I really should know better I suppose. I have previously had so many poor experiences using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that quite some time ago I stopped using it completely and till this week I really hadn’t given it any thought what so ever. Of late, my browser of choice has been Google’s Chrome as my ‘main’ Internet tool, but you can’t have just one as there are several sites I use on a regular basis that just don’t work with Chrome. For these I was using FireFox – unfortunately since about two releases ago, there seems to be a memory leak of some sort in FireFox and so I found that it crashed every other day – much as Internet Explorer did which was why I stopped using it. Perhaps in their efforts to be fully compatible, the Mozilla folks have somehow managed to emulate Microsoft’s bugs !
I then switched to Apple’s Safari as a secondary browser which is quite good in many ways – but alas it can’t spell. For whatever ludicrous reason, it insists and persists in thinking that its English actually is English when in fact its just American. No matter what I tried, or who I talked to I could not make real English dictionaries stick. Actually that isn’t quite correct – I was of course informed by one of those ever so typically smug and self satisfied Mac-advocates, that if I just went out and bought a Mac all would be well ! From my own perspective, if the software is designed correctly then I don’t understand why that should be required, so Safari was de-installed.
That left me with having to take a look again at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – as I didn’t have a working copy on my test machine, I pulled down the latest version (actually not quite the latest version as release 9 won’t run on XP which is what I use as a test box – I had to use release 8). So far, so good – and then as so often happens I was Microsoft’d from behind when I least expected it !
As I tried out the IE8 on my own web sites, I was stunned to find that lots of things didn’t work ! There are photos and search bars not loading as per the screen shot to the right.
As can be seen in the screen shot below, they all looked perfect in Chrome, FireFox and Safari – absolutely no issues with missing photos, search bars or anything else. For whatever silly stupid reason, when using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer there were lots of things that just were not displaying !
To say that I was annoyed doesn’t quite capture how I felt, and it has taken me the better part of a couple of days of fiddling to kludge things back to the point that the MS rubbish is happy and will deign to display the pages the same way Chrome, Safari and FireFox do.
At any rate – I’m now back to where I started and left with one mystery – I don’t get a huge amount of traffic, but for a personal site dealing in a niche topic I do get a far bit – typically about 100 visits per day. Based on the site statistics I capture, roughly 36% were using Microsoft’s IE (the actual numbers are 36% for IE, 32% for FireFox, 19% for Chrome, 12% for Safari and 1% for Opera) so I wonder why it is that none of the IE users thought to mention to me that there were some gaps and things not working on the site ? Are they just accustomed to Microsoft tools not working ?