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Supporting IE Is Too Much Work (bartvanzon.com)
122 points by bartj3 1574 days ago | hide | past | web | 170 comments | favorite



I honestly think a lot of hacker types really do live in a bubble where they think it's still 2000, Microsoft is still the same evil company they were, Apple still can do no wrong, most people now use Macs "if they know what's good for them", RoR, node.js and Python are really the only valid technologies for back end development and so forth.

Certainly plenty of folks out there using the aforementioned technologies are more worldly than my previous statement would suggest, but there are still an irritating number of developers living in the past who haven't really got a realistic view of the technology landscape as it exists today, in 2012.

I also notice this on various high profile podcasts that from time to time downplay anything from Microsoft as having any value these days, despite not really having had recent first hand experience of what's available.

I prefer Chrome myself, but supporting IE9 really isn't that hard, and suggesting otherwise is FUD.

The landscape has changed in the last five years. Hopefully over time, especially as the landscape continues to change, the antifanboys will realise this and update their views.


I tried to encourage my team to test better against IE by creating a nice setup on which they could easily use all relevant IE versions.

After two days of struggling with all the insanity of Windows licensing, installing and the crap support for running older / multiple versions of IE I've seen more than enough of Microsoft for the next five years.

Nothing has changed since 2000. Just setting up the tools for supporting IE is nightmare.


Just get an account at www.crossbrowsertesting.com . I did around 2 years back I think, and its really convenient. you vnc to whatever os/browser combo you like and test it out. They have a demo for local testing as well, but I've always used a reverse ssh tunnel for that.

Note, Im not affiliated with crossbrowsertesting.com in any way.


I have also enjoyed the Scout service from Saucelabs. It is a fully in-browser experience. They do all the VM work and stream you the screen.

Full Disclosure: I am friends with one of the founders and was in a promotional video for saucelabs.


What I have trouble with is why that's valid when on the reverse side of the coin, one must literally buy Apple hardware to test in an Apple environment.


> one must literally buy Apple hardware to test in an Apple environment.

You have to consider the total cost. If the Apple hardware lasts longer, requires less maintenance and makes the developers more productive, it may end up very well paying for itself. My wife uses a Mac and just the time I didn't spend fixing, cleaning and disinfecting a Windows install more than paid for the price difference between her MBP and a cheap Dell. Compare it against a similarly well built machine and things look even worse for the PC. Her current Mac (a 13" i7 MBP) survived a car crash in early March (the machined body is very slightly warped and it'll probably have to make a visit to an Apple dealer for that). Her previous one, a 2006 white MB, sits on my desk as my secondary computer and is our main source of ambient music. It had an aesthetic problem, which was fixed by Apple for free (because other parts had to be replaced due to a recall) last March. It replaced a (still working flawlessly) 1998 iMac in that function. You can say anything about those machines except that they aren't built to last and that their customer service isn't stellar.

If I had to use my Dell with Windows, I know I would be far less productive than I am under Linux. I know because I tried (from 2008 to 2010).

Unless you are developing for Windows (something that pretty much implies you are running Visual Studio), I wouldn't advise you to use Windows as your development platform. And, if you aren't, it's only natural that testing on Windows incurs an extra cost.

Having said that, it shouldn't be that complicated to set up Windows VMs to run automated Selenium-driven tests and plug those into Jenkins.

If you test manually, you are doing it wrong.


Safari is available for Windows. If developers were running Windows they could test IE, Chrome, FireFox and Safari all at once.


The thing is, buying Apple hardware immediately solves my problem for a long time. I may only have to upgrade the OS (cheaply and painlessly) from time to time.

If MS could offer the same, no problem. Those two days of struggling and the repeat performances to come are way, way more expensive than buying a Mac. My time and the time of my devs is way more valuable than a Mac Mini.


You obviously never had to work on a huge project that has to support IE browsers.

My company has to do that and we spend countless hours on IE specific tasks.

It works on IE10? great! I don't know if it will on IE11. Or if microsoft will find another way to break open standarts.

If we had a choice of not supporting IE, we'd do it. Not because of Mac, not because of Linux. Because of IE and nothing else.


It's not really difficult at all to test.

MS provides the virtual machines free of charge, and VirtualBox is free as well. That's everything you need to run and test in IE, from IE6 to IE9 right now.


If you want to test multiple versions of IE, you need to do some time intensive VM cloning to trick VirtualBox into thinking they're actually separate images. Then configure and install IE's debugger tools for each image. Then, when the VMs expire in a few months repeat that process.

Add to that the problem of VMs booting slow, running slow, and consuming tons of memory on my otherwise-fast dev machine.


> If you want to test multiple versions of IE, you need to do some time intensive VM cloning to trick VirtualBox into thinking they're actually separate images.

No, you don't. You just run different images. Downloaded from MS. I have them installed. Right now. IE7, IE8, IE9. IE9 is currently running. Even still, for the most part, IE9 makes debugging easy, as you can run in IE7 and IE8 mode. That takes care of the rest of the problems I've faced.

Yes, testing in IE sucks. It's not an enjoyable experience, but it also doesn't take much effort.

> Then configure and install IE's debugger tools for each image.

This is not an issue. You make this sound like it takes a lot of work. It's not.

> Add to that the problem of VMs booting slow, running slow, and consuming tons of memory on my otherwise-fast dev machine.

I'm running this on a MacBook Air. Yes, they aren't lightning fast, but they are usable for debugging purposes.

> Then, when the VMs expire in a few months repeat that process.

That's not true, either. I've been using my IE7 one, for example, since October.


I used to have a beast of a machine with a VM for IE6 - 9. It was super easy to test all of them simultaneously.

In modern times however, I think when we try to support IE it will be 9 and higher. It's not that it's too much work, rather that IE 8 and lower users are hurting the internet.


Try BrowserStack, it's awesome. I am not affiliated with them in any way, but we have to support several different configurations for our web application and it's pretty impressive. Much better than having several virtual machines locally which I used to do!


After the IE 6 pain no web developer will forgive microsoft for the time lost and pain.

They test for IE only because lots of people use it or because their jobs require this, nobody likes IE, it always had bugs, was insecure and most important non standard.

IE9 is closer to normal, but microsoft lost is trust, they had the chance to change something much earlier and they did nothing, they are only acting now because IE market share drops fast.


Oh come on. Microsoft is not some horrible uncle who did you a great wrong and needs "forgiving". It's a company. The people who work there come and go, change departments and so forth. Yeah, sure, the people who worked in the highest positions back in the day employed some shitty tactics way back when, but times have changed, many of those people have moved on and much of the company's outlook has shifted significantly.

Holding an emotional grudge against a transient, evolving collective is stupid. I don't think everything they put out is great, I would love to see Ballmer step down and give someone else a turn (someone with some actual passion perhaps), but IE6 was a product of the mindset at the time, and times have changed. Get over it.


Optimizing websites for IE has cost webdesigners time and money. It has cost their clients money. It was a frustrating process whereby the designers got heat from their bosses and their clients. That is something most designers will probably remember forever.

It's not the bad software that lost Microsoft so much goodwill from the designers. Software can be fixed. It was the attitude from Microsoft towards the problem. It simply took them too much time to make things better. IE9 might be a good browser and most designers might acknowledge that. But ~10 years is way too long for a big corporation like Microsoft to make things right.


> Oh come on. Microsoft is not some horrible uncle who did you a great wrong and needs "forgiving". It's a company.

> Holding an emotional grudge against a transient, evolving collective is stupid.

It might be stupid, but it's also human and it's precisely what has happened.

> Get over it.

Amount of helpfulness: none, givan is explaining the issue regardless of whether it concerns him personally, and denial is pointless. Humans are emotional first and foremost, and when they've spent years in pain (extra stress, work and money lost) due to one specific entity (person, vendor or other) they will not easily forget and forgive. That's how people work. Microsoft made their bed, and they have to lie in it whether you find that logical or not.


    Yeah, sure, the people who worked in the highest positions back in the day employed some shitty tactics way back when
Like not allowing other browser on some devices, requiring locked down BIOS, patent lawsuits against competitors. Oh, wait, that all happened this year.


Yeah, they should be more like Apple and make it so you can install whatever you wan... oh wait...


I have a MBP and I can install what ever I want. What are you talking about?


I didn't say Apple is better.


I think your history is a little skewed. When IE6 came out, it was an awesome browser for the time. It was light years better than anything else out there and yes, it embraced/extended HTML & CSS, but really, no other browser out there supported the specs either. They were the de facto standard so it wasn't even a problem.

The reason IE 6 is such a problem is Microsoft didn't do anything with IE for years after that while the world evolved. But I'm really not convinced the Web would be anywhere near what we see today if Netscape just kept pumping out increasingly bad browsers.


> I think your history is a little skewed. When IE6 came out, it was an awesome browser for the time. It was light years better than anything else out there

No, because it had been preceded/preempted by IE5/Mac, which had feature IE6 never got (such as full support for PNGs including gamma correction).


When IE6 came out, it was an awesome browser for the time.

IE 4.0 was an awesome browser for the time. In fact it was such an awesome browser, and had so little friction to use, that it largely killed the browser market.

IE 5.0 and 6.0 were minimal effort, piecemeal, close to zero improvement iterations.

Microsoft deserves every bit of disdain that they get. Even still if there are ever movements afoot to try to move the web forward, Microsoft will always resist. People can herald IE 10 for finally incorporating a lot of long overdue functionality, but Microsoft does it only because they have little choice beyond abandoning the market.

Windows Phone 7 demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to the web -- the browser is relative junk. It is quite literally years behind competitors.


IE6 came out in 2001, and at that time was the most standards-compliant and feature full of all the browsers on the market.


> at that time was the most standards-compliant

Nope, IE5/Mac was better.


I cannot agree with the "lost trust" enough. MS lost trust with it's attempt to strange with IE. Honestly if IE was the only browser, I'd be ok, if it was a good browser. Only when people started doing everything in their power to avoid it did MS even pick up the keyboard to fix bugs.


Are we also not using firefox, for the awful later netscape 4.X releases?


IE9 is not that bad. To prove to myself that it was not, I forced myself to use it as my main browser for a while.

