Archive for the 'browsers' category

Prevent Google From Redirecting You To Localised Site

Google generally automatically redirects users to a localised version of its site (such as for Australian users). This can be inconvenient for web developers as it can be useful to be able to check a site’s ranking in search results in a different version of the Google site.

Well, without hardly any effort at all, you can tell your browser to stop being automatically redirected to your local Google site:

1. Open your browser
2. Clear your cookies in your browser
3. Allow your browser to accept cookies
4. Navigate to:
5. You should now be able to use any Google site you please

System Administrators Should Drop IE6

Along with most of the web dev community I would really like to see IE6 go six feet under sooner rather than later. A fairly high percentage of users (around 16% at the time of this writing) is still using IE6. Why is that?

Meet Moe

One of the reasons could be that on large scale enterprise networks it takes a lot of effort, skill and funds to update the contents of a Managed Operating Environment (MOE). For me, this would be a prime reason to drop IE altogether in favour of a browser that does not tie into the heart of the OS the way Internet Explorer does. I dare say potential security issues would be much easier to deal with if users are not exposing the core of their OS by surfing with a browser that is entirely integrated. It certainly would facilitate updating the browser more frequently.

So, while I understand that MOE updates are difficult to roll out, system administrators (and especially the CEOs who manage the sys admins) should understand that keeping IE6 alive makes web development more cumbersome and therefore, more expensive. I am still working on intranet/extranet/public sites that are designed for IE6. It is a costly process which also holds back web development in general.


And let’s face it, IE6 is a dinosaur these days: it was initially released on August 27, 2001. Which makes it, at the time of this post, nearly 8 years old. I shall repeat that: nearly 8 years old. To put that into perspective: while early history of the web can be traced back to the 1980s, initial mainstream adoption of the web (outside of university labs) did not take place until around 1993. That is 16 years ago. By that calculation, IE6 is as old as half the age of the WWW. Methinks it is time to drop IE6. What says you sys admins?

IE7 was released on October 18, 2006 (after Microsoft reluctantly continued development of IE after it saw its market share quickly lose ground to Firefox). And we’ve just seen the release of IE8 on March 19, 2009.

Further Reading

Unsupported Browser

I never knew that browsing with an unsupported browser was such a critical issue… Taking into account that I’m using the browser equivalent of the latest Ferrari such a message becomes even more stupifying.

Sorry sir, our roads are simply not compatible with that nice and shiny vehicle of yours.

Hmmm. Let me see. Don’t support a browser that has been released mere days ago. But if I take the 10-yr old bug ridden IE v6 for a spin around these parts I would have no issues? Of course I can use the site just fine with Opera—so the message is completely useless and a mere nuisance at best. And here I was, thinking that we were starting to come to terms with web standards.

But then again, such a dubious site as the RipOff Report surely is only a mere outpost on the World Wild Web. The further you remove yourself from the buzzing hive in the centre, the harder it gets to properly maintain an infrastructure…

Opera 9.5

The latest version of Opera has been installed on my system for a while now. It contains a few nice improvements:

  • once more, Opera is the fastest browser on the planet
  • you can now synchronize browser data on different platforms and computers
  • increased stability and compatibility
  • email support; connections to IMAP servers no longer hang

I also appreciate the new default look of the browser—I am using that skin on my Mac (my Windows machine is still using the most minimalistic and plain skin available).

Not all good

On the downside, this new version no longer allows me to minimise/maximise the sidebar by clicking the little strip all the way on the side. That was incredibly useful, and I have no idea why the devs have changed that. Perhaps its just a matter of a bit of tinkering (like resetting my default buttons).

Also, support for NTLM based proxy servers is still flawed. This makes it nearly impossible for many system administrators to take up the browser for use on their Windows based networks.

Furthermore I would have liked to see included:

  • open plug-in standard like Firefox (dare I say: essential for Opera’s survival)
  • inline spell checker for textarea form elements
  • improved contact list functionality and support for 3rd party integration

Further Reading

Opera Speed Dial & Developer Tools

Opera 9.20 just came out. It gives me two more items to add to my “why I use Opera” list:

  • speed dial
  • developer tools

Initially I was rather reserved when I learned of Opera’s speed dial feature. After all, I had bookmarks didn’t I?