On March 17th, three days after Internet Explorer 9’s (IE9) release date, I wrote a cautiously optimistic post about it
maybe not sucking.
It turns out I was wrong. And since it was Saint Patrick’s Day, I might have been something else as well, and that is how I will explain it to my future biographer. Last week we identified a bug in IE9 that won’t let your IE9 users checkout in Magento. We also subsequently uncovered a crafty
hot-fix for most Magento sites, but now we find out that’s not all you get when you download Microsoft’s latest browser!


“And I shall call it Internet Explorer 9.”

You also get these awesome features that I have run into directly:

  • CSS issue with UL and Float
    – Seems that some times layouts gets blown up due to incorrect handling of the style sheet. It can be corrected by putting IE in “Compatibility Mode” or by updating your code.
  • CSS issue with not applying a style sheet at all
    – Once a problem primarily with sites that dynamically generate style sheets with PHP, but once again IE9 blows the site’s layout up and can be corrected in “Compatibility Mode” or updating your code.
  • Issue with extra characters being added to DotNetNuke HTML Module posts
    – I’m not sure if this is an IE9 or DNN issue, but I feel comfortable placing the blame with IE9. It can be corrected by using Firefox.
  • Random Timeouts and Stalls
    – This happens much more in Chrome, and it is mildly annoying in IE9 but I figured I’d put it here since it surely happens. This can be solved by not using the internet.

Although these pale in comparison to the already referenced Magento issue which stopped people from buying stuff, there are at least two items that have caused us to re-do code. This downgrades IE9 rating from surprised shrug to to angry internet search for a solution.And since most of these solutions involve switching browsers or using compatibility mode, we should at least discuss the strangest feature in any browser currently available: “Compatibility Mode.”

Compatibility Mode is stupid.

It has bothered me since it first showed up in IE8, and I referenced this as a potential red flag for IE9 in my initial post because it was still there. The bottom line is this: IE9 should not have a compatibility mode because it should be compatible already.

No other browser seems to have this issue. I can use Chrome, Opera or Firefox and there is nothing like “Compatibility Mode.” If Microsoft needs to keep supporting legacy applications and sites, and sees the need for this mode, they should release “Internet Explorer Classic” and leave everyone else alone.