It was not painful at all. It had reasonable speed, and although lacking some CSS3 features that are nice, it is generally a decent browser. And it runs one of my Canvas demos much more smoothly than Chrome or Firefox, since it hardware accelerates canvas rendering.


It's not that IE9 is bad. It's that IE is not only IE9. It's IE7,8,9 and 10. Testing on all IE versions takes as much time as testing on all other browsers. They all have their unique issues.

And you can't run all of them on one machine safely.

And you usually use IE7 as the least common denominator, thus sacrificing functionality.


VMs run all of them crazy easily. And using unity you can have all versions on your desktop at once and open. I do it every day. My default browser is IE 9, so when i launch I always launch in IE 9 do all of my testing debugging there, almost never even look at another browser until it works 100% there. Then my browser for surfing is Opera, all others for testing.


Are you sure you can't run them on one machine safely? Press F12 and press the "Browser Mode" button. That covers everything through IE 7 in about 3 seconds.


"It's that IE is not only IE9. It's IE7,8,9 and 10"

That's ridiculous. There are about the same number of people using Firefox 3.6 as there are using IE6 and 7. So how come you aren't bitching out Firefox? So don't test on IE 6-8 if you don't care, but does the existence of old browsers mean that you write off every product they've made since then?


I guess that I'm bummed to hear that the standard we support is "not that bad". The internet and the "web" were built on incredible-thinking.

Yes:

    > "it'll take nuclear strike!";
No:

    > "it works XX% of the time..."


For me the point is less about: IE is no longer that bad. It's true that IE9 and IE10 are much better and supporting IE is no longer a 2x web-dev penalty, but that's not the point.

The point is: when the vampire is exhibiting weakness you drive a stake through its heart. The vampire turned a bunch of your fellow townspeople into vampires; saying the bite is no longer so bad doesn't mean that the vampire is now to be respected.

It's also not about punishing Microsoft. [Sure, the warm glow of schadenfreude feels nice.] It is about demonstrating to the tech community the long term costs of SHITTING IN OUR SANDBOX. Those of us who were developing web sites during the IE6 days want to show Google, Facebook, Apple, Zynga, Adobe, etc what happens when you Embrace and Extend web standards.

You don't know frustration until you get your website all sorted in FF 2, then open up IE 6 only to see a completely jacked website, only to realize you basically have no web development tools for IE 6 and you'll be spending the next 2 days blibdly fiddling with margins, padding, how-to-force-zoom, etc.


There were (bad) dev tools for IE6. Fact is, after a few months you'd know exactly what could go wrong, and fix everything in a day. Still extra work, but not that terrible. Sometimes I miss playing that game :)


So you're saying that it's not about punishing the criminals, that it's about deterring people from becoming criminals.

It's arguable if that kind of policy is effective.

Also, it comes across like folks actually are still mad about it.


So why would you sort it in FF then open IE why wouldn't you start with IE then go to FF. I really think you are starting in the wrong spot.


The tooling around FF was/is remarkably better than that with IE, so I always found it easier to start there head to IE than to start by groping blindly in IE.


You're right, supporting IE9 isn't hard at all. IE8 is the problem. It's amazing how many people still use 8 -- and it's because of corporations who are slow to update software. The thing that annoys me is that Microsoft knows that businesses will use the current version of IE for many years to come, so they should be as cutting edge as possible, but they don't seem to care.


The reason for a large IE8 contingent is because its the latest version of XP will support. The fact that businesses are using a TWELVE YEAR OLD operating system is the main issue here. Sure, maybe they could've made IE9 work with XP, but if people aren't even willing to update their OS once a decade, are we really sure they'll upgrade their browser?


8??? The company I'm at is still on 6!


This is a lot of FUD style arguments please let me elaborate:

a) Developing on windows is absolutely attrocious. If MS wants me to develop on windows, PUT SOME FUCKING EFFORT INTO IT.

b) Developing for Chrome, I support ALL operating systems.

c) Developing for FF, I support ALL operating systems.

d) Developing for Opera, I support ALL operating systems.

e) Developing for Safari, I support OSX, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.

f) Anything webkit related is supporting the iPad AND Android Tablets, and iPhone, and Android. Even without a special experience.

g) Developing for Mobile is an effort. Unfortunately. If you want a truly mobile experience.

Let's talk about IE now:

IE 9 is only supported IN WINDOWS 7. That's right, no XP, an OS which every other browser other than microsoft's support. So there.

If I allow IE users to use my site, I don't care if I make a giant "we don't fucking support IE" banner, people will expect it to work. And I will be the bad guy. If they visit my site and no IE support "please take 20 seconds to install chrome". The business will dictate if those people not willing to install chrome/chrome frame (no admin access required) are important enough to support.

Now... ITS 20-fucking-12 and windows still has the biggest piece of absolute shit terminal tool possible, with no alternative in sight. Furthermore terminal programs that work in linux, work in mac, so you get REAL developer tools. There is nothing decent like that on windows. Many things I need for my program to run DOES NOT WORK IN WINDOWS, so it's on MS' head to make them work. Apple saw that having a fully custom OS meant developer alienation. That is why they made OSX. People immediately praised it for it's ability to run dev tools, and developers were happy.

Now. Apple does evil. Apple is 2x as evil as MS ever was or will be. However Apple currently innovates (or did). However I can't argue with the fact that they have good fucking hardware. Developing on windows means piece of garbage hardware, shitty laptops till maybe a few months ago, who still cant fucking get touchpads right. YES TOUCHPADS SUCK ON WINDOWS STILL, 2012! On mac, touchpads are pleasant. There I said it, Windows is a terrible operating system from a user experience perspective, and that includes hardware.

So now why would I support IE? Look at my list up top. Please tell me what MS does to make me want to support IE? What benefits I gain? I pretty much only get users who don't know left from right mouse buttons, and unless I'm facebook I probably don't care about them anyways.

Edit: I am in no way saying IE 9 is bad. In fact IE 9 has multi-process, something I wish firefox implemented already. Performance is good enough for most websites. And the W3C support is up to par with normal browsers, though still a bit lagging.


Your blinders are industrial grade.

Developing for Windows is in fact a pleasure. MS have more love for their development community than you realise, and this is reflected in the tools and technology they provide. .Net is incredible. Really.

> IE 9 is only supported IN WINDOWS 7

Supporting WebKit in iOS requires me to BUY AN IPAD just to test properly! Supporting WebKit on Android requires me to buy an Android phone just to test properly! Your argument is invalid.

> Now... ITS 20-fucking-12 and windows still has the biggest piece of absolute shit terminal tool possible

The actual console window annoys me, I'll grant you that, but only in terms of fixed width and columns. PowerShell, the current standard shell for modern Windows version is really powerful. Get with the times.

> Developing on windows means piece of garbage hardware, shitty laptops till maybe a few months ago, who still cant fucking get touchpads right

Ummm... blame the manufacturers? Microsoft doesn't own Asus, Acer, HP, or any of these other companies.

The topic is whether or not to support a particular major browser, not whether you prefer Windows as a development environment or working with budget hardware. I would suggest you step back from your frothing-at-the-mouth hatred of Microsoft and determine how up-to-date, relevant and accurate your information actually is.


> PowerShell, the current standard shell for modern Windows version is really powerful. Get with the times.

Do you actually use PowerShell as an interactive console on a daily basis? When I tried to learn it, it seemed powerful for scripting, but nearly impossible to use interactively. I ended up using bash under cygwin, because it seemed to be the best option available.


Yeah I use it most days. I use Console2 though (open source console window replacement), which removes some of the physical limitations I'd otherwise have to put up with.


It's perfectly fine interactively unless you've got shit between your ears.


You don't have to buy an Android phone to debug Android webkit. Just get the toolkit and run the emulator. (Which is a bit slow unless you install an x86 image and Intel HAXM).

The same applies for Apple, you just have to download their SDK and use their Simulator - though that requires Apple hardware.


You can run an emulator for both the iPad/iPhone iOS stuff on top of an Apple Mac OS X machine, same with the Android development environment. At that point you can test your website using WebKit on a "mobile" device without actually owning a mobile device.


> a) Developing on windows is absolutely attrocious. If MS wants me to develop on windows, PUT SOME FUCKING EFFORT INTO IT.

This declaration needs a huge bold flashing caveat: developing on windows for windows is a pleasure, Microsoft provides excellent development tools, helps, documentation and contact points for its ecosystem and usually goes multiple extra miles to be helpful to their developer community. If you are a Windows developer, Microsoft is significantly much more helpful and approachable than Apple is to OSX devs.

The (huge) sticking point is cross-platform development and work on Windows.


> The (huge) sticking point is cross-platform development and work on Windows.

It's still pretty good thanks to the work the Xamarin guys have done.

We have a large .NET code based developed on Windows for Windows and out of curiosity once we tried to compile under Mono. We were expecting hundreds of issues and we ended up with only a few errors and if I'm not mistaken I believe it had to do with some of the file based handling code we had. Granted we never fixed those and attempted to run it, but I think they've done some amazing work.

Even now, one of the only ways (maybe the only?) to build a re-usable library for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 is to build .Net library that compiles under Mono.


Well that's a bit of a special case, you're talking about cross-platform from windows using tools (Mono) developed pretty much specifically for that purpose.


> a) Developing on windows is absolutely attrocious. If MS wants me to develop on windows, PUT SOME FUCKING EFFORT INTO IT.

Eh?

I guess you entirely missed out on the .NET Framework, Powershell, and recent Visual Studios. These are excellent dev tools, in ways the average Emacser will find hard to appreciate.

(much in the way the average Visual Studio nerd will find a decent terminal hard to appreciate)

From the rest of your message, I gather that the real reason you don't like to dev on Windows is because it's not Unixy. That's fine, and it's a matter of taste, but don't say that Windows is a bad platform to develop on just because you like typing in 70-character commands rather than clicking places. That's really mostly a matter of taste. Rants like these just make you sound ignorant.


Unix is the one with 70 character commands? Have you even seen Unix?

It's not a matter of taste, at all. Once you learn the language you can do quickly do anything. Hell you can refactor your entire source tree faster than someone can find the refactor button in their IDE.


>> So now why would I support IE?

Because you're not developing for yourself. You're developing for users.

