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I developed a web project for my company and this project was designed to use Mozilla Firefox (including the javascript (jQuery)). However, now the company wants the project to be transferred to Internet Explorer.

I know that in Google, there are several explanations about Mozilla Firefox, which I can demonstrate to the company. But is there any link showing that Internet Explorer runs the W3C standards and has several justifications for why using Mozilla Firefox?

I searched on youtube and slideshare, but both have a very weak argument for me to select them and show to the company. The company where I work is still very naive to keep Internet Explorer.

1) The project is intranet. Only 400 internal employees can access the web. 2) The company argues that Mozilla Firefox is not approved by the company.

Any suggestions? Any link which shows that the developers of the world hate Internet Explorer? A link explaining why developers do not like Internet Explorer?

After the answers, I'm thinking of making a great slide with all the necessary arguments to the company homologue firefox. And yet, published in slideshare.

EDIT:

Someone here must be wondering why I have not designed, also for Internet Explorer. Welllll... As the deadline for project completion is always short, I developed the project focused only on Mozilla Firefox, because the browser Mozilla Firefox most respects W3C standards (and javascript too) than Internet Explorer.

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I always vote up questions concerning homologation. –  Pointy Jan 31 '11 at 18:22
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Why did you design something that's targeting a specific browser only? I mean you used jQuery. Why didn't you take advantage of it so that your code is also compatible with Internet Explorer and which would have spared you this question? –  Darin Dimitrov Jan 31 '11 at 18:25
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Does your app work in IE? It doesn't really matter if the developers of the world hate IE, if your company only allows IE, make your app run on IE. –  Alex Jan 31 '11 at 18:26
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So, given insufficient time, you chose to develop for a browser that was not approved by the company? And you're trying to argue that it's better for them to change their IT policy than for you to target their approved browser? Do you know why they standardized on IE? Do you have a realistic estimate from somebody who knows the situation as to the cost of adding Firefox to the list of approved software? Your job is to create value for your company, not try to force them to adhere to W3C standards regardless of the cost. –  David Thornley Jan 31 '11 at 18:48
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@David Thornley: Preach it, David! –  Ryan Hayes Jan 31 '11 at 19:03
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7 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Although I can commiserate on a preference for FireFox, I use it myself, I think you need some perspective.

If you are prioritizing what is easier for the developer over what the end-user wants you are doing it ass-backwards. Software is not written for the benefit of the software developer, it is written to provide business value to the people who use it. That is, if you could get Bill Gates himself to materialize and unequivocally say that IE is a pain in the butt for developers, I still think you lose the argument.

My question is this: If you already have it working for FF, it isn't like you have to rewrite the app for IE. Just test/fix the quirks for IE and move on with life. And stop complaining, most web developers have to make their sites work on IE, FF, Chrome, etc. which is a lot more complex than having to write code that works in IE (and probably only a single version at that for an internal app).

In fact, IE may have some standards issues (especially in older versions), but it is also typically the most forgiving of the browsers in terms of strictness. So while making a site that works in both FF and IE is often complex, making one that works only in a recent version of IE is probably easier on the whole.

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Thanks, @JohnFX. But as the project is not for public users (ie only for internal users of the company), the project designed to work perfectly in Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. In Firefox, it works much faster and not crash. If the project's target is to win users outside the company, or gain new customers in new service function of the design and I have to agree that the project should also work in Internet Explorer. That, yes, is the main generation of business value of the company. Thanks. –  Vegetus Jan 31 '11 at 20:42
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Sounds like you need to make it work on being faster and not crash in IE. You do realize that lots of people create sites for that platform that perform and are stable right? Don't turn your problem into one for your users. –  JohnFx Jan 31 '11 at 21:34
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@Vegetus, it is irrelevant that it is a company intranet. The company already decided to use IE, it wasn't your choice and it was unprofessional to ignore the company standard because it wasn't what you wanted to use. –  HLGEM Jan 31 '11 at 23:31
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Amazing! I did the exact same thing as you, but that was 12-15 years ago and the battle was Netscape Communicator vs Internet Explorer 4. I even asked for arguments on different forums, primarily usenet.

Anyway, It didn't matter how many arguments I could bring forth for Netscape, the company was hell bent on using IE anyway and that was the end of it. Some people just decided and that was it. If think they eventually took the right decision, given that IE had like 95 of the market for many years after that.

Today, things are a bit different. There are still two web browsers: "various versions of IE" and "the rest". The rest being Mozilla, Chrome/Safari and Opera. But the battle is now fought over who is more standard, and it seems that IE is (still) the odd one out and both Mozilla and WebKit browsers renders pages pretty much alike.

The best approach, today, is to develop it for Mozilla and WebKit and then patch it so it works with your IE version of chioce. This makes the app universal, standards-compilant and makes you managers happy.

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Thanks, @Martin. But what if the goal is to create a system specific only to internal employees, then I believe should to homologate Mozilla Firefox, after all, is the browser that respects the W3C. Okay... I agree that if the goal is for public users, demonstrating that there is a new service, of course I agree that the browser should be a cross-browser and run by Internet Explorer. Please see the comment that I responded to @JohnFX. Also, I am noticing that users are running a little of my question, where I'd like to get the reasons for forwarding the audit to ratify the browser. Thanks. –  Vegetus Jan 31 '11 at 20:50
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@Vegetus - If the goal is to create a site for internal users only, AND if the internal users are all on Windows, then IE probably makes more sense overall because it's deployed by default on Windows. That makes for one less thing that everyone has to worry about. I'd go for multi-usability - if nothing else it's good practice for you. –  Michael Kohne Jan 31 '11 at 20:57
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You are one who made the error, you are the one who has to fix it. As a developer you don't get to dictate what browser the company uses. You have to develop to their needs not what you want. This kind of cowboy programming can easily get you fired as you wasted the company's money doing something you were not authorized to do.

