An email was passed around the office last night about Germany’s temporary urging of its citizens to stop using Internet Explorer.
You read that right. Germany is asking its citizens to stop using Internet Explorer.
This isn’t some crazy scheme devised by an obsessed Google fanboy. And Germany isn’t looking to thwart IE forever (more on that in a minute) either. This is about security.
Apparently hackers have found a way to exploit Internet Explorer in a really bad way. Microsoft has responded by saying they will have a security patch ready in a few days. In the meantime they recommend you download/install/configure some other software that will protect you.
Or you could just use Chrome.
As a web designer myself, the Reuters headline brings tears of elation to my eyes. I can only dream of a future without IE. Why?
When you are building a website you have a few different browsers to design for: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and then you check them on the iPad too. There might be a couple more, but that’s the basic list.
So you build your site and everything looks great. Most of the time I check my site in Chrome because if it works in Chrome, it will typically work in everything else. Except IE.
Web designers literally say to each other, “It looks great! Have you opened it in Hell yet?”
Hell meaning Internet Explorer. Usually I will roll my eyes and say, “Yeah, look…” with all of the excitement of Okay Guy.
Most of the time, something is broken/weird looking. Now I have to start building parts of the site specifically for Internet Explorer. Depending on the size of the site, this can take up to a couple weeks. What a colossal waste of time.
Imagine not spending weeks building a special site just for Internet Explorer. Especially IE8. It’s an absolute joke.
When I was at SXSW in 2011, I attended a session that featured representatives from Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and Opera. They were there to discuss what measures they have taken to make sure their products follow standards. The audience would ask hard questions, and usually the table would end up looking at the guy from Microsoft, while he spouted off some scripted BS response. It was beyond frustrating because it was obvious Microsoft wasn’t going to even try to follow standards.
While I can continue to dream of a day where Internet Explorer followed design standards — I am not the least bit optimistic that day will ever come.
And even though I don’t support illegal hacking, I still wish something, anything, would come along and abolish this nightmare of a browser once and for all.