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Why are Websites Still Forcing People to Use IE?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the betcha-it's-active-x-controls dept.

The Internet 899

DragonTHC asks: "I just visited Movielink's website for research. Their site has a nice message saying, 'Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 (or higher) or Mozilla/Firefox with an IE Tab Extension (IE installation required).' While allowing the IETab Firefox extension is somewhat progressive, why do companies still force people to use Internet Explorer? Surely the site should work just fine in Firefox? With Firefox's steady gains in market share, you would think that webmasters would get the hint. If you are a webmaster, what are your reasons for forcing IE?"

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Obvious (2, Insightful)

MisterCookie (991581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790299)

For the same reason people use IE in the first place: They are stupid and/or lazy.

Re:Obvious (4, Funny)

alexjohnc3 (915701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790447)

For the same reason people use IE in the first place: They are stupid and/or lazy.

They could also have a passionate love for Microsoft. Oh wait, I guess that falls under the "stupid" category, doesn't it?

Obvious arrogance. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790589)

Typical slshdot arrogance. How about IE has functionality that your sacred cow doesn't?

Re:Obvious arrogance. (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790763)

How about IE has functionality that your sacred cow doesn't?

Such as? What necessary piece of functionality does IE have that Mozilla (or Opera, or others) don't have?

The GP is absolutely correct most of the time: In the vast majority of cases there is no justifiable reason, and the only explanation is a lazy and/or dumb development team that couldn't be bothered to support another browser. Many of these projects were developed or began back when such a lazy choice wouldn't impede them much, but nowadays it can be deadly (if I encounter an IE-only site, I presume the operators are just grossly incompetent and go elsewhere).

Re:Obvious arrogance. (5, Interesting)

secolactico (519805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790981)

Such as? What necessary piece of functionality does IE have that Mozilla (or Opera, or others) don't have?

Backdoor exploits into your OS? Ha! Try doing *that* on Firefox or Opera.

Seriously, I'm guessing that's simply an unwillingness to code for more than one browser, either because of laziness or lack of resources or they don't care about the growing market share or firefox.

I don't know if that site is good enough to make people open an IE window or tab just to visit it, so I don't know if their arrogance (if that's what it is) is justified.

Thanks for your interest in Movielink, the leading movie download service. Sorry, but Movielink is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States.


I guess I'll never know.

Re:Obvious arrogance. (4, Insightful)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790777)

Typical slshdot arrogance. How about IE has functionality that your sacred cow doesn't?
If Y% of the market uses IE and Z% uses Firefox, Opera, etc... well, as Z grows, supporting only IE gets stupider and stupider.

Certainly, it's easier to write one-platform one-browser code. I guess as long as the extra effort would cost more than you're losing in users, it makes sense...

Re:Obvious arrogance. (5, Funny)

gregmac (629064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790993)

I know! Firefox doesn't even run ActiveX controls, and those awesome search bars that give you free stuff don't even install into it!

Re:Obvious arrogance. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791135)

Exactly! how can you spread your malware if people were not using IE!

Only losers that believe in standards and a "safe internet" want you to use anything other than IE.

Now come on people how are us webmasters supposed to survive if we dont install spam software, keyloggers and screen scrapers on your computers?? IE give us the tools to do just that!

Forcing people to use IE? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790305)

I think you mean forcing people to use other sites.

Re:Forcing people to use IE? (1)

UNIX_Meister (461634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790879)

Please mod parent up - the only thing these sites are doing is forcing customers to their competitors. As well as pissing off the /. crowd.

Re:Forcing people to use IE? (-1, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791041)

The Slashdot crowd is full of people who complain about picayune details using pedantic arguments, and never want to pay for anything. What business actually wants that as a customer base?

Re:Forcing people to use IE? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791157)

F12 > Edit site preferences > Network > Mask as Internet Explorer.

I 3 Opera 9. ;)

IE!!!!! (1)

lpcustom (579886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790307)

Because IE is all you ever needed in a browser! </sarcasm> I mean really do you guys just put stuff on the frontpage to incite flamewars?

Re:IE!!!!! (3, Informative)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790385)

A flame war means page views.

What I'd like to see. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791159)

I mean really do you guys just put stuff on the frontpage to incite flamewars?

I don't know, there might be a reason for requiring IE. Sometimes you can take a question for what it's worth. Chances are, there's no real reason.

Hey look! a flying pig that's viewing a website that could only work with IE. Amazing.

"Allowing" IETab? (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790313)

As I understand it, IETab simply embeds Internet Explorer inside the Firefox window and allows the chrome to control it. As far as the website can tell, IETab is IE.

What's (somewhat) progressive about MovieLink isn't that they're allowing IETab... but that they're recommending it.

Re:"Allowing" IETab? (5, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790471)

What's (somewhat) progressive about MovieLink isn't that they're allowing IETab... but that they're recommending it.
It's not all that progressive though is it? That just means the website isn't from a time where for most people there really was no known alternative to IE. They're obviously well aware of Firefox and yet they have chosen to jam a proverbial fork in the user's eye by suggesting they change their software to fit the website. If anything that's regression in my book. They're aware of other browsers, they explicitly just don't care.

