Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can't ignore IE

I've been using Ubuntu as my operating system for the past five years. So long that I almost forgot that you must always check your web site for IE compliance. Well, I didn't forget so much as I wasn't concerned.

So since I've been shopping for contracts---I decided to return to consulting if I can line up the right opportunities--I thought it would be wise to review the user experience of my site, devinvenable.com, using IE. I fired up a virtual machine running Windows XP, opened up IE 8, and was hit with Javascript errors. Doh!

It's simple enough to conditionally remove code from your page that won't run on IE, or conditionally include code that does. Even if you use cross-platform javascript libraries like jQuery, as I do, you are still bound to run into issues from time to time.

<!--[if IE]>
You are using IE (IE5+ and above), so include include script that is specific for IE here.

<![if !IE]>
You are NOT using IE, so feel free to use HTML 5 features.

So don't get lazy and assume that IE is history. While it's true that many savvy technical users have ditched IE for Chrome or Firefox, there are always users who will use IE because it is installed by default on their Windows OS.

Writing this entry made me curious about the current browser usage statistics. Amazingly, Firefox is way out in front with 42.9% this month, followed by Chrome at 25.6%. Microsoft's IE is still hanging in there with a respectable 24.3%. Still a contender but far from being the market leader in 2011.


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