I just came across another example of the great IE boycott. While looking around for a Google Reader replacement, it turns out Feedly is one of the most popular. It also turns out that not only does Feedly work not in IE, their basic front page doesn’t even display properly in IE. Not even to say “Sorry, this doesn’t work in IE.” Fair enough that Feedly’s plugin-based architecture might not be supportable in IE – but how hard is it to get your web page to work in what is still the most popular browser?
OK, I can understand and support any individual’s right to use whatever browser they want. But when a business basically gives the finger to 55% of the market I think ideology is getting in the way of customer service.
I don’t believe this is truly about standards anymore. IE9 and IE10 are good enough to say anything you want to say in a basic front-end website. It’s not hard, or even inconvenient, to get your web page to work in IE. Feedly’s blog works just fine in IE, because it’s WordPress and WordPress has no problems with IE. I don’t believe it’s about open-source either. Chrome isn’t really open source, and many of its plugins are commerically licensed.
I believe any halfway competent web developer who releases a page that doesn’t work in IE has done so deliberately, and that’s just plain zealotry.
OK, so a business can choose to ignore some market share if they want. Far less forgiveable is the incredibly prevalent practice among contract web developers of completely ignoring their clients’ environments.
Typical scenario: I contract a web development firm to create a site for a specific target audience. I tell them the standard environment for that audience is IE. IE support is written into the contract. When I visit their office, every developer is using Firefox. The first person to ever look at the site in IE is myself at acceptance testing time. Not suprisingly, the site is littered with minor layout problems and acceptance testing becomes a scramble to patch up stupid mistakes. All totally avoidable. News flash guys – you can be as cool, as anti-Microsoft, and as open source evangelistic as you like on your own time. Me, I want a site that my customers can actually use.