Re:"Allowing" IETab? (1)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790773)

>They're aware of other browsers, they explicitly just don't care. I'd have said its more 'aware of other browsers, and presenting a solution to those who use them'. How appropriate or useful the solution is, is different question completly, but short of changing their site its the best thing to do. You must appreciate of course that the people in control of the site might be fully aware of firefox and so on, but they probably are not in control of the money. Given the choice of re-design the site for x money, or put a notice telling people who use firefox how to get round it for allot-less-then-x money, I know which I think bosses would go for. Especially if the site is already doing well with out firefox visitors. Not to mention just because firefox has a certain percentage overall doesn't make that true of every site. Certain tech blogs have posted reader stats before now which show a 70~80% firefox readership. Doesn't make that true of the net in general. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest slashdot gets a massive number of 'non-IE' browser vists, but other sites might only see a 5~10% 'non-IE' impact at best. In those cases re-making a site/changing it for maximum browser capability doesn't make as much sense as some instructions for how FF users might get round the problem. It might be that they don't care, it might be its actually the most sensible action.

Poor programming (4, Informative)

Yobgod Ababua (68687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790941)

In those cases re-making a site/changing it for maximum browser capability doesn't make as much sense as some instructions for how FF users might get round the problem. It might be that they don't care, it might be its actually the most sensible action.
In 90% of the "IE-only" sites I've encountered, the problem is not that they would need to re-make their site but that they stuck some "browser verification" script on the front page that doesn't know anything about the capability of non-IE browsers and thus excludes them. Changing the site in these cases is as easy as removing the "you must use IE to enter" code. I usually test these cases by asking my non-IE browser to lie about what it is, and things then usually work perfectly.

What really drives me mad are sites that say you need "IE X or more recent, or Netscape 6 or more recent" but don't let Firefox or Opera in because they didn't exist when they wrote the script and no one bothers to update it, even though these "more recent" browsers would do fine.

Re:"Allowing" IETab? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790599)

What's (somewhat) progressive about MovieLink isn't that they're allowing IETab... but that they're recommending it.

That isn't progressive, its idiotic.
They support non-IE/Windows platforms by telling you to install Windows and IE.

I bet this bullshit was because someone said "Make sure it supports firefox too"!

Then either the developer was colossally arrogant and BS'd his way through by showing that it worked with IE tab, or the developer was colossally stupid and actually thinks supporting IETab somehow constitutes support for firefox.

Either way, the developer deserves to be beaten to pulp.

Then don't go there (5, Insightful)

Jupix (916634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790317)

They have no power over you. Just go somewhere else for your research. That's what I do when I come across a stupid website like that.

Re:Then don't go there (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790761)

Exactly. This is the strongest message you can send and it's actually your easiest option thanks to Internet search engines. Any decent web logfile analysis package is capable of showing stats on the number of visitors that only visited the home page and didn't follow any links. If the site in question is using one and that figure gets high enough then they might just correlate it with browser usage and the clue train will pull into the station. If not, well, it's their lost sales, advertising revenue, warm-fuzzies though high pages hits or whatever other factor they judge the success of the site by.

Re:Then don't go there (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790865)

What if the website is your student loan provider? Can't exactly change that easily. (Not that any of those companies do that, just saying "go somewhere else" is not always practical.

Re:Then don't go there (2, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791209)

The web is a lever of productivity for banks and similar businesses. If their website excludes you, you can cost them some money by transacting all of your businesses with them over the phone or, even better, in person. Maybe after a while they'll get the hint.

It says you must use IE. (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790335)

But what does it do if you don't? Does it look like crap? Does if fail to load? If so, does it refuse to serve FF? What about the other alternatives? Or is it a matter of sloppy scripting by the site designer?

Re:It says you must use IE. (1)

Cesium12 (1065628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790577)

For most such sites, they simply refuse you access to the main parts of the site unless you come back with IE. Check browser, if browser != IE, automatic denial.

Re:It says you must use IE. (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790649)

Can't you set up firefox to pretend it's IE? I seem to remember doing this back in the 90's Netscape back when stuff like this was more prevalent. These days, I take my business elsewhere without a thought.

Re:It says you must use IE. (2, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791009)

I use the User Agent Switcher plugin for sites like this. Well, in this case it doesn't help. The page brings up a clock timer/progress meter and gets no further. Bringing up the error console, it fails on a javascript error. And a look at the javascript code shows that the site uses ActiveX (Microsoft.ActiveXPlugin.1, MediaPlayer.MediaPlayer.1, etc).

I beleive there is an ActiveX wrapper plugin for Firefox, though I'd never dream of actually using it. However, even that probably wouldn't help, because a bit further down the page.....VBScript. I'm pretty sure theres no way to get THAT working in Firefox.

In short, I think the page is absolutely hopeless.

Wild guess here... (3, Insightful)

Giolon (1006069) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790347)

but probably so that they only have to test for one browser's compatibility. Each browser has its own quirks (incorrectness?) in dealing with things like CSS transparency, and DIVs, etc. and the lowest common denominator for the vast majority of people browsing the web is, Internet Explorer. It's bundled into Windows. Knowledgeable people seek out others like Firefox or Opera, but your average person setting up their phat myspace profile.

Re:Wild guess here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790463)

Do people still say "phat"?

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790613)

Twice so far in this thread alone.

JON

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790641)

Each browser has its own quirks (incorrectness?) in dealing with things like CSS transparency, and DIVs, etc...

Just a note about this: I've found the only browser that has any serious quirks anymore is IE, frustratingly enough. I usually design in FF and Opera, make a few small but compatible adjustments for Safari and everything works great. Then I undertake the beast that is IE - it's like designing for a whole different standard.

On the other hand, you are right about, "the lowest common denominator for the vast majority of people browsing the web is, Internet Explorer," but I would never use this as an excuse to exclude the other browsers.

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

Giolon (1006069) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790699)

I wouldn't use this as an excuse either, but there are a lot of lazy people out there.

Re:Wild guess here... (2, Interesting)

compm375 (847701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790679)

but probably so that they only have to test for one browser's compatibility

That would make sense if they were only supporting IE6, but they are supporting IE5.0+, which means IE5, IE5.5, IE6, and (presumably) IE7. That is already four browsers, and they are browsers that cannot easily be installed on the same computer at the same time, making them even more difficult to test.

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790883)

and they are browsers that cannot easily be installed on the same computer at the same time, making them even more difficult to test.

*cough* Xen/VMWare/Parallels/... *cough*. At this point, I think that anyone doing any serious development work, whether that be coding for the or standalone applications, who isn't using some form of virtualization is probably a member of a rapidly shrinking breed. Or a masochist.

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790905)

"but probably so that they only have to test for one browser's compatibility"

Not even that.
1) "If you are a webmaster..." Heck *I* am a webmaster. I know because *I* am the master of the web server: I am the one with the keys to turn the web server on and off. We are talking here about managers and web *developers*, but webmasters? in more than a decade I never gave a damn about the servers I master being accessed by Explorer, Mozilla, Mosaic, or even telnet to the port 80.
2) Main responsible is not the web developer, but the manager at charge. He/she is the one that takes the decision to cut expenditures by not taking the time for properly test developments under their charge for "quirks" on commonly used browsers, as they don't do for accesibility by bots or people with disabilities or even to hire knowledgeable people (how many web developers do you know that try their code *first* against an html/ecmascript/css validator and *after* that work out the few specific quirks of this or that browser but instead they load the page on their browser of choice, on the monitor and colour depth of choice and "validate" by saying "Hummm... it seems OK to my eye", for instance?).
3) Anyway, as a web user I still don't give a damn (except for public/government sites). IE only, you say? Well, sorrily my money votes for non f* bussiness that are not interested on my wallet; maybe your competition likes the smell of my money more than you.

Re:Wild guess here... (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790917)

There are significant differences between Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.2 (totally different rendering engine), 5.5, 6.0 (different rendering depending on doctype sniffing) and 7.0. I've even found some bugs manifest themselves within the same version of Internet Explorer only depending on whether they are running on an NT-based or DOS-based Windows.

In my experience, Opera, Firefox and Safari, three totally different codebases, have a better shot at rendering alike than Internet Explorer 5.x and Internet Explorer 7, provided that you use valid code. It's entirely possible that their reason is to reduce compatibility testing, but it's a false economy assuming you've hired competent developers. The compatibility testing for vaguely conformant browsers is a drop in the ocean compared with what you already have to do for Internet Explorer.

features - (kinda) (3, Insightful)

Gates82 (706573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790355)

Many sites (especially employee websites) require IE because they are using some active-X or item that IE has integrated into it. People say, "cool I can use x,y,z instead of a stand alone app." Since IE is so much more then a browser it does all of this wonderful things. Annoying I know, but people want a one stop app for everything even if it means you use IE to imput your time or run some database app for work.

People just need to realize that a web browser should be used for browsing the web and the websites should be HTML compliant.

--
So who is hotter? Ali or Ali's sister?

Re:features - (kinda) (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790949)

Just give them time. IE7 totally broke the website at one of the places I work. To the point where they have in bold fonts that they don't support IE7 and don't want any users to update to it. (They lock down windowsupdate on their PCs, but allow logons from home. Apparently only from Win2K and XP.)

User Agent Switcher (for Firefox users) (5, Informative)

mackil (668039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790371)

Just use the User Agent Switcher extension (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59 ) and have Firefox pretend it is IE. Nine times out of 10 the site will work just fine.

Re:User Agent Switcher (for Firefox users) (3, Informative)

JonWan (456212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790605)

Just tried it, it just saye that it's loading and sits there.

