On IE7

I’ve had to test some website I designed on IE (VMWare offcourse) and it went really bad. IE 6 sucks, that’s for sure. It was a blow in the face for me, because everything went so terribly smoothly, escpecially the CSS.

I was wondering whether it would be as bad in IE 7 as in 6, so I installed it (Genuine Advantage doesn’t work by the way).

I was amazed by the amount of improvement they made.

The website was a mess in IE6: backgrounds wouldn’t show up; no attribute selectors on CSS; blocks were positioned in absolute ridiculous locations. Whereas in IE7 it showed up pretty nicely compared to 6. It wasn’t perfect though, there were quite a few glitches in positioning (go IE box model!) and font sizes, but that’s managable.

I wonder whether IE7 took so long and why it still isn’t as bug-less and feature-complete as almost every other big browser. If microsoft wanted to make a perfect browser, they could do it easily! They’ve got more than enough very talented people and even more than enough money to hire/bribe any expert they’d want.

Maybe they’re afraid of big AJAX applications. I bet gmail took a pretty big market share of outlook. At least, that is what other people are thinking. They may be right, but google wasn’t stopped by the bugs in IE, google doesn’t use nice and semantically correct HTML (and it is the correct stuff that usually doesn’t work on IE), they just use the stuff that works anyway.

More likely they don’t care. They force website devs already to create sites that show up properly in IE, just because of its market share. Only website creators feel the pain of the buggy IE engine, not the users of the browser. Besides that it could be a pain for them to create a whole new IE, which needs to be backwards compatible with the old IE. A lot of people would be angry if their site doesn’t show up properly anymore in the new IE — and these people can’t be persuaded with the nice semantics ideology.

A little bit more pressure by alternative browsers could force microsoft to release something more profound than IE7. Although IE7 is an improvement, they could have done better.

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