You're probably saying, "there's no way that could happen". But guess what? Thanks to companies that don't adhere to Open and Interoperable web standards, many users may NOT have a choice but to use Internet Explorer to access their much-needed resource!!
The recent colossal security meltdown of ALL versions of Internet Explorer serves as a magnificent reminder as to just how important it is for websites to adhere to Open and Interoperable Web Standards.
The security flaw in Internet Explorer was so bad that industry professionals went as far as recommending that we "Not use Internet Explorer".
Here are some example headlines of the mayhem(there are many more out there):
"Microsoft Scrambles To Fix Flaw"
"Security Experts recommend avoiding Internet Explorer (for now)"
"Serious security flaw found in IE"
"Users of the world's most common web browser have been advised to switch to another browser until a serious security flaw has been fixed."
Now imagine this: What if you didn't have any other choice but to use Internet Explorer and Windows to access the websites you really need? Wouldn't that make you very mad? It should. Afterall, this is not the way the Internet was intended to be used. The Internet is open and free, why should any company think they can violate this basic premise? Ask some Mac users, or better yet, ask some GNU/Linux users about how bad it is when companies don't follow web standards, you better grab a seat and sit down, cause you're gonna hear it for awhile!
The problem: Some websites don't program their web pages using Open and Interoperable(as in working with any OS) Web Standards. Currently, open web standards are created and maintained by the W3C - The World Wide Web Consortium. "The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential."
Technology and the Internet are tools that a lot of people use. This is why there needs to be an open and accessible set of standards that everyone can follow to be on the same page. Imagine if you went to the store and bought a wrench that was supposed to fit a 10mm hex bolt and you didn't find out until you got all the way home that the 10mm wrench you bought doesn't fit the 10mm hex bolt at all, even though the packaging said it would. This is the same thing that happens when a company buys or builds a website that is only programmed to work in one non-web-standards-compliant web browser. This is very ugly.
In fact, one of the primary reasons the Internet (or World Wide Web if you want to call it that) is so successful is because it is open to a wide array of technology and devices, ranging from wireless devices, computers, cars, servers, appliances, refrigerators, and much more!! Now imagine if your refrigerator was required to have the IE security update in order to not be taken over and having your food spoil by hackers. This is no good.
So there it is, short but sweet. Tell the owners of websites you frequent most to program their websites using Open and Interoperable Web Standards. Accept nothing less!! This way you will have a choice in working around the security meltdown of a particular web browser. The bottom line is that computer users everywhere should not be putting up with this type of non-standards non-technology-compliant nonsense, and it's up to YOU to do something about it.
Here's what you can do:
If you experience any website that gives you an error message saying "You need to install Internet Explorer to use this website" or "You need to have Windows to run this website" or even sometimes the website will just not work at all(especially if you're using another OS besides Windows), then take a moment and find a way to contact the "webmaster" of the site and provide some "feedback" for them to fix the problem. Just let them know that their website is not complying with Open Web Standards as set forth by the W3C, they'll know what it means.
Stop the Tax!!
Want to know more? Checkout these stories:
"Browser campaign slams IE"
"Planning to dump IE? Think again"
"Websites that Don't Work in Firefox"
"Why Internet Explorer 7 Will Break the Web"
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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