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Internet Explorer Businesses Software

Startup Skips IE Support, Claims $100,000 Savings 273

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-being-platform-agnostic? dept.
darthcamaro writes "Guess what — you don't have to support Microsoft's IE web browser any more to build a successful website. In fact, you might just be able to save yourself a pile of cash if you avoid IE altogether." (Here's the story, from a few days back, in Canada's National Post, about the frugal financing of social startup Huddlers.) Evidently, no one complained about the lack of IE support either. I'd like to read more details about what $100,000 worth of IE-specific development would buy, though; not being dependent on IE sounds great, but loses some sparkle if it means requiring Chrome or Firefox.
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Startup Skips IE Support, Claims $100,000 Savings

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  • by gabebear (251933) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @08:53AM (#40141177) Homepage Journal
    They support all browsers when not editing content(the way most people use this site)... this article is also rather old
    • by ilguido (1704434) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:07AM (#40141295) Homepage

      this article is also rather old

      Come on: Julia Johnson May 25, 2012 – 2:53 PM ET | Last Updated: May 28, 2012 7:45 AM ET

    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:21AM (#40141421)

      It sounds fucking stupid anyway.

      "No one complained about lack of IE support"

      Yes, that's probably just because they fucked off to your competitor who made even more cash than you because they did support the 33% or whatever of the global population that is still using IE.

      Besides, modern IE isn't exactly that difficult to support. Most browsers are much more forgiving and less picky than they were just a couple of years ago so if it displays right in Chrome/Firefox, chances are it does actually work just as well in say, IE7+ anyway.

      I don't like IE, but not supporting it is still just plain fucking stupid as you a) throw away a sizeable portion of potential customers, and b) It's not hard to support recent versions (which is the bulk of usage) now anyway. The $100,000 savings thing is either a big fat troll, or they have some either really really incompetent developers, or really really overpaid developers. If it costs you that to support most IE users when you already support say Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc. then your site and/or team is horribly broken.

      We support all these browsers as well as Blackberry, Android, iOS, WP7, Symbian to boot, and I can't see how if you've been sensible about your use of templating/stylesheets/javascript libraries like jQuery etc. you could possibly spend this much on IE support unless you're trying to support as far back as like IE3 or something. It implies they're willing to pay the equivalent of say, a standard front end developer $50k a year to spend 2 years on IE support which is frankly fucking insane.

      I suspect this story is just a rather long winded way of saying "We don't like Microsoft, down with IE" rather than something that has any basis in fact, which is also a shame really, because if they'd just come out and said that - i.e. exactly what they meant - then I'd have been able to just reply and say "Yep", instead.

      • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:44AM (#40141613)

        Besides, modern IE isn't exactly that difficult to support. Most browsers are much more forgiving and less picky than they were just a couple of years ago so if it displays right in Chrome/Firefox, chances are it does actually work just as well in say, IE7+ anyway.

        I wish this lie would simply go away.

        There is something fundamentally broken when your web browser requires non-standard markup in order to display standards-based markup.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Gr8Apes (679165)

          Besides, modern IE isn't exactly that difficult to support. Most browsers are much more forgiving and less picky than they were just a couple of years ago so if it displays right in Chrome/Firefox, chances are it does actually work just as well in say, IE7+ anyway.

          I wish this lie would simply go away. There is something fundamentally broken when your web browser requires non-standard markup in order to display standards-based markup.

          IE 9+ maybe.... pre 9 I no longer bother for flashiness unless someone wants to pay. But, even then, since we're doing truly standards based development or utilizing supported toolsets on 99% of our websites anyways, we have very good odds of a large percentage of the website working all the way back to IE7, and the important workflows, i.e., ordering and purchasing, are tested thoroughly. That image flyover on hover, not so much.

        • by GodInHell (258915)
          Having not coded a web page in ... oh ... ten years, which is the lie: that different browsers require different mark-ups or that IE7 and Firefox/Chrome basically all work the same now?

          I think its the former, but I wouldn't be surprised by the later.
          • by Pieroxy (222434) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:32AM (#40142101) Homepage

            The truth is that is you get IE out of the game, anything working in a browser either works in others of degrades gracefully.

