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Sounds Right

The BBC reports on a solution to a web designer problem:
World’s first ‘tax’ on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7

The Australian online retailer Kogan.com has introduced the world’s first “tax” on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser.

Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm’s site.

Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in “rendering the website into a antique browser”.

The charge is set to 6.8% – 0.1% for every month since the IE7 launch.

Mr Kogan said that even though only 3% of his customers used the old version of the browser, his IT team had become pre-occupied with making adaptations to make pages display properly on IE 7.

“I was constantly on the line to my web team. The amount of work and effort involved in making our website look normal on IE7 equalled the combined time of designing for Chrome, Safari and Firefox.”

If you look at the source code for any fairly complex site you will see all sorts of references to IE7 because it was and is a known violator of multiple standards. People need to move on, to Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or even IE9. Even Micro$oft occasionally upgrades products because the existing version really Zucks.


1 Steve Bates { 06.14.12 at 11:46 pm }

Oh, I remember IE7, yes indeedy I do. I had just completed my first (and only, as it turned out) AJAX app. It worked in the current Firefox and in IE6 with no problems. Just as my client and I were ready to release the app to their customers, M$ excreted IE7. Some peculiarity in the timing caused IE7’s JavaScript events to fire in a slightly different order under one critical circumstance… different from Firefox, but also different from IE6.

M$ won that one: we had to delay the release by about 10 days. The customer was PO’ed at us. We were PO’ed at M$. The workaround was something straight out of the pit of Hell to which M$ programmers are consigned. I’ll never forget… or forgive… that one.

2 Bryan { 06.15.12 at 12:26 am }

WordPress templates are liberally endowed with IE7 checks, especially the style sheets, but even then the pages are not the same.

I seem to remember that that was the period when Sun and M$ were having their war over Java and Javascript engines. I ended up downloading the official Sun engine to keep my browser working for more than an hour [if I was lucky].

3 Badtux { 06.15.12 at 1:51 am }

I set up a WordPress site for our Jeep club and had to hack on the template a bit to put our logo at the top left (it turns out to be more difficult than expected, I had to hack both the page header template *and* the stylesheet). I shudder to think of what IE7 would make of what I did. But it’s a club site, and I’m donating both the hosting and the expertise, so I don’t really care — if it looks ugly in some member’s browser, I’ll personally hop into my Jeep, drive to his house, and install Firefox on his computer :).

4 Bryan { 06.15.12 at 4:47 pm }

There is a time to let go. No one should spend money accommodating legacy software when there are free updates, or better programs that actually follow the agreed standards.