A Helping Hand for Web Developers

At the end of January, Microsoft launched a new toolbox and set of resources to enable web developers with their sites work across all versions of Internet Explorer. The most notable part of the launch being the tools are free.

“We wanted to make a simple way for developers to get immediate feedback on common problems in supporting older versions of Internet Explorer and suggest ways that can make it easier to support many modern browsers, too. Our commitment here is to provide more transparency. By no means does the tool cover everything that it takes to build cross-browser sites, but it begins with the most common things that hold developers back and suggests enhancements that would help,” comments Microsoft.

Branded Modern.IE, Microsoft has included 3 months of free access to BrowserStack’s virtual browser testing site.

While it is clear Microsoft has paid attention to previous complaints and updated where possible, the marketing campaign name is a nod at Microsoft’s attempts to change the perception of the company to its advantage. ‘The Browser You Loved to Hate’ may be hoping the mistakes are in the past.

The company recognised two distinct areas which caused people in web developer jobs to have problems; old browsers and developer access. Some of the features developed include a bug checker (compared to a list of known bugs currently checked for), plug-in finder, compatibility indicator, standards Docmode test and modern frameworks test, with a web page scanner.

Ryan Gavin, IE General Manager, wrote in a Windows blog “We want to help. We want the web to move forward. And we genuinely want web developers to spend more time innovating and less time testing. That is where modern.IE comes in.”

It would be naive to believe the firm were not hoping to encourage developers to use their own platforms or improve their image. Yet currently Modern.IE is available for any platform choice. There is a wealth of knowledge contained in tools based on best practise.

If taken at face value, the aim is to make web developers lives easier and early reports seem to be positive. What more could you want with a career in IT?

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