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a.k.a. Internet Explorer's Fall from GraceInternet Explorer Falls from GraceI heard a quote from a co-worker the other day:
"Internet Explorer is the browser you use to download other browsers."
I love that quote because I love to hate IE. Yes, IE10 is better (best yet!), but because of the huge corporate install base of Internet Explorer we still need to to support 4 (!) versions of Internet Explorer going all the way back to IE7. This is very annoying. As any web developer knows, you build your sites in a good browser, both because it's got the latest and greatest rendering, but also because it has tools that help you build the page - Webkit Developer Tools, or Firefox's FireBug plugin. Then, after your page is built according to spec, you then have a totally new process to go through your pages and make everything look acceptable in all the supported versions of IE.
  • You may start with IE7.
  • Then, you have a new (shorter) process for IE8.
  • Then, you have a new process (shorter, still) for IE9.
  • But then you still have to go through IE10.
  • Then, you notice that your IE conditional classes you implemented from html5boilerplate don't work for IE10. So you have to resort to some javascript to apply the class to the html element...
Because this process is laborious, it is more expensive. The problem is that clients actually pay for this. Sure, it's good to make more money, but I hate that the client is wasting their money on making things look decent in ancient browsers. To make this point, I periodically check out the latest browser marketshare statistics at StatCounter.
Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Version (Partially Combined) Market ShareI first notice that IE10 has almost 15% market share. Yay! That's great. Let's look at IE8. Surely it is less than IE9. What the ?!? As of August 2013, IE8 seems to be on the rise, rising from 7% in July to 9% in Aug. IE9 is flat at 7.3%. Yes, folks. It's quite the battle for mediocrity! But the stat I like to focus on is this:
  • IE7 has a US marketshare of 0.57%.
Don't read that as 57%. We're talking about .0057! I love this stat and refer to it often. I feel pretty good about arguing that we should urge the client to NOT pay us to do this... mostly to no avail. It is too often that clients companies want to see our beautiful sites on whatever browser their network admins set as the default circa 2001. Bummer. But surely, IE7's days are numbered.....