Hello World! Time to wake up and smell the browser statistics of 2013! All of those sites and developers who still claim that you need Internet Explorer for viewing or using their site needs to wake up.
According to several sources Chrome is now the individually largest web browser at roughly 35% market share. Noteable exception from this statistic is tracking done by NetApplications that pegs Chrome at only 19% (and Internet Explorer at 54%). Still, 19% market share means almost one in five visitors use Chrome!
It’s time to let go of the past. Reverse your conditions and say that this site is best view in ANY web browser EXCEPT old Internet Explorer versions. Adhere to standards instead of individual browser versions. A website can be made to look and work almost identical in majority of web browsers (including the latest version of Internet Explorer) if one simply takes the effort to learn how to do that.
The only case when I can accept shortcuts with limiting testing to a single browser (and even version) is for intranet applications in a controled environment. The rest of the world should head for the future and develop for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and of course also Internet Explorer!
In 1989 we had zero web browsers as we know them today, allthough just about to be invented around the corner. In 1999 we had two web browsers fighting a death match, Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator – a fight with Netscape cleverly lost by dying and coming back several open source reincarnations of which Firefox of course is the most well known today. 2009 is turning out to be yet another battle year for browsers, this time many more of them! We have (in no special order) the newcommer Google Chrome fighting Firefox and Internet Explorer (mainly the PC-side). We have Opera who has cut out a piece of the action on several systems but shine mostly in portable devices. Safari is ruling the Macintosh but is starting to get some interference from Firefox.
Well that is now, what is next? I ready a post about current state of browser development, and many of the major browsers have a beta our that will maybe go live sometime during the next year. While this might be very good news for home users I am sure it will mean alot of work for someone like myself who create on-line applications. There used to be a lot of tuning to make web pages and applications look and work the same on the old “two major browsers”, now we have at least 5! Unless the browser developers makes a great effort to follow the rules of the standards each web page have to compensate for how a particular browser parses the data.
In the past Internet Explorer have seemingly intentionally ignored several standards in favour of making programmers like myself forced to make pages look good on their browser. Internet Explorer is afterall the dominating browser and it have to work. The question is if this strategy is allowed to continue. I really hope for the sake of us programmers that while there are five new browser versions about to be released that several of them will render the basic pages using the same rulset.