Also, just because you're developing on browsers that exist on both platforms doesn't mean you're supporting all operating systems. If you tested on any WinOS you'd understand that.


"Now... ITS 20-fucking-12 and windows still has the biggest piece of absolute shit terminal tool possible, with no alternative in sight."

CLI is not a primary way of using Windows. Do you bitch as much when you can't use your terminal on your mobile devices as you do on your dev box? Microsoft has very good (very good) tools for developing things for their stack.

"Furthermore terminal programs that work in linux, work in mac, so you get REAL developer tools. There is nothing decent like that on windows."

Why do you need terminal programs? Jesus fucking Christ--as you pointed out, it's 2012.

"Many things I need for my program to run DOES NOT WORK IN WINDOWS, so it's on MS' head to make them work. Apple saw that having a fully custom OS meant developer alienation. That is why they made OSX. People immediately praised it for it's ability to run dev tools, and developers were happy."

No, those tools that don't work on Windows are due to lazy/busy/shitty developers who can't be bothered to support 90% of the market.

Sorry your tools suck, but don't act like that is in any way Microsoft's fault.


> I prefer Chrome myself, but supporting IE9 really isn't that hard, and suggesting otherwise is FUD.

This.


I feel like people are lying to the,selves about IE9. It's still not good enough! The key words you used were that hard implying you know it's still just a little tough. Ever try to get a gradient to work in IE9? First off, when it works it doesn't render anything like it renders in any other browser, and second, you still have to jump through hoops or all your gradients will be blue even if they're not meant to be blue. Ever had to mess with progIdMicrosoft.blah.anotherThing("someMoreStuffHere");? I have. It's why IE9 still sucks.

Saying IE9 is up to snuff is like saying your scumbag uncle is cool now because instead of shooting heroin all day long he's just a raging alcoholic. I mean, yeah IE improved significantly but when you remember IE6 - 8 it's easy to look like you've improved. Are we praising IE because it just doesn't suck as much? Come on, every other browser on earth has been running circles around it for years and it's still playing catchup and it just refuses to ditch that whole "progId" thing. They go around saying "well, we do what the other guys do except we made it impossible to remember or comprehend how to do in our browser".

And I like how the guy who hasn't had to support IE for a few versions writes a post about how we're lazy. It would've meant a lot more coming from someone with experience. Recent experience, that is.


Nobody is saying IE9 is great, but you can't deny it's good enough for most apps. It's fast, has a decent javascript engine, a hardware-accelerated canvas, some HTML5 support. Their greatest sin was leaving out text-shadow and gradients, but IE10 is just around the corner.

Even if it was complete crap, it has a 30-50% share, you can't justify killing off that much business unless you develop a Mac/Linux-centric or browser-specific app/site.


Be careful with market share numbers. If you use the generic market share, your implicitly assuming your user base is representative of the general online population. That's rarely the case, and it usually worth using more specific statistics even if your app isn't "Mac-centric."


That is true. It is good enough but good enough is no longer good enough. We've been spoiled with Firefox and now Chrome. There's nothing wrong with being spoiled either! Practically speaking, it's not a good idea to leave IE out no matter what the version. That said, I'm so glad sites are not only excluding IE but publicly bragging about for better or worse. My hope is that from this point on beginning with IE10 Microsoft adds support or better support for new html5/CSS3 technologies to the point where we think of it as an equal to other browsers. Developing for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera is trivial but still not IE even version 9. It's not about IE bashing. I don't care who makes the browser or what it's called so long as I'm not developing multiple versions of the same site just to support a single browser.

As others have mentioned, market share can be misleading and audiences count. But even so, you're still right that it's not practical to leave IE out. But since people are doing it I hope it encourages IE to take notice and improve instead of digging in their heels and insisting they're just as capable as the next browser.

The real problem however is fragmentation. I'm sure IE will improve or die in the future but Microsoft just shot themselves in the foot by restricting the amount of people who can upgrade. People often say that FF and Chrome will one day be fragmented and a drag on front end developers too but I disagree. Even older versions of those browsers support far more than than IE8 and below support and in some cases they even include features IE9 doesn't support. In the future there will be far less fragmentation of non-IE browsers because the vendors are way better at backwards compatibility. We'll easily still have to be concerned with IE7-10+ in the next five years because the number of people using them will fall at a snail's pace while market share for old versions of other browsers falls much faster. This is because many IE users simply cannot upgrade even if they wanted to while everyone else can. Nowadays Microsoft seems to be pushing updates more. Good for them. It's too little too late.

For now we can't deny IE still isn't good enough and I'm not about to congratulate them for being one step behind everyone else with each new version of IE. While its not practical to exclude Internet Explorer I hope the trend continues just so that it pushes Microsoft to continue improving the browser like it has recently. Maybe in a few years, when old versions of IE (the terrible 6-8 versions) have finally lost almost all their market share and the still shitty but far more manageable versions 9+ are all we have to contend with (and I'm sure by that time IE will finally be on a level with its competition) we can quit being "whiners" and "lazy" and "hipsters" and "elitists" and "ignorant" about supporting it.


I really subscribe to the attitude in this post. We're developers, we're supposed to make decent software. Our users won't care whether it's our fault or somebody else's if the software doesn't work. Just like you don't go blaming the database if your app becomes slow, you shouldn't blame the browser for rendering your page wrong, even if you're right!

Dammit, we're grown ups here. Make decent software! Test it! Automate the tests! Gracefully degrade! Yes, it's difficult, yes, it's costly! Get over it already!

Either make a fancy web app that works, or just make it highly non-fancy (HN, anyone?) to avoid all the headache. Or go somewhere halfway, as long as you're in control.


Absolutely. IE still has tons of users in the world, and it seems a joke to not invite them to the party. It doesn't really bother me as much if they change the features per browser platform, but when you visit a site and it browser sniffs and comes back with a blanket message "Browser not supported please upgrade." that's when I know that the dev is a lazy piece of shit. They don't even bother to try to let it degrade so that people can still access the content, they just shut it off. Rediculous and immature is what this is, why would you put effort into being such a hater especially when its your customers that are being stopped?

I suggest that we windows users boycott the sites that simply block IE. If it removes features I would skip it as well. Not supporting IE shows a lack of commitment to your users. As a user, I object to such half-assed notions. Its already bad enough with the entire dev community telling their users what they must do and how they must act. There is really no reason to be blocking IE10 at this point (yes I've seen it and was shocked and amazed that the fool would actually do that).


I agree. Or at the very least, identify what your users are using (in my case IE9 and webkit via iOS) and test accordingly. Granted I am only making things for internal consumption among a very small pool of users, but still If I decided to only test for Safari and Chrome, I need my teeth kicked in for being lazy.


I think a general problem with "webdevs" is they have "year zero" mentality - anything prior to the release of their favourite framework, didn't really exist, and if they do acknowledge its existence, it's only to observe how worthless it is. It's almost religious in nature. You see this in particular in the Ruby world where they are forever reinventing the wheel, but it's certainly not limited to them.

IE6, because I am old, and remember, was the first browser that you could build real applications with desktop feel in (e.g. Outlook Web Access). Lots of in-house developers jumped on it, and wrote millions of lines of code. You might think it's too much work to support IE6; they think it's too much work with too little reward to rewrite everything in whatever's trendy this week, because it basically does what their users need and they have real, actual work to do.


>> anything prior to the release of their favourite framework, didn't really exist, and if they do acknowledge its existence, it's only to observe how worthless it is. It's almost religious in nature.

For me at least, its not about religion but economics. Writing standards compliant code that works in all modern browsers costs a certain amount. Writing standard compliant code that is also backwards compatible with older technologies and legacy browsers may cost significantly more. The cost is one issue, of course the larger program is the value. Legacy browsers like IE6&7 compose slightly over 3% of the market share last month. Without even getting into the demographics of those people, it often isn't worth it to tweak for those specific cases.

That being said, I always leave it up to the customer. This is the issue in the browsers, here is your traffic effected, this is what it would cost to fix.

I can see the agitation with IE6&7, but the newer releases have gotten much better. For the most part, something I develop mainly in FireFox works fine in the newer IE releases.


Software is a depreciating asset with a finite life. This is something you need to take into account whether it's writing something for Windows 3.1 or the web. Maintaining, updating, and migrating is part of the lifecycle.


There are many great communities, I will single out Ruby because you chose to do so in your post.

For many in the Ruby community, nothing does exist prior to their favorite framework. This is because a core ethos of the ruby communities has been shaped by people like _why and Ryan Bates at railscasts, people open up some of their best code as community gems for all to use. And "non-programmers" have realized that coding can be a fulfilling form of self expression.

Coding as an expression of creativity, where dumb questions get answered instead of ridiculed or RTFM'ed, and where people are proactive in sharing solutions (each "reinvention" of code, each gem dealing with the same damn thing, addressing the same scope, but each one still solves the problem and has value as personal expression).

The communities push for "best practices" without shunning personal expression or eating it's young is why it has so many new adopters that are excited about it, as opposed to the reaction they get from other high profile open source projects, they are embraced and encouraged instead of treated like a nuisance.

Yeah, you may see the an almost religious excitement among new devs, but it is just the excitement of a child who has found someone to learn from, and they have had their vista for creative expression expanded, this is hardly a bad thing.

Have you ever had to deal with the Linux kernel team? If you knew some of the asshattery open-mpi has had to deal with over the years you might better understand. The ruby community has a lot of crap in it, much of it being produced by new devs who have a zeal that makes them annoying, but in my mind the communities distinguishing mark is its kindness and helpfulness, they go out of their way to help new devs, no wonder there is so much zeal coming from new adopters. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Basic was my first language over two decades ago, I am glad that my kids will have ruby, _why, shoes, and a community that will answer all their stupid childish questions without ridicule or disdain. A flawed but intentionally friendly community is refreshing in opensource, the land where people just defend their kingdoms and castles.

Of course I understand your nostalgia for day 1 of IE6, I still have nostalgia for Gopher, but if someone told me I had to develop for it because a company was exploiting its monopoly to stifle and ignore the need for innovation, was slower in implementing, and sought to undermine open standards and then had the audacity to claim it actually cares for "Developers, Developers, Developers" it would legitimately come to represent all that I hate about that software company. Both the nostalgia and horribleness are true and appropriate to remember.


