Geek Rants

Internet Explorer Must Die

  • February 8, 2010

If you’ve done any web development more ambitious than a few text links, you have already long since run up against the problem of how Microsoft constantly fails to conform to standards. For those of you who haven’t experienced the special joy of making otherwise correctly-coded web designs work in IE, you don’t know what you’re missing.

See, web pages are coded in a special programming language, much like any software (okay, let’s not get bogged down in the semantics of markup languages versus compiled and interpreted code and all that, shall we? It’s not germane to the point, here). The problem is, when you learn this language the people who are in charge of creating and maintaining it tell you that certain program instructions will result in web browsers displaying things in a certain, predictable way.

Except for Internet Explorer.

You can buy into conspiracy theories that Microsoft wants to control the language and so interprets it in their own way, expecting to force everyone else to conform to their version by sheer power of market share. You can jump on the “Microsoft is run by a pack of idiots” bashing bandwagon and assert they’re just too stupid to understand the standards, so are unable to conform. Or you can just throw up your hands, utter blasphemous curses, and try to hack out code that will work in their crippled and ill-constructed browsers while simultaneously working in other, correctly-constructed ones. You could even do all three, and/or make up a few alternative activities for fun while you’re at it. I suggest drinking heavily during such an enterprise.

For everyone who knows the pain of which I speak, here is a fun graphic I ran across today that sums things up all too knowingly:

Pie chart showing how much time is wasted coding for Internet Explorer

Graphic created by Alan Foreman of Poisoned Minds.

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