Firefox has Firebug, IE has … ?

I admit it, I'm spoiled…

I've been using Firebug for I don't know how long but at BarCampDC this year, my eyes were really opened. That's when Russell Heimlich taught us that Firebug could be used for far more than just inspection… it could be used to live-edit the css and html of a page and see the results in realtime. Since I've picked this up, the previous edit, save, reload, groan, repeat is gone! It has become stunningly simple to edit a site, figure out the proper spacing and alignment, copy, paste, validate, done! It's been such a wonderful and effective solution that just works.

Well, almost… because then there's Internet Explorer.

IE7 works about what you'd expect and tends to behave. Other than a few issues with alignment, it honestly isn't too bad. My only criticism is that Microsoft took so long to get it out.

The core of the problem is that IE6 won't die.

IE6 is an abomination on the world. It is what Netscape 4.7 was for us last time around. Netscape 4.7 hung on for so long because people loved it. It did what they wanted, it just wasn't great at it and as a result we had to support it years longer than anyone wanted. IE6 – on the other hand – is hanging on because people don't want to upgrade.

According to Wikipedia, the final release of IE6 was August 2001. In the past six years, the web has moved on… but the tools for IE6 haven't. We're still missing png transparency, odd css implementations, and a closed, barely extensible platform… with 40% market share.

If you end up fixing your parents' computer over the coming holiday season, do them a favor and update Internet Explorer for them. Better yet, give them Firefox...