It's time we separate "full-stack" developers from "front-end" and "back-end" guys / gals. I've met some brilliant folks who write amazing Ruby but say they hate CSS or JS. Those are "back-end" guys. A "front-end" person will write CSS and HTML markup without a problem and will always make sure it's cross-browser compatible.

I've been coding front-end markup for 7 years now and I've never come across a IE-specific issue that took longer than 5 minutes to resolve, and 99% of the time my markup worked without any "hacks" at all. I'm talking about ~450 projects.

So my advice to all the startups calling "not supporting IE a feature" to outsource their markup to a company that will do it right. Remember, 90% of the world ISN'T using a Mac or a *nix flavor (I'm personally on a Mac) and many of them have no idea they can choose a different browser. Saying NO to someone just because they use a browser you don't like is like going around and bashing people based on their sexual preferences or religious beliefs. F-it, I'm still on Firefox, which is now far behind Chrome, will you ban me access in a year?

I keep telling startups, EDUCATE YOUR USERS. Put a banner and tell te to upgrade to IE9 or install Chrome Portable if they don't have the required permissions.


> I've never come across a IE-specific issue that took longer than 5 minutes to resolve, and 99% of the time my markup worked without any "hacks" at all.

Now that's a flat-out lie right there.


Or it's the truth and his ~450 projects have been of low to medium css/js complexity.

Or even high complexity and he got really, really, really lucky.


I'd say 80% of all projects were done within 24hrs (standard delivery time) while other projects were 40-page multy-style apps (mostly custom "CRM" solutions). Heck, I even had requests do make the markup IE6-only.


So in other words your apps mostly involved rendering text to a page and letting form submissions edit the database. Which explains why IE support is incredibly easy for you.


Since so many are complaining about the difficulty of developing/debugging in IE here is a couple of links that should make it easier for you

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1835...

VPC Images for XP/IE6, Vista/IE7, Win7/IE8, Win7/IE9 - you can import the images to VMware and VirtualBox http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1157...

MS Script Debugger and how to http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2004/10/26/247912.aspx

Detecting Memory Leaks http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2007/11/29/tools-for-dete...

VS Express (free) http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010-ed...

Firebug Lite http://getfirebug.com/firebuglite

I'm sure there are more some where...


Microsoft's virtual machine images work great in VirtualBox. It's a bit of a PITA setting them up manually, but it's very easy with the installer shell script at https://github.com/xdissent/ievms#readme


I prefer the ISO than the images for Windows 8 Consumer Preview => http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows-8/iso


Props for posting these! Now we need to turn this list into blog posts.


It's not a lot of work to get a Windows/IE virtual environment up and running on a Mac, I use Virtualbox daily in combination with https://github.com/xdissent/ievms

This shell script automatically downloads Windows virtual machine images from Microsoft, so that testing can be done in IE6/7/8/9. You don't even need to use separate machines, if you get a Windows 7 virtual machine set up you can use IE Tester to run IE5.5-9 http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage


It's actually much more work to test on a Mac when developing on a Windows machine since Apple is so protective of OS X that they don't allow it to run in a vm.

Which is sad because I like to have all kinds of users but it's really really difficult to accommodate for all you guys browsing on a mac.

Please hit me with hints to make life easier for myself if you have some...


Agreed. Not a single person in my company (a whole five people) owns a Mac, and it leaves us with no real options on the compatibility front. I prefer to develop in Linux, but I have a Windows partition since it's easy enough to do. But none of us have the pocket change lying around to buy a redundant machine just to check up on some demonstrably minimal segment of our users who use Safari on OS X.

I'll put in the time to boot into a Windows partition and double-check IE9, but when it comes to OS X/Safari, I've got little recourse but to crossing my fingers and bank on Safari's Webkit rendering being the same as (or close enough to) Chrome in Windows and Chromium in Linux.

Safari DOES have a Windows version, but I've never seen it enter into the conversation at all. Is it guaranteed to have true rendering/display parity with the OS X variant?


"Is it guaranteed to have true rendering/display parity with the OS X variant?" No. Last time I made a hackintosh running Safari on Win and Mac sometimes produced different outcomes in certain scenarios. Things might have changed though.


> I'll put in the time to boot into a Windows partition and double-check IE9, but when it comes to OS X/Safari, I've got little recourse but to crossing my fingers and bank on Safari's Webkit rendering being the same as (or close enough to) Chrome in Windows and Chromium in Linux.

Might want to try the Windows version of Safari then. The JS engines in Chrome and Safari have some quirks between them and can behave differently in some scenarios, mostly things that JSLint would catch though.


If you can stomach it, there's Safari for Windows, Google Chrome should render the same across platforms, as should Firefox.

The only thing you'd need a Mac for really is ensuring that your colors/contrast look good, and that fonts are readable (on account of the font hinting).

The other option, of course, is to either buy a Mac, or build a Hackintosh.


Macs run Windows, Windows don't run OSX. This is why I develop on Mac; it's more versatile. (For web development)


Well, that's one way of phrasing it.

Microsoft allows you to run Windows in a virtual machine, Apple bans you from doing so. That's why I develop on a Mac; Apple forces me to.


but at least there is Safari for Windows


I work neck deep with cross browser "stuff" frequently, frankly, IE9 is a breeze & imho Paydirt made themselves look really quite daft!


For the record, I hate IE with a passion. But look at it this way: If you purposefully ignore a segment of the market you open yourself up to attack. Better have that cost-benefit worked out, too much work probably isn't a good excuse at any scale that matters. If you're just playing around then fine, go for it. But if you're playing for keeps then be very careful with decisions like these.

You'll be on your high horse over there telling people to upgrade or gtfo, meanwhile I'll be over here making off with a very large chunk of your potential userbase and everybody they pull along.

That adds up, and if you're not careful it will add up to business failure. Ignore your potential users at your peril.


It's sad to see otherwise talented developers focusing on the process more than the product, and putting their craft above the user experience. After all, it's all about the users. Doing good work and making excuses don't mix.

If you use any excuse not to test on any browsers in any Windows environments, you're ignoring the fact that the vast majority of users are on the Windows platform -- ~90% worldwide, ~81% in the US. I'm talking OS, not browser. (If you think there's not much difference, try borrowing a Windows machine and viewing the way most @font-face rendering works on that platform.)

And if you prescribe to the thought "my users are mostly on Mac," your growth will be severely limited if you're ignoring 80-90% of the users out there.

Development & testing are two separate tasks. Don't confuse their respective toolsets.


As a front-end developer who attempts to keep up with the latest and greatest in my industry, I have to say that there does seem to be some sort of bubble with people on their Macs. Too many times I've seen documentation that assumes that everybody is on a Mac. Too many times I've seen demos that assumes that everybody is on a Mac. Too many times that software that can easily be cross-platform are not or they don't document it as such. Too many times I've seen comments that say if you aren't developing on a Mac then they heavily imply you're a loser.

Much of that also assumes that everyone has an iPhone or an iPad.

For instance, why is getting Phonegap up and running on a Windows machine such a tragic pain in the ass? I got it going on my laptop to play with and after that experience I'm considering putting "successfully installed Phonegap on a Windows machine" on my resume and LinkedIn profile. I may be missing something but even the Windows install documentation I've seen on their website is several versions behind the current release.

As a counter, getting SASS running on my Windows machine was a breeze in comparison.

Now, if it's software and you only want to develop it for OSX, that's cool. But if it's a simple tool that can easily run cross-platform, then don't pretend it doesn't.

It's like the complaints about webkit only prefixes on so much stuff on Github, I'm willing to bet it's because of Mac people not caring about every other browser/OS out there. That's a guess, nothing to back that up.

Most of the people who complain about developing for IE being difficult seem to be Mac people and more than likely have no idea what they're talking about. With my job I support gecko, webkit, and IE7+. Until recently that included IE6. I do not use hacks unless I absolutely have to and I avoid using IE-only style sheets. IT IS NOT THAT HARD!

If you think supporting modern versions of IE is too hard then you may need to reconsider your workflow as it's probably the problem. It is your job to support all the browsers your customers use despite your personal feelings on the matter. Of course, if the browser use is below a certain percentage you're comfortable with, then by all means go for it. I do.

I develop on a Windows machine because our platform is based on .Net. We have two Macs in the office that two of our designers prefer. If need be I can ask them to look at something for me. I personally do not develop for nor test for Safari on OSX so I have no idea of all the differences and challenges of developing for it. But I sure as hell don't say it's too hard to bother with.


When you run your own site your job is to do whatever you want, however you want, it's your chance to be opinionated and exclusionary, and as long as you are not begging me to invest money, more power to you.

Also open source and sharing is more robust on linux and posix platforms, so people naturally develop tools they can use on their own platform, with their own workflow, and who cares if it gets ported to windows, I'm not creating a product to sell, I am sharing my personal toolset in a friendly way.

Why are you complaining about the difficulty of installing a FREE opensource project on a platform that is not native to the Devs? Of course it's more difficult! Why are you complaining so loudly? Why are your expectation so entitled? Did you even bother asking for help on Stackoverflow?


Simple, if it's an open source project that's a tool for web development and the only barrier to making it cross-platform is rather insignificant, such as vendor prefixes on CSS3 features as one example or even just proper documentation, then I'm going to complain about it. As is my right as a member of this open society we call the internet.

The devs always have the right to ignore me and I'm sure many will. I'm fine with that.

If we're talking about a native app and the devs don't feel the need to port it to another platform, then that's cool. Which is exactly what I said before, but you skipped mentioning that. But if they say the thing works on Windows and there's difficulty in getting it done, then there's a problem. If I have to go searching through third-party websites to get their app working, then there's a problem. If the documentation for the platform that they claim to support is outdated, then there's a problem. I don't understand why it's so bad for me to point this out. It's not like I'm saying that BBEdit doesn't work on my Windows machine and therefore it's bad software.

I guess I only have the right to give criticism, constructive or otherwise, if I paid for the software? Then maybe all those complaints from the linux community aimed at Adobe for their lack of support of their platform should go away? Personally, I think their complaints are perfectly valid. It's funny, I've pointed out problems on other projects presented here and I was thanked for it. But I guess the response varies.

