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People may say I sound like a broken record but, I hate Internet Explorer. I like to say I don’t hate anyone or anything in this world, because hate is a powerful word, but I absolutely hate Internet Explorer. It is by far the worst browser out there. Ever version has been terrible, and it’s pretty funny to see bugs in IE7 that have been around since IE 4 (maybe even earlier).

I would like to start out by saying that Internet Explorer is so far behind in terms of capabilities in comparison with any other of the major browsers. It barely has CSS2 support, and definitely has more rendering bugs than any of the other major browsers. If you want to see a few good ones in action, here is a list of the nasty ones.

Let me explain why I am saying this. I, like most web developers these days, develop in FireFox. The biggest reason right now is simple, firebug. The firebug plugin makes a web developer’s life a great deal easier. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for IE, I would go as far as to say, it makes a web developer’s life very easy. Also, rendering in FireFox works pretty much exactly how you would expect it to. I am not saying FireFox doesn’t have its issues. But it’s so much easier to develop in, and like I said, things almost always render as you would expect them to.

I know there are going to be whack job M$ fan boys out there saying, “this is not true” or “firefox doesn’t follow the standards either.” But you know what, FireFox 2 is pretty close, and FireFox 3 is even closer. The fact that Internet Explorer doesn’t fully support CSS2 really cripples a website, and forces developers to use JavaScript more than necessary.

That brings me to my next point: JavaScript. Wow, Internet Explorer has possibly the slowest JavaScript engine ever. A coworker and I ran some diagnostics today to get a handle on a JavaScript performance issue we were having. We had some JavaScript that was doing a lot of looping in order to fix a bunch of cross browser issues we had with our custom drop down widgets. In FireFox 2, the JavaScript was taking about 3 seconds to run. In IE7 it was taking about 9 seconds to run. In IE6, it was taking around 30 seconds. I don’t have anything else to say about that..

You may say, that’s a bad example. But here’s another example. I created a tree view one time that had a series of check boxes. The tree view was filled with data from an e-commerce site’s product hierarchy, so there were around 2,000 items. That means 2,000 check boxes. If the user checked one of the check boxes, I had JavaScript set up to check all child check boxes. So, if you check the root check box, in FireFox, all child check boxes were also instantaneously checked. In IE, it took around 15 seconds to check the boxes. That’s a real world example of the crap that M$ creates.

This whole thing started because of a bad experience I had today. I am working with my coworker on re-writing a custom drop down widget we created. I had to modify the CSS and I ended up setting up a background color with a text box sitting in the div with the background color. I only wanted that color to show up to the right of the text box, where the down arrow shows up. The outer div had a border of the same color as the background. IE (6 and 7) seemingly was adding another pixel to the top and bottom border. See Below:

FireFox:
Drop Down FireFox

IE:
Drop Down IE

I thought, meh, so IE add’s an extra pixel top and bottom margin, margin: 0 on the text box will fix that. WRONG. Actually what IE (6 and 7) does is adds a pixel to the top and bottom margin of whatever value you set. So in order to get the correct result, I had to add a top and bottom margin of -1px only in IE. These are the kinds of problems that are the most frustrating because you have to put in special hacks for IE. Also, they are so simple and there is NO REASON for M$ to do something like that.

Everyone should try this exercise, check out the acid 2 browser test in FireFox 2. It doesn’t look perfect. But after that try it in IE7 for a good laugh.

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2 Comments

  1. Ah yes, the old department/category/sub-category tree view. I remember that thing and I also remember how horribly slow it was in IE. Good times.

  2. Haha, yeah the “dream team” they used to call us.


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  1. […] Through the IE Blog the IE dev team has been interacting with the community leading up to the release, offering up tidbits of information and features here and there. It looks promising and I’m glad they have taken the time to listen to some of the grievances aired by the community. […]

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