Browse Happy – Online. Worry-free.

Browse Happy is a site devoted to the comparison of Internet browsers, or to put it more bluntly, it is devoted to explaining why we should not be using Internet Explorer as our browser of choice.

Until the recent release of Firefox I was using Opera as my main browser. I stress the word “main” at this point because there are things that I.E. does better and I now find myself switching between Firefox (better security, tabbed browsing, very fast) and I.E. (preview pane for Internet e-mail, accessing my bank in Australia [they only accept I.E.]) depending on the use to which I am putting it.

My students have just discovered the dilemma inherent in trying to produce cross-browser compatible Web sites for their final project. Yesterday in class each student presented their site on the large screen to the rest of the class, and without exception there were problems of one sort or another in most of the browsers. It was an interesting exercise to have the students display their sites in three different browsers to see the differences in presentation caused by the way in which each browser interprets the HTML and CSS coding. Not to mention the fact that in our computer labs the students are mainly using I.E. 5.5 while I have I.E. 6 installed on my computer and many of them had problems presenting their sites through my laptop using I.E. 6.

This is no news to those of us who have been struggling for many years to design Web sites that can be viewed by end users no matter what “user agent” they are employing. But it still remains a total pain in the posterior.