Getting SASS working on my Windows machine did not seem as easy as it appears to be on a Mac, simply because of the difference in environments. Even just using it seems easier for some reason from what I've read. But you know what? They gave instructions on how to get it done, they were relatively easy, and I was up and running in a decent amount of time. That was a good experience, I did not feel that the devs were limiting me based on my needs for a specific development platform. Therefore, to me anyway, that is a good example of a software project meant to help in web development.

But to be honest, I was not aware that I was complaining that loudly. Nor did I realize I was coming across as entitled as I thought I made it quite clear I do not think I am. Well, maybe I am about the complaining thing.


Did you email them and ask? Or submit an issue via Github? Did you ask for help on Stack Overflow? Once you found the fix for yourself did you submit a pull request? Did you contribute? Maybe write a guide for others so they won't have the flounder around in the same way you did? I never said you can't or in some "moral" sense shouldn't complain, nor do you have to contribute, but as cathartic as your post may have been, that is all it is, complaining for the sake of complaining (feel free to try and shame or bitch about open source projects all you want, but when that is the first and only thing you do, you're being lame).

An attitude of entitlement, and posting in random off topic forums where you are relying on the off chance someone from the project might stumble upon your complaint just makes you a silly person.


I have to be honest here, you've been so adamant on your position I had to go back and consider my original post to see if maybe I need to adjust my thinking on some things.

So, my first thought was about the concept of people being in their own bubble with the Mac community. It seems you had no comment whatsoever on that. I guess you might have been referring to that in your comment about linux and posix platforms. But if a demo is for a tool for web pages then it only makes sense that it be compatible with browsers capable of doing the same as webkit. It has nothing to do with OS.

Then I mention my negative experience with installing Phonegap on a Windows computer. You don't specifically mention anything about my experience in your response. I would have to say from my perspective the difficulties of getting Phonegap working on Windows is rather well-known, it's nothing new.

Then I mention SASS and hint at my positive experience. You completely ignore that.

Then I specifically state that I'm cool with someone developing an OSX only app. You completely ignore that.

I again mention the webkit prefix deal on Github. Since Mozilla and Opera more or less agree with me on that I feel no need to comment further.

Finally I speak of people complaining about developing for IE is hard and why I think they're wrong. I end stating that I'm in a similar situation with having to worry over Safari on OSX and I don't claim it's too hard to bother. Again, you completely ignore this.

Your response to all that is that when I run my own site job I can be opinionated and exclusionary. But I'm complaining about other people being exclusionary and you find fault with it from me. Then you seem to claim I want people to port their linux tools to windows for my benefit. I did no such thing and actually stated the opposite. As for complaining about difficulties of installing a free open source project, I still feel no issue with me doing that as long as the project claims to support my OS of choice.

My response to you is to clarify that if someone makes a tool that could easily be cross-platform and they choose not to then that's reason for complaint. I also state the devs have the right to ignore me. Again your ability to ignore my statements continue.

Again, I point out if devs don't want to port their native app to another platform then I am totally fine with it. Again you ignore.

Then the do I have to pay to complain question. Also the linux community complaining to Adobe which I agree with. Again you ignore.

I expand on my experience with SASS in a, I feel, highly positive manner. Again you ignore.

Then you respond with a complaint that I'm not contributing, which seems to make not much sense in relation to what I was talking about. Your attitude seems to suggest that I have some strong misgivings against the open source movement and that I am attributing some sort of indictment against the entire community. As I pointed out, I did not. You say I claim entitlement, I don't see that. You seem to be saying I was complaining about projects in the hopes a dev would see them even though they are in an off topic thread. My original post was on topic for the OP article since that's what I was commenting on. You were the one to somehow turn this into me whining about, apparently, the majority of the open source community.

I have to say, I completely disagree with almost every word you have written about my comments. I'll just say we'll have to agree to disagree.

I also apologize for the wall of text.


----- Brass tacks:

Some guy coded/paid to release this opensource project on his own time, and for free, you can easily copy it or change it in any way you see fit. His time is his own, he paid it into this project without asking anything in return, the second you start making complaints about him being lazy, or him not spending his time how YOU want him to spend it, especially when you NEVER EVEN TRY to contribute, you're acting like an asshole.

----- Elaboration:

You seem to not understand this concept AT ALL. Let me give you an example. This example is not perfect, because within it there is actually MORE room for complaint, since the person in the story cannot contribute and fix the problem the way he could in the phonegap situation.

Pretend you are homeless, but have a functioning car and get an allotment of 24 gallons of gas per day.

A private person drops off a plate of free sandwiches, they made these sandwiches with their own time, using money they made from working in a coal mine at their real job, and the food is from their own stock, which they paid for. They put them out for all to eat for free in a heavily trafficked area and go home exhausted at the end of a long coal mining day.

But you live on the other side of town. So you complain about the person being lazy.

The person complaining is an asshole.

But! That person still has a more legitimate reasons to complain than you do, you have been given all the ingredients, they are literally stacked on a table right in front of you, there is one very easy (as you have said so many times) solution before you eat the sandwich. When you pick it off of the table, you have to turn it sideways before you can fit it in your mouth. You have personally done this yourself and managed to eat your sandwich, and yet you complain.

AND! Not only do you complain, but instead of very easily turning the table so EVERYBODY else with a sideways mouth can easily eat sandwiches, you stand off a few feet from the table eating your sandwich and shouting about how that free sandwich guy is such a lazy asshole.

----- Summation:

You can always complain, feel free to do so, some people complain when it rains or when the sun shines. Just keep in mind that complaining in certain circumstances makes you an asshole. This is one of them.

----- Longer missive. (I didn't put any time into making this clear or readable, readers beware):

You list all these things I am ignoring, I don't have to address every point you make. Do you feel your are entitled to my addressing every little point you make? By all means, complain about it, as clearly stated in my last post, you are free to do so, and you show quite the appetite for it.

I am addressing a specific instance where entitlement was displayed (coincidentally, your counterpoint about say "but, but, talk about how much I liked Sass", is one where you didn't encounter a problem. Of course I wouldn't expect you to demonstrate a sense of entitlement when stuff works.), and then I listed some actions you could have taken that would determine if your response to the hardship you faced was silly, that isn't changed based off of your other experiences or peripheral issues, nor do I assume that your attitude is perpetually silly and entitled, or that you are prone in all areas to displaying an entitled attitude.

if someone makes a tool that could easily be cross-platform and they choose not to then that's reason for complaint.

Seriously, do you even know how github works? If it is so easy to fix then fork the project or submit the pull request your damn self. For an opensource project, if it is ACTUALLY as easy to fix as you say, then complaining in this fashion is like complaining that your mom forgot to put mustard on your sandwich when you have a knife in hand and the jar of mustard is open in front of you. Sure, complain all you want, you have every reason to do so, shout to the heavens and whine, disparage your mother behind her back to the world at large. But seriously, don't be a baby, just take the time to dip your knife in the jar and spread some mustard, grow up.

Well (and this is said within the context of my prior post, and this specific project, meaning, you are allowed to complain to your hearts content, knock yourself out man) if it is as easy to fix as you espouse why haven't you submitted the pull request on this free, opensource project? This ease of "fixing" which you speak, combined with your lack of addressing it, combined with your complaint, provides the perspective that makes your complaint silly. In fact, the more valid your complaint (ease of fixing, etc.), the sillier your complaint becomes (unless you have submitted the pull request and are now complaining about inaction or something).

Your response to all that is that when I run my own site job I can be opinionated and exclusionary. But I'm complaining about other people being exclusionary and you find fault with it from me.

Either you didn't get the point I was making in the first place or you wrote this part really poorly, please provide clarification of what you thought I meant and why you used the word BUT you seem to be indicating the second sentence was dealing with the same point as the first sentence?

Then the do I have to pay to complain question. Also the linux community complaining to Adobe which I agree with. Again you ignore.

My whole post was an answer to that question! Also, the second sentence is just blame shifting "but but, look at what other people are doing! Address that too!". Let me quote myself, which has already addressed my opinion on both issues, if you had cared to read it:

I never said you can't or in some "moral" sense shouldn't complain, nor do you have to contribute, but as cathartic as your post may have been, that is all it is, complaining for the sake of complaining (feel free to try and shame or bitch about open source projects all you want, but when that is the first and only thing you do, you're being lame).

Clearly in the context of contributing, this means I think the "best practices" for complaint, and what makes a complaint lame or not-lame, is different for open and closed source, due to a persons opportunity to contribute.

I checked the pull requests on this project. Looks like for all the complaining you speak about (I will take your word for it), including your own, there isn't a single damn windows user who has actually submitted a pull request to fix the issue, nor from what I can tell has anyone forked the project and fixed it themselves. So it looks like this is a collective failure on the part of all developers (who are complaining) currently developing (using this project) in the Windows environment you mooching lamer (again, only within the context of this project and those who have complained, I don't know why I am writing a post this long, you clearly didn't read my last one (which was much shorter), or are unable to comprehend). Cry, bitch, moan, whine all you want, I am sure you can find the justification that this is reasonable behavior somewhere in your own mind, but that is who you are if you continue with this kind of behavior, and quite frankly I wouldn't want to support a community with my opensource project, that created and I work on using time that is COMPLETELY my own, when they complain without contributing.

Complain in your little corner all day long, I don't mind or care, I welcome it, because it makes it easy to identify your freeloading lameness. Super lame. When you have submitted the pull request to fix this "easy" problem you keep kvetching about, then you will be less lame.

Complain to your heart content. The fact remains: Submit the Pull request, otherwise, you are just an entitled leach complaining about an issue when you could be supplying an easy fix (You said it was easy right?). That is my final communication on this specific matter, if you want to continue the conversation submit the pull request with the easy fix first.


Wow.

You got me, you're totally right. I point out issues, complain if you will, on an open source project without contributing to it in any way has now made me a lame moocher who is beyond contempt in your eyes because I somehow have a problem with the entirety of the open source community.

So, I guess when I see a problem with an open source project done on a platform I don't have access to or coded in a language that I do not know, I'll just keep my mouth shut on the subject. Too bad that's the majority of people who use open source software. I guess they all should be quiet as well.

