Monday, 2 July 2012

About A Browser … 

You know, I have to admit, I’ve had a (comparatively) busy couple of weeks.

What with scanning in the family photos.

Which, to be frank, is my slightly sneaky way of telling you that I meant to get this post done a couple of weeks ago.

But have only just now got round to starting it.

I would say Cie La Vie.

But that usually gives me too many mental images of Irish girl bands for my comfort, frankly … 

At ANY rate … ?

At ANY rate, you’ve probably figured I like following the tech news: frankly, I can’t afford as much new bits as I’d like, but that doesn’t stop me watching the BBC show, Click, to give you an example.

So, when I noticed this piece on the BBC’s site, about an Australian company charging customer’s extra for using the almost antique — in IT terms — Internet Explorer 7, I paid attention.

Especially as I’d also seen this article, about how Google were phasing out support for older browsers.

Which got me thinking.

The Work Programme I have to attend uses older PCs running Windoze XP and IE7.

As does my local job centre.

As far as I can tell, so does Brentwood Council.

As — keep following me, here — does Essex County Council: and their library services.

You can imagine what I did, can’t you … ?

I fired up and sent an email off to the relevant person.   (The Interim Head of Libraries and Culture, Martin Palmer.)

Here’s what I said …
Dear Sir, 
My name is Paul, and I’m a blogger has taken something of an interest in technology.
And am a keen user of my local library, here in Brentwood.
Indeed, I’ve occasionally written about it: both favourably and otherwise.
And I have to admit, there’s something  I’d like to know.
As you may or may not know, Google has recently announced it will be dropping support for older web-browsers: including, but not limited to, Internet Explorer 7, Safari 3, and Firefox 3.5.
Mostly on the grounds it finds those — and earlier — to be both slow, and insecure, compared to more modern browsers.
Additionally, Microsoft has marked the fact Internet Explorer 6 is used by less than 1% of the world’s population.
What you may not ALSO be aware of, is the fact that Australian retailers,, have recently introduced a surcharge of 6.8%: specifically on users of Internet Explorer 7.
The company has similar security issues with the aging browser: but has introduced the charge in order to encourage users to switch to more modern browsers, as it found redesigning its site for IE7 took up more work than designing it for Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
Now, I have to admit, I’m raising this with you, as I cant help notice Brentwood Library is still using IE7.
Now, I’m sure you’ll remind me that the library’s copy of Internet Explorer 7 usually makes use of Bing as it’s default search engine: and that — as we are in the UK — not everyone will be using the Australian equivalent to Amazon.
However … ?
I’m very aware that accessing my Facebook account at Brentwood Library is becoming tricky.   What’s more, accessing my blog — hosted by Google’s Blogger service — is well-nigh impossible: something I’d expect to apply to other Google services, like YouTube or Googlemail, although they’re not something I’ve used from the library.
I also believe that other search engines — Yahoo, Jeeves and Microsoft’s own Bing service — will soon join Google in stopping support for IE7 and other aging browsers.
I also feel that I can’t be the only person to have been affected, this way.
So I have to ask a question, at this stage.
When will Essex Libraries be replacing Internet Explorer 7 with a more modern browser … ?
Now, I realise that many use mobile devices to access the web at their local library: and that upgrading Essex Libraries service will cost.
But I’m also aware that there’s equally as many — if not more — who rely on the computers at their local library.
And while I realise there’s a manpower cost involved, and that this needs to be done across Essex County Council services as a whole … ?
I also think not upgrading — at least to Internet Explorer 8 — will affect services for the people of Essex: AND for the councillors and council workers that serve them.
And THAT’S possible one of the longest letters I’ve sent.

As soon as I get an answer to that … ?

I’ll pass it on.

That’s assuming I don’t get distracted … 

No comments: