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Enough is Enough: Internet Explorer is Out

October 6, 2009

I've been a long-time fan of Internet Explorer. Really, I have. While people have been praising Firefox, Opera, and other browsers for years, touting how they are more standards-compliant than IE, I continued to use Internet Explorer. I actually liked the browser. While it has its deficiencies, most of those deficiencies are not visible to the end-user: they are just painful issues that developers have to deal with.

As a developer, I have a certain appreciation for the cool, geeky features in Firefox. As an end-user, I like what Internet Explorer has to offer: a simple browser that works on most all web sites, because it's the dominant browser and everybody has to make their sites work with IE. When Internet Explorer 8 came out, I really felt like it was a great step forward. It was more standards-compliant than before and there were a number of good features added. I particularly appreciated the strong support for RSS and Atom feeds: it is significantly better than what Firefox has to offer.

Alas, though, I've decided to dump Internet Explorer. I do not know what Microsoft did with IE8, but the browser seems to freeze a lot. I do not mean that it crashes. Rather, it freezes for a while thinking deep thoughts, I suppose, and then resumes after a while. Sometimes, I would just open a different IE instance and visit a different web site while I waited on IE to wake up. The pages that caused the biggest problems were those that were extremely long or had a significant number of hyperlinks.

So, I dumped Internet Explorer. It is still on my machine, but I have now converted to Firefox. Firefox 3.5 has thus far proven to be extremely stable and has absolutely no problem with the web pages that present Internet Explorer with so many challenges. I do wish Firefox had better integrated RSS/Atom support, but I'll gladly trade that for the stability and robustness I do not get with Internet Explorer.

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