I was thinking yesterday about the frustrations and pains the old versions (6, 7, 8) of Internet Explorer and indeed older versions of other browsers have caused web developers over the years. The leader of this frustration is the old versions of ie. I think old versions of ie have become a canker-worm that must be dealt with. I think ie is one of the oldest browsers which makes it to have greater percentage of people still using the old versions.
Out of annoyance, some web developers have decided never to care or support ie again. If the user visits a website with old ie, it’s either he misses some cool stuff or he meets a webpage with scattered divs. He should upgrade, so goes the argument. But since the percentage of users still using old ie is relatively high (although recent analytic revealed that there is a gradual decrease), I think it makes sense to still carry old ie users along.
What then is the solution? Whereas a lot have been done to really carry old ie along in this industry by cool guys at github by developing some js library to that effect. Like: http://modernizr.com. And there are websites created to campaign for users to upgrade their browsers. Like: http://browser-update.org.
But I have an idea that I believe may solve this problem if developed and implemented. I want a situation where a software application or plugin will be developed. And it will be synced with Google and Yahoo. Here is the plan. Since Google and Yahoo are visited everyday by almost every internet user, when a user with older version of ie visits Google or Yahoo, the plugin will be triggered and immediately it will automatically start installing the latest version of that particular browser. The user will not know because he will still be able to search on Google and check his email on the old version of the browser. But after installing, the browser will reload and still bring the user to the page he was, however in the latest version of the browser. A notification bar will appear at the top that will read: “You browser has been upgraded. Thank you.” And then it disappears.
**But here are three major problems:**
1. Will Google agree to have such plugin synced with it’s search engine application since they want internet users to be using chrome? Will they allow a plugin that will install new version of another browser to internet users?
2. If the plugin is developed to automatically replace old versions of ie with the latest version of chrome in order to get Google’s attention, will Microsoft not take legal actions against Google?
3. This is where the bulk of the problem lies. If the plugin is developed and deployed to automatically upgrade a browser without the users permission, will a user not drag Google and whoever that is involved to court for violating his fundamental human right to choose. Actually, a user has the right to choose to keep using old browsers. Why not make the plugin to pop up a dialogue box asking the user to either upgrade or cancel? But this may not work since most users will hit cancel thinking that upgrading may cause a problem to his pc :) or change his normal flow of browsing.
So what do we do then? Should an opensource script be developed that web developers can add in their websites, which will not allow users with old versions of ie to have access to the website. There will be a message that will read: “Please upgrade your browser to access this website. Thank you.” This message will have a link of the latest version of that particular browser.
What is your thought on this?
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Even without thinking about the problems you already mentioned (and more), how would you get old IE users to install the plugin in the first place?
Forcing auto-update would be a bless for all developers… but I’m afraid it’s not gonna happen anytime soon.
If it would be technically possible to automatically update IE in the background without the user even noticing it (much like Google Chrome or Firefox do it), this would have been implemented a long time ago already.
And indeed also, to upgrade any software without the user’s permission (or knowledge) is just not OK.
> This has made most web developers to hate ie with passion.
You’re not serious are you? Who are those most web developers you are speaking of and are you one of them? Those who do the bashing and express hate are the only ones who are not wiling to master their craft given it’s constraints and limitations which after all we are faced with in just about any endeavor we undertake.
If this was possible to do without users installing a plugin on their own machine. Viruses would be having parties on their systems. Also, I don’t understand why Google or Yahoo would have to have anything to do with it ?
The plugin would check for the latest browser and download/install it ?
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