On the Internet Explorer blame : Answer to @slicknet’s post

Just a short recap of the debate:

Here’s my reaction that I also published as a comment to Nicholas blog:

I will have to strongly disagree with the fellow compatriot although I respect his experience and background. I have a lot less experience that he does, but I think I do have the right to disagree (stating the obvious, but whatever).

First of all the post makes one statement that I think Nicholas didn’t really think through: “IE8 nice, stable browser”. Five words to that: getElementsByClassName.

Second of all complaining isn’t counterproductive; On the contrary, developer complaining has being responsible for browsers pushing the boundaries. Being constantly unsatisfied maybe makes you miserable, but it’s for sure not counterproductive. Don’t take my word for it, just see how it turned out for the Apple guy.

If it wasn’t for web developers and designers, who would actually complain? End users? Most of the computer illiterate people I know can’t even tell the difference between Internet Explorer or Chrome, and only get convinced if you force them to try. Hell, we’d be still using IE7 if it wasn’t for complaining.

Last but not least, Nicholas skips one very important fact in his analysis: The infamous Microsoft yearly browser updates, who are just plain ridiculous with regards to the speed the industry evolves, and Microsoft’s Windows XP / no IE9 policy, which sabotaged not only it’s own “modern” browser, but also the new specs adoption as a whole. (ops, actually those were two facts!)

I’ll add one more point, just to spice the debate a bit more: BAD NEWS folks! Regardless of all the innovation, polyfills, JavaScript frameworks, JavaScript browser engine optimization and so on, we still are far behind native applications performance and stability. So, if you ask me, if we are planning to make some progress, we can’t keep polyfilling and we can’t keep supporting browsers that are four years old. Come on you guys, there’s no excuse. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s good for everyone. Once and for all the O/S should take full control of the upgrade procedure, make all browser updates silent, and 80% of the users should be on latest stable at any moment. If you’re on Facebook for 5 hours per day minimum, you got time for a minor download once a couple of months. I’d even go one step further and say all modern browsers should be pre-installed in all O/S so they could be more tied to the O/S. Maybe “healthy” competition in this case is not a good thing after all.