All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

Developing Web apps for IE Only

In his article The top 20 IT mistakes to avoid (hat tip: Harry Fuecks) columnist Chad Dickerson goes further than putting forward a business case for developing cross-browser web applications, he actually lists developing web apps for IE only as the eleventh biggest IT mistake.

Many enterprises may not be able to avoid using IE. But if you make sure your key Web applications don’t depend on IE-only functionality, you’ll have an easier time switching to an alternative, such as Mozilla Firefox, if ongoing IE security holes become too burdensome and risky for your IT environment.

Dickerson’s point is simple – as tempting as it may seem, it’s a bad business decision to arbitrarily tie your web app to any one browser. This is compounded when a browser has a proven track record of problems. If your app isn’t tied to one browser then you can happily ditch the browser you were using across your organisation and switch to another.

Whether he’d recognise it by name or not, Dickerson is recommending Web Standards. It’s exactly the same message we’ve been preaching at the WaSP for years, and it’s no coincidence that the basic business case never goes away.

Use web standards. It’ll save your arse.