IETab – Gold!

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Hats off to Hong Jen Yee.

Forget catching tigers by the tail — this clever coder and friends have put together an extension able to tame the might of Internet Explorer within a humble Firefox tab. Magic.

Operation is as simple as it gets.

  • Install it
  • Go to a site
  • Right click and scroll to ‘View this page in IETab’

IETab: Right click to accessLike the eminently useful IEView, the extension automatically launches IE and loads your URL into it, only with IETab this all happen neatly contained within a Firefox tab. In fact, the only evidence that tells you you’re not using the Gecko engine to view the page is the tell-tale IE icon on the tab.

Yes, it’s a little thing, even a simple thing but if you’ve spent any serious time debugging browser bugs, the simplicity of flipping between tabs rather than entire applications can’t be under-estimated.

IETab also give you the ability to add sites to a list of URLs you want to always view in IE. Handy for those dodgy bank sites that get grumpy if you’re not using IE.

IETab Demo

As far as I know, this is the first release, so you could expect to see some polish with the interface as it develops, but I think it’s a great start.

We are not worthy.

And the greatest chuckle? IE now has tabbed browsing in Firefox before it has it natively.

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  • http://www.studio814.com studio814

    WOW! You’re right. We are not worthy. Great work!

  • http://www.hiphopsource.net shango5

    This is pretty impressive

  • http://www.designity.nl peach

    I was hoping so much I could now use the webdeveloper toolbar in firefox to debug CSS for ie as well but unfortunately, if you switch to ie layour render, the webdev toolbar’s functionality is disabled.

    So I guess until they do something about that this thing is useless. I see you are excited becayse you fancy firefox’s tabbed browsing but I have been spoiled with Avant Browsers superior tabbed browsing and tab cascading/tiling/zooming for so many years that I was the least impressed with firefox it’s attempt at an ergonomic web experience.

  • Packetloss

    I’ve been waiting for this!

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    I was hoping so much I could now use the webdeveloper toolbar in firefox to debug CSS for ie as well but unfortunately, if you switch to ie layour render, the webdev toolbar’s functionality is disabled.

    Peach, this extension basically just pulls some ‘slight of hand’ to conjure an IE window inside a Firefox tab. The extension has no more access to what’s happening inside the IE rendering engine (which is how WDT works with Firefox) than it does with IE running in it’s own dedicated window. I think the key to this extension is really just all about simplifying workflow processes.

    The tabbed browsing bit was mainly tongue-in-cheek. I doubt you’d seriously use Firefox as an ