Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Might as well face it, you're addicted to standards

Some corporations enforce standards more than others.

Perhaps you saw this post in TechCrunch about Internet Explorer 6:

There is a scourge on the Web. It is called Internet Explorer 6. Even though the more recent version of Microsoft’s browser, IE7, has been around for more than two years, IE6 still represents 31 percent of all browsers out there (versus only 22 percent for IE7 and 36.5 percent for Firefox).

So what have the programmers (who would prefer to deal with one less platform) done?

[A] group of them have created SaveTheDevelopers.org, an organization dedicated to making the Web a better place for developers (and thus for users as well). Web developers can grab a piece of code to put on their Websites which will detect if a visitor is using an outmoded browser (IE6, cough). When the offending browser is detected, a pop-down window will appear (assuming those aren’t blocked) which will direct the user to a page where they can upgrade to IE7, or the latest version of Firefox or Safari.

OK, I have a confession to make. I broke Corvida's Law, and made my comment on FriendFeed instead of TechCrunch. In response to a Jake Kuramoto comment about people being unwilling to deviate from corporate IT standards, I replied:

I'm a non-deviator here. My employer hasn't approved IE7 yet, so I'm sticking to IE6 on my work computer. We haven't approved Vista either (which may be a good thing)...

This got me curious regarding the browser characteristics of visitors to my site, as recorded by Google Analytics. Overall, 51.02% of my visitors between February 23 and March 24 were using some version of Internet Explorer (Firefox, as 39.00%, was second). When you dig down into the Internet Explorer information, you get the following:

  • 7.0: 59.73%

  • 6.0: 39.95%

  • 5.5: 0.27%

  • 4.01: 0.05%
There's a chance, by the way, that the 4.01 user may have been me - I think my phone browser version is 4.01.

And apparently my employer isn't the only one that is blocking Internet Explorer 7:

Beginning in November 2007, users of Windows XP SP2 will automatically receive a Windows Update notice that Internet Explorer 7 is available. Enterprises may, however, block the automatic downloads of IE 7 until corporate IT staff has evaluated the new version. In a workplace, check with your system admin before installing IE 7 on your office desktop.

And I'm a good corporate boy. So far. In fact, a few months ago I was having a message board conversation with another employee, who suggested that I use an IE7 feature to do something; I replied, "uh, can we do that?"

And no, I don't keep the labels on my mattresses...

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