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TeeJay (2309)

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Working in Truro
Graduate with BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks
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Journal of TeeJay (2309)

Tuesday April 19, 2005
01:28 PM

Internet Explorer, how we hate thee

[ #24280 ]
I hate Internet Explorer, it is the bane of any kind of web-based work, either it infects machines with spyware and other crap, or it fucks up basic HTML rendering.

Over the weekend I updated the family website with a new ordering system that allowed calculation of VAT for different delivery types (the royal mail is excempt from VAT, so is added after VAT, everybody else is VATable and included before) depending on the weight of the order and where it was going (the better value couriers don't do outside mainland uk).

I spent a fair while working on that and generally refactoring and making the ordering system more robust and better reporting.

After working flat out for most of the weekend on various tasks related to the website (sorting out mail-order, VAT specifications with my wife, getting decent quotes, weighing plants, etc etc) I had little time to test with different bloody clients, especially end to end.

Fortunately worldpay happened to be checking our site's compliance and had a moan. I checked in the logs to see if there was an error or anything, then I noticed the absence of errors but that they were using IE6.

I know IE6 already has had some issues with the site - I had to redo all the PNG at least once because IE still doesn't support them properly and it also can't draw the top of the page correctly but I don't have the spare time to make it pixel perfect on a broken browser.

When I tested this afternoon everything worked fine, a couple of buttons were jiggled about (apparently a closing form tag pushes and content around it into the wrong position *sigh*), but that was to be expected after I made some changes to the site.

What was a shock was when I came to the new order confirmation page and it hadn't just moved stuff around, it rendered the VAT, delivery and all the important information in the page, including the vital 'confirm' button invisible.

After checking for some kind of missed closing table cell or row, I discovered that it was rendering the tables side by side, despite them both being 100% width and with a linebreak between. I found a align=left and removed that - hey presto IE finally remembers that it ought to put the tables on top of each other.

Its amazing how much IE can make life difficult. As I type one of my cow-workers is hacking 60,000 lines of javascript WYSIWIG HTML editor and IE is caching various bits and pieces so she has to reboot her machine to clean out all the variables and internet explorers caching.

I will be so glad when internet explorer is finally a niche browser with a small chunk of the market. If the U.S. weren't chicken they could have sorted out MS' browser monopoly a while ago, but we still have to live with it now and it still hauls us screaming and kicking into the 90's with its ancient bugs, insecurity and ignorance of standards and good practice.

hate hate hate hate it! In case you're wondering of the 3 computers in our house 2 have internet explorer, 1 is dual boot so it's never used on that, the other is my wife's and she uses firefox instead. Even when I was on the train the other day and talked with a couple of people, the woman opposite me from manchester gave the person we were talking to, about internet booking plane tickets, the url for firefox before I did.. so the press fanfare may have faded but the word of mouth is working. If you have friends and family still using Internet Explorer, ask yourself why you haven't made their life and yours and everybody elses better by getting them or helping them to install and use firefox.
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  • I know exactly what you mean. You code by the standards, test in Opera, Safari/Konqueror and Mozilla/FireFox and all is well - it even works well in Lynx/Links. As soon as you try it in IE all hell breaks out. You can't even rely on IE to break reliably, different versions vary in what they will and won't do, the Mac versions being utterly different from the Windows ones - for added measure.

    I hate IE almost as much as I hate Outlook...

    Try some of the links on my site, if you haven't already given these

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."