Re:User Agent Switcher (for Firefox users) (2, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791069)

As I just now posted in another reply, it uses ActiveX and VBScript.

Easy (3, Insightful)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790375)

I work for a major company and externally they make a bit of effort to make the website run on Firefox and IE.

However, internally they don't give a damn and most of the apps don't work - its very very frustrating. See below for reasons:

Lack of training
Lack of funding
Lots of Apathy
Business risk

Re:Easy (2, Interesting)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790557)

I'm going to stress two of those: Lack of funding and business risk.

Our "company face" website is browser-agnostic, but our major web apps are strictly B2B. We designed them years ago, in the first round of ASP, updated it slightly for ASP2.0, with lots of inter-connected controls, and we were never given time ("funding") to make it work across other browsers when some nice cross-browser JS frameworks came out. And you know what? All our customers enforce IE in-house, so we have no requirement to make it cross-browser, and in fact, a major change at this point would be a "business risk" (although God knows I wish we could scrap it and start over--we've had to add so many features that it's a nightmare now--but there's that "funding" issue again).

Although I must add, anything designed for the end-user (where the environment isn't mandated) should darned well better work in IE, FF, Opera and Safari!

Testing on Safari without a Mac? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790857)

Although I must add, anything designed for the end-user (where the environment isn't mandated) should darned well better work in IE, FF, Opera and Safari!
But for small businesses, does the extra expense of Mac hardware (if it's a Dell shop) or Dell hardware (if it's a Mac shop) justify the benefit of accommodating the quirks of both IE and Safari, especially when Firefox is everywhere you want to be (like VISA credit cards)?

Re:Testing on Safari without a Mac? (1)

Pfhor (40220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791229)

Actually, if you are a mac shop, you just buy one machine (intel imac + linux triple boot+ xp oem + parallels = everything you need to test a website for almost any computer) and if you are a pc shop, you buy your web designer a mac to run windows (full time if he wants) and to boot into os x also. I mean they should have one anyway, cs3 on intel macs screams.

New technologies, "corporate design" and other bs (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790405)

Well, however it may be, browsers still display different content differently. There is still no full consensus over how certain things should be displayed.

Now, of course, everyone has to use the latest technology in webpage design. In other words, the most incompatible technology. What looks lovely in IE looks aweful in Firefox and even worse in Opera. Ok, ok, maybe not aweful. But not JUST the same way. So you'd have to do the page two or three times to make it compatible with every browser. But that, in turn, would cost more money.

And here's where corporate design comes into play. It HAS to look exactly the way intended. The colors have to be JUST right, the placement, the spacing, everything has to match so it is immediately identified as THAT page. Since this cannot be warranted, the powers that be usually decide it's the lesser evil to "force" people to use a certain browser. Since you can assume that everyone has IE (at least everyone who uses Windows), but the amount of people who'd have Firefox is way smaller, IE is usually the browser of choice.

Re:New technologies, "corporate design" and other (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790725)

Bullshit.

I'm currently working a VERY large site for a VERY large company that happens to be largest manufacturer of their product in the world. This is site has to be deployed in 7+ languages in 20+ countries on 4 continents. It has more AJAX (and other Web 2.0 buzzwords) than you can shake a stick at, it genereates *zero* script errors on any brower, EVERY page validates, and, apart from the innate differences in the way Macs and PCs render fonts, it looks EXACTLY the same in IE6, IE7, FF, and Safari (Still working on Opera).

There's no reason you can't make your site look and function great across all platforms. You just have to be willing to pay the big bucks for the kind of people who can build it for you.

Re:New technologies, "corporate design" and other (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790745)

Case in point: every time you type "awful," my browser renders it as "aweful."

Re:New technologies, "corporate design" and other (4, Insightful)

lhand (30548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790873)

And I've had this discussion with people since the browser came out.

A browser displays a mark-up language. It was never designed to be a page layout language.
If you want that kind of control over presentation, use GIFs, PDF or Flash to do your presentations.
Of course, if you're too lazy to do all that work go ahead and assume that all IE users have their system set up exactly like you do--same screen resolution, same color depth, same fonts, no changes to default browser settings--and, by all means, use IE.
Every once in a while someone gets it but I think, as another poster mentioned, they're too lazy to bother.

Re:New technologies, "corporate design" and other (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791087)

"There is still no full consensus over how certain things should be displayed."

The heck with it. Of course there's a consensus; there's a consensus from the very first day of HTML!
"All things will be displayed the way the f* client finds proper". That's the one and only consensus, and that's the way things should be. HTML is about semantics, not presentation, and even things like CSS should do no more than *propose* a way to present the information ("oh, this new style sheet looks wonderful, doesn't it?" "Maybe, but I'm blind, you insensitive clod!"). If a CSS layer (or the absence of it) makes the information unreacheable or unusable then you are doing something utterly wrong.

