Access to this website using a browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or later is not allowed. Please use Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or later to access this website.

But I’m using Linux!

Way to cut a large selection of your user base, idiots!

Even Worse

I hate it more when a compatibility issue happens when you try to log into a website, the log in fails and you’re dumped back at the “Please log in page” with no information as to why it didn’t work.

I’ll tell you why it didn’t work: for some reason, the web developer (the person who built the web page) has blocked access for people who dare to not use Internet Explorer (a program that big security firms in the US recommend that people don’t use).

This is annoying on so many levels, not just because people who aren’t running Windows can’t access the site. But those who are running Windows, but don’t want to suffer with massive security holes in their operating system (at least, the ones caused by Internet Explorer) can’t access the web page either.

This really grinds my gears as I’m from an Unix/Linux background, and am going to be converting back to those systems, soon. This means that I wont be able to access certain websites, or apply for certain jobs because these services are arbritrarily only available to those who use Windows AND Internet Explorer.

Thankfully, the tide is turning, and groups/companies/whatever are being forced to create websites that are not locked down to one system.

Solutions

Why don’t you just use a friend’s computer to access these sites?

The main reason I want to access these sites is, usually, to apply for something or other. Either a job, an account, or even for online banking. I don’t want to use an internet browser that has enough security holes for security firms to advise that people not use it.

Why don’t you use a public access/library/Internet Cafe computer?

See above.

what about emulating Internet Explorer through WINE?

See above.

What about installing compatibility packs for your browser?

Why should I have to install yet more software, just to access websites that are blocking me, on account of not using a buggy, security hole ridden piece of bloat-ware?

There aren’t that many websites that require you to use Internet Explorer, are there?

You’d be surprised. Most (UK based, at least) Universities will only allow access to certain pages or resources if you are either running Internet Explorer; OR running Internet Explorer AND have made some specific changes to the way the operating system handles standard TCP/IP connections.

I’m looking at you, Almer Mater

In Short

Stop denying access to your web service, arbitrarily if users aren’t using Internet Explorer. It’ll affect sales/numbers/whatever metrics you are using, and will cause compatibility issues when you decide to re-design you’re website.

Additional

I was even told yesterday, from an unconfirmed source, that Windows Internet Explorer 9 (and later) has it’s own version of the Java runtime interpreter. This version is a slimmed down, streamlined and shortened version of Sun’s official Java runtime environment. One that is meant to make loading Java apps a lot quicker.

This means that certain commands and calls used in common Java applications (namely: all of them) wont work, and users will be left in that dark as to why. Which means that the developers of the original java apps will be forced to re-write them to work on Windows Explorer 9 (and later), making them incompatible with the actual Java runtime environment… You know, the one that’s installed as part of your Operating System, or on your PS3, or your Tablet, or whatever.

The next big thing for web development is going to be WebGL. This will, basically, allow web developers to write graphically rich web apps (including whole websites) along the same line as the big AAA games. These web apps will be able to run directly on your GPU (Graphic Processing Unit, on your graphics card), making them load and run extremely fast and look, simply, amazing. The problem with this is… well, you can read about it here: link.

J

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Jamie is a .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for this blog, or writing for a blog about Retro Gaming (which he runs with his brother)