            It you get IE in the game, you have to test and develop whole chunks of your website twice.

            • I'd say 80% of the time what I develop works cross-browser just fine... the rest is about half on various IE versions and the other half on firefox or safari quirks... with tablets in the mix (roughly 18% of my employers viewers now) it gets worse. Old tablet browsers are worse in some regards than IE8, as they don't always fully implement those features from 2-3 years ago, such as broken css3 transitions, etc..
          • by KingMotley (944240) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:56AM (#40142379) Journal

            If you drop support for IE 6, then you can actually start to develop 1 page, with standards markup and be fairly successful. If you drop support for IE 7, then the incompatibility issues are fairly infrequent. Dropping support for IE 8 doesn't typically get you a whole lot, except for rounded corners, and you can drop the odd opacity/gradient code (Which isn't hard to generate). Between IE 9 and firefox/chrome the oddities are just about even. Chrome has a few bugs, Firefox has a few bugs, and IE 9 so far doesn't have any bugs I'm aware of, but it has a few features missing that the others support (Text Shadows mainly).

            • by Alex Zepeda (10955) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:38PM (#40144065)

              You're kidding, right? IE8 lacks: Rounded corners, SVG anything, more robust font support, most HTML5 goodies (enhanced form support for things like validations and placeholders), text on canvas, CSS media queries, javascript optimizations like nested arrays and getElementsByClassName. IE8 is definitely a primitive browser.

              IE9 is much closer, but it's still pretty bad. AFAIK it still doesn't support rounded borders + gradients and it has a number of problems with its SVG support. Others have linked to caniuse.com, but I'll point you in the direction of D3's issue tracker [github.com]>.

              If you're doing a dead simple site, sure IE8 not too bad. If you're trying to take advantage of "new" features, you're pretty much SOL (even with IE9).

              • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:21PM (#40144761)

                IE8 has every W3C complete standard implemented. Every one.

                The problem is either one of:
                1) Web developers demand too many features that are incomplete standards to the point where those features are just "expected", even though no browser is compelled to implement them

                2) The W3C moves slower than molasses in January, and at this point they are the ones slowing progress on the web much more than Microsoft ever did.

          • by D'Sphitz (699604)
            IE7? No way, definitely not. There is no doubt that dealing with IE8 is less frustrating, but it still has issues. Once you've trained yourself to avoid common IE pitfalls you can generally hack out javascript and css that works sufficently well in IE8, but there are also many CSS3 properties that aren't supported such as border-radius, box-shadow, even for opacity you have to resort to the IE only "filter" attribute. Full support involves resorting the old hacks of yesteryear, usually involving lots of
          • Dunno about IE7, not even IE8 can do anything remotely fun or pretty. Oh, you meant a website that looks like ass, or uses graphics for every single thing? Yeah, that's possible with IE, sure. But otherwise, you couldn't be more wrong, there are worlds of difference between IE7 and (modern versions of) Firefox and Chrome. Don't believe me? http://caniuse.com/ [caniuse.com]

            ^ no inline blocks, no :before and :after, no opacity (yeah, there's a speshul IE version of it, great) -- nope, unless you use a lots of graphics, the

            • by PCM2 (4486)

              And don't even get me started on Javascript... there is just no way.

              There's a pretty easy way for most people: Use a framework like jQuery, where they've done most of the banging-your-head-against-a-rock for you.

        • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:35AM (#40142127)
          As a web developer I can tell you you're correct. I have CSS and jQuery that work perfectly with FireFox, Chrome, Opera and Safari. Then I have special case CSS files for IE 6, 7, 8 and general case IE. Other browsers rarely need special case rules and never at all require special case rules for every version of the browser.

          I deal with a lot of scientific data and dynamically generate graphs and plots based on variables selected in forms written in PHP. Almost guaranteed when I develop something in IE, it won't displayed correctly in FireFox, Chrome, Opera and/or Safari. If I develop something in FireFox I can't say I've ever had a problem with Chrome, Opera, or Safari, but it almost never works in IE and special case rules need to be written.