Lazyness, Popularity (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790415)

I would guess two reasons, which are related. IE was VERY popular a few years ago. It was a relativly good browser, up to date, and thanks to Windows coming with IE by default it held a massive market share. The biggest competitors were Opera (not free) and Netscape. Even Macs had IE. If you made a website, you had to make it work in IE, and making it work in something else was a luxury, it wasn't that necessary.

I think what we are seeing is the result of that, at least in part. Web sites were designed for that and things have continued. You update your site, update your site, update your site. It's still setup for that browser. You may bother to fix it for FF and such.

Don't get me wrong, I HATE this. I especially hate sites that tell me I must use IE then work fine when I tell Safari to fake being IE. And this is becoming less of an issue as the market share of Macs goes up, and FF reaches like 20% here in the US and up to 50% in some European countries (see story from the other day).

Ignoring other browsers used to be safe. Now it can mean a big share of the market.

Also, in the (smaller) shop where I work, things MUST work on IE simply because it is such a big part of the market. That said, we all use FireFox and design for it first then go fix stuff for IE. Safari tends to work with whatever FireFox does for the most part.

PS: Installing IE tab is not a solution. Saying you are "FireFox compatible with IE tab" is like saying a paddle boat is gas compatible when you duct-tape an outboard motor on it.

Re:Lazyness, Popularity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791063)

Are you too LAZI to look up how to spell Laziness?

Malware-dependent sites (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790451)

I'm sure this is a great way to propagate malware -- force the user to use an insecure browser so that the site can install malware on the person's PC.

"This site works best (for us, not for you) with Internet Explorer"

Simple Answer... (1)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790453)

So many website devs are pwn3d by Microsoft, by virtue of habit and the platforms they've trained on.

What more can you expect when the majority of website development courses (and tertiary courses in general) run Windows workstations, and teach students with Windows applications. Get 'em young, get 'em into the groove. We all tend to be creatures of habit.

I did a tertiary certificate course last year and was told that using OpenOffice.org for in-class assessments was strictly forbidden - it was MSOffice or an F grade.

As the Jesuits used to say: Give me your child till he is 6, then you can have him after that

Microsoft Kool-Aid (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790943)

I'm on some Microsoft developer mailing lists, and I'm struck by the way that they spend so much time and effort on pushing proprietary solutions for every problem. There is never any recognition of a world outside Microsoft. I suspect that it is easy for young and naïve developers to buy into the idea that all problems can be solved with a Microsoft solution.

South Korea (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790455)

Aren't South Koreans in a position where US security export laws prevented anyone from getting the best of SSL encryption so it was implemented as an ActiveX which is now used by all the banks and organizations requiring good encryption thus forcing Koreans to use IE.

Do what I do... (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790461)

Find a service online that supports Firefox and give them your money instead of the other guy.

There's no sense worrying about one site when there are usually at least 3 more to replace it.

Geographic monopoly? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790907)

Find a service online that supports Firefox and give them your money instead of the other guy.
Even when no "service online that supports Firefox" offers its goods and services in your geographic area? For several years, the web site of the only bank in Terre Haute, Indiana [first-online.com] , was IE-only.

Re:Do what I do... (1)

alphamugwump (918799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791027)

That's a nice thought. What if the powers that be require you to use the crap?

For one class, I was required to use this total POS "videoconferencing" web2.0 dancing, glitsy flash-enabled, java-enabled, quicktime-enabled web app. Which basically let the instructor stream you slides while you did voice chat. I never got it to work, even on windows with IE. I've got a novel idea! why not just mail us the slides, and we can talk over IRC? or, if you really want voice, why not use skype? Why not use technology that actually works, instead of throwing us pre-alpha web 2 shit? That one incident made me angrier than I've ever been.

And there's more shit like this, that tends to be sold to schools who want to be hip and online and all that. I was also required to take an alcohol education "online course" before I could register. That bitch of a site streamed audio and video over flash. Of course, sometimes the audio didn't work. Sometimes it crashed firefox, so that I had to listen to the "lesson" again, and again, and again. They could have done the same damn thing with pictures and text on a static web page. But no, it had to be streaming.

Finally, the bitches can't even get text right. The best ones just have an mailing list, with answers submitted via a POST form, or better yet, just emailed to the instructor. The worst ones ... ugh. I've done a few classes where we were supposed to use the school's own proprietary "message board". Which, of course, spews everything onto one page and cuts off messages at 1024 characters. Keep in mind this class was like seven sections, and we were supposed to write a lot, and respond to each other. Needless to say, that got unmanageable really fast.

phpbb would have fit their needs perfectly, but they HAD to roll their own. Likewise, IM would have worked perfectly for what little realtime stuff we actually needed, but instead we used some ancient perl crap.

So no, in many cases, you don't have a choice.

ease of development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790477)

One browser, one look. Another browser, another look.
 
and I thought you slashdotters were smart.
 
Or is this just another really limp attempt at drumming up some traffic to get more money into CmdrDildo's pocket?

Drm requires IE (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790513)

I did not click on the link but many media sites use MS drm to broadcast content. Sites like Yahoo Music require Windows and IE because they use WMV and some shitty activeX controls.

