OT: Microsoft's new browser wreaks havoc

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by nzdavid, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. I have no idea how many websites this affects, but thought I would post this warning from my
    webmaster at www.techwriter.co.nz. Micro$oft strikes again! I have a Mac, but that makes no difference
    as others will access my site and other websites using MS IE7.



    ##### But first PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT NOTE --- it potentially affects every one of you.

    Every webmaster's worst nightmare has just happened ? Microsoft has started distributing the new
    version 7 of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser, and it's causing some parts of many existing websites to
    not work or appear properly. Whether or not you use the Explorer browser yourself, it has the potential
    to affect you because most of your site's visitors (about 90-95% of them) use Explorer so they see your
    website the way that their browser interprets it. And eventually most of them will upgrade to Version 7
    (whether they like it or not) ? it comes on every new Windows computer, and Microsoft is automatically
    updating most existing PCs by forcing an automatic update download.

    During site development, website designers often have to "tweak" the underlying coding to
    accommodate the various shortcomings and bugs in the various browsers and versions. Professional
    webmasters (me included) try to use well-tried, unadventurous coding and fault-tolerant adjustments
    (where necessary) to ensure the visual effects ? spacing, photo positions, overlapping etc ? is much the
    same on as many browsers as possible, and certainly the two main ones (IE and Firefox).

    And usually new browser versions are tolerant of past tweaks (we call them "workarounds"), by making
    them backwards compatible. However, IE v7 clearly does not ? it is causing many of these workarounds
    to not work as they once did. The internet forums used by web developers are in uproar about the
    number of website features that were working and are now broken on IE7.

    What does this mean to you? Several of my clients have already reported funny things on their sites that
    they see but I cannot (they've just updated to IE7 but I haven't). Some do not see it themselves but
    they're receiving client comments and queries re pages not found, funny alignments, etc. Even if you
    don't have IE7, an increasing number of your potential customers do! If you see any differences
    yourself, or if you get any reports from others, please get in touch with details so I can address them
    ASAP. (But remember, you'll need very specific details because I probably cannot see what you're
    referring to.) There will be no charge for work done to return affected sites to their status quo.

    What can I do to fix it? Unfortunately, nothing radical, permanent or universal. Whatever adjustments I
    make to your coding to make it right for IE7, it may not necessarily work properly on earlier versions of
    IE or on Firefox, etc. All I can (and will) do is to mitigate the undesirable effects so that we get the best
    compromises possible.

    Moral: A pox on Microsoft for this arrogant unilateral strike on the Web world!
  2. Y2K all over again.
  3. Use Firefox or Opera.
  4. I've been using IE7 on my home PC for several weeks now without any problems on any of the sites I visit. And I do visit more than just a couple of sites daily.
  5. Where I work, computers have Firefox installed. Our departmental tech abhors IE. I use Netscape on a Mac that's getting old. I had considered picking up a PC but after this, I'll stick to my gun. Thanks for the warning.
  6. They've always given the WWW standard people a stiff middle finger. As I recall, IE 6 was highly incompatible when it was introduced, but eventually tweaked to make it usable over time. The software I use is continually updated to allow for compatibility issues.
  7. David - not that it solves the problem, but one of the benefits of sticking closely to Web Standards / W3C compliance is that if things go awry, then you can point the finger at MS with a clear conscience :?)

    FWIW I develop and view sites with Firefox v2 (Mac OSX). Not perfect, but it works fine and behaves reasonably well with sophisticated CSS.

    It may be time we started adding a note to the first page: "This site best viewed with any browser other than MSIE!"
  8. I have Safari and Firefox with Mac OSX -- but many people will just use IE7 and be baffled
    when sites don't work properly. What gets me is how this can happen. How many millions
    does Microsoft have to spend on new product development? And yet they unleash this
  9. I use Firefox. I HATE being forced to use MSFT, but must, they being a monopoly...and I own some lots of stock for 10+ years. I wish I had bought at the IPO in '86-'87 (which?) when I came into some money.
  10. back in nt4 ie came as a seperate disc; version 4
  11. How come no one is using Maxthon, one of the first tabbed browsers. I've used it for a couple of years.
  12. Gee, a Microsoft product with bugs on board? What a surprise...let's see how long it takes
    before Vista blows up like the Hindenburg.
  13. "What does this mean to you?"

    It means that when it dominates the installed base of IE, I won't have to kludge frickin workarounds anymore to accomodate IE6.