          Just as an example, I have a page where a user determines the type of species they're looking at by answering questions. My organizations web standards group provided me the jQuery and CSS for the feature. The questions are contracted links in a tree like structure and are formatted as "Does the species have XXX?" or "Does the species have YYY?". When the user clicks on a link the section expands and asks another question until the user gets to the linked name of the species they're looking for, which takes them to a page with more information on the species.

          The page works fine in FireFox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari, but doesn't work the same way in any IE browser. The progress enhancement solution for IE is to have all elements in the tree automatically expanded. The fact that this doesn't work in IE is a real pain in my ass. I demoed the page in FireFox and the content owner liked how it worked, but he uses IE and wasn't happy when I told him it didn't work the same way in that browser. So now he expects me to go through all the jQuery code and CSS to make it work the same way in not just IE, but every version of IE, which I'm not doing because 1) I've been told I'm not to modify features provided by the web standards group in order to ensure our web content complies with Web Content accessibility Guidelines 2.0 [w3.org] and 2) when the web standards group provides me with updates for jQuery features like this I'd have to go and re-update all the code again.
        • by Xest (935314)

          It tails off towards newer versions of IE, with 6 of course requiring the most additional support, 7 requiring much less, 8 requiring a bit less, and 9 requiring basically none.

          Your chance of encountering such an issue also decreases with the version increases too, so on 7 you're much less likely to need to do anything specific than you were with 6, 8 much less so again, and 9 pretty unlikely at all.

          Nowadays I find that Firefox tends to be more divergent in terms of requiring special attention than Chrome/S

        • IE7 still uses the broken box model... IE8+ is pretty easy.. IE9+ pretty much just works...
      • by s.petry (762400)

        I don't like IE, but not supporting it is still just plain fucking stupid as you a) throw away a sizeable portion of potential customers

        Look, I'm sorry but you have it all wrong IMO. The whole point of HTML (and later JavaScript and CSS) was that it should not matter what browser you have, the stuff just works. The whole "works in my browsers" argument should have never happened, and was avoided so easily that it's scary. To argue that you must at this point in time is a rather retarded way of thinking.

        Why do most sites work in Opera, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Netscape, Konquerer, etc... etc... with identical code? OMFG, they support "ST

      • I don't like IE, but not supporting it is still just plain fucking stupid as you a) throw away a sizeable portion of potential customers,

        Maybe they just don't want to cater to the likes of people WHO USE IE.....

        "Psst, hey Fred, he looks like an IE user..." "Hey, fella, we don't like yer kind 'round these parts!"

      • by htnmmo (1454573)

        I agree IE isn't that hard to support anymore. I build websites for companies in various sectors including corporate clients. IE is still the dominant browser in some segments but not as much as it used to be.

        For sites where the users tend to be more tech savy, and browse mainly from home IE isn't that popular. Maybe around 30-40% of these users are using IE.

        For the business sites where visitors are generally browsing the site from work for business related reasons IE is still very strong. Around 60% and th

      • by Mabhatter (126906)

        My own experience is that you can set your tools to "XHTML strict" and build a nice looking page that will work on Opera, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox (and depreciate nicely on mobile versions, etc) it won't be "perfect" across all of them, but it won't have glaring render errors either. You can do this with NO BROWSER SPECIFIC HACKS.

        Then you add IE and stuff breaks all over the place. Some versions of IE will work more than others, but the point is why invest in adding code JUST to make something work on IE

      • by Tom (822)

        Besides, modern IE isn't exactly that difficult to support. Most browsers are much more forgiving and less picky than they were just a couple of years ago so if it displays right in Chrome/Firefox, chances are it does actually work just as well in say, IE7+ anyway.

        No, it doesn't. There are tons of examples out there, and I've got some first hand experience. Stuff that works just fine in every other browser will break on IE in random versions because IE requires some totally different way of doing it than everyone else. That goes up to at least including IE8, I'm not entirely certain about IE9 as at least everything I use seems to finally work there.