I do not know anyone besides my father who uses firefox regardless of what the statistics say. It makes sense or did a year or two ago to only target IE as its what everyone uses and what frontpage expects everyone to be using. Maybe this might be changing but there is alot of pressure to get websites down quickly and cheaply and many phbs think its a waste of time to target anyone else when the big CIO wants the page updated yesterday.

Because they hate our Freedom! (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790523)

:) nt

Re:Because they hate our Freedom! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790835)

firefox isn't freedom, it's fagdom.

Because they're created by clueless n00bs (4, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790547)

The only people who require IE are the ones that purchassed some dumb HTML book by some other clueless n00b that uses IE, realised it was all too hard and went out and got frontpage to do the dirty work for them. There's a proliferation of them out there. They jumped in at the dot bomb boom thinking that calling themselves "web developers" would make them rich. It probably did, but it doesn't mean they're any good at it.

I mean c'mon it's not hard to write a brilliant page that works everywhere. Look at how Gmail works. IE, FF and Opera all render it correctly. Even Konqueror does a good job but its javascript implementation is a bit lax.

We have two "web applications" that we need to run at work. One is a time management package that used to be simply web-based using forms/java. There was nothing wrong with it except Java took a little time to start. They upgraded to the latest and greatest version that is now fantastic ActiveX. I pointed out that now us Linux users can't use it and will have to revert to the paper forms. Their first solution was "but everybody has 'The Internet'". It took over a week to demonstrate the Linux doesn't come with that (Internet Explorer) installed by default. They then reverted to "just borrow someone else's PC when you need to use it".

The other is an employee workflow manager. It works in FF but only barely. The HTML is that crap that you can hardly figure out what it's doing. Funnily IE renders the poo just fine, and is the only browser that does.

The people who recommend, install and run these services know nothing about Linux and wouldn't know what a web browser was if you showed them. They actually think "The Internet" is the Internet Explorer icon on their desktop.

Re:Because they're created by clueless n00bs (1)

Quantum Jim (610382) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790769)

I moderated your post wrong. I think it is actually a very good post, so I am commenting in this story to undo my moderation. I apologize.

MOD PARENT CLUELESS (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791239)

You DO realize browsers have different features, right? Midas wasn't always a part of Firefox, SVG support still isn't in IE (that I know of), IE just got transparent PNG, etc, etc, etc. It is the differences in browsers that sometimes make someone HAVE to choose one over the other.

User agent switcher... (1)

Piedramente (1063240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790553)

I just tried it and the site freezes on the loading clock? Oh well...

Slashdot Webmasters Forcing IE? (5, Funny)

yotto (590067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790567)

If you are a webmaster, what are your reasons for forcing IE?

Do you honestly believe there exists a /. webmaster who would require IE?

And if such a monster exists, do you honestly believe he'd admit it?

Re:Slashdot Webmasters Forcing IE? (1)

Navarr (1090239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790775)

I think that webmasters generally force Internet Explorer (Corporation Webmasters) for a few reasons: 1) IE, admittedly, still has the larger User Base 2) They were taught in school (instead of self-taught) and know what school taught; MICROSOFT 3) Active-X and WMV. Unfortunately, until Microsoft uses only Standards-Compliant rendering, things like this will continue. Personally, I think Active-X should be Open-Source (and available for Opera and FF) and that IE should render Standards-Compliant (and nothing else) just so that webmasters would either have to learn standards, or the company would not make any money at all.

Re:Slashdot Webmasters Forcing IE? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790997)

I may be wrong, but I thought Firefox won't work with ActiveX because it's a security hole, not because it can't. I seem to remember it working just fine in Netscape at one point.

Re:Slashdot Webmasters Forcing IE? (1)

swimin (828756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791235)

I actually believe there was an extension at one point for firefox to do this exact same thing.

Possibly incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18790573)

We occasionally deal with a local business so, when we found that the website was a disaster in Firefox, we took the trouble to inform them of that fact. Unfortunately, we were directed to the idiot who designed the web site. What we got wasn't concern that the site wasn't displaying properly, it was excuses. The idea was that IE was the standard browser and they needen't design for anything else.

Idiots only know how to use one tool and, if there's a problem, they're powerless to fix it.

Never attribute to malace that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Conquer the web! (1)

Chris Shannon (897827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790585)

Konqueror [kde.org] is an Open Source web browser with HTML 4.01 compliance, supporting Java applets, JavaScript, CSS 1, CSS 2.1, as well as Netscape plugins (for example, Flash or RealVideo plugins).

Re:Conquer the web! (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790971)

I use KDE3.5.6 on my main desktop (Kubuntu edgy). I would use Konqueror, however there are a few issues:
  • Konqueror does tend to crash on me after I've been browsing the web a lot.
  • It has weird DNS resolving issues due to ipv6 'support' -- The only way to stop those issues is to disable ipv6 in the Linux Kernel, which I can't as I need it sometimes for unrelated things
  • The lack of something like Google Browser sync [google.com] -- I want my cookies and passwords synchronized, not only bookmarks.

