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Last post Author Topic: Is it finally time to abandon IE?  (Read 10781 times)

nontroppo

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2008, 07:27:35 PM »
Is it finally time to abandon IE?

It was finally time to abandon IE numerous years ago. We each have our issues, and IE is mine. I do think IE has been far more a victim of significant attacks over the years (and that is not only because it is used more). MS have spent large resources trying to patch it up and IE7 is much better than the shambles of earlier releases. There are reports and statistics that we can discuss back and forth, I've been there before and don't have the energy to redebate the evidence for IEs worse record, but I think a strong case can be made for it[1].

But when a product with such a poor track record also got no significant engineering spent on its core duty (rendering and presenting HTML) since IE4, and so fully destroyed successful employment of open standards that would have accelerated and facilitated the internet to grow, then that product gets my contempt. IEs half-assed rendering, its failure to follow even proper core underlying protocols like HTTP/1.1, the horrendous mishmash of proprietary and non-proprietary ECMAScript, forcing sites to poor unsemantic markup obfuscating content sharing, the weak user facing user interface, slow performance, and so on gets it in a unique position as the only piece of software I could say I passionately dislike. It has caused legions of web devs endless wasted hours of hacking and their contempt was on full show when MS opened up IE7 and now IE8 to more public scrutiny. IE is still like a sloth smoking opium on supporting technology that would benefit us all as end users. This can only be interpreted as MS using IE as the way to impede effective competition.

I see nothing that is redeeming for it; it is "good enough" only if you ignore the damage it has done and will do to the web we all cherish and depend on so much.

Phew, thats better  :P
----
[1] And smart users can always ensure their protection, knowing the workarounds still doesn't negate the flaws being there in the first place.
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Darwin

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2008, 07:31:48 PM »
Go on, nontroppo, tell us what you really think. Don't mince your words and beat around the bush - give it to us straight up, we can take it!

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Shades

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2008, 09:34:05 PM »
My nLite'd XP installation (meaning: IE and OE were removed, next to some services I deemed unnecessary) has a lot of problems with the scanning software from HP. I get continuously errors ( at a rate of 3 per second) because this software requires IE to build its interface.  :down:

Luckily I was "born again" when I laid my hands for the first time on a piece of software called Phoenix 0.5. That was the name of Firefox before Mozilla was forced to change names (for the uninitiated). After that encounter I was already more than happy to drop IE completely.

Ah, those were happy times on the net with Win2000Pro (SP2), security through obscurity and a piece of software called: zolt (a service that removed the writing ability of the File System, not even the administrator was able to write a single bit!) without being hindered by NAT, firewall or anti-virus on a 5mbit always-on connection :)

Too bad the interface from zolt is not nice to work with. Because of the increase of (legitimate) disc activity with XP, the flaws in the interface of zolt became too annoying (even for me), else I still would be using it today.

Ah well, it's all a distant memory now...just where IE belongs as well.

cmpm

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2008, 02:14:20 AM »
I have found, as you all have I'm sure. That sometimes a link will execute IE without warning. Legit links that trigger IE for some reason and will not use Firefox.

I suppose that is the sites build or preferences or something. I don't know much about it. But it would be nice to have some warning. We all know windows update or Microsoft update will use IE when initiated manually.

There should be something to warn of a browser initiating, with a chance to stop it. Especially when there is a major security issue with it. Some sort of notice to click to proceed or halt operations when it's a browser other then what you have designated as the default.

There probably is in some of these security programs or -maybe- windows itself. Can it be blocked by a firewall and alternately let it run or not?

I haven't used IE since my last manual update, and the last time it kicked in for some site that I don't remember. Maybe I'll start a list of what sites initiate IE while clicking links in FF. It don't happen much, but I get an occasional surprise. I'm a pretty safe web surfer in general. Links to links and more links are not as safe though.

f0dder

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2008, 02:30:12 AM »
I've never seen a website launch IE when I'm browsing around in firefox... it does happen with poorly coded applications, though.
- carpe noctem

cmpm

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2008, 02:42:01 AM »
Yeah, could be, fodder, an application.
It's been a while since it has happened.
But I do remember IE popping up for some reason,
and I didn't know it would, or even suspect it to engage.

f0dder

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2008, 02:54:06 AM »
Yeah, could be, fodder, an application.
It's been a while since it has happened.
But I do remember IE popping up for some reason,
and I didn't know it would, or even suspect it to engage.
It happens for a bunch of applications. For some it's legitimate (windows update), for others it's dubious (msn messenger used to open URLs in messages with IE instead of default browser iirc, now it only does it when opening hotmail), and for others it's plain bad coding (I can't remember any off top of my head, thankfully none of the software I use does this).
- carpe noctem

nontroppo

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2008, 03:36:52 AM »
Darwin:  ;D
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zridling

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2008, 05:34:16 AM »
Quote
[Stoic Joker]: The only thing that will truly "Fix" the internet security issue is a change of attitude. People need to stop thing of their computers in the context of a TV or radio, and start thinking of it in the (exact) same context as their car. Not paying attention on the Interstate highway, you die (or have a costly repair). Not paying attention on the information highway, you die (think identity theft, etc.) or have a costly repair.

