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Top web browsers || This review site gave Internet Explorer a 9.1/10!

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Front-end dev and activist Emily Ethanol.

Editor’s note: today’s guest blog post is by Emily Ethanol, a front-end developer and social activist based in Calabasas, California.

Lists are hard. They’re divisive; the authors and publishers often use incomplete or inaccurate data; and in the case of a high-traffic review site that rated the top web browsers, they often leave readers perplexed.

Hey, I’m not immune to making biased lists involving software and having people throw tomatoes at me. I don’t enjoy picking the seeds out of my teeth, but it happens to the best of us. However, as a front-end developer who knows all too well the absolute hell of a browser that Internet Explorer (IE) is, I can’t sit back and let this list spread its wretched, festering untruths.

First of all, I don’t blame the author for giving IE an overall rating of 9.1 stars (fist bumps? Mics? LED lights?) out of 10. For perspective, the highest-rated browsers in the Overall Rating section are a tie between Chrome and Firefox at 9.8. This person spent time compiling a pretty big list that analyzed speed & compatibility, features, security, help & support, ease of use, and many other metrics. No, I blame the publisher for embracing the suggestion that IE is a worthwhile browser for consumers. Not only that — for championing it as one of the best browsers; a top ten contender! Unforgivable; untenable; unreal.

I don’t know how to put this in any clearer terms: Internet Explorer is death star. 

If this list would have instead chronicled the “top ten death star browsers” rather than “top web browsers” we wouldn’t even be here right now.

Firstly, it has a history of gaping security holes and nasty bugs.

Fun trivia time! Want to know the code required to crash IE6?

<script>for(x in document.write){document.write(x);}</script>

“But Emily, nobody uses IE6 these days.” That much may be true, except for half the government that is — but around the time that Firefox and Chrome started coming to prominence, it’s like Microsoft just stopped caring.

If you really want some fun bathroom reading, check out 979 security vulnerabilities discovered for IE (as of this publishing — there will likely be more by the time you read this). If you don’t have time for all of ’em, just scan the red ones — those are the high-vulnerability issues.

To be fair, the other browsers have lots of entries on that same Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) website, but to be doubly fair, IE only fixes bugs on a fixed schedule (so if there’s a big buggy problem, sorry, but you’ll have to wait) and only IE has had the dubious honor of being responsible for what was called  “one of the most serious problems ever detected in cryptography.” Ouch.

Begone, Satan!

Anyway, I was considering writing out a whole laundry list of things that are wrong with IE, but I’ll stop here. You have things to do, I have other things to protest, along with other top web browsers to test — the real top web browsers like Brave and Vivaldi. Perhaps we can discuss those in another article. For now, thanks for reading and stay safe.


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