If I see a problem that's easily fixable I'll start installing software, learn Git, get an account on Github, learn the procedure of pull requests, learn the terminology, and then hope I get everything right so that someone like you won't call me lame. Scratch that, I'll go with your other suggestion and email the devs directly.

I believe your tirade goes back to my original comment about people developing in their bubbles. You are assuming quite a lot, your examples are not proper comparisons; to me anyway. I'm also still confused on whether I can complain or not, since on one hand I can but then you clearly state if I haven't done A, B, or C then I should be quiet.

But, you got me, I'll go into my corner and be quiet since that's the only thing I'm allowed to do in your worldview. My big corner with lots of people who are apparently not welcome in your club, sorry I don't know the secret handshake.

I apologize for insulting your community so much and causing so much aggravation/anger in your life.


Finally! A small glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel. Yes, emailing a dev, give it a shot! Hell, in my first post I even just suggested posting your question on StackOverflow (you do know what stackoverflow is right?), then if it gets answered people can more easily google for assistance.

This new concept of thinking about how you can interact and contribute, awesome! Cultivate that mentality instead of the learned helplessness stuff.

Keep going down the path of communication that isn't just cathartic, useless complaining! You may actually learn something and be useful one day. I hope that this is just your first step down the path of giving freely of yourself, instead of ONLY complaining to yourself in a dark corner. There is no difference to me if you sit in your corner quietly or do what you are doing now, which is sitting in the corner and mumbling to yourself. There is assistance you can provide, the moment you stop being a victim and pitch in is the moment you can start to grow.

I'm not angry, and I don't think you insulted my community. You're just being such a hilariously awful person, and come across like you feel helpless and have nothing to offer, and I feel like I am Mr. Bennet and you are Mr. Collins, I am quite diverted. :-)

Also, if you suck at programming and using tools as much as you seem to indicate, you probably should add "installed phonegap" to your resume. :-D

Also.

Quit deflecting. I clearly distinguished my scope. Also, writing a guide requires 0 installation of anything so your boned with that excuse (though I am sure you have a nearly unlimited supply of excuses, the ignorant entitled usually do).

My sandwich point still stands, do you think the complaining sandwich guy isn't an asshole? By your response you seem to indicate you think he is in the perfectly justified in his complaint.

I never said "YOU SHOULD BE QUITE", in fact I thanked you for it. I said that given the circumstances, and given the way you are complaining, you're being an asshole. If you want to be an asshole that is your prerogative.

My tirade is about your being in a bubble comment? Now I know you aren't reading my posts. Since you didn't read my last post all the way through (hell I even put wrote in a little easter egg to see if you had read it, which you confirmed that you didn't), I am going to stop wasting my time on you, as entertaining as I find you. Also, you can't be bothered to learn the tools you are taking advantage of? Seriously? Are you still in highschool? That's one of the excuses your going to use for mindless complaining? Ok, I get it now, you aren't a coder and don't want to learn. Got it. In your current state you're exactly the kind of person who has nothing to offer, you fail even at simple error reporting. So the community doesn't/wouldn't feel any loss.

You have proven every one of my points better than I ever could. Good day. Dismissed.


Again, you are assuming quite a lot. You're being quite rude.

You're a sad example for our community.

Thanks for dismissing class but I have to say I did not learn much from you, great teacher that you are.


That is such B.S. you come across like you are just nit-picking. Your condescending, primadonna attitude says nothing for your cause, it just makes you look like an idiot.

Let me guess, you are an MS hater and noticed that he posted something about .Net? That he was trying to use phonegap for windows which was a pain (it is BTW a valid complaint, I don't understand either why there was supposedly a build for windows but apparently doesn't work too much)?


First, I tend to agree that the Microsoft bashing is a little overdone. They've been moving forward legacy code for a product that now is by far the oldest browser in the field while at the same time having to support an obviously enormous user base.

They've made their cost vs. timeliness vs. goodness decisions as is their right to do so.

We make the same decisions about IE compatibility work. Being a very early stage startup, we figure two things:

1) The field of IE users has a lower percentage (and perhaps absolute number) of potential early adopters. For our app, this is a dead certainty, although it is not necessarily so for other apps.

2) IE users, who aren't constantly comparing how a site looks in IE against how it looks in other browsers, are accustomed to things being a little off from time to time. This is their IE world.

So our acceptance level at this stage is does everything work and does it look basically ok in IE. We don't sweat a lot of the finer stuff, again, figuring most of the the IE users are in a world where things are off by a few pixels here and there and don't get too upset by it.

If they did, they'd be on the other browsers, where the sun shines a little brighter and the birds sing a little sweeter for all websites.

That is the important point to remember - browser type users are self-selecting in their tolerance for UX hiccups.


I agree with the point in general, but for one subtle detail:

What shocked me even more is the amount of comments saying that “supporting IE is too much work”, not because it still costs the crazy amount of time it used to (ie6), but because they’re developing on a Mac.

No, it's not that it's difficult on a Mac. It's that it's difficult on a [not Windows]. Subtle difference, but undermines much of the "grow up" point of the article. You're saying developers are whining because Microsoft doesn't support their operating system of choice. But that's incorrect, they're whining because MS doesn't support anyone's operating system but their own.

And even if it was simply that you can't easily debug IE on a Mac, the fact of the matter is, all the other major browsers allow it. Who cares if it's unreasonable to ask Microsoft to provide us a build for easy use and debugging? Every other vendor (i.e. competitor) does it at the exact same price point: $0. If IE lacks this "feature" at the same price point as the competitors, then I say deciding not to support IE is fair game (though I wouldn't personally exclude IE for anything other than a toy side project).


As always, it depends on your audience. If 1% of your users have IE, then it may well be too much work to support it - although 8/9 are a massive improvement on 6/7.

On the other hand, if you're in my position and run a site where 100% of the users have IE installed in a corporate environment (i.e. often an old version), support is never 'too much work'.


While I agree that supporting multiple browsers & devices is a PITA, we as an industry are still employing some mindnumbingly bad testing practices. There are a lot of solid testing products out there that ease the pain. Testing as a service has made cross-browser testing simple and cheap the way hosted services have for all sorts of other problems.

Obviously I have a real interest in this, given I'm a Selenium dev and I started one of these testing as a service companies, but that really was a result of wanting to ease the pain. I highly recommend checking out Sauce Labs for functional testing and Mogotest (my aforementioned company) for render-level testing. Both beat the crap out of running a bunch of VMs and manually testing (although falling back to the VM to fix something may make sense).


Supporting IE isn't too much work. Trying to bend and twist WWW browsers to render something other than formatted-text-and-images-with-limited-interaction is too much work. You're bound to run into problems when treating document-display programs as ``platform''s.


One thing, many of these anti-IE articles seem to ignore is business outside of the United States.

We are a global business and China's most popular browser (at least with users hitting our site) seems to be Maxthon which is based on the Trident rendering engine (which of course is what IE uses). This makes it nearly impossible for us to ever consider cutting off IE support unless we wanted to neglect one of our largest growing user-bases in the world.

Make sure you seriously consider which parts of the world your app could potentially be used in and do the research to find out what browsers they use in that area.


It doesn't matter whether you agree with a company's technical choices, whether it's Paydirt, Microsoft, or anyone else. If you don't like their choices, you're free to not use their software.


Thanks for your rant Bart and I'd largely have to agree. If you want pixel-perfect equality between all browsers then supporting IE6 is truly a pain. Why anyone would want pixel-perfect equality is beyond me though because the end-users simply don't care. The real argument for the stuff I've worked on wasn't IE vs. the rest, it was HTML4-ish (IE 6,7,8) vs HTML5 (IE9, FF, Chrome, Safari, Opera). Even then using jQuery + Knockout on the client side solved nearly every compatibility problem. There was also an actual advantage with testing against older versions of IE as it enabled us to identify weird performance and behavioural problems earlier. When we ignored a given problem in IE6,7,8 during the development phase the same problem would turn up later in all of the other browsers when the system was under load. Fixing the problem for IE6,7,8 got us a massive jump on fixing the problem for all of the other browsers. Personally for my own stuff the oldest version of IE I test against now is 8. The massive number of XP/IE6 users still out there are in China running a hacked version of XP. As I don't develop for the Chinese market this isn't a problem.


I generally don't bother supporting anything lower than IE8. If you want to use my app and are using an old version of IE just download chrome, it's free, otherwise don't use the app. I have used only Linux for about the last five years but i do test in IE using VirtualBox and the free VHD's provided by Microsoft(thanks guys).

I don't mind using the VM approach but the thing that annoys me is the massive size of the VHD files. My Ubuntu install is only about 3GB but each windows VM is around 16GB - 16GB!!! Considering I need a separate VM for every version of IE I want to test and I am using 128GB SSD's in my laptop and Desktop most of my disk space is taken up with having VM's to test IE.

That being said I think it's worth supporting newer versions of IE but I always display a message to users recommending they get a better browser, I think the more people we can get away from using IE the better because while IE10 might be ok now i just don't trust MS ability to update it in the future and i worry that in 10 years we'll all be bitching about IE10 the way we bitch about IE6 now because millions of users will still be running out of date browsers because of the poor update path for IE.


>Testing in IE is too much works… because they’re on a Mac.

To be honest, lots of companies use similar excuses. We won't make/support our product X on platform Z, because the user base is too small, we don't have the hardware, developers are all on platform Y, etc.

And generally speaking (no reference to paydirt example) it is in fact true, there are companies without a single windows machine. Unimaginable 5-10 years ago, but reality today.


I can understand not supporting anything <IE9 but it currently doesn't make sense to target away from a browser that follows majority of the standards. Microsoft has already said sorry for the shitty browsers in the past and they have done a pretty good job with creating IE9 (minus the compatibility mode). I find just as many bugs in Chrome/Safari/Firefox as i do in IE9.


IMO part of Microsoft's strategic view is that any developer time spent on non-Microsoft technology is bad, so they saturate the developer with Microsoft-specific requirements and deviations from otherwise well-established standards.

Microsoft's proprietary software development products (Visual Studio, .NET, etc.) present the developer with complex non-standard terminologies, languages, categories and specifications unique to Microsoft tools and platforms.