    Free at last.

    I've had no issues with IE7 rendering valid css, html, php.


    Don E
  14. I downloaded IE7 along with some other windows updates. I don't use IE,I use Opera but I just hit the express button. IE7 nuked the driver for one of my printers, fortunately not my photo printer. Deleted it, reloaded the printer software, no more problems. Conclusion : IE7 is evil. Good luck.
  15. I've been running IE7 for about a week. No problems with any websites so far. The installation did some annoying things like trying to get me to sign up with Yahoo, but I squashed all that and it's fairly well-behaved now. In fact I think it's more stable than IE6 (so far). But I'm just a user, not a web designer, so perhaps I'm just not looking hard enough.
  16. "We call them workarounds" and "The internet forums used by web developers are in uproar about the number of website features that were working and are now broken on IE7."

    Yah, right. The real problem is that their workarounds to accomodate IE6 are hamfisted hard coding "solutions", probably made by someone who is long gone, and they are undocumented or they didn't use as revision control system, so that an earlier instance cannot be recovered.

    Which means now probably they have to work for free on their own time to fix it.

    I've reviewed our 18 sites and they all render properly on IE7. The latest one, though, we're still working on getting it to display properly on IE6.

    It's not the Apocalypse, but a business opportunity.


    Don E
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    What are the problems? The post is very vague. Are they CSS problems? HTML problems? Scripting problems? I just re-did my web site completely with both CSS and scripting and tested it in Firefox, IE7, Safari, Opera, and there are no problems. I found one slight inconsistency with IE7 that was easy to solve, but it was not even a "bug" and didn't need to be fixed.

    Every other site I've looked at in IE7 (I did quite a few as I was testing some different software for developing a gallery) was fine.

    The post would be a lot more useful if specific problems were cited rather than the usual anti-Microsoft diatribe.
  18. What problems? I've been using IE7 since it became available. It's faster than IE6, more stable and I have not had any problems with any of the numerous web sites I visit daily.
  19. like Nels, I have been using IE7 for some weeks now and have not encountered any problems whatsoever. cb
  20. "The latest one, though, we're still working on getting it to display properly on IE6."

    Table of thumbnails, three across in a container below several others, and constrained by the nav column on the right. In every browser we test, except IE6, this displays properly. In IE6 the table is forced below the fold leaving the center of the browser viewport blank when opening the page looking ugly and amatuerish.

    Since we want the thumbnails to span the entire container, the table width is specified at 100%. For whatever reason, IE6 upchucks a hairball on that, but it is happy with 98%, and so is Firefox and IE7. But they were happy with 100%, too. Apparently, IE6 is pixel-squeezed at 100% and its solution is to drop the whole container and table down below everything it is supposed to be alongside. Unfettered by association with other elements of the page, it then renders the table.



    Don E
  21. First of all, the message that the OP quoted is mostly FUD. IE7 breaks nothing. In fact IE7 is more standards compliant. Any changes made to websites to reflect this will end up being more compatible with other browsers. The problems with IE6 will rapidly diminish as it gets replaced by 7. Sure, IE still isn't 100%, but people complain when they start moving that direction?

    Second, it is the responsibility of anyone who maintains a website to address these issues before they become issues. IE7 was available in pre-release form for testers and website maintainers to use for several months before it was released. Microsoft even had detailed changelists posted so that you could figure out what parts of your website would need changing and how to ensure compatibility.

    Oh, and please stop using "$" in Microsoft. It was funny the first 3 times everybody heard it, but that was over a decade ago, and it's rather juvenile now.
  22. I was forced to convert at work. I hate IE7. It's just another example of MS's bloated bugware. It only exists because the great unwashed masses require dumbed-down software to operate even a simple thing like a web browser. Like before, if things don't appear correctly, webmasters will just have to purchase whatever web authoring bugware MS decides to push to have their pages 'IE optimized'. Just part of the plan to absorb us all into the MS 'Borg'.

    I use Foxfire on my PC laptop at home, and recently got a new desktop - a Mac. No MS, no IE. Yippee! When the laptop dies, I'll replace it with a Mac as well. When MS wants to show me the stiff middle finger, I feel it's polite to return the gesture.
  23. DB Cooper said "Like before, if things don't appear correctly, webmasters will just have to purchase whatever web authoring bugware MS decides to push to have their pages 'IE optimized'."

