Internet Explorer is a Pathetic Pile of Rodent Coprolites
I am absolutely sick of the way that Internet Explorer turns perfectly decent web pages into a worthless jumble of ragged washing.
Utterly valid XHTML/CSS will display perfectly reasonably in Opera, Mozilla or Konquerer. Oh, there will be a few minor differences but, on the whole, the results will be consistent, fairly pleasing to the eye and what I bloody well wanted. Put the same stuff into Internet Explorer and elements will mysteriously shift about the place, with CSS instructions being ignored, apparently at whim. CSS2 has only been around for five years now. Other software has managed to implement it properly, so it can't be that hard.
Internet Explorer's treatment of PNG images is atrocious. This is a graphics format that is nearly ten years old but Intenet Explorer still does not handle alpha blending properly, turning tranparency into grey blotch. The Internet is alive with dubious hacks attempting to get round this.
Internet Explorer is plagued by security vulnerabilites. It lacks features, such as tabbed windows and pop-up blocking, present in most other full browsers. It forces most web pages to either cripple their HTML, or perform all kinds of idiotic user agent checks, in order to render properly. Despite what Microsoft seem to think, HTML and friends are built on standards designed to ensure interoperability and allow users choice in how they view the web.
And these people dare to call themselves a software company.
Alternatives to Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer is the most popular browser on the web. However, this is largely due to it being bundled with the Windows operating system rather than to any technical superiority on the part of IE. Apart from ease of installation, IE is a shoddy product that gives its users a poor web experience. There are plenty of other browsers available, both free and commercial, that substitute actually doing something well for the free ride that IE gets. If you are using IE, I strongly encourage you to take the trouble to download and install a new browser. You'll be happier and the web will be happier, too.
Firefox (free) My current favourite and the upcoming successor to Netscape/Mozilla. This is, supposedly, an incomplete "technology preview", but it gives an absolutely ripper browsing experience. There are lots of plugins for all kinds of odd, but useful, little functions. Unlike Netscape (and Opera) Firefox does not have a mail function; use Thunderbird for that.
Opera (commercial/adware) Until Firefox, my favourite browser for years: fast, efficient and feature packed. It's quality can be judged by the fact that people are willing to actually pay for it, even though there are plenty of free offerings around.
15-Jun-2004 Doug Palmer