Why Front-end Developers do not like Internet Explorer?

While interacting with other front-end developers, I noticed that many do not prefer IE. Not sure why?

What are your some of pain-points and how to avoid things that may go wrong for user experience if a user is using IE (some version)?

Which specific HTML, CSS and JS tricks you can suggest to improve cross-browser compatibility while coding front-end of a web application?

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I started doing a lot of developing when HTML 4.01 was popular. Back then Internet Explorer seemed to definitely go rogue when it came to trying to standardize web development. I believe Microsoft was trying to compete with the likes of Netscape, the new Mozilla Firefox and eventually Google Chrome. I don’t know their ideas behind it, but they never wanted to agree with the standardization put in place that the other browsers were willing to conform to.

Since those days I did a lot of other stuff unrelated to web development and just recently got back into it. It appears that Internet Explorer’s later versions started conforming and thus nowadays I see where you may not understand why developers are still bitter about IE. I believe the people critical of it now probably still have a beef with them because of the past.

And now that IE is technically no longer going to be supported in the future and Edge has taken over as Microsoft’s flagship browser, maybe this stigma will go away. I’d be willing to bet they switched to a new name for their browser to remove this ideology.

I’d be interested in hearing what others think about it that did continue development from the early 2000s to today to see what other things might have happened during my absence that makes them still have an issue with IE. Maybe it’s from the past, or maybe there was other things that occurred recently that would have created the hatred.

Just my 2 cents anyway…

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Internet Explorer’s support for everything seemed to be years behind other modern browsers. The box model was different, where it included padding into the overall width (so 100% width with a padding could result in 100% + 20px, instead of just 100% overall width).

If you wanted to use a CSS gradient, you’d also have to provide a fallback gif image. To display a transparent PNG you’d have to provide a hack to remove the black outlines on the .png files. Every time you thought you’d found a solution to a design, you would open up IE and find it all looked horrible. :cry:

They are much better now, especially with the ability to use modernizr and force browsers to Edge. Be thankful you don’t know! :slight_smile:

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Front end developers are normal people, when something doesn’t work because of its browser implementation, they start to hate the browser vendors for it.

I.E. was a problem and in some ways it still is, but these days most websites do not support old I.E.'s.

But is I.E. the only culprit? If you dig deeper you will find that, every browser has done some shitty work back in the days and as new standards are coming, browser vendors are becoming more co-operative.

One solution regarding this is use jQuery’'s backwards compatible version for interactions and some polyfills like modernizr, html5shim etc. if necessary.

I hope this answers your question.

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This is great! Thanks a lot, fellas!! I welcome more opinions on this…

Thanks a lot for contributing and your genuine/original thoughts on this issue.

As a new UI developer, I have 1M questions in my head…
I wonder why this and why not that …all the time… I am sure you can resonate!

Pl pitch in your views no matter what others think - if you are too naive, too junior or too ‘old-fashioned’…nothing counts in terms of your background in coding front-end…Pl let loose…

Pl keep them coming…that’s what that matters!!!



These days, the bête noire of web devs isn’t IE, it’s Safari, and mobile Safari in particular. It’s the last non-“evergreen” major browser left. Its CSS compatibility is the pits. Its debugging tools are mediocre. Its ES6 compliance is completely nonexistent – though Safari 10 looks set to leapfrog everyone there once it comes out. Just google for “Safari is the new IE” and you’ll get a bigger picture of what I’m talking about.

As for MS and standardization, they’re a big part of the reason JavaScript is standardized in the first place. Unfortunately they standardized all the bugs in the language at the same time. Listen to some of Douglas Crockford’s talks: he loves to go on about the standards process and bodies, and not in a complimentary way.


Hey Chuck,
Very correct. Apple is really worried about hybrid apps and the movement away from native development to progressive web apps. They have a lot staked on people developing natively for iOS, and the opportunity to keep controlling their own ecosystem. But if an app can be written using web standards that can scale down to mobile, and run perform fairly well, then Apple loses some control. So those articles you point to do cover this in terms of Safari lacking support for these new features. Apple is sounding a little like Microsoft of yesterday. Nice to point that out.

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I don’t think Apple is on a mission to sabotage Safari in order to promote Swift or other native tools. I think they’ve just grown to the point where they are indeed like the new Microsoft, where one hand does not know what the other is doing. I’m sure the Safari team is doing their absolute best (Safari Tech Preview may have the best JS engine around) but they’re being hobbled by management that thrashes about frantically and aimlessly nonetheless. It’s just what giant corporations tend to do, and Apple’s famous culture of secrecy and insularity only serves to exacerbate the problem.

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Don’t think sabotage is the right word for it. More like dragging their feet. Whatever is next for Safari may or may not be great, but they sure have not been in any hurry. Making Swift an open platform was a surprise to me, and shows some signs Apple is changing in some ways. But I do think Google has the upper hand in the next wave of application development and this does worry Apple

The question should be why does Internet Explorer not like Front-end Developers.


My latest information is that IE still runs on 5% of the world’s computers. As web devs, how concerned should we be about reaching that last 5%? Or is best practice to just ignore them in favor of the modernized 95%?

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That 5% is the Edge browser though, which is the latest version and is not that bad. The problem area is more in that 31% where there are people using older versions of IE. You should definately be concerned about reaching the 5%, that slice will only get bigger as people update their versions of Windows.

There are two separate data points of concern in the article. One, IE of any flavor including IE 11 is still used on 31% of the world’s computers. Edge takes up another 5%, available only to those who have upgraded to Windows 10. The 5% I mentioned were the computers running IE 10 or older… the unsupported versions.

How concerned should web devs be about reaching those last holdouts?

Depends entirely on your target market. Most modern sites have given up on everything prior to IE9. If you have paying customers on old hardware, you still want their money, so you may have to degrade somewhat. Me, I only bother with “evergreen” browsers (Chrome, FF, and Edge). Whereas my aunt who lives in Uganda has a site that doesn’t even require JS at all.

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