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The Greatest Browser That Ever Lived

The following is a guest post by a good friend of mine, who I’ve worked with a lot, and has done a vast array of amazing work in the web community.

Hi, guys.

Most of you already know me; some call me the grandaddy of the internet, some call me the thorn in your metaphorical developer ass. Me? I call myself Internet Explorer the Sixth. Born the son of Internet Explorer the Fifth, Sr. (or Five Point Five as he was affectionately known — we have a tradition of having the same name, after our creator, Bill Gates the Third), my job was, and still is, to serve people. I’m like a waiter for the internet.

And, like most waiters, or any profession, the time comes when one has to retire. And for me, that time is now. Even Microsoft are petitioning to get rid of me. And I agree with you all; maybe I am getting too old for this. I mean, I am 10 years old, nearly 11, now. I’ve been in this game a long time — longer than I’ve been able to cope. I’ve seen the internet blossom into so much more than I ever could have imagined: we have HTML 5 and Flash, enabling people to make games in the browser; Javascript, building truly interactive applications; and, recently, responsive design, which allows web designers to announce they know responsive design.

But I want you to remember me for the good I did, not the pain I caused. Remember me for my glory days, not my later years. Remember me for my innovations that shaped the web to where it’s become today.

Remember me for AJAX, that little method that allowed you to load content without reloading; Five Point Five may have used it first, but I was the guy who really made it popular. At first, no-one thought it was useful, but when Google started using, its popularity exploded, causing the XMLHttpRequest spec to be written. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a site that doesn’t use AJAX somewhere.

Remember me for my love of typography: although my rendering may have not been the best, it was a different time: people didn’t realise those letters on the screen were important. I did. That’s why Microsoft came up with the Core fonts, but I personally came up with something much better: @font-face. That’s right: I was able to give users pretty fonts a whole six years before any other browser, and I still do to this day, with a smile on my face, damn it.

Remember me for opacity: if you’re a true web developer, you’d have heard of 24 ways. Now, look. If you can’t see the excessive opacity in use, you’re not looking at the right page. Anyway, that’s thanks to me. As Browser #1 at the forefront, I was the first to support it, using the filter property. That reminds me…

Remember me for my filter property. You haven’t seen this around much, but it’s coming. Webkit recently announced a highly-lauded, glorious ripoff of some features I’d had the whole time, and had been left ignored until now. Crazy world, huh?

Anyway, I’m off; got to go and get some more toolbars for this lovely old lady. Thanks for listening.