Drop your old browsers!

Hey, old browsers, I don’t respect you and I’m not going to take it lying down anymore, there are better browsers out there and you might just be the worst of all time.
Like this Kanye West meme, Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) isn’t going to die anytime soon. And this is a problem. Let me preface this all and tell you I’m a web developer. This means I build the websites and web applications you use on a daily basis (that might be a bit of an egotistical statement). So why is this a problem and, why does IE6 still command almost a 15% share of internet traffic (August 2009, w3Counter.com)?
Released in 2001 the browser is still prevalent in a vastly changed internet, and continues to be supported by Microsoft—until April 2014 to be specific. So why is it so bad? For starters it doesn’t even support 1 of 3 major image types on the web. Then, the basic building blocks of webpages are, for no specific reason apart from complete ignorance, completely different to any other standard browser. Meaning a page that looks one way in Firefox, Safari, etc. will render differently in IE6. Headaches are bountiful and extortionate hours are lost, from web design firms to digital ad agencies, across the world because of single outdated piece of software. This is not to mention that IE6 operates at an unimaginably lower speed than any of its competitors.
But it’s not like there aren’t other products out there. In fact what we’ve seen over the past year is nothing short of a revolution in the web browser market. Google debuted the slim and efficient Chrome. Firefox put out its latest version, 3.5. Safari brought 4 out of beta. Opera developed version 10. And the diabolical Microsoft released IE8. All of these are stable and usable browsers, each with there own features, extensions, pros and cons and come in all shapes and sizes
So why is it supported still supported, despite others and even Microsoft developments? Some say it’s the business programs that still require IE6 to run vital operations. But I say it’s the IT staffs fault for not picking up the ball, and showing support for the other options out there. Last time I checked (approximately three and a half seconds ago) Firefox could be installed next to Internet Explorer. But it’s not just IE6 that’s problematic, any browser that is operating on an older version poses problems to the development of the web.
So I urge you take charge of your browser especially if you happen to be one of those stuck in IE6 rut. Even if your not, know your options, and find a browser that best for you.. And if your own a business machine locked down by the tyrannous IT crew, know you can install Google Chrome locally (which means you don’t kneed them anymore). Or, if you were so inclined, Google just released Google Frames which runs in the Internet Explorer browsers, brining standards to your doorstep without changing browsers. HTML 5 is waiting, and we (the web developers) are waiting for you to get on board so we can show its amazing power to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment