Internet Explorer 7

I don’t know what I did with my Windows installation. Usually, I’m not the typical user who executes things like that haphazardly in Windows or Internet Explorer. Anyway, after I restarted in order to play World of Warcraft, I saw that nothing was being executed. Boom, nothing, c’est fini. The wonderful operating system was useless. It didn’t let me use it or install anything. Internet Explorer was untouchable, basically it did not appear. A total blackout. Wonders of this operating system’s engineering, duh.

Now is when I ask myself whether the Microsoft people actually listen to me. Not me specifically but us, the users. I read in Enrique’s blog about the release of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3, where supposedly Microsoft has not fallen asleep. Enrique refers to Microsoft’s hassle in launching a new competitive product but, in reality, I think that it’s more of the same shit in a different package, with a new label and a new organic component that will enable us to live for five more years. Anyway, for those who don’t know, yes, Microsoft is launching a new browser. Not much is new. I’ll explain what I hate about this move.

When I entered the blessed browser site today, after reading Enrique’s post, the only thing I read was: we heard you, you wanted it easier and more secure. This message seems like a big punch in the face. The reason is that Internet Explorer 6 is easy. The new version 7 is not easy. Lots of things have been added which I’m not actually convinced as a user. Then came the never-ending text on security. This is like living in Iceland and trying to sell me ice every day. No, I’m not tolerating this. Not even a little.

On the other hand, you get the comparisons that always end up being published: Firefox vs. Internet Explorer, Opera vs. Firefox, Opera vs. Internet Explorer. You know what? What a waste of time. It’s not a waste of time making comparisons; it’s a waste of time comparing a minivan with a Ferrari. It’s a waste of time comparing a cat with a panther. Internet Explorer is simply a mirage for those who don’t understand, for those who only use the buttons, like my mother, your mother, your cousin, your friends. Deep down, you’re always using a 50s car with a 90s bodywork. I’m not sure if I’ve explained myself: you’re being sold the premise of more security, more ease of use and more functionalities but, in the end, it’s still the same 50s car. And that message was for those don’t really understand that subject. It’s no use comparing browsers by use. Their insides should be compared. ALL browsers are extremely easy to use. I haven’t seen many people lost in the steering box, return, go forward and reload. Their goals are all the same, they all copy each other trying to distinguish themselves but, in the end, their insides, i.e. the heart of the matter, are all different. And the best ones don’t exactly come from Redmont.

Then I read that many people are now experts in memory fluctuation. As if it were scarce. Does anyone actually test Firefox? This is the status of my Firefox when it opens:

5826 minid     16   0  100m  34m  18m S  0.0  3.4   0:03.39 firefox-bin

And when I have 25 windows open in different sites, weighed by the amount of Flash files, images and content, it is as follows:

5826 minid     15   0  217m 101m  32m S  2.7 10.0   1:20.99 firefox-bin

Then, what are they talking about? Does Firefox eat a lot of memory? Of course, it’s normal. Internet Explorer is not far behind either. Do the test, open the same 25 windows and measure how much they all weigh. It’s not a question of how much memory each program eats, but the amount of material we are loading per hour. If we’ve opened 25 sites, with all their images, content, flash files and nonsense, it’s normal that a disproportionate amount of memory is being used. I’m not an expert but I think that Firefox decompresses more memory than what it needs, just like Internet Explorer and other browsers.

Memory is not directly linked to the program but to the content we’ve loaded and executed at that time. Therefore, judging a browser because of its memory consumption is a bit ridiculous, it’s like opening 3,000 documents with UltraEdit or any text editor and then opening 3 letters with Word and say that it is better because it occupies 300 megabytes less than a simple text editor.

Finally, the most important thing is not the browser’s memory, its new colors or its new add-ons, but its engine. Here is where Microsoft is not fully abreast, it doesn’t get its skates on, and it doesn’t update anything. Neither in its old or current versions (IE6) or in its new or future versions (IE7). There are at least 100 features that should be changed in order to pass any minimum tests of CSS, XHTML and other things. Moreover, you should consider that we, as developers, have to do all sorts of rigmaroles and strange things to ensure that our product works on that browser. This means that the product is not 100% genuine, healthy and well done. Likewise, 100% of web sites that support Internet Explorer probably have that quality level: a rubbish code, hacks, repetitive methods, non-standard measures and functions to ensure that the blessed browser works. Therefore, what you see, what you use, is no more than a set of patched codes designed to work well or relatively well in your browser. This is one of the reasons why I don’t use Internet Explorer for personal use. I don’t want to know or personally suffer those things, I don’t want to enter sites and find out that the browser is already interpreting developers’ patches in order to satisfy me, I don’t want a browser that cannot understand a standard code, I don’t want to work at “half speed”, and that’s all there is.

Not even Robert Scoble, Microsoft’s blogger par excellence, uses Internet Explorer.

By Diego Lafuente
Saved in: Technology | No comments » | 3 July 2006

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