Monthly Archives: July 2010

Why Internet Explorer Sucks

My CSE 190 M course is devoted to teaching proper web site development. The fundamental design of HTML and the World Wide Web is written with detailed standards, and if a web site developer obeys these standards, his/her pages should look the same in every browser on every computer. But Internet Explorer and Microsoft have spent years going out of their way to make their browser behave in ways that are contrary to these standards. This makes it much more difficult to develop web sites that will work properly on every machine. Many web developers have been forced to make the difficult choice: Should I make a site that looks/behaves right in IE, which has long had the majority market share, and looks wrong for everybody else? Or should I follow the web standards so that it will look right everywhere but IE, thus losing the largest potential market of visitors?

The reason Microsoft has been able to get away with this horrible, monopolistic, bullyish behavior is because web developers have not taken a stand. No one has been willing to simply say, “IE, if you don’t play by the rules, you’re not welcome here.” As an educator, I don’t want to teach my students a bunch of hacks and workarounds so that their pages work in a web browser that willingly goes out of its way to break things for everybody else.

There are other major problems with IE, such as its chronic security holes that make your computer vulnerable to all kinds of malicious software. Many of the large “bot nets” of “zombie” computers that have been infected by viruses and malware are due to flaws in Internet Explorer that have been exploited.

Therefore, I block my course web site from being viewed in Internet Explorer; its users are not welcome. If a person would like to visit my course web sites, they must do so with another browser. Sorry for the inconvenience. (Not to get too preachy, but if you tried another browser, you might actually find that they all have more features and work better than IE does. I’m just saying.)

P.S. Don’t take my word for it. Visit these fine sites to learn more about why IE sucks: