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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Internet Explorer for Linux

As I've noted several times on this blog, I have been using Linux for several years now. Both at work and at home, I run it on machines that are now about 5 years old, and they perform beautifully. But lately, I'm finding more applications in use by the library community (payroll and web conferencing for instance) that simply don't work with Firefox on Ubuntu.

While I very much like the idea of Open Source software, like the idea of updating my operating system and applications for many years now at no cost, like the fact that I haven't had a single virus in all that time, and like the idea of not having my business assets be part of somebody ELSE'S business plan, it's not a religious issue for me. But Linux remains at 1% of the market, and people are clearly designing important applications so they DON'T work with it.

So I thought I should report a nice find: IEs4Linux allows you to set up a program that thinks it's Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6, running on Ubuntu. It works with my payroll program, and I have some hopes for it for web conferencing. Just click the entry title for the link.


David Feuer said...

I have to deal with such programs too, from time to time, and haven't had as much luck with ies4linux as you. I wish the silly app-writers would just stick to the standards so their apps could be used in all modern browsers.

Jamie said...

I agree. It just occurred to me that there's another approach I haven't tried: getting Firefox to "pretend" (identify itself as) IE. If there's one thing that's become clear over the years, it's that IE has more exploitable security loopholes than Firefox, so maybe we customers have to start asking our vendors why they won't adopt industry standards. Alternatively, why we should do business with people who won't adopt best practices.