I currently use Firefox, however I am not too happy with it since:
  • The save dialog is a standard GTK thing, that it doesn't let me use kioslaves, so I can't save things directly to a ftp server, samba share, fish etc.
  • The download window doesn't really work.. I click "Open containing folder" (context menu), doesn't do anything. When I try to 'open' anything I downloaded, doesn't work at all either.

So far, when it comes to webbrowsers, I'm not too satisfied with them.

What could be worse? (5, Insightful)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790619)

Never mind IE, the idiots I'd like to kick the shit out of are the ones who do a website entirely in Flash!

Re:What could be worse? (2, Funny)

robogun (466062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790951)

Don't sweat it, Google kicks the shit out of them by not indexing Flash pages.

Re:What could be worse? (2, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790959)

I've seen webshytes that are even worse! Not are they entirely in Flash, they display a static image! No animation, no changes, just links to click on just like in real HTML.

Requiring scripting is even more annoying (4, Interesting)

Nutsquasher (543657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790621)

Semi off-topic, but I'm angry when sites don't work if you have scripting disabled on your browser. The vast majority of web-based attacks are vectored through scripting (javascript, activex). Until scripting is a secure thing, it should be done away with on all sites except for those that absolutely require it (like Google Maps - though it does work like a cheap version of Mapquest when you use it with scripting disabled).

[/rant not over]

My websites on my web-host were hacked today (not my fault, theirs), and the attackers placed exploit javascript code in all of my index.htm/html files (looked like buffer overflow code, but I didn't research it). Any browsers pointed to my sites with scripting enabled likely got hit.

[/rant over]

Re:Requiring scripting is even more annoying (2, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791195)

That's not the sort of stuff you can just "secure" by implementing an evilbit. It's a client side language. If you the webmaster wants to guarantee security to his clients, he has to secure his servers. If the clients want security from the sites, they need to secure their computers (or in your case, shut j/s off).

You're not going to stop the JS/AJAX trend, from what I can tell, and it may be a while before something supersedes it, so I'd get used to it. If not, you'll just be one of those guys whining on a forum on how everything isn't your way. Oh wait, you're almost there now...

Hmmmm Maybe this is a clue (2, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790643)

As a regular Slashdot reader you may find it hard to believe, but many in the computer industry - including even web design people - are incredibly arrogant and presume that they, and they alone, know exactly what you should use for hardware and software.

Why just this week Yahoo sent me three e-mails in a row telling me how to make their mail service more compatible with the Internet Explorer that they were convinced I am using on my Mac.

Followed by three requests that I tell them "How They Did" in solving my problem...

As I was told (5, Funny)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790651)

by a tech support person, "because Linux and free software are hacker tools".

The reason why our company does is ... (5, Informative)

dook43 (660162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790753)

Firefox does not allow you to clear the Authentication cache (Basic or NTLM) unless you create a signed component. This forces us to close the browser to clear authentication data (We have kiosks where more than one user is viewing private healthcare information and this behavior is VERY undesirable)

Laziness (2, Insightful)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790813)

There's no other reason. IE comes with Windows, which is a overwhelming majority of the market, and it's easier than learning something new.

The answer is about the same as asking why most Windows programs require you to be admin: because they're too lazy to learn how to deal with not having access to every last corner of the computer (this is probably even easier than learning to write for multiple browsers).

Re:Laziness (2, Insightful)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790915)

I should add that Unix has a clear advantage with respect to user access rights, as it was always a fundamentally multi-user system. To be precise, NT has ALWAYS been a secure (in the sense of protecting one user's data from another) multi-user system, no matter what the clueless Linux zealots say. However, NT had a very low market share until XP came out. Before that, MS-DOS and Windows 9x, both fundamentally single-user systems (Windows 9x had some basic multi-user support, but zero security), had nearly all of the market. So by the time XP came out, there were an innumerable number of programs that assumed full control of the computer, and an innumerable number of programmers to write new code based on that assumption.

Re:Laziness (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791185)

If you think not adding support for a minority percentage of a market is "just being lazy" you've clearly never worked as a professional developer on a major site. It is a business decision, pure and simple. If the business thinks it can get more money by taking on another area of development, it will do it. Just because it is nice to have isn't always the primary factor.

Disable popups (1)

DigitalCrackPipe (626884) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790921)

Well, one site I use quite often has a popup saying that you must use IE. Since I have popups disabled, I don't see the message. Problem solved! Actually, the only site that I haven't figured out how to access in some way with FF is the windows update site. Other than that, most of the pages FF can't load are mentally marked as 'crap' and I move on.

It's worse than that (3, Informative)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790929)

No 98, no ME, no MAC, no Linux

Sorry, but as of May 2, 2005, Movielink no longer supports Windows 98 and ME operating systems.
Movielink also does not support Mac or Linux.

