Rothman is all wrong (about IE)

No, no- not me. Wilson Rothman of Time Magazine (no relation I’m aware of). I try to avoid behaviors like speaking of myself in the third person…or being wrong. Anyway.

Wilson Rothman wrote an article for Time:

Why Two Browsers are Better than One
The just released Mozilla Firefox 2 may be better than Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 7, but you’ll probably want to use both

Wilson writes:

There’s still an advantage to having IE7 handy, mainly because, as the dominant browser, programmers occasionally build sites that work better or exclusively with IE. The best example is Kodak EasyShare Gallery ( You can do everything you want to do on the site with any browser you want to use, but if you have 120 pictures from your 5-megapixel camera, the easiest way to upload photos is with the blatantly named “Easy Upload for Internet Explorer.” I doubt it’s a case of collusion—there are other examples of this kind of bias around the Web—but it is a valid reason to keep IE7 handy, even if you plan on using Firefox 2 most of the time.

Wilson is wrong. Except to write a post about IE7 yesterday, I haven’t used it at home (and haven’t NEEDED to use it) in over year.

Sure, there’s the occassional site built by a doofus to work only in Internet Explorer, but there’s a good work-around Firefox users can take advantage of to solve the problem without ever opening Internet Explorer. It’s a Firefox extension called IE Tab. IE Tab will let you open a page in a Firefox tab using the IE rendering engine. You can set it to always open certain pages with IE’s engione, or you can switch back and forth on the fly with a single click as needed.

Here are a few screen shots of IE Tab in action.

The only valid reason I have to keep IE around is so I can help others use it effectively.

3 thoughts on “Rothman is all wrong (about IE)

  1. But the ability to print web pages easily in IE7 looks useful. Can we do that in Firefox? (I really don’t know).

    And sometimes it is good just to have a spare browser for various things.

    Love the line about the doofus–ha.

    Gobachev and Hun Sen of Combodia were given to the use of the third person. Seems to be a commie thing.

  2. I certainly prefer Firefox, but I would definitely continue to use IE for web development purposes. There’s just no reason for me to trust that IE Tab is functionally the same as Internet Explorer.

    I’ve also had consistent PDF problems and proxy library access problems with Firefox, but I just started using the 2.0 so maybe those will go away.

  3. Hey Alex-

    Absolutely. If you’re a web developer, you should have all browsers installed and running for testing purposes. Fortunately, I’m not a web developer.

    Sorry to hear about your PDF problems with Firefox. I’ve never had problems like that.

    I set up my copy of Firefox to never open PDFs in the browser window (I’ve never liked that), and only to open PDFs in Foxit Reader. Love it. Fast, easy, and convenient.