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Appendices :: Internet Explorer

Notice:This page is my rant on Internet Explorer for those who want an explanation, it's lengthy but is also a good read for those who don't know why everyone hates IE so much. (IE is an acronym for Internet Explorer)

As you may know the ComicCMS admin panel does not support Internet Explorer. Really it is the other way around: Internet Explorer does not support the ComicCMS admin panel.

That isn't a self-important statement, I don't expect IE to be re-written just for ComicCMS, IE doesn't support the ComicCMS admin panel because it is a broken browser in general. Most modern complex sites (including the ComicCMS.com site and previous versions of ComicCMS) will have been written and tested in any browser other than IE and, if written correctly, will work corectly in every browser except IE. At this point the developer will have to freeze their design and tweak each section spending days to get it to display properly in IE.

The reason? Modern websites are built on three standards: (x)HTML, CSS and Javascript. IE supports HTML, and most bits of Javascript, however it downright murders CSS which are the rules for making a page look good. With the releases of IE7 and IE8 it was promised that standards support for CSS would increase to perfection, but I have yet to see much improvement. Also, HTML5 is now a big emerging standard that gives loads of power like video and sound in websites without the need for flash, IE is the only major browser that does not support any of it.

There are other things IE still doesn't support correctly, most prominantly is png transparency. PNG is a filetype for images and supports smooth transparancies which is what ComicCMS uses heavily for it's visuals. There are some complex workarounds for this problem but none are perfect, specifically resizing png files never works in IE.

The other thing IE holds the internet back on is nice visual effects, it is the slowest browser I have seen when it comes to resizing or fading text and turns beautiful fading text into a blocky stuttering mess.

The difficulty of supporting IE alone would be enough to put someone off but on top of that less than 15% of people visiting ComicCMS.com use IE. Still not enough? Here's the clincher: Only 8% of people who return to ComicCMS.com (probably the same people who have installed ComicCMS) use IE. It was decided that delaying releases by weeks, compromising looks and losing out on functionality in order to support IE for 8% of people was unfair to the other 92%. And the 8% that do use IE can easily switch (only people using Windows can switch to IE and 20% of you don't use windows).

Notice:Microsoft have been fined billions of dollars by the EU and are banned from bundling IE with Windows 7 anywhere in Europe because of the damage it has caused to the open market of the internet. Now the people who sell you the computer can choose which browser you get by default, and you can change it easily. IE6 left the internet stagnent for 5 years and now we have a chance to fix it.

I hope this page aptly describes why every website designer I know despises Internet Explorer. I also hope it inspires any IE users out there to switch, if less people used IE more people could make the decision I did and stop supporting it, leaving more time to make the web better. If anyone likes the feel of IE more than other browsers then I'd suggest you install firefox and find a skin which makes it look like IE. If there's anyone out there who thinks IE is superior at a technical level... You're just wrong.

I know it doesn't seem like you gain much by switching. Indeed the main problem with IE is that it has stopped web developers making nice sites for any browser. But there are no downpoints after the 10 minutes it takes you to switch and there will be an increase in speed and a leap in security. Just remember, by switching you are doing your part to make the internet a much more interesting place both visually and functionally.

Notice:If you're ready to switch then my main suggestion is Firefox as it is open source and is the most popular alternative. For those who don't like firefox you could try Opera which isn't open source but has fantastic standard compliance and has a more mac-ish feel. Google Chrome is also an option, semi-open source and has a very different user experience.

If any IE fans don't like this page I'll take you all on.

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