Internet Explorer Flaws to Fix for IE 9
I was going to just leave Internet Explorer alone. Everyone knows that it is the bottom of the pile when it comes to browsers. The only people who use IE are those who are either not computer savvy enough to know that there are options and how to get them, and those who do know about the better web browsers out there, but figure that it just is not worth the effort. Even Microsoft knows IE 8 is already junk, that is why whenever it posts press releases about how fast Internet Explorer is compared to Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari, they compare them to the non-existent Internet Explorer 9 and not the currently released Internet Explorer 8.
Today, however, two of IE 8’s many shortcomings popped up in my face again and I figured that I would write this post in hopes that a growing chorus of user voices might just get Microsoft to pay attention to what is really wrong with Internet Explorer instead of what they think is wrong with Internet Explorer.
First and foremost is the Apple Computer-like arrogance that keeps IE from offering a way to choose your own setting for how IE 8 handles browser sessions. In every modern web browser out there, except for IE 8, you can choose to restore your last browsing session by default. That is, you can tell the browser to open all of the same tabs and webpages that were open during your last browsing session automatically the next time you start your browser.
Internet Explorer offers the ability to restore your last browsing session, but requires that you do it manually. The stated reason for this enormous deficiency in browser functionality is privacy. Microsoft thinks that the possibility that someone might inadvertently see the website you were looking at last time is more important than you (the user) wanting to be able to pick right back up where you left off. Or, in the case of yours truly, not only pick right back up where I was online last time, but also to BE REMINDED of where I was last time without having to jot down notes or send myself a reminder or whatever.
While privacy is important and a worthy goal, allowing the user to use the software in the way that works best for them is WAY more important. It makes perfect sense that for privacy reasons Microsoft does not set Internet Explorer 8 to reopen the last browsing session by default. It makes NO SENSE whatsoever that Microsoft will not provide that option as one of the settings that can be customized in IE 8. I guess this feature wasn’t widespread enough during the development of IE 8 for Microsoft to bother copying it into their “revolutionary” new browser.
Spell Check Missing From IE 8
There is also no spell check in IE8 by default. In a world where more and more is done online on the Internet, being able to spell check your entries into fields and forms is paramount. Of course, at the time, although everyone else had a spellchecker, and Microsoft has access to arguably one of the most complete spellcheck programs anywhere (the one in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office), they didn’t bother to include it. You have to download an addon called ieSpell in order to get spell check in IE 8. I guess that they wanted to make sure that at least someone downloaded an IE addon since as we discussed above, anyone willing to go download add-ons would have long ago downloaded a better browser instead.
Password Saving Wrong Time
Finally, IE 8 has a very annoying flaw in the way it saves and remembers passwords for websites. Apparently when Microsoft sent down the command to copy the password save and remember function from better browsers like Firefox, they didn’t actually pay enough attention to how it was done to copy it right.
When you enter a username and password in Chrome, Opera, or Firefox, the next page continues to load behind the dialog box that asks you whether or not you want to save the password. This is critical because all webpages hide the password you enter behind astericks which means that you can never be sure that you got the password right until the login page loads and sends you on your way with a successful login. On good web browsers, you enter your username and password, and then, if there is any doubt in your mind about whether or not your login will be successful, you just wait and see. If the login works, THEN you click Save or Yes to Save your password. If not, you click No and enter the password again and the browser correctly offers you a chance to save THAT password.
The jack#ss that designed Internet Explorer 8’s password save and remember functionality makes you answer the question BEFORE the next page will load. That means that you have to say Yes in order to see if the login was successful or not. If it was not sucessful, then you have already saved the WRONG password thanks to this bassackwards feature.
The worst part is that when you re-enter your login information and actually get it right, IE may not even offer to change the wrong information it already saved, especially if you fat-fingered the username. Now that website has TWO username and password combinations saved and one of them will be wrong forever unless you go manually dig into the guts of the IE settings menus to find and delete that wrong information.
Microsoft, while you are building functions and support and speed into IE 9, if you could please fix these things that you got wrong in IE 8, we would really appreciate it. Of course, it isn’t really that big of deal. Those of us that know better only use IE for two reasons: to get stuff off your own website, and to make sure that our websites look right for the chuckleheads who use your browser.