        IE still sucks and I will applaud anyone who writes a fast-spreading virus to irrestorable removes it from every machine

    • Here's an example [4ormat.com] of what they are telling their customers:

      IE is becoming a really outdated browser - we can't offer full support for IE, though we do try our best to offer that. IE uses different syntax for CSS than many other browsers, and generally causes problems. It will be nice when everyone stops using it!

      Thanks for using 4ormat, Stefan

      So it implies that IE manages to display most of their content, but thet don't really bother fixing IE-related problems.

  • Useless (Score:4, Informative)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#40141189)

    I'd like to read more details about what $100,000 worth of IE-specific development would buy, though

    Boring pixel perfect rendering to make the artists happy. Blah. At least I know they're putting most of their effort into how it looks; I will have no use for it, and can avoid it.

    • Re:Useless (Score:5, Informative)

      by ilguido (1704434) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:05AM (#40141281) Homepage
      It's the admin part that's Firefox/Chrome only. So it may be something else than boring pixel perfect rendering. The portfolios(which need the "boring pixel perfect rendering to make the artists happy") can be browsed with any browser.
    • Re:Useless (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:22AM (#40141427)

      I'd like to read more details about what $100,000 worth of IE-specific development would buy, though

      Boring pixel perfect rendering to make the artists happy. Blah.

      This. So very this. I'm involved in a web project right now where both IE support AND pixel-perfect rendering are apparently vital (it took us about a month to convince the spec designers of the concept of "your fonts are not the user's fonts" and "Illustrator is NOT a web design tool"). We're actually expected to maintain pixel-perfectness in an automated testing environment. Seriously, half our development time has been wasted trying to figure out how to test this with an art department breathing down our necks with pixel-measuring tools for a web application.

      So you can see why I posted anonymously.

      • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

        by n5vb (587569) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:51AM (#40141679)

        And the original concept of the Web was specifically not intended to do pixel-perfect rendering of anything. HTML was specifically designed to mark up flexibly depending on the dimensions of the window space, and use local fonts on the client rather than supply fonts from server side, so getting pixel perfect rendering of a site is essentially fighting a whole pile of client-side unknowns that may vary widely even between instances of the same browser rendering engine that are doing exactly what they were designed to do based on the HTML spec (although because everyone wants their site to "pop" and grab viewers' attention and all that other marketing BS, the spec itself is now starting to drift toward pleasing high-end art departments .. ::eyeroll::)

        And remember that JavaScript was originally part of MS' "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy, and the open standard it evolved into differs subtly from the version MS still implements in IE. (And that aspect of IE integration can be a massive rectal pain loaded with horrendously screwy little gotchas.) So if you do anything major on client-side, including pretty much anything even vaguely resembling Ajax, you're stuck with two parallel development/testing cycles, one for IE, one for pretty much everything else. I actually abandoned IE support on one site I was building because I just didn't have the time to mess with it.

        • Back for the original concept of the web, was for educational documents where you can click and go to the source. During that time, while windows was getting traction, the GUI UI was considered a quick fad, and the Web was more focused on text. But over time, you added Pictures, and more advanced font handling. Then server side processing of data came into play, so they put in forms. Then they realized that Client side processing may be handy so they put in Javascript, and CSS for more detailed control o

        • Except somewhere along the way, near-Pixel-Perfect became a standard to be judged against, maybe with the help of Apple.

          Now if you have any flaws, people who would otherwise use your site just fine go "bleh, looks like $hit, they must suk, I won't bother using their service."

          Something like not visiting Groklaw because a column was mis-formatted. Sorry, Groklaw is a solid starting point for a few important cases, so dissing them forever if one week they happen to have a bad page update is silly.

          • Except somewhere along the way, near-Pixel-Perfect became a standard to be judged against

            That's funny .. I totally despise fixed-width websites. They're just lame, have no reason to exist (in 99% of the cases).. every monkey can make them, and every monkey does.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I was completely with you until "And remember that JavaScript [wikipedia.org] was originally part of MS' 'embrace, extend, extinguish strategy" (unless you're referring to MS jscript).

