Paydirt: You're Doing It Wrong

We don’t spend hours debugging obscure IE bugs…

Neither do I, yet my websites work just fine in Internet Explorer.

Just over a month after the last “we’re dropping IE support” publicity stunt, another tech start-up has successfully hit pay dirt with the exact same bullshit (read: actively blocking IE).

I realise that by sharing this link bait I’m feeding the trolls, but I feel it’s important enough to highlight the issues here considering the number of impressionable web developers who actually applaud this line of thinking.

Wholly blocking any browser is insular thinking. It screams of bad practice. Don’t talk to me about “costs” involved in supporting certain browsers; your doing it wrong. The whole concept of “browser support” is a dangerous perspective to take. I’ve blogged about it before: Browser Support? Forget it! Today’s Chrome is tomorrow’s IE6. If you’re thinking in terms of all-or-nothing you’re ignorant of how the Web works.

Take a progressive enhancement approach. Use feature detection to offer a granular level of experience; remain agnostic of device and browser.

“IE support” — or support for any browser — is a side-effect of these methods, not something that drains extra time or money. Such an approach makes it easer to take full advantage of the latest hotness. You’re laying accessible foundations to build great things upon. Don’t shroud your ineptitude as a developer with claims like, “We don’t spend hours debugging obscure IE bugs, and we spend that time making real improvements for sensible browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera”. IE is not the problem, you are. You’re approach is backwards to begin with.

The Web is not the ‘Webkit Web’ or the ‘Firefox Web’, it’s not the ‘mobile Web’ or the ‘iPad Retina Web’ — it’s the Web. The minute your forget that you’re doing it wrong.

And at the end of the day, if you don’t give a hoot about potential users, why actively block them? Your site probably works anyway.


Follow @dbushell on Twitter
Return to Blog