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For a few years Internet Explorer had a monopoly and lots of web sites became dependent on its bugs, quirks, and extensions. A lot of corporations are still stuck due to that.

It wasn't because of the monopoly.

It was because IE had a HORRENDOUSLY SLOW development cycle with minimal resources committed. It was impossible to get all of those issues fixed in a timely manner. If they can be fixed within a few months, it won't be 5+ years of entrenching people in egregious bugs before a new version comes out that breaks all of those if/elses in everyone's code.

We develop ONLY for Chrome. It (and WebKit especially) has bugs, too, and we report them regularly. But the development cycle is rapid enough that we can put a TODO in the code, file a bug against it, and a few months later we actually get to fix the code because, oh my gosh, it's fixed on Chrome stable.

IE only had a horrendously slow development cycle with minimal resources committed after it became a monopoly. Up until that point it was regularly updated with features and bug fixes.

I doubt that Chrome/WebKit will stagnate if it becomes the de facto standard but I'd rather it didn't have the chance and I'm constantly amazed that so many comments on HN seem desperate for one browser to rule them all.

IE was always that way, actually. Please check their release dates. They were very slow by standards we expect today. After 6, they did suddenly disappear for years, but again, this is a Microsoft problem.

It was also closed source, so nobody who found a bug could just go fix it. You had to ask Microsoft, nay beg Microsoft, to fix it for you. And they didn't.

These effects compound one another. The result is that MAJOR bugs become features.

IE development was pretty rapid up to IE6: please check their release dates. Microsoft out-developed Netscape.

How do you think it got from IE1.0 in August 1995 to IE6 in October 2001? (That included the IE5.5 release as well.)

I did check their release dates. I don't consider multi-month releases of minor versions "rapid", and major versions were shipped yearly.

That rate of development with the resources Microsoft had to get the best developers available is really unacceptable.

You're wrong, but I guess you're too young to remember and can't be bothered to learn anything.

The IE team produced 7 versions in six years and there were some very substantial advances, including a new layout engine (Trident). They also did Mac and Unix versions, a mobile version, and a tabbed version for MSN (before iE had tabs).

IE certainly developed a lot faster than anything else on the market in the 1990s, bearing in mind that Netscape took three years to get from 4.7 to 4.8.

Safari entered the market late (2003) and still took the best part of seven years to make it to version 4.

Nobody shipped major versions "yearly".

Netscape used a similar release cycle too, and so did Firefox before version 4.

Yes, but new releases are worthless if consumers cannot use them.

So we are forced to hack web sites to make it work in the majority of WebKit based browsers out there in the field.

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