In the more open sphere of the WWW where Microsoft has at times dominated the market, the same strategy applies: inundate web developers with deviations from the standards and with Microsoft-specific "innovations". It works as long as Microsoft has a large share of the market because you simply cannot ignore their presence. In the end, much, if not most, of your time is used up supporting Microsoft's idiosyncracies, leaving less time for alternatives.


I cant see how anyone could say it is too difficult to test windows on a mac. Bootcamp serves exactly that purpose, and you can use windows on a nice piece of hardware. IMHO, developers are payed a higher than average salary, precisely because it can be hard. If everyone could do it, there would be no reason to pay more. Having built some web apps in my day, I get that its a pain in the ass to support IE 6, 7 and to some degree 8. There may even be a reasonable use case where not allowing a feature on a certain browser version is reasonable. I didnt, however, see a compelling argument made by Paydirt to that effect.


You don't have comments on your blog, so I'll comment here:

IE testing is "hard" on a Mac because of the vm requirement, yes. However, that's not even my main issue. If Microsoft facilitated having VMs of each windows installation + browser version available for that OS to developers, it'd still be "hard" but at least they'd be helping. IE only runs on Windows, so if you want to test for Windows you have a bunch of sub-par options, or really expensive options, or..illegal options, pick your poison.

That's not even my biggest complaint about it, though. I have two main complaints.

First, the development tools available to Internet Explorer are absolute butt hole. Javascript is considered a second class citizen, and is nearly impossible to debug efficiently. The amount of "oh lets try this for shits and giggles" that is required, to see if it will fix a random IE issue is absolutely astounding. I typically find my solutions to IE issues by complete accident, and upon reflection say to myself "well..that's the most stupid thing I could have thought of - so no wonder that works." Not simple, stupid.

It feels like Microsoft deliberately takes the stance of making it HARD to develop software for Internet Explorer. I don't know if this is purposely their philosophy but maybe they're diluted enough to think it helps turn out higher quality applications. It doesn't, what it produces is a horrible user experience designed for the lowest-common denominator. And the worst part about it is that most of your end-users use IE. So, what it results in is crappy, old feeling, slow web applications and an influx of user complaints about things not working or taking too long (because the javascript engine is about as slow as the Ruby interpreter).

Second, the IE user base is so incredibly fragmented across versions. And it's not like the difference between chrome 13 and chrome 18 where some css3 features don't work, or websockets is slow, or whatever. The difference is that entire feature sets are missing, or work differently. In one version CSS box width includes margin and in the next, it doesn't. That's a pretty significant change; it completely ruins the entire flow of your site and you have to account for "special" cases of old browsers. Except, your "special cases" of old browsers are 30% of the internet population.

Supporting IE is a time sink, but not just because it's "hard" to set up Windows environments, but because Microsoft actively tries to make it hard for developers to code, test, and debug applications in Internet Explorer. Or doesn't make an effort to alleviate the pain; either way it's active effort in creating more suck, imo.

Disclaimers: I've been developing on Mac for 4 years and haven't used Internet Explorer as an every-day browser in 7 years. IE8 made some improvements to JS debugging (SOME) and is vastly better than 6 and 7. IE9 might be amazing, and IE10 might be the best browser in the world - I don't know. All I know is that debugging IE takes almost as long as building the application did in the first place. Until that problem is solved, IE will still suck and still get a lot of hate from the development community. Microsoft has a giant mountain to climb to get their reputation back to "neutral" in the web development community.


> If Microsoft facilitated having VMs of each windows installation + browser version available for that OS to developers

Which they do, they've been offering complete VM images with various combinations of Windows and IE for some time, the current offering is XP + IE6, Vista + IE7, Win7 + IE8 and Win7 + IE9: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1157...

While the images are for VirtualPC, I've yet to have any issue importing them in VMWare or VirtualBox.

> IE8 made some improvements to JS debugging (SOME) and is vastly better than 6 and 7. IE9 might be amazing, and IE10 might be the best browser in the world - I don't know. All I know is that debugging IE takes almost as long as building the application did in the first place.

IE9's devtools are significantly better than IE8's: more feature and much more stability. They are nowhere near WDT/Firebug yet (or even Dragonfly), but they are a huge improvement over the POS that IE8's devtools are.


> Which they do, they've been offering complete VM images with various combinations of Windows and IE for some time, the current offering is XP + IE6, Vista + IE7, Win7 + IE8 and Win7 + IE9

I've used the IEVMs project on github to install these VMs before; it failed. I'm trying it again as we speak, maybe it's a viable solution, maybe not.

> IE9's devtools are significantly better than IE8's: more feature and much more stability. They are nowhere near WDT/Firebug yet (or even Dragonfly), but they are a huge improvement over the POS that IE8's devtools are.

Obviously the problem here is that IE9 represents 25% of the currently in-use IE browsers and has (to quote rey bango, http://blog.reybango.com/2012/05/08/hey-paydirt-your-site-wo...) 35% world-wide Win7 marketshare, which as I saw somewhere (maybe arstechnica) only has 50% marketshare. So you're looking at ~17.5% give or take for other versions of windows running IE9, call it a conservative 25% adoption for all IEs across the web.

TL:DR; IE9 has a ways to go before it's new amazing developer tools are valued significantly. Until then, we're still stuck with IE6-8 ):

You make valid points; and the VMs available on their site should help testing availability. It's too bad that the debugging is still second-class and torture ):


> I've used the IEVMs project on github to install these VMs before; it failed. I'm trying it again as we speak, maybe it's a viable solution, maybe not.

The official ones work. I'm actually installing the IE7 version as we speak, IE8 and IE9 are running fine in VirtualBox.


> I've used the IEVMs project on github to install these VMs before

I don't know about that, downloaded them straight from Microsoft's website.

> Obviously the problem here is that IE9 represents 25% of the currently in-use IE browsers

Note that IE9 can be switched to IE8's engine (there are differences with the official IE8 but not that much, so most of the rough work can be done with IE9's devtools even using the IE8 engine).

> IE9 has a ways to go before it's new amazing developer tools are valued significantly.

I did not say IE9's devtools were "amazing", because they are not (unless your only comparison basis is IE6 devtools or pre-firebug Firefox devtools that is). But they are significantly better than IE8's (let alone 6/7)


IE9's debug tools are hands down the best at this point in time. Although Chrome's is cacthing up, pound for pound you will be far more productive in IE9s debug tools then firebug, dragon fly or any other at the moment. I think there is just too much bias at play here.


I have downvoted you because that statement is so absolutely wrong.

I know because I am debugging a stupid, stupid IE only issue and I have to use a combination of Chromes debugger and judicious use of the console/repl in IE.

You can't even inspect an element that was added in code in IE.


wha? Hit the tiny html refresh button ctrl-b select away.


I sincerely hope this is a joke.

If it isn't, can you demonstrate where IE9 is objectively better than Chrome or Firebug? Because I can do the opposite. As a quick example, IE9 won't let you inspect elements inside of an iframe dynamically generated with JavaScript.


I've got a simpler one: you can't inspect an element on the console, it's going to print the first 10 properties (as a string, so you can't actually see their value when they're an object or an array) then it tells you to add the object to your watch (in a sub-tab of a different tab) to explore the rest.

In fact the console in general is still garbage, they improved support for the console API but still only handles barely half of it (no group/groupEnd, no time/timeEnd, no count, no trace, ...); the console does not understand (and is useless for) DOM objects (let alone jQuery objects); console API calls refuse to link to their source line; ...

Then there's the DOM inspector which will fail to display JS-generated DOM[0] and provides no way to edit the DOM live (beyond attributes, woot, attributes) (let alone put inspectors/breakpoints on DOM changes) and provides no way to see what events are bound on a node, or the network log which is a mess of useless tabs and the last network log to not know about JSON, or the javascript source/debugger which provides no way to jump to a given line (let alone a given function) and takes pain to split all useful information across 5 different tabs to ensure it's never possible to eyeball the situation you're in.

And that's 5mn into opening the thing. God, I can hardly believe somebody would state IE9's debug tools are good, they're not even remotely a match for Dragonfly, let alone Firebug or the WDT/CDT.

[0] super awesome when combined with applications which generate all of their DOM via code.


IE9 can easily handle your quick example. Check out http://jsfiddle.net/c8rN3/ then hit f12 bring up the developer tools. In the HTML tab click the tiny refresh button then hit the select element by click and select an element within the iframe.


> IE9 won't let you inspect elements inside of an iframe dynamically generated with JavaScript.

What the hell are you doing with iframes? Sounds like a hack job.


I'm adding an iframe to the page dynamically using JavaScript?


Irrelevant and besides the point.


Just to say I'd not come across the MS created VM images, so thumbs up for making my life a lot nicer!


Has it occurred to you that at least you're legally allowed to virtualise Windows+IE for web development testing? On the Windows side of things, devs aren't even allowed to virtualise MacOS! And you complain about lack of options for Mac developers! Pot calling the kettle black?


Point conceded.

Though, certainly a +1 for choosing Mac as your primarily development environment; as it can run all the other operating systems you'd care about (:


True, though many of us feel very comfortable developing on Windows. Seems unfair that we should pay the Mac hardware tax just to test with Mac browsers when Apple could provide OSX on a VM, license-restricted for testing purposes or similar.


Safari testing on Windows is "hard". For whatever reason Safari on Win can produce different outcomes than on Mac. Further I don't even have the option of running OS X in a vm unless I settle for a hackintosh.

"First, the development tools available to Internet Explorer are absolute butt hole"

Yes the build-in dev tools are not on par with the other browsers but I wouldn't say that Visual Studio is butt hole. I don't use it myself but as I understand it is generally acclaimed to be one of the best IDEs. If you don't want to run VS which I perfectly understand then go with MS Script debugger. It would probably bring down your number of "shit giggles"

"It feels like Microsoft deliberately takes the stance of making it HARD to develop software for Internet Explorer"

It feels like Apple deliberately takes the stance of making it HARD to develop software for Safari qua not providing vms.

"Supporting IE is a time sink, but not just because it's "hard" to set up Windows environments,"

I can provide the same argument for any system which I am not familiar with.