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I mean calling a Cowboy Coder out on the carpet and leveling a Software Developer to the lowest rung instead of holding him high as something sacrosanct. Seriously man, don't tell a person he's a slave. Leave "Authorization" "Money" and "Dictates" to the dude's own program manager. –  Peter Turner Jan 31 '11 at 19:28
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I agree with HLGEM that this is flat out the developer's mistake. I dont think though, that calling it 'cowboy coding' is necessarily accurate. It doesnt sound like its a result of 'cowboy coding', but rather, simple inexperience on the part of the developer. –  GrandmasterB Jan 31 '11 at 19:36
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@Vegetus: If you're experienced, and know what your 400 users have available, why did you choose to ignore that and design your software so it would be useless without a policy change? Why do you think two browsers, that do essentially the same thing, should be homologated, regardless of increases in support costs? –  David Thornley Jan 31 '11 at 21:06
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@Peter Turner, why on earth woud you think developers are sacrosanct? We aren't any more valuable or better than any other type of employee. And when someone screws up massively, he deserves to be called on the carpet. This is the kind of thing that gets people fired; inexperienced people reading this should understand that so they don't make the same mistake. –  HLGEM Jan 31 '11 at 21:15
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@Peter: While I approve of standards compliance, and the destruction of unnecessary monopolies, these have to be balanced against business priorities. To switch professions, what the OP has done is design a machine that needs all metric fasteners in an SAE-only shop. I strongly approve of going metric, and ending the stupid Imperial system forever, but this isn't the place to start. –  David Thornley Jan 31 '11 at 21:53
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Dude, that's why it's called a job and not a hobby. If the people signing the checks want you to use stone tablets and chisels, do it. IE has supported jQuery for a while. Find out which versions of IE you must support and get to work testing your app on those.

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  1. Really you should structure your application to work at least decently on multiple browsers. The best way to do that is to focus on something like Firefox or Chrome and then patch/edit to get IE to work. (Doing the reverse is a pain).
  2. If a company has a standard that says IE has to be used, then what you need to go after is the group that sets the standard and convince them that freedom is better.
  3. Also put yourself in the company's perspective. Even if you convince them that browser X is better than IE, you still have to justify the work to make legacy applications compatible with new (at least new to the company's employees) browsers.

I would suggest focusing on the merits of building applications that run well on multiple browsers rather trying to convince them to switch browsers.

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For corporate IT setups, freedom often ISN'T better. There's a great deal of value in having one minimal setup with one standard way to do everything. It reduces support costs and potential problems, and it helps establish uniformity so employees can fill in for other employees more easily. When the company should enforce uniformity is a complicated question, but it's cheaper and safer than freedom, so freedom is what needs to be justified. –  David Thornley Jan 31 '11 at 19:30
    
@David, yes there are advantages to having a standard setup. However, I have also experienced cases where the lack of freedom caused the company to spend more money because they were so depended on a framework/software that eliminated cheaper solutions. –  jzd Jan 31 '11 at 20:19
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Standardizing on the wrong thing can be expensive, yes, but that's not a good argument for giving the users freedom to use whatever. That increases support costs and gives everybody the ability to use more expensive or less effective software. The solution is to improve the standardization decisions, not drop standardization. –  David Thornley Jan 31 '11 at 21:01
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The reasons why I, as a developer, used Firefox exclusively was because of Firebug. The developer tools you can add to Firefox are really great. The downside is that Firefox is so awesome and smart that it fixes your shoddy coding for you. Forget a div tag? No worries, it'll clean it up for you. Now, when you get to the end of a project and you need a different browser, it's likely to not work.

The reason many companies support IE exclusively (I'm assuming your company runs mostly on Windows) is the same reason a company that runs mostly on Apple products would likely support Safari exclusively. From a business standpoint, if you support one browser, it's going to be the one that comes standard with the operating system of choice.

Why just support one browser?

  • Reduces IT support costs. Only one browser to have to know how to troubleshoot when someone calls and has a problem.
  • Standards. It's hard enough developing for multiple browser version. Developing cross browsers just adds to the troubles. If it's intranet, your company has control over the platform used. This is a luxury! If you were someone like CNN.com, you would have people using ie6, ie9 beta, opera, FF2, FF4, some wonky off-shoot of Mozilla. Standardizing on one browser regardless of IE or FF will reduce dev costs significantly.
  • Users are used to it. I could also argue that they should get used to other browsers so they can make decisions for themselves about which browser is right for them. I love and use Chrome, FF, and IE9 for different things. However, in your situation, I think IE is the right decision, assuming that is what users are used to at home. If they are all used to FF, then it would be something to look into if they are willing to allot extra money for user training/support.

If the business uses both Macs and PCs, then you obviously need to use a browser that supports both operating systems, like Firefox or Chrome. I am with you that there should be more browser choice in the workplace. I love being able to have my choice of browser. However, from an infrastructure, security, and maintenance standpoint, standardizing on one browser will reduce both dev time and support costs for the business.

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You should have specifications before you started. You say "now the company wants the project to be transferred to Internet Explorer" but " Firefox is not approved by the company". If I were your management and you did the work for a browser that wasn't approved, I would wonder if 1) you weren't aware of browser capabilities or 2) if you didn't care about what was approved. If it is 1), that is concerning to your competency. If it is 2), one might audit your computer for other un-approved software.

p.s. using fancy words (homologue) incorrectly doesn't help your case. At least you got the word in the question right.

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