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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Thursday May 20, 2004
04:25 AM

Browser Wars

[ #18847 ]

Mixing in the groups that I do, it's often easy to forget how out of touch with technology the general public can be.

I've been reminded of this by a debate that has been going on in the pages of Guardian Online over the last few weeks.

It started a couple of weeks ago when someone wrote to Ask Jack asking for advice about importing Netscape bookmarks into IE as "many websites now don't work properly under Netscape". Jack Schofield replied with advice on how to export bookmarks from Netscape and import them into IE.

Then last week, someone else wrote in pointing out that if a web site only works in IE then the webmaster is at fault and rather than just switching to using IE, you should email them telling them that their site is broken. This sounds like very sensible advice to me.

Today there was another letter on the subject[1] written by someone who clearly has no idea what he is saying. He suggests that rather than complaining to the author of an IE-only site, we should switch to using IE instead of "an inferior browser" and email Netscape asking them to fix their browser. This is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to see how to write a response (and a response must be written) that is short enough to be considered for publication.

[1] As an aside, wouldn't it be nice if the web versions of things like "Ask Jack" and the letters page had internal anchors so that I could link directly to the correct part of the article rather than leaving you to work it out for yourself?

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  • Some "people" just need smiting.
  • I agree, his comments about Netscape and IE are so far from the facts, at first I thought he was living in a parallel universe. Either he is a blinkered Windows/IE zealot, or he is comparing IE6 with Netscape 4.x, in which case it's fair to say that Netscape 4.x is a monster that should be put out it's misery.

    If he really thinks IE6/Win is great browser, then there is a special place in hell reserved in hell for him. Compared with the latest Mozilla, Opera and khtml (I'm told) based browsers, IE6/Win is A

    --
    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • Something like this?

    Walter Gladwin (Feedback, May 20) took users to task for complaining about IE incompatibility saying that everyone should upgrade to IE because the rest are inferior.

    That opinion is well past its due date. While once true, at this point IE incompatibilities are almost entirely gratuitous mistakes on the part of websites. All major browsers currently match IE's features and go beyond, with standard additional features including tabbed browsing and blocking unrequested popups. Furthe