the religious ugly of browser choices

In the workplace, I tend to avoid a the common conversations: money, religion, politics, and even sex. These things tend to be wedges between people. People get way too fanatic about some of them, or it becomes a decisive topic. I’m careful with whom I open up to about those things, and where and when.

Today I clicked to visit a blog site I have in my RSS reader. I clicked through from work and up popped a flat out denial screen because I was using IE as my browser. Now, we make people use IE, but some of us do get to use Firefox when we test or need something new, however I don’t make myself a complete standing exception by using IE almost all of the time like every other user. And no, this wasn’t just a warning page that let me into the site, but rather a complete, 100% denial of entry.

Seriously, take your browser and OS religion and put it elsewhere. I don’t subscribe to political or religious blogs. And while I sometimes read that particular offending blog, I decided it is not worth giving the author another feed hit, so I unsubscribed.

I don’t mind people saying Firefox is better, or reminding me that I’m on IE through a splash page. In fact, given the option, I’d use Firefox over IE anyway, which I do at home (and with a blank user-agent). But discriminating users with full denial based on browser choice is ridiculous.

3 thoughts on “the religious ugly of browser choices

  1. you know, of course, that there are pages doing exactly the same thing against firefox (most recently with the ‘excuse’ that it’s because it supports the adblock extension)…
    if i were in that position where i was trying to click a link and getting that kind of result i’d say ‘screw it’ – if they don’t want my pageviews then i don’t want their content…

  2. Normally I’d agree, but it depends on the circumstances. I just wrote a web-application for someone that used heavy, heavy javascript. In the end, it turns out that the app doesn’t work in IE. I developed it all on Firefox using standard javascript calls, and when I put a little bit of work into it to try to determine why, I came up empty.
    At that point, after already having invested way to much time in a free project for someone, I threw a quick IE detection function in, had it mention that IE wasn’t supported, put a link to firefox in and and moved on.
    I’ve only got so much time in the world, and if someone wants to use that particular app, they’re going to have to use Firefox. As long as it’s not something like my bank, or an important site I have to use, I don’t really care what they require.
    There are very practical reasons why only supporting one browser is easier.

  3. Jordan, I think you’re absolutely right, some pages and apps simply aren’t compatible, and that I agree with. But typically those are obvious and state the reasons. The site that prompted my rant above explicitly said the author doesn’t like IE, so I’m denying you into my blog. That’s the thing I just don’t care to use or see. 🙂 They can change the notice to say “I don’t like your browser, but if you click here you can get in anyway.” I don’t mind that at all, really.
    I do know a site, but can’t remember it off the top of my head the basicalyl denies me if I have noscript running or something like that. That is a bit different as I have to decide whether I can trust the scripts on the site or not…whether it is worth it.

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