As any code monkey who’s struggled with a mountain of coding hacks knows, Internet Explorer is a crap browser with complete contempt for standards. It fouls up the display of web pages and can make coding a nightmare. But the general public neither know nor care about the trouble it takes to hack and work around these browser deficiencies.
What they should care about is that Internet Explorer is an horrendously insecure browser. It’s so old that it doesn’t have native tabbed browsing. It does not natively block popups across the board. It’s a magnet for spyware and adware. Sure, you could fix most of these problems by adding third party software, but you shouldn’t have to.
I’ve been trying to subtly encourage visitors to the site to switch to Firefox (or Safari or Opera or Mozilla or any other decent, standards compliant browser) for years. Unfortunately, people just haven’t been getting the hint. So I was amused when Lucie sent me a link to Kill Bill’s Browser; a campaign to more stridently encourage the recalcitrant IE users over to a world of better software.
Explorer Destroyer, in conjunction with Google, has thrown together a couple of scripts that go beyond the subtle and help pay the site running costs via new Firefox referrals. As all of the resident web monkeys actively loathe IE, I installed the script across the site index pages and, wouldn’t you know it, we already have hate mail:
YourGet Firefoxpopup is annoying. What do you care what kinda browser people use when they surf your site?
Joy! Chris has waded into the fray without first checking his facts.
What do I
care what kinda browser people use? Because I have to code this site and use hacks and workarounds to get it to work in IE. This is a hell of a lot of work which gets more annoying and cumbersome as the site grows in size.
There are plenty of business/edu/gov computers that can not have software installed on them.
More fool businesses, educational institutes and government departments for allowing an inherently insecure piece of software to be installed on their systems. Oh, that’s right, they didn’t have a choice, Bill tied it to the Windows operating system so it can’t be removed.
Any IT department looking to prevent security problems will offer an alternative browser and educate their staff about the nasties that IE invites onto their PC, in much the same way that many businesses have lately been enforcing a ban on the Sony discs that have violated PC security.
The come with IE because it is MOST compatible when surfing the WWW.
A blatant lie if ever I heard one. The hideous oversight I ran across this week that causes IE to spew garbage across the screen when a background colour hasn’t been selected, is just one case in point. IE is the most standards-incompatible browser available. If it wasn’t pre-installed and tied to the Windows operating system, far fewer people would bother with it. Just because everyone does something, doesn’t make it right.
The average web surfer has no idea about the work involved in hacking code to make sites work for them, perhaps if the web monkeys of the world stopped coddling IE users with these coding workarounds, people would learn.
IE is just as free as firefox and stops just as many popups.
Native popup blocking for IE is only available if you’re running Windows XP SP2. In typical Microsoft arrogance, people using any other flavour of their operating system are given the option to cough up the money for WinXP or install a third party popup blocker plugin.
I also notice in your sourcecode that you have opted to send your site usage stats to explorerdestroyer.com (and I would assume google as well).
Let’s see, Chris has figured out how to look at source code, but is yet to figure out how to read it. The Explorer Destroyer comments have been left intact, but the site usage stats have been turned off. For now. This may change in the future.
For anyone interested; IE usage has fallen from 73.5% to 67.5% since February. I’d like to see it fall further.
Anyways, more to my point, can you just take this banner off the X-files episodes page? Thanks for your consideration. Love the site, hate the selling out.
So I’m a sellout for encouraging people to use better software? Awesome! Best sellout ever!
Or is it the ads that make me a sellout? The Google ads have been on the site for years. The
Get Firefox links have also been on the site for a long period of time. Alas, I’ve been given the impression that Chris is just a clueless individual, with a PC full of spyware and a hard-on for Bill Gates.
For the record; that lump of code at the top of the index page that can be seen in IE is not a popup. It’s a banner. It’s also the least intrusive method of issuing people a clue offered by Explorer Destroyer. Seeing as how people have so far been slow to learn, I thought that a banner would do the trick nicely. I could have installed the splash page or simply blocked IE users. I’d rather avoid doing that.
In all fairness to Chris, his comments were extremely polite, if more than a little inaccurate. I appreciate that he likes the site and has taken the time to let me know that he finds IE a perfectly satisfactory browser and my Firefox obsession a tad tiresome, but it’s my site. I put a lot of time and effort into creating the site, so I’m the one who gets to make the decisions. Which means that people are stuck with my dubious taste in colour schemes and my annoyance with bad software.
IE has long been a drain on resources and I’d like to actively encourage people away from a bad piece of software, so the banners stay. While I am suggesting people rethink their browser software, I’m not forcing them to visit the site.
So, while Chris’ comments have been noted, the banners are staying for the time being. Deal with it, guys. You always have a choice.