          JavaScript was originally developed in Netscape, by Brendan Eich. Battling with Microsoft over the Internet, Netscape considered their client-server solution as a distributed OS, running a portable version of Sun Microsystem's Java. Because Java was a competitor of C++ and aimed at professional programmers, Netscape also wanted a lightweight

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          which is fine, but things change and now people (ie graphic designers and users) want a bit more than large banks of text. I think the system should start using a few design features from old desktop publishing systems, which might make working with HTML a lot easier, and make web pages easier to look like the designer wants.

          Of course, if you can persuade the entire internet users to accept that the web is not the equivalent of paper magazine layouts, good luck to you.

      • by Tom (822)

        I agree that pixel-perfect is crazy, but most of us geeks do ourselves a disservice by not taking the importance of design as seriously as we should.

        I definitely want my web stuff to look as similar as possible on all kinds of devices. I hate it when some browser doesn't support some feature I need and displays totally different. Because there's actual thought going into my designs, it's not just eye-candy. Losing parts of the design is pretty much the same as using parts of the functionality.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Remember when people used to make the entire page one giant image with clickable areas, just to get pixel perfect rendering in every browser?

    • I worked at a start up. We followed this policy.

      We support Chrome/Firefox/IE using the latest versions.
      The non-latest versions we just made sure the application worked. If graphics were a bit off, or the eye candy didn't work, no big deal.

      This policy seemed to help much with development. Because we are not spinning our wheels in getting old IE to work perfectly. Saving development time. What usually hurts these companies is trying to fully support older browsers while putting in the new features.

    • Re:Useless (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:27AM (#40142031)

      Just because you can't be bothered to get every pixel just right doesn't mean it's not important. Those differences you consider irrelevant often make the difference between having a site that looks professional and intuitive and one that doesn't.

      Being on the other side of this, as a designer, it's immensely frustrating to deal with developers who can't get things right. I'm not just talking about being pixel perfect, I mean being in the general ballpark. I'm not one to harass developers about every last pixel, but it's outrageous how sloppy these guys sometimes are.

      I mean, I do a bit of my own development occasionally, and trying to follow best practices and keeping my code clean I can reproduce what I had in Photoshop almost exactly. So someone who's expertise this is can't do the same. And the fact is that I have worked with developers who are meticulous and do get things right. But those guys are few and far between. The rest, like most people, do just enough to get by, but then bitch when being given a hard time.

      I will also agree that many, if not most, designers have no sensitivity towards the web. They produce work that is impractical and have unrealistic expectations for development. So it does go both ways. But then that's what education is for, inform the designer what works and what doesn't. It's something I try to do, although I admit it encounter a lot of stubbornness.

      The IE limitation is for the backend, not the site itself. The actual site looks like they took something off the shelf and put minimal effort into customizing. So this is not a case of a demanding designer, by any stretch of the imagination. Judging from the design I don't expect much from this startup. Looks like a me-too kind of site.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Attempting pixel-perfect rendering on a web page is ignorant, especially today when so many get their internet on a phone. There's no possible way to know the user's screen's orientation, aspect ratio, size, or resolution. It's not going to look the same on your kindle as it is on your computer.

      Blah. At least I know they're putting most of their effort into how it looks; I will have no use for it, and can avoid it.

      Indeed. Content is king, how pretty the page is is secondary.

  • I'm no fan of IE, but I'm skeptical of the $100,000 savings. Of course if I chose to hire one guy to do nothing but support a single browser then that would easily account for the money saved, but who in their right mind would do that?

    Also the lack of complaints about incompatibility could be an indication of how all the major web browsers are finally converging on the HTML standard.

    It's almost as if he went to the local library and read a book from the 90's about web development.

    • It's shennanigans (Score:5, Informative)

      by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:16AM (#40141383)

      First of all, the summary has it wrong. The company is 4ormat, not Huddles. And read this article [techcrunch.com] for an explanation of how this claim is just a publicity stunt. It works just fine in IE (ironically, the only browser it doesn't work in is Opera).

    • by hackula (2596247)
      I agree. Browser compatibility is rarely any sort of major issue. Sure, it is a PITA to deal with, but it is usually one or two tiny little formatting issues per page that take 10 minutes to test and fix. If you are not relying on the dark corners of any of the browser specs and write generally standards compliant code, this really should not be a 100,000 dollar problem for all but the largest of sites (some social networking site nobody has ever heard of does not qualify).
  • by Eirenarch (1099517) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:10AM (#40141323)

    I'd like to complain that /. does not work well (hides part of comments) in IE. /. will probably claim that no one is complaining but here I am. So are you going to fix it now?

    • I every now and then see a bug (or maybe it's my score settings?) where I can see a comment, but its child is missing, and then immediately after comes the grandchild comment (with proper two levels of indentation). So a comment disappears in between. This with all browsers.
    • by paimin (656338)
      They're saving $100,000, didn't you RTFS?
  • Webkit (Score:4, Informative)

    by hackus (159037) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:12AM (#40141329) Homepage

    I would target the latest version of webkit.

    IE:

    1) Developer tools
    2) Server software
    3) Desktop Software
    4) Virus Checking your updates from Microsoft/MSDN
    5) Specific time for setup, maintain IE development environment. (Server, Desktop, Tools)
    6) Debug time for IE specific stuff and Development

    And of course all the licensing BS costs.

    I can see lots of reason to dump IE altogether and just target webkit.

    -Hack

  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:13AM (#40141349) Journal

    ....ah sod it, I'm calling BS on this. Back in the days of IE6 & 7, maintaining cross-browser compatability was a nightmare. Now not really - IE renders as well as any other browser, and there's not a single one that doesn't have it's own quirks in some form or other.

    • by Tom (822)

      No, it doesn't.

      Granted, every release of IE seems to finally bring it in line and make it play nicer with the other children, but IE is still the odd one out in many, many more cases than everyone else and probably more than everyone else combined. MS just has this "not invented here" fixation and insists on doing a ton of things differently than everyone else.

      I've spent many, many hours working around IE quirks, and that was after declaring that IE6 will be completely unsupported and I don't really care al

  • Right. Sure. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:15AM (#40141373)

    Sounds more like they are either making shit up to try and get new bites for advertising (my bet) or they suck at design.

    While you do encounter some differences with browsers, you don't encounter the level of differences that would require $100k of work to fix unless you either suck or are doing something supremely stupid with your design.

    Certainly a mark against your product if I'm evaluating it. I don't use IE, but any time you are telling me that I have to use browser X or can't use browser Y all I can think is you suck at design work. The stuff I use works fine in everything. No, it doesn't always look 100% the same, but it works. My web host has a fairly involved backend for all their various management features and it'll work in all browsers.

    Part of it is just not getting too stupid with HTML 5. Yes it is neat and all however it doesn't all work. All the browsers have issues with it in one form or another so maybe leave off all the crazy features for a bit. My favourite example is the HTML5 Angry Birds. It says works best in Chrome, which isn't a good sign that it should matter. It does run well in Chrome, but seems to blow Chrome up from time to time. IE is stable with it and all the features work but the rendering is a little slower. Can't seem to maintain a solid 60fps. Firefox has fast rendering and doesn't seem to have stability issues, but has no sound.

    With a bit of smarts about the design, supporting all browsers is not a herculean feat. Our web guy (there's only one) manages it just fine.

  • by Hermanas (1665329) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:23AM (#40141437)

    Although not $100k in IE-specific development; They saved $100k in advertising for their PR stunt, because now they get tons of free PR from all over.

  • The story here misses out one key piece of information; that just the administration pages don't work on IE. The sites they're creating with said admin system work fine on IE. The company explicitly points this out - go here and click the sign up button: http://4ormat.com/ [4ormat.com]

    Now, that's not such a big deal and nobody's going to complain because they can easily get the thing working by downloading another free browser. .

    I'v done the same thing in the past, and also the exact opposite - making an admin in
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You would have to code like a moron to make it IE unfriendly.

      Code to HTML standards and you will be fine. Not everything has to be WEB 4.0Beta with fricking blinking beeping and sliding crap everywhere. In fact most sites that are crap embrace all that garbage. Look at how much slower Slashdot became when they added in all that garbage that really was not needed.