    Please provide evidence, or retract.
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still waiting for someone to provide a list of the things that don't work. Where is it? What are all these mysterious things that don't work? Are they so secret that nobody can say what they are?
  25. I've been using IE7 since it was first offered as a wide-release beta. I've not had any of the problems described by anyone else, but I still don't like it. For one, the user interface is completely different from previous versions; options like "history" that used to be their own button are now burried under menus, and the new placements aren't exactly all that obvious. I also don't like how I have to click on any embedded options like stuff driven by java or macromedia once to activate it and then again to actually use it -- I liked under IE6 how once the web page opened, everything was there ready to use with the first click.

    I also seem to have a lot higher rate of pages crashing than I did with IE6.

    But on the upside, I do like how I can open multiple pages in the same browser session (similar to later versions of Netscape), instead of having to open multiple sessions and thus taking up more memory like in IE6.
  26. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I don't like it IE7 either, I only use it for compatibility testing, but I don't get slamming it with a bunch of completely unspecified complaints. The original post is vague and completely without value.
  27. Having to click on things like flash applications to use them is a result of a patent dispute between Microsoft and one of those quasi legitimate companies that specialize in patenting obvious things and have no other business model.

    As far as usability and stability goes, I was a Firefox user for a long time and I went back to IE after 7 came out. There is a certain amount of uer preference when it comes to UI, so there's no point in arguing stuff like that unless there is something that is particularly egregious.
  28. Devin said "There is a certain amount of uer preference when it comes to UI, so there's no point in arguing stuff like that unless there is something that is particularly egregious."

    Au contraire. It isn't that one is necessarily better than the other, it's about making an easy transition between products within the same family. If you're going from IE to Firefox or Netscape, then yes, you should expect a certain degree of learning curve. But when you're going from IE to IE, there should be a degree of familarity.

    Microsoft did the same thing going from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95, they completely trashed the old interface for a new one ... well, new for Windows fans, not so new to Mac users. As a result, Macintosh users had an easier time learning 95 than 3.11 users did. Frankly, I think that shows a complete lack of respect for their existing customer base.

    And regarding the extra click -- it's not java or macromedia that Microsoft is annoying, it's their own users by doing that. Again, a complete lack of respect for their customer base.
  29. weird, my previous response got lost.

    About the "extra click" I mentioned earlier that Microsoft had no choice. The courts decided that Microsoft infringed on some useless patents held by eolas. Granted, it is easily worked around by web developers, but it is stupid nonetheless.

    When it comes to UI, where do you draw the line? Users are going to complain about wanting change, and when change comes they are going to complain anyway. They will never be happy, so you might as well make the necessary changes anyway.
  30. Devin said "When it comes to UI, where do you draw the line? Users are going to complain about wanting change, and when change comes they are going to complain anyway. They will never be happy, so you might as well make the necessary changes anyway."

    There's a difference between "making the necessary changes" and completely redrafting the UI to the point it is an all new interface. The re-draft in IE7 is unncessary if the point was merely to upgrade a handful of functions. I can only assume it was done for the same reason Windows 95 was done the way it was, in hopes of wooing people over from the competition. Possibly Firefox users like you. I would note that the UI now looks more like Netscape than previous versions of IE, so possibly that's the audience Microsoft was after.

    Again, it's not that one face is any more functional than the other.
  31. Again, it's not that one face is any more functional than the other

    Actually I find that the command buttons off to the right are much better organized, and make it easier to find certain functions, as opposed to the "classic menus". I think that the "File, Edit, View, Tools" paradigm has run it's course, and things are moving towards more dynamic, task-based constructs. We've pulled all of those types of menus out of our applications, and nobody has said a word, in fact we get people saying that things are easier. Still, it is difficult to get some people to move, I think it comes back to the old 80/20 rule.

    I used to work in a hospital that used an old terminal based system via terminal emulators installed on the desktops. Early on in the systems lifespan, it was known by one name. Later it was acquired by another company, the name changed, but it was still the same system. Out of several hundred desktops, you might have a shortcut on one that said "xyz", on another it would be "zyx", and on another it would be "xyz-zyx". If the shortcut did not have the proper name, people couldn't even SEE it, and if the icon wasn't what they expected, you were really in trouble.

    After giving a lady a new computer, she said "Where's my program? 'xyz' is gone. To which I replied "it's right there", pointing to "zyx". She said, "no, I can't find it". So, giving up, I quickly renamed the shortcut, and it was if somebody turned on the lights in a dark room, "Oh there it is, I must have missed it". o_O

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