Here’s my review of Internet Explorer 6.0

Here’s my review of Internet Explorer 6.0 for my users, tweaked a bit for more general consumption.

Next up, I’ve been playing around with Internet Explorer 6.0, and well it’s just ok. It does some nice things, especially in having a print preview function. (I’ve been waiting for that feature for a long time now, I hate not knowing how many pages something is going to be before I print it!) Other nice additions seem to much more personal user appropriate than business appropriate. For example if there’s a picture file on a web page and you simply move the mouse over the picture a pop-up menu will come up giving you the opportunity to save the picture or print it, and if you open it in a smaller window you’ll get a pop-up to expand the picture to full-size.

The big new toy with IE6 is the privacy features. They are rather involved, so I won’t get into it here, but there are 48 different options on how to handle cookies and scripts. I’d recommend staying with the defaults if you’re not comfortable tweaking it. The defaults will block third party cookies, but allow cookies directly from the site you are visiting, and will block most malicious scripts. That seems to work pretty well for me. But if you are a true zealot you could block all cookies, or specify which sites are allowed to set them. This will make some sites not work, but will keep you pretty much anonymous online, the choice is yours.

The only real downside I’ve run into is that it does not cache pages very well. “Caching” is the art of taking a particular web page and making a copy of it to your hard drive, so that when you go back to it later, it can be downloaded quicker, because it will download from there. IE is supposed to go out and check to make sure the page hasn’t been changed since the last copy it has, and generally it will do that. However it has a tendency, when you click the “back” button, to give you an older version of the page. It will only be noticeable with pages that change during the course of the day, and that you visit more than once during the day. (News sites mostly, or blogs) Or if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it probably won’t affect you much.

The caching may be more a product of running it with a proxy server than it is an IE problem though. Since the proxy is setup at the ISP, and not locally, I can’t do any testing to try and determine if that’s true or not. The other thing that may only be specific to our situation is that I’ve yet to have a single IE crash, unlike quite a few people have reported online. I’m running it with Windows NT Workstation 4.0, SP6. I’ve got alot of scripting turned off too, that may be part of that. So, as always, your mileage may vary!

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