Molly speaks up…#6

…Microsoft Internet Explorer 7..?

I still have a sinking feeling…

Just look at this and you'll see what I mean. A line of dead herrings on a slippery slope towards disaster – and more to come – (sigh).

IE: dead herring

…not even I can take this much…

In announcing the plan, Gates acknowledged something that many outside the company had been arguing for some time--that the browser itself has become a security risk.

“Browsing is definitely a point of vulnerability,”
Gates said.
[CNET: 2005.02.15]

More on the subject: Gates Highlights Progress on Security, Outlines Next Steps for Continued Innovation, just in case you like long reads.

After having given IE7 a chance by testing it thoroughly for half a year, the time has come for a final update of this article. This is it.

sanity check urgently needed…

Ok, sit down – relax – and read the quote above, one more time.

“Browsing is definitely a point of vulnerability," Gates said.

Do you think he finally got it? I don't think so, so let me rewrite that one.

“Browsing with Internet Explorer is definitely a point of vulnerability,”
Molly 'the cat' said.

“Browsing with Opera has definitely never been a point of vulnerability,”
Molly 'the cat' said.

That's more like it! Let's have the facts on the table. The browser Bill Gates has made is definitely a point of vulnerability, no question about it. Piuih — sanity check over — miaoo.

No one in their right mind would use Internet Explorer for browsing, so what's all the fuss about?

Internet Explorer is still broken…

Internet Explorer is a standing joke amongst serious web developers today. The less serious ones may be excused, as they've probably chosen to stay ignorant about web development. It's their choice to make.

The main reason Internet Explorer has survived as the only browsing-software for a majority of users, is that they are lead to believe that they've got no choice.
In short: they are kept ignorant.

Internet Explorer is also pretty hard to avoid since so much of it is made an integrated part of the windows operating system. Whatever they say; the ordinary windows-user can't get completely rid of Internet Explorer and still run a functional windows-OS.

The real vulnerabilities are built-in parts of this integration, and as such: “designed to be exploited by Microsoft”. It's an important part of Microsoft's marketing-strategy, but how on earth did they expect to keep such exploitation-holes to themselves?

Microsoft broke Internet Explorer by design, and now they plan to fix their own mistakes without breaking the market they have created. No wonder we're getting mixed and pretty confused signals from Microsoft, since there's no chance they'll fix their pretty successful marketing-strategy.

any improvements ahead..?

IE7 has been around for quite a while now, and I'm still waiting for a somewhat decent browser-version to be released by Microsoft. Some have suggested a timeframe of at least 5 years for that to happen, and nothing seems to have changed after Bill Gates' announcement.

Yes, I know it isn't easy to fix what's broken in IE, as so many sites are already made to work only in that browser. A large percentage of these sites will simply not work in a non-broken version of IE.

Hundreds of new sites are also being tailored for a broken IE – every day, and that won't change as long as Microsoft actively supports such a strategy. A Call to action against hacking and broken pages from the IE-team, sounds more like a joke when the browser released a few months later can't render even the simplest layouts properly without a number of browser-specific hacks.

Whatever good one tries to say about IE7 and the improvements that have been made to it, the fact remains: Internet Explorer Still Stinks.

I can wait…

Maybe Microsoft will release a somewhat decent browser one day, or maybe they won't. All I know is that a well-working version of IE won't be released in the next few days, weeks or months. Dear IE-team: take your time and do the best you can. I can wait.

Such a wait for a decent IE-version will of course not have any effect on my surfing-pattern. Opera takes on whatever I need now, and Firefox and the other Gecko-based browsers aren't all that far behind. I use a number of non-IE browsers on my many windows-versions daily, and Safari and the others are making my iMac as internet-friendly as I can ask for.

Our own strategies for beating IE into submision – hacking it, so it renders at least most of what we launch somewhat acceptable, won't – and in reality can't – be changed for quite a while either, as IE simply doesn't work on standard-based solutions alone.

Beating IE7 into submission isn't really a problem, but why didn't they fix what they said should be fixed, instead of just patch up a few weak spots? Those new patches are creating more problems than if they have left the old bugs intact, as the patches are incomplete and tend to provoke new bugs. Now we even have to patch the new patches from our end, in addition to fixing the bugs – what a joke.

At least someone in the IE-team must have time and knowledge enough to do some proper testing of whatever patches or fixes they add to IE in the future. There certainly are enough documentation, case demos and bug lists around by now.

no browser-stats, please…

I know the state of the web, so no need for browser-statistics. Quality and statistics don't play along all that well, and I am quality-minded. Cats usually are 

I'm not ranting about Internet Explorer and windows and Microsoft and all that. I've grown past that stage in my developement. I'm just pointing out that the quality of, and from, the before mentioned, is not growing at an acceptable rate, so they are of less and less use to me.

My simple measure is: if a browser doesn't work when fed proper W3C-standard code, then it doesn't work. If it does work, then everything is fine no matter who created it.

My final conclusion has to be that Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 doesn't work when fed proper W3C-standard code, and that's it on the matter – for now.

I'll have some warm cow-milk for supper, and plan for the next round-trip on the web with Opera at my side. Some nice dreams for the nights and days ahead — and no security-problems…

sincerely  molly 'the cat'

Hageland 16.feb.2005
last rev: 23.nov.2007

Molly speaks up…

…do you see that?
Opera: nothing to worry about. They're all patched up and dead even before lunch … err … launch.
Molly: lunch sounds fine.


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there's a cat loose…

…hide those dead herrings…

Dear visitor:

There's a cat and mouse game going on.
Microsoft launches another bug, and we just have to catch it.
…sharpening my claws now…

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external resources:

... the author can not be made responsible for any harm done to and by this page and the rendering thereof, should the visitor be ignorant of all the hazards introduced by the use of any and all versions of Internet Explorer...


…you haven't seen the web at its best before you have seen it through Opera. get yourself an Opera-browser
Opera doesn't have any of Internet Explorer's vulnerabilities – and it's free.

Molly's corner…
…2005 - 2007
last rev: 23.nov.2007