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Stories on Webdesign

Is Internet Explorer 11 the new broken browser?

16 April 2014

After a couple of brief encounters with the new "state-of-the-art" browser of Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 I have come to realize that this browser might be the new IE6. Full of new features and functionality, but broken in so many ways it hurts.

 

For a couple of clients I am developing webapplications and I always develop with Chrome or Firefox (due to great web developer tools). That means seeing your PSD transform from a picture perfect design in a binary file to a full-fledged interactive beauty on the screen in a webstandards compliant browser. Tweaking here, fixing there and in a couple of hours or days the webapp is ready for server-sode technology. Sometimes the 1px bug for some floated block-elements in latest versions of Firefox get me annoyed, but luckily there is a Firefox specific CSS-hack (http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/css-hacks-targeting-firefox/) that can be used (for all Mozilla specific features, see here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/Reference/Mozilla_Extensions). But then I turn my gaze onto the mother of all dragons of browsers out there, Internet Explorer. I knew my way around all the hacks in IE6, wept over IE7 and clapped when IE8 arrived. Conditional comments were my friend and ally. I could dream all the tweaks I needed to implement to get around the broken IE box-model, the crappy render-engine and all other woes. But then Microsoft discouraged conditional comments in IE9 (we are now webstandard) and discontinued them alltogether in IE10 and up. So now we had to apply a non-webstandard meta-tag called XU-A-Compatible (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6771258/whats-the-difference-if-meta-http-equiv-x-ua-compatible-content-ie-edge-e). Help! I do not want this! I want to be able to cater to the most broken of all browsers as I used to, because they (Microsoft) stll haven't gotten it right. And then IE11 came around, with (the option to make use of) automagical updates. Great, no more issues you should suspect. But of course system administrators uncheck this option immediately and lock down to a certain "stable" build. And if the option is left checked, then Microsoft comes around and breaks the whole shebang with some new great functionality we've all been waiting for: the Enterprise Mode... (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/04/02/stay-up-to-date-with-enterprise-mode-for-internet-explorer-11.aspx) Assuming Microsoft wants the best for all its users out there why on earth is this functionality ON by default? According to one systems administrator in my network this means the the latest build of IE sets the browser to compatibility mode by default. Meaning if you do not use a XU-A-compatibility tag (which you shouldn't of course, because it is not webstandard) your IE11 browser will render as an older browser. But which version? And which hacks should I now employ? How do I get around all this? Someone please?

Posted by Sebastiaan Naafs - van Dijk | top

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    ... on 22 August 2017 @ 18:51