      • by n5vb (587569)
        Depends on how much client-side functionality you're using for your web app UI. If all you send to the browser is flat HTML (whether it's from a file or dynamically generated, and I usually generate mine pretty dynamically), your page may not render pixel-perfect on every browser but it'll render consistently and look acceptable at least. If your client side scripting reloads with the page frequently, probably still ok. If you have persistent scripting that relies on Ajax-type RPC backend fetches, there a
  • On my internship I had to convert a flash site over to just HTML keeping the same format etc (using flash can cause a screen reader to have issues which could have brought a ADA lawsuit).

    Anyhow, to make the menu list they had on the left side I just used one type of div for the buttons, and another div to act as a spacer between the buttons. While every other browser like opera, firefox, chrome, safari, etc handled the spacer div size via CSS correctly, IE (versions 6, 7, and 8) would completely ignore the

  • Why would supporting IE cost extra and especially $100,000?

    Just follow w3.org standards and test in a standards compliant browser.

    The latest IEs support the standards and since they are not a bank or a government org they don't have to worry about supporting earlier versions of IE.

    • by hackula (2596247)

      they don't have to worry about supporting earlier versions of IE.

      I think this is pretty debatable. Most sites for general public use should probably work in some form for ie7 and ie8. For most, there is probably still enough market share there to justify the effort.

      • I think this is pretty debatable. Most sites for general public use should probably work in some form for ie7 and ie8. For most, there is probably still enough market share there to justify the effort.

        I think the only people left using the dreaded IE 6 are orgs who built webapps hardcoded to it and maybe a few people with very ancient computers. The first group is not really relevant to the kind of site the startup is making ( and they likely have modern machines where other modern browsers are likely i

        • by tepples (727027)
          I understand not taking hours to troubleshoot problems on IE 6 and 7, but Windows XP won't run any IE newer than 8.
  • The entire point about IE still plaguing the world is not that web developers need to support it, it's that old software can only run in that browser (and that means IE6). The new IE is actually pretty good, and this article is rubbish. Then again, it's /. MICROSOFT BASHING FRONT PAGE
  • by optimism (2183618) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:44AM (#40141617)

    TFS talks about the "huddlers" website, which was absolutely nothing to do with this topic. TFA mentions (briefly) that the artist-portfolio site 4ormat skipped IE support. What the hell? Do the editors here not even bother to skim the articles they post?

    Anyway, it ain't a business app. If you create web apps for the "enterprise market", you absolutely positively need to support IE. Often back to IE6, yes, even today. I don't like it, but that's just the way it works in big business. Platform shift is veeery slow when a business has tens of millions of customers, partners, and employees who rely on a particular application.

    Anyway I don't understand the $100K savings. Come on, what startup is dumb enough to write directly to the browser in HTML & CSS? There are tons of AJAX/DHTML libraries that hide all of the differences across browsers and browser versions. smartclient.com and extjs come to bind as a couple of systems with extreme breadth & depth.

  • Ok, maybe those guys saved some money, hooray and cheers, but shouldn't we generally support all browsers to keep a healthy competition active? Until we at some point reach a state when we can just write to the spec...
  • I'm glad at least the company is claiming to "coach" their customers to use modern web browsers.

    It's extremely irritating when companies fail to educate their clients and just take whatever money grab they can even when it's to support a project for IE6/7/8.

  • If you write the code correctly in the first place and w3c compliant.. you dont have to worry about supporting ie.. it just works right.

  • All versions? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:05AM (#40141825) Homepage

    I'll give them IE6 and IE7. I'd give an awful lot to not have to support IE8, even. But there really isn't any reason to not support IE9, unless you need WebGL for something. A lot can be said about Microsoft's past shenanigans in the browser space, and none of it is good, but they pretty much cleaned up their act with IE9, and that should be acknowledged and encouraged.

    Though I'm still suspicious of their WebGL stance. That sounds, much like the NPAPI plugin thing in the past, more like a simple attempt at lock-in than an actual security concern.

    • Microsoft will screw over the web 1st chance they get as they did in the past.