In order to enjoy the Movielink service, you must use Windows 2000 or XP,
which support certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies.

Re:It's worse than that (2, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791227)

Actually, it's even worse than that.

Thanks for your interest in Movielink, the leading movie download service. Sorry, but Movielink is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States.

So they've thrown out Mac users, thrown out Linux users, thrown out BSD users, thrown out 98 and ME users, and thrown out everybody outside the USA. The majority of web surfers aren't even allowed to see their homepage!

Business reasons (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790973)

Aprox 80% of web traffic is IE. You hope and pray that Firefox and Safari work on your site, but they represent a smaller demographic than what the mainstream population uses right now.

Just to balance things out... (4, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18790987)

...I use an XHTML mime-type on all my pages.

Why are websites still forcing people to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791033)

use us proxies?

Thanks for your interest in Movielink, the leading movie download service. Sorry, but Movielink is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States.

Why are websites still doing anything? (2, Interesting)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791081)

People. People who are lazy fuckers more particularly.

What pisses me of is websites that use JavaScript and/or cookies and don't tell you that they are needed. I have both turned off my default (NoScript and CookieCuller), and I often come across sites that require one or the other to use basic functionality. And then don't tell me.

There are very few sites that actually need these things. And if they do, they should tell me so that I can turn it on. Rather then fuck around wondering why it won't work.

Personally I code my websites to be compliant XHTML and CSS (unless they are quick and dirty ones). I don't use JavaScript. I don't use Flash or similar.

I also have a message that comes up when the browser doesn't support CSS (or at least the NOCSS part). And if I used JavaScript, would also have a message come up (hidden if JavaScript was used). The same with cookies, if they are needed, the person gets told (at the time). Unless cookies are essential (such as for login information) they shouldn't be used.

Take a site that is for an airline. They have it available in heaps of languages. So I click English, and then click something else, and it takes me back to the front page. Why the fuck cant' it use server side sessions?

One example: (3, Insightful)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791113)

My company is very near releasing an update to our web application that will provide 100% support of both IE and Firefox (our next major revision will be out next month). There are a number of reasons why we are only just now adding support for Firefox. Though my company is only 6 years old, as far as browser development goes, a lot has changed. When version 1.0 of our application was written, mozilla based browsers lacked a lot of the functionality they have now. For instance, a central part of our application is a rich text editor that creates text and html formatted email content. Up until Firefox 1.3 with the introduction of Midas, only IE supported editable regions in web pages. This was a major hurdle for us.

In the mean time, we continued to add features and pages to the application which was only targeting IE, so most of the application was not 100% standards compliant. We've wanted to do Firefox support for a long time, but sometimes the need to add new features for existing customers outweighs the need to provide support for a very small number of people who complained. Additionally, web developers who are trained in cross-browser coding are a rare commodity (much rarer than the number of people who complain about the lack of firefox support).

Also, adding firefox/mozilla support isn't just code and forget it. Even though the code for firefox on PC and firefox for mac may be similar (I haven't looked, sorry), they still have slightly different rendering practices. Just to name one, a file upload input box with a size attribute set to 50 will be much longer and take up more screen than on a PC. So you have to do a platform check in javascript to set the size differently on a mac or a PC so the screen looks the same. Nope, the CSS width attribute is completely ignored in both platforms.

These are just a few reasons, and your mileage may vary. We have a very complex application with a lot of complex scripting, so our effort is likely more than most would have to do. A firefox user simply impersonating an IE user agent would not have had any luck in making our app work.

Reasons? (1)

johnnliu (454880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791169)

Plenty of reasons.

* company out of money - don't want to fund the extra development.
* heavy use of COM objects
* outdated development (or web support) team that lacks the expertise.
* intranet (not Internet) often have no need to having to support different types of browsers since they control office deployment anyway. There's no reason to spend $15,000 when you can get away with $10,000 (and telling people that it only works on IE).

At the end of the day, projects are funded by business. If there are not enough returns for a project it is my personal believe that the project should not go ahead.

jliu

Movielink Uses Microsoft DRM, requiring IE (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791193)

I'm pretty sure the reason why IE is required is because Movielink (and Cinemanow and GUBA) uses Microsoft's DRM. Movies are delivered in WMV format, and a license is issued to the user (24 hour playback for rentals, or limited sync license for purchases) when the download their flick. I think this license delivery requires IE.

Blame DRM for this one kids, not laziness or poor site design.

My company's software requires IE compatibility (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18791217)

I think the reason is that we are too lazy to test multiple browsers when we create the sites, and that we don't have any firm policies about standards adherance.

What about Firefox only sites? (2, Informative)

il1019 (1068892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18791219)

I use Avant Browser, which is based on IE. I've tried Firefox, and I use it when in linux, but i can't stand gecko. It messes up Yahoo! for goodness sake. I find it frustrating when i find, however rarely, the firefox only sites. They are growing in numbers, and are annoying as hell for people that use IE. The only reason to create Firefox only sites is just to piss people off.
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