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IE 6 / 7 / 8 bad performance?
Jan 30th, 2011 by P.G.Taboada

When you start developing complex enterprise applications using GWT, you can run into the problem that IE does not perform quite well with too much JavaScript.

Many companies are still stuck in – IMHO – the most successfull vendor-version lock-in web history. Ever heard this?

I cannot upgrade IE in our company because of  (…)*

(*) You can fill in you favorite corporate intranet application that won’t work elsewhere, only in IE6.

And even if you can upgrade IE to the latest version (actually IE8), it won’t get much better. Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari – pic anyone and you will see that the RIA in question can be fast.

And here is where Google comes to the rescue. In a recent blog posting, the Chromium declared that “chrome is ready for business“:

Both Chrome and Chromium are now manageable through Group Policy objects on Windows, plist/MCX configuration on Mac, and special JSON configuration files on Linux. We polished up the NTLM and Kerberos protocol support, and created a list of supported policies and administrative templates to help administrators deploy.

This is good news for companies willing to switch from IE to chrome, but for those sticking to IE we still have the nochrome-vendor-version lock-in. And this is the greatest problem: how do you switch to a modern browser, if you must run several applications in IE? The answer is simple: you switch the rendering engine inside IE, but not for all applications, just for those explicitly asking for it:

For users needing access to older web applications not yet qualified for Chrome, we also developed Chrome Frame, an Internet Explorer (TM) plug-in that provides Chrome-quality rendering for the broader Web, while defaulting to host rendering for any web applications that still require IE.

This way, IE will work as always, but if some page adds a simple html or http header, google chrome will do the rendering of the page, inside IE. Users don’t have to switch from one browser to another, and the IT department can rollout one web application upgrade after another, without compromising legacy apps.

You could even use a proxy with content adaptation to add the required http header to all pages from the internet.

I mean, really, even Microsoft says you should upgrade:

Microsoft’s urging to upgrade to IE8 appears to be partially in response to the German and French governments’ recommendation that people stop using Internet Explorer altogether due to its security vulnerabilities.

Microsoft’s announcement said: “It is important to note that all software has vulnerabilities and switching browsers in an attempt to protect against this one, highly publicized, but currently limited attack can inadvertently create some false sense of security. Moreover, IE8 has other built-in security protections, such as the SmartScreen filter, that other browsers do not have that protect against real consumer threats, such as socially engineered malware and phishing attacks.”

Atlassian dropping IE 6 support
Feb 8th, 2010 by P.G.Taboada

I found this one here in the atlassian forums, unfortunately the link posted there is broken.

Hi guys,

We are announcing our end of life of Atlassian support for Internet Explorer 6 on JIRA.

This will be effective from the launch date of JIRA 4.2 (target Q3, 2010). This means that JIRA 4.1 will be the last version of JIRA to support IE6. (From JIRA 4.0 to JIRA 4.1, all of the main functionality will work in IE 6; however, some of the visual effects will be missing).

The End of Support Announcements for JIRA specifies end of support for browsers, appserver and JDK. We should add Atlassian products to the IE death march.

IE 6 death march
Feb 8th, 2010 by P.G.Taboada

This year is a great year for web development. We will witness the “end of life” of IE 6. And as far as I got it right from here, IE 7 is being trashed on the same day:

13-Jul-2010
Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP Professional Service
Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP Professional

And sincerely: this is good. I just hope companies start upgrading soon, why should we wait until July? I just hope that Google, Amazon, Ebay and others take the chance to honor this date. What about turning off IE 6 support completely for a week or two? This surely would help companies to speed up transition…

But IE 6 was not all pain…  did you see this one here? So sad and funny at the same time… There is even a website dedicated to the IE death march!

So before you update to IE 8 I just wanted to point out that…

  • Internet Explorer is a piece of software more generally called “web browser
  • It might come as a surprise, but the Internet Explorer is not the only browser available for Windows users…
  • Sadly, Internet Explorer browser updates are the only ones the inexplicably involve updating half of the underlying OS ;-)
  • Internet Explorer has been the least compliant browser for several years
  • Internet Explorer has been the slowest browser for several users/ years

So, before updating, have a look at Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera. They are all far better (faster, more secure, more compliant) in browsing the web than Internet Explorer.

And you don’t have to fear your OS is vulnerable or broken after installing a update.

And, just in case you missed that one: HTML5 is the next big step in the web development. Google and Apple are the key players this time. Not Microsoft. Microsoft announced that they will setup a set of tests to evaluate HTML5. And they announced that IE 9 will be able to draw round corners (this is innovation from Microsofts point of view, really).

With HTML5 we will leverage the web to next level, the new features are awesome. Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera already support the vast majority of the HTML5 features:

Google Bets Big on HTML 5: News from Google I/O

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