For those of my readers who care, and I know that you do, there is some significant news in the internet web browser world. For many of you most of this will make absolutely no sense or you will not care in the slightest and this text will be a complete waste of space. For those of you who are technophiles or internet phreaks you may find the following an interesting and telling turn of events.
AOL is discontinuing development of their Netscape browser, apoplexy and Microsoft’s new browser to be, Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8), passes the Acid 2 test. What does this mean to you?
AOL is stopping development and suggests that its users move over to using the Firefox browser. I have been using Firefox since when it was in beta stages and known as Phoenix. Firefox is the browser of choice for serious web developers because it is standards compliant, and a lean and mean little browsers. Internet Explorer has been universally reviled by the developer community and some savvy users for many years and because of this Firefox has gained great traction and due to disaffected Internet Explorer users. With Netscape no longer there to split up developers and user base Firefox should gain more popularity and developers. Yea! This is good news all around I am thinking. If you do not have Firefox, then Get It!
I am going to bitch about Internet Explorer for a little bit so you can get some perspective on why the Internet Explorer news may be so significant. I am a web developer and I hate Internet Explorer with a passion. I am surprised that I have any hair left and that I have not killed someone yet. I can develop a page that is semantically correct, valid, and using proper design techniques and it will not work in Internet Explorer. Gaaahhhh!!! When I am doing web work I design something right, test it in Firefox, Opera, and then Safari, and then I wince when I look at it in Internet Explorer (IE). It takes hours and hours or hacking and coding – sometimes it even requires some scripting to correct the horrible mess that IE renders. IE is the worst part of designing web pages.
Ok, so you got it. IE sucks and web developers hate it. There are more reasons for their hate but I am not going to go into it. What is this Acid 2 test and why do I care? The Acid 2 test is a test created by the Web Standards Project that when rendered by a browser correctly will show compliance with some very important web standards. It is more complicated than this, but that is the gist of it. For many years IE has not been even close to this. IE 7 which is fairly new is close and is a great step. With IE 8, which is not out yet, compliant the developer community will rejoice, especially when all of their userbase upgrades.
Please do you self a favor, as well as the developers of your favorite sites, upgrade to IE 7 now if you are a IE user, and even if you are download Firefox and take that for a spin. If you are at work you may want to talk to your MIS peeps or your computer person to be sure that it is OK.