Firefox in its “latest incarnation”:http://www.mozilla.org/press/mozilla-2004-06-15.html has left behind Internet Explorer so far behind that I feel sorry for those poor souls still stuck with it. Firefox has been superior to IE ever since version 0.7 so long ago, but with the 0.9 release it moves miles ahead.
It will be said of the year 2004 that the race for the very best browser was tight, with Opera far ahead in features and speed, but slowly ever so slowly Mozilla’s entry Firefox edged closer. IE remained way back in the year 2000, up shit creek with a disbanded devolpment team to boot.
It’s a tough sell convincing people to use a browser other than IE, for nobody cares about things like web standards, browser and computer crashes and even speed. All they want is a nice big button labeled the ‘Internet’.
Mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, adblocking, tabbed browsing, _(and quite a few more)_ – these all are all things which are in many ways features one has to use before they can be really appreciated.
I haven’t even mentioned spyware yet. There’s really not much to be said about it. Just think of Windows as a big giant blackhole which sucks in spyware, and IE and Outlook Express as the twin ushers, sending all and sundry scumware, viruses and spyware to their places in the operating system. A typical pc these days is fast – even a 1ghz plus pc is idle 98 percent of the time, so the one good thing about all these scumware is that they are utilizing all these otherwise wasted cpu cycles.
What does all this have to do with Internet Explorer? Just the simple fact that ever since I -stopped using it 4 years back- wait a minute, I never did actually use it! Anyways, by not using IE/OE, I never had a *single* virus or spyware infection! This is despite not using a firewall or a virus scanner for most of that period – there was never any need to. So applying basic scientific principles leads us to:
* windows + IE/OE = spyware ridden unusable piece of shit
* windows + any other browser/email = no viruses/spyware
* therefore IE is EVIL, as it does much evil.
This test has been repeated many times with many different computers – so must conclude that the most used web browser in the world is a steaming pile of shit.
Did I mention “Web Standards”:http://www.webstandards.org/ anywhere? I’m not a web designer, but just in the process of designing this website I had numerous problems with Internet Explorer. Despite writing much of current (or is it past) web standards, IE breaks them in really annoying ways. Many think that this only effects the web developer, not the user, but they’re wrong. By not following standards web developers have to spend a lot of time figuring out workarounds for the many bugs inherent in IE. This leads to longer and costlier development times, and raises the barrier of entry for causual web developers. The web was supposed to a medium where anyone could publish, but bug-ridden browsers like IE make it hard to create a good looking site for the casual user. The following sums it up best:
bq. You’re current web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, is non-compliant with internet standards, outdated by over three years and dangerously insecure.
>> ‘comment seen on microsofts site’:http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=811
bq.. Just about everyone reading this has seen computers that have been beaten down with spyware – the evil junk that hijacks IE and renders a system virtually useless. How many times have you been called to a family member’s house to clean up their system? Or had to call your techie friend to come clean yours? It’s often quite awkward – the system slows to a crawl and every other mouse click conjures up some species of perverse, obscene image. What most people don’t realize, however, is that there is a very simple and powerful way to defend your system (and/or the systems of your loved ones) in one fell swoop.
*Don’t use Internet Explorer.*
>> “Why You Should Dump Internet Explorer”:http://channels.lockergnome.com/news/archives/20040615_why_you_should_dump_internet_explorer.phtml
p. The spyware problem will be fixed to a certain extent with the release of the “second service pack”:http://www.microsoft.com/SP2Preview, but that only applies to Windows XP. So pretty much everyone else using IE is screwed.
h4. Related Links
* “Browser Wars v.2004: Part 1”:http://www.webreference.com/authoring/browsers/
* “Is Internet Explorer Living on Borrowed Time?”:http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=7682