Wow, couldn't have said it better. The browser has become the focal point of any computer; you can't live without one very long. If only one could go back in the time machine at that coding moment and say to Microsoft: "You may not want to grant ActiveX controls that much control over Windows. Why not stick with Java applets instead." I'm damn impressed with the speed of the patch.

40hz

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2008, 12:09:29 PM »

If only one could go back in the time machine at that coding moment and say to Microsoft: "You may not want to grant ActiveX controls that much control over Windows.

Wouldn't have made any difference. Microsoft lived in a virtual world where everybody with a brain used a network with a Windows Domain Controller. And in an isolated, secure network, ActiveX isn't a problem. In fact, it's actually pretty cool. But the world didn't go down the path Microsoft had envisioned.

There is a story (possibly apocryphal) about about a meeting at Microsoft where Bill Gates announced he wanted to acquire the Internet, and was shocked when he was told that nobody actually "owned" it.

Microsoft always had (until relatively recently) a huge amount of trouble grasping the web. Unfortunately, a lot of design decisions they made were done when they still didn't "get" what the web was all about. They were still thinking "closed subscriber networks" like Delphi or Compuserve or AppleLink. In those environments, the network itself provided the security.

Security has to be "designed in" from the ground up. It can't be effectively tacked on as an afterthought. The Internet was not designed to be a secure technology. Nor was much else that runs on it. So until we finally bite the bullet and do some serious retooling on our data infrastructures, we're stuck with the security issues we have.

Much as Microsoft can annoy me, I can't really hold them completely responsible. That would be like blaming a robbery victim for not being more careful about where he walked at night.


app103

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2008, 05:17:05 PM »
Wow, couldn't have said it better. The browser has become the focal point of any computer; you can't live without one very long. If only one could go back in the time machine at that coding moment and say to Microsoft: "You may not want to grant ActiveX controls that much control over Windows. Why not stick with Java applets instead." I'm damn impressed with the speed of the patch.

Java applets aren't any safer. As a matter of fact, most covert drive-by installs of malware on machines where the user is using Firefox exclusively (and keeps it up to date), has taken advantage of exploitable vulnerabilities in things like Java and Flash.

The biggest issue with Java is how it's updated.

You hear about an exploitable vulnerability in Java and when a fix is issued you upgrade right away and think "OK, now I am safe."

But you are not! Sun leaves the older version on your machine, to be exploited by anyone that wishes to do so. The end result is a backdoor for malware that is as wide open as ActiveX on IE 5.5 & older.  Most people don't know they have to go and uninstall the old version after updating.


40hz

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2008, 05:30:52 PM »

The biggest issue with Java is how it's updated.

You hear about an exploitable vulnerability in Java and when a fix is issued you upgrade right away and think "OK, now I am safe."

But you are not! Sun leaves the older version on your machine, to be exploited by anyone that wishes to do so. The end result is a backdoor for malware that is as wide open as ActiveX on IE 5.5 & older.  Most people don't know they have to go and uninstall the old version after updating.



You might want to download a copy of JavaRa. It checks for JRE updates and removes old versions from your system.

If you need to use Java, you'll want to install JavaRa.

And it's free! :Thmbsup:


Quote
JavaRa

JavaRa is a simple tool that does a simple job: it removes old and redundant versions of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Simply select "Check for Updates" or "Remove Older Version" to begin. JavaRa is free under the GNU GPL version two.

Java software in general and the Java JRE in particular allow you to run applications called 'applets' that are written in the Java programming language. You probably have Java JRE installed on your computer because these applets allow you to play online games, chat with people around the world, calculate your mortgage interest, view images in 3D, as well as many others.

Java and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

More Information   http://raproducts.org/javara.html

Download Windows Binary (.zip file)  http://raproducts.or...click/click.php?id=1

Download Source Code (written in C++)  http://downloads.sou....zip?use_mirror=osdn

javara.png

Created by Fred de Vries and Paul McLain.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 05:32:24 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2008, 05:57:26 PM »
I'm sort of happy that this happened. I've been using, and loving Maxthon for years (started using it when it was in beta years ago, version 0.7x) and have tried many times to switch to Firefox. This latest issue has forced me to use it, get to know it, and to bend it to my will. I love it! Only thing I miss are Maxthon's mouse gestures. The add-ins for Firefox are clunky.