      If IE9 gets the majority share and continues to help cement their OS monopoly (their sole motivation besides Office) then they will keep the web from advancing as they did for the previous decade. IE copied everybody else poorly added a few tweaks (often causing compatibility problems) then spent years fixing the bugs that didn't help them harm the web.

      The culture of MS has not changed. If IE10 is great and gains majority we shou

  • Isn't IE support fairly easy if you use an off-the-shelf UI library (e.g. jQuery, etc.)?
  • I know this is a little off topic but I liked the bit on rentership and bootstrapping. While the article really had nothing directly to do with IE development costs, it did highlight some of the benefits of cloud computing. Prior to cloud computing, it took lots of money to build out infrastructure to support an application or system in development. Cloud computing makes enterprise-sized infrastructure available to the bootstrapper. It has leveled the playing field!
  • Personally, I think we should just let MS go its own proprietary way while the rest of the world goes with open software and languages. Any company that takes a standard and reworks it for its own proprietary purposes does not deserve a loyal customer base.
    • by Tarlus (1000874)

      I was saying this in 2002. Ten years later, it has become clear that while we can boycott a software company as individuals, there are way too many people out there who don't really care what MS does differently because (a) they are non-technical and they don't even know what web standards are, (b) it came with their computer, it suits their needs just fine and they would rather concern themselves with other things, and (c) they will trust a large corporation like MS before they listen to a bunch of geeks l

  • When you employ good practices with HTML and CSS, making a page look and display properly in IE8+ is trivial. Even common jquery effects are fairly browser independent now.

    If you have to fight a lot to get a common result between browsers, then you may be trying too hard to reinvent the wheel. And if your visitors are still using IE6, then it is easy to have the webpage notify them that their 10+ year old browser is incompatible and needs to be upgraded.

  • by monk (1958) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:23PM (#40144781) Homepage

    We have a small (tiny) startup with a local community membership, and I'm the sole developer. Members are able to edit their own content. After a couple of rounds of broken IE (even 9) and the hassle of even keeping a Windows test platform usable we dropped IE support for members in favor of Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari. So far, no members have complained and we've been able to turn back on features that just didn't work in IE and will soon have removed every special case in the CSS and javascript. Frankly if we are loosing some hypothetical customers who insist on IE, we're better off without them.

    Visitors to the site can still use IE, but we'll be working to discourage even that in our small part of the world.

    We also support some of our members who are less computer savvy and for the last couple of years when we get a request for help with their local machines, we suggest switching to Linux. So far we've had close to 100% success, with users being really impressed with the live Ubuntu CD demo and having very few questions or issues after switching over. Months later we still hear about how much better their experience has been. I've heard several variations on "I thought I was stupid and didn't understand computers, but this is just easy."

    And then Unity came along.... I'll save the rant for another post, but I'm really worried that this is not just annoying for experienced users, but after trying to show people how to use it, it's a real step backward for new users too.

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:40PM (#40145053) Homepage Journal

    I'm developing a web app so there's some personal frontline experience here. Supporting IE is still a bitch, it sucks badly and it's a punishment. If my target audience were private individuals, I'd say "fuck IE", plug a big "IE not supported" button on the homepage and be done with it. Unfortunately, my target audience is in the corporate environment.

    The main problem is that IE does everything differently from everyone else and from version to version. In CSS, for example, sure, other vendors have their prefixes, but writing out half a dozen essentially identical statements for advanced CSS stuff is tedious, but not troublesome. Finding the five different ways the IE wants it done, that are totally incompatible with anything else is just horrible. Google up how IE does CSS gradients vs. how everyone else does it for an example.

    For JS, fortunately we have stuff like jQuery or Prototype, and yet plugins to these still list compatability with various browser - and large everyone else is either supported or unsupported and then there's IE. It is very, very, very rare to find a plugin that works on Firefox, but not Chrome, or on Safari, but not Opera. It's a lot more common to find something that works everywhere except IE.

    Basically, you can write a web app that runs fine and looks nearly the same on all recent versions of all major browsers, and breaks completely on IE. You would have to consciously try to do the same with any other major browser.

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