sites like Digg and Slashdot is complaints about Internet Explorer. Now, I'm aware of all the security issues with IE, and the fact that it's just plainly a rubbish browser, and compared to Firefox, Flock or Konqueror it's slow and lacking in features. But one of the most consistently heard complaints is from web developers and web designers bemoaning the way it renders images, forcing them to go out of their way to accommodate it.
Now, I always figured this was an issue I'd gain firsthand experience of, but to date I'd not really seen much evidence of it. Until today.

My employer, in their infinite wisdom, still has staff using IE6 on Windows XP, and to be fair, many of my coworkers are, despite my constant endorsement of Firefox and Flock, the kind of people to whom IE IS the Internet. Not all, but many. So I was stuck using IE6, and at the moment we don't have much to do, so I was bored. I therefore decided to have a look at my blog to see how it looks in IE6 now that I've given it a bit of an overhaul. And it's pretty poor. I'd heard that IE6 doesn't support transparency in GIF, but it must extend to PNG as well. The Simpsonised image of me doesn't look very good. The background should be transparent - in other words, it should match the page it's on, in this case black. In IE6 it doesn't - the background is white. So it's shown on a white box.

Well, I might have to take steps to make it look good in IE if it was a project I was doing for someone else, but I am NOT doing it for my own blog. If Microsoft can't be bothered to make their browser compliant with the same standards as every other browser, why should I support it?

If you're viewing this site in Internet Explorer and you don't like the way it looks, sorry, but that's tough. I recommend using a standards-compliant browser - you're making web professional's lives easier. If you don't know where to get an alternative browsers, here's a few links:
  • Mozilla Firefox - a personal favourite of mine

  • Flock - An excellent choice if you use sites like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter a lot

  • Safari - I'm reluctant to start recommending this as I dislike Apple, and this is only a public beta, but it's supposed to be good

  • Mozilla Seamonkey - Made by the same people as Firefox, Seamonkey is an entire Internet suite, rather than just a browser. In other words, it includes things like e-mail and web page creation as well in one big package

  • Opera - I've never quite gotten into Opera, but I've heard it's the fastest browser out there (despite Apple's claims to the contrary about Safari. I've actually just visited the website and I'm going to try it out tonight
So, there you have it. I've stuck to ones that are available in Windows, and provided hyperlinks, so no excuses!

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