I've never used Maxthon, so I'm not sure what its mouse gestures are like, but I absolutely love Marc Boullet's All-in-One Gestures for Firefox.


f0dder

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2008, 06:14:38 PM »
But you are not! Sun leaves the older version on your machine, to be exploited by anyone that wishes to do so. The end result is a backdoor for malware that is as wide open as ActiveX on IE 5.5 & older.  Most people don't know they have to go and uninstall the old version after updating.
Ummm, I know that development environments like eclipse allow you to target previous JRE versions in order to do compatibility testing, but doesn't the browser pick & use the latest JRE? Or can java applets specify a specific JRE version to use?
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2008, 11:33:40 PM »
I'm sort of happy that this happened. I've been using, and loving Maxthon for years (started using it when it was in beta years ago, version 0.7x) and have tried many times to switch to Firefox. This latest issue has forced me to use it, get to know it, and to bend it to my will. I love it! Only thing I miss are Maxthon's mouse gestures. The add-ins for Firefox are clunky.

I've never used Maxthon, so I'm not sure what its mouse gestures are like, but I absolutely love Marc Boullet's All-in-One Gestures for Firefox.

Yup - it's the best of the bunch, and the one that I use myself. Maxthon's are configured differently and seem to work more naturally to me, in that they don't get in the way of any other mouse activity, that I can see...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2008, 01:23:26 AM »
Yup - it's the best of the bunch, and the one that I use myself. Maxthon's are configured differently and seem to work more naturally to me, in that they don't get in the way of any other mouse activity, that I can see...

I have been trying out Sleipnir, which can switch between both IE's Trident engine and Gecko with a single click of an icon on the statusbar.

There are some nice plugins available for it, too. (but not as many as Firefox) And any plugins that work with IE will work with it while in Trident mode through the context menu, so things like ieSpell and Surfulator will work with it. (sorry, no IE toolbar support) And it comes with a freeware version of Roboform.

There is also skins available. I really like the Kantele & Liuto ones, even though neither of them match my desktop theme.

And the mouse gestures are completely configurable...and I mean completely!

SNAG-00019.png

There is a lot of things that can be configured in this browser. If you like customizing stuff, they give you plenty to play with.

Then there is also K-Meleon, which is gecko based and has mouse gestures, out of the box. Just have to turn them on in the options and configure them how you like. I used K-Meleon for the better part of this year and it's the default browser on my old PC.

There is a bunch of Firefox extensions that have been modified to work with it, but even without them, the browser is pretty feature packed and it's amazing how light it still is with all they included in it. It runs well on my old 233mhz machine with 64mb ram, which I really can't say for either IE 6 or Firefox 2.

And it's the only browser I know of that will allow you to have 3 links toolbars at the same time, supporting your existing IE favorites, Opera style Hotlist, as well as K-Meleon/gecko bookmarks. (that is a killer feature that is hard to live without once you get used to it.)

You might want to download a copy of JavaRa. It checks for JRE updates and removes old versions from your system.

If you need to use Java, you'll want to install JavaRa.

And it's free! :Thmbsup:

I know about JavaRa, but I also know how to go look in Add/Remove programs and do it myself too.

There is a problem with JavaRa, though. It doesn't detect all outdated versions of JRE. There are older ones it will miss, and they are the some of the worst ones to leave on your system.

When I tested JavaRa on my other pc, it didn't detect most versions of JRE installed because they were too old, and it even had me download an upgrade that was incompatible with my OS.

JavaRa is fine for use on newer machines/OS's but I wouldn't suggest it for anything old or 9x.

But still, whether you use JavaRa or Add/Remove programs, you have to admit that the average PC user wouldn't know that they have to go do this themselves and that they will most likely have multiple exploitable versions on their pc if they don't.

I didn't know this, myself, till a few years ago. I didn't know it was safe to uninstall the older entries in Add/Remove programs without breaking the current version. I assumed that they were patches and I needed them all or it wouldn't work. And if I thought this, what does the average mom, pop, and teen on myspace think?

Ummm, I know that development environments like eclipse allow you to target previous JRE versions in order to do compatibility testing, but doesn't the browser pick & use the latest JRE? Or can java applets specify a specific JRE version to use?

Obviously they must be able to target older versions that are still installed if they are exploiting them.

zridling

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2008, 11:47:54 AM »
Thanks app, for the cool screenshot of Sleipnir. Now that's the way to do mouse gestures!!

Deozaan

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2008, 07:26:11 PM »
And the mouse gestures are completely configurable...and I mean completely!

I'm pretty sure Marc Boullet's All-in-One Gestures are also just as configurable.

All-In-One Gestures.jpg

One of the cool little bonuses I love about All-in-One Gestures is that the highlighted option in the screenshot, open new tab in foreground, performs a bonus function if that gesture is used on a link. It actually opens the link in a new tab. That's probably one of my most used gestures and I can't stand using other gesture systems that don't have that dual functionality with opening a new tab and opening a link in a new tab all in the same gesture.


Darwin

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Re: Is it finally time to abandon IE?
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2008, 09:35:52 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Deozaan  :Thmbsup: That's the sole function I use and I sorely miss it form Maxthon. I've been using one that I created to mimic the Maxthon one - and this is where I have found All-In-One clunky - but it often doesn't open anything at all or opens the link I want and any others I happen to graze with the cursor. I'll give the one you pointed out a try  :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin