If you’re a Windows user, you’re probably all too familiar with the blue “e,” also known as Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer (or IE, as I’m going to call it) is a terrible piece of software. In this article I’ll be discussing mostly about IE 6, as it is the most commonly used (and problematic) of all of them. Why Internet Explorer sucks:
From a web developer’s/designer’s perspective:
1) It doesn’t render properly. IE 6 can mess up just about any layout, whether it’s complex or not. One of the reasons is the way IE renders CSS differently, and in some cases, doesn’t support some CSS at all. IE 6’s mistakes range from pixel gaps to complete layout destruction. Fixing this problem often requires alternate IE-only stylesheets.
2) It doesn’t support transparent PNG’s. Transparent PNG’s can save designers a lot of work and make complex, multilayer backgrounds easy. Of course, IE 6 doesn’t support transparent PNG’s either. There are ways of getting around this, such as using hacks to force IE 6 into submission, but they can be tricky to use if you want your XHTML/CSS to validate.
4) IE 6 causes problems when using Java or Flash embedded in a page. You must first click on the applet(s) to “activate” them. This can be rather tedious for users, especially with Flash navbars (which you should avoid anyway).
From an average user’s perspective:
1) IE renders pages much slower, meaning websites will load slower. Especially if they have a lot of scripts.
2) IE 6 crashes quite often, and until version 8, has no crash-recovery to restore the pages you were browsing before the crash.
3) IE 6’s download manager is unintuitive. For each download a new window must be opened, whereas other browsers put them into one, easy-to-find location.
4) IE 6 has bad style support, meaning webpages will not look as good as they would in other browsers.
5) By using IE 6, you are indirectly killing web designers/developers.
Please help to kill IE by downloading and installing an alternative browser, such as Firefox or Safari.