EDIT: This article has been featured on uncov.com!
Don’t get me wrong. The primary goal of the revived IE team has been to achieve standards compliance, and I respect that. The problem is, it’s almost 2009. The damage is already done. It’s worth taking a minute, however, to stop and reflect on the effect IE has had on the interwebs.
Conventionally, the sole purpose of a browser is to show you content. A browser should never play any part (directly or indirectly) in changing the content. This rule is as fundamental as it is simple. Unfortunately, like the UN, the browser police will only go as far as writing down the rules in large bold font, in hopes that someone else will actually enforce them.
Rewind to 1996. Imagine you’re in a classroom. The lesson is basic mathematics, and the teacher is writing up simple formulas. All the kids can see the board clearly, except for this one kid in the front, named Imon Ecstasy (for no reason in particular, I will refer to him by his initials, IE). IE has glasses with the magnifying power of the Hubble, and swaps hygiene tips with dead cats. He also happens to be the principal’s only son. Furthermore, his father has enrolled him in every single class in the entire school.
IE raises his hand, and points out to the teacher that he cannot see shit. The teacher is left no choice but to make amends for him, and starts writing on the board in a way that IE can see clearly. So, instead of seeing 2’s and 4’s on the board, all the other kids now see drawings of giant turds. But hey, IE can see the numbers just fine, and that’s all that really matters.
Fast forward to 2009. IE has had laser eye surgery, and his vision now matches that of his peers. Unfortunately, every single teacher in the school has forgotten how to write real numbers on the board (let alone complex ones), and all of the school’s textbooks have been replaced with collections of turd diagrams.
Now armed with normal vision, IE can’t see shit on the board (more accurately, the only thing he can see is giant drawings of shit). He then starts crying to all the teachers, demanding that they change the way they write on the board. Again.
All in all, the notion of a fully standards compliant IE is appealing, despite the initial cost of making half the world’s websites look like ass. It should be noted, however, that the same promises were made with IE7, which ended up with a net increase of jack shit percent in overall standards compliance.
To make things worse, every time IE’s popularity rating drops, the obese bully of the class grins to himself as he convinces one more douchebag to join his pokemon treehouse club.
Clearly, we need to increase spending on education.