"but because Microsoft actively tries to make it hard for developers to code, test, and debug applications in Internet Explorer."

From what my MS developer coworkers say they are actually quite pleased with how much MS gets involved in their development community. But that's just anecdotal I guess...

"I've been developing on Mac for 4 years and haven't used Internet Explorer as an every-day browser in 7 years"

Well maybe it is time to learn it again then. Lots of things have improved. What do you know - you might even make life easier for yourself...


> Safari testing on Windows is "hard". For whatever reason Safari on Win can produce different outcomes than on Mac.

FYI, all browsers can and do. That happens on Firefox and Chrome as well (though maybe less regularly)


I'd be curious what the market share of Safari is for Windows. I'd say it was so niche that it might not be worth the bother...


> I'd say it was so niche that it might not be worth the bother...

From what I understand, it's there more as a testing tool for developers using Windows than for any sort of market share, even on OSX Safari does not enjoy a tremendously high marketshare even though it's the bundled browser.


I'm not a html/css frontend developer so I don't need to test on IE too often, however, when I do I use Virtualbox with some different windows installations. Works like a charm.

I have no experience with the development tools in IE8+ (I've been a Mac user for a while now), but I've been told they're pretty descent. I completely agree though, debugging in the older IE's is hell...

But the thing is, the user couldn't care less whether a developers work is easy or hard, the user wants a good experience. And thats the job (most) frontend developers chose, if developers don't want to do that, they shouldn't be a frontend developer.

I used to hate getting websites to work in IE6, which is why I don't do html/css anymore (I became a Flash dev, so I'm switching again). If frontend devs don't like their job, they shouldn't blame Microsoft for making "crappy browsers" or a "though enviroment", they should find another job.

Thanks for taking your time to comment on my post, even while I don't have a commentform on my blog (couldn't find a descent commenting solution for Octopress).


I agree that saying it's "too hard" is a cop out. But Microsoft doesn't provide the proper tools, that's not a cop out. I don't want to support IE6, but I know that if I don't put effort into it - customers will complain. When customers complain, someone complains to me. When people complain to me about dumb crap (like IE6 taking too long to load or "it just spinning") I get angry, then I have to waste time finding a fix \:


RE: comments on blog: Use disqus. Drop an html tag and a script tag on your page and you're pretty much done. http://www.disqus.com/


Hmmm In IE9 you can switch browser mode to previous versions (back to IE7).

Seems a lot of people on HN are still stuck X years ago when things sucked and they refuse to look at things as they are today, just like you state in your "IE9 might be amazing [...]" comment. That just calls into question, though, your comments on how hard it _is_ to develop for IE. All you have said is how hard it _was_ to develop for IE.

Anyway, I don't buy the whiny bit of "I don't want to do it because it's hard to do." Seems like a cop out and more aimed to justify prejudices.


You can, but then you're not testing IE7, you're testing IE9 in IE7 mode. That's a condition which may be worth testing in some circumstances, but it's not the same as testing IE7 properly.


Yeah I actually had to learn this the hard way. Clients complaining about things not looking right in IE7/8 when I tested using IE9 in IE8/7 mode. You need the actual browser to be sure you've tested everything.


On that same note, if you don't have enough users to make IE worth supporting, you better have a product targeted at techies, because it does not have wide enough adoption yet among average people.


If I had to guess, I'd say that most of the complaints don't involve layout issues but rather, support of newer features in HTML5 and CSS3. That being said, there are plenty of (easy) fixes and workarounds that take care of most problems. Is it frustrating? Yup. But like the article says, it just comes with the territory. For newer front-end devs, I'd recommend dedicating a few days familiarizing yourself with the various bugs, fixes, and tools for testing. That alone will ease the pain. Just takes time like anything else.

Chin up, sport.


IE team should just be SACKED as a WHOLE and Microsoft should get in a new Team. Surely by now everyone in the whole world knows that the IE team is the worst shortsighted incompitent bunch of idiots that exists. Unless of course the project manager is one of Bill Gates relatives. The posts the defend IE in any shape or form, are either simply LYING or should join the existing IE team. IE IS RUBBISH and if we all Stuck a banner NOT Supporting IE, the Web WILL become a better place for everyone.


I can second that. Forget about IE - there are differences even for Safari/MacOS and Safari/Windows, so if you are testing only on MacOS then you aren't doing it well.


I think it depends on how far along you are in your product development lifecycle. If you're at the MVP stage or you're making big changes to your product regularly, then don't support IE, it'll slow iteration time in a similar (although not to the same extent) way that launching with an iPhone and Android app would. If you've got product market fit, paying users and have the bandwidth to support it then you probably should.


The web is a platform like any other. Supporting IE takes testing and development time and more importantly SUPPORT time.

So why block IE users and not just let them fend for themselves since you don't "support" it? Because you're still going to get people trying to use your site in IE. They're going to send you support emails and they're going to complain to people about your shitty app not working. That costs time, money, and reputation.


Wow. I can't believe what I'm seeing here.

"Development isn't easy so we're not gonna bother". Jesus, lets hope the people looking for a cure for cancer don't give up that easily.

Here's a tip. Open IE9 and press F12. It lets you go to IE 7 and 8, in quirks and standards mode.

Now that wasn't hard was it?

Most internet users use IE. If your clients are happy not to support them then good for you. But most of mine would like people to be able to see their website!!!


Testing in different browsers is a real pain. Getting front end code working properly in all those different browsers is even more of a pain. Getting that code working really well is harder still.

It takes time, dedication, skill, and a lot of specialist knowledge of bugs, quirks, standards and tools.

That's the reason that front end development is a role in its own right, and not just a function of someone else's role.


"It’s expensive getting hardware to test on, taking time to test it, making sure you have a windows installation"

I infer two inferences from the above quote:

Inference 1. The individual is either a non paid, or poorly paid developer,

Inference 2.That developing on a mac is not as financially rewarding as developing on a PC.

Why else would it be to costly to purchase an off the shelf PC from Walmart for $500.00 for the purpose of testing IE 9?


Supporting IE can be too much work. The Microsoft Knowledge base acknowledges issues and then tells you that the solution is to change your IE options or upgrade your browser. As if that will help with my users.

Sure the latest versions of IE are not as painful to support but if you check worldwide statistics you'll notice that old versions of IE are still sticking around.


so is your problem with ie or ignorant users?


Windows 7 Proffesional: $249 VirtualBox: Free --- Total cost to run IE under Mac: $249

Is it really that hard?


> Windows 7 Proffesional: $249

Why would you do that? http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1157...


It's pretty funny... Back in 2003 I worked at a place which couldn't test software on Macs because they had an exclusive procurement contract with Dell.

As things turned out, I bought my first Mac, with my own money, so I could do this kind of testing.

Now today, Macbook Pros are the fashionable thing west coast developers use -- they are pretty nice machines. Except for the fact that they can only be loaded with 8 GB of RAM and for the kind of work I do, that's not enough.

So instead of being able to do the work on your local machine and have no problems with VPN, debuggers, and all that, you need to rent a machine that's $8000 a year in AWS and you don't get the benefit of turning it off when you don't need it because the Ops guy is involved with turning it on and off and god forbid another dev wants to use it and its turned off...


> Now today, Macbook Pros are the fashionable thing west coast developers use -- they are pretty nice machines. Except for the fact that they can only be loaded with 8 GB of RAM and for the kind of work I do, that's not enough.

All 15" MBPs from Early 2011 onward support 16GB of RAM. It's not documented, but they do.


FWIW, as a Linux user I have the same problem with Safari. But thankfully it uses the same rendering engine as Chrome, so I can be relatively sure that if it works in one, it works in the other.

IE is another can of worms.


If you use these two free tools, your days of developing "for" particular browsers will be over:

    http://validator.w3.org/

    http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/


the reason i bought a mac was to be able to test my work on all OS's. I thought that was a normal sensible thing todo (i.e. i can bootcamp and vm my way to full support)


In some cases, not supporting IE is like a filter, if you offer a web service that involves some web tech background from users then it will save you some support hours, people that don't understand basic stuff like what a browser is can be a pain for support or probably would never signup either.


True, and that is probably the case for Paydirt, but there's a difference between not supporting and actively blocking. Less than 2% of Paydirt's visitors use IE, so dropping support is a logical choice. Maybe even display a warning to IE users but don't block them.


You haven't given an actual reason why they shouldn't block IE users. Could you explain why that is?


"Your main job is development, not being a hipster." right on!



Interesting. I created a javascript module that emulates an ActiveX control. It needs to parse binary data sent from the web server.

I actually got it working in Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Safari via JDataView, which parses the binary data via a string. However, it doesn't work in Internet Explorer because IE will not read past a zero byte (null character). The data is actually there, you can see it in the debugger, but it won't let you get to it. This behaviour isn't mandated by the ECMA spec, and all other browsers handle it fine.

You can do a massive VBScript hack, which may stop working at any time. I decided that I'd not support Internet Explorer because I can't use it - even in IE9 and 10. Call me lazy if you like - I don't care. I'm not hacking up VBscript to get around a crazy Microsoft Javascript string processing decision!


Holy edge case, batman!

I get what you're saying, but no-one in this discussion is trying to emulate ActiveX controls, just make a web site. And recent versions of IE really aren't that bad for it.


Actually, that was my use case. Quite a few people are using jdataview for other interesting applications. I was merely explaining what I was trying to do, sure it's an edge case but it's actually an example of where Microsoft don't follow the ECMA standard.

Not sure why the post was voted down. I think the fact that Microsoft aren't following the ECMA standard for string processing is actually a fairly egregious example of why it's just not worthwhile in many instances to develop for IE.


Did you guys forget what pain in the ass was a couple of years ago when IE was the most used browser everywhere?

Seriously, f. Microsoft. Just because finally they made a decent browser, doesn't mean that we should be that grateful. Their business was "make a shitty browser while we can", and now that they can't anymore "ok, sorry guys, here's very nice browser, btw, it won't work on our most used OS version, even though every other browser works".


"We" simply prefer to base our decisions on the current state of affairs, not on the way things where years ago. If your business requires you to support IE, do it. If not: don't. But please don't make it sound like you have some holy war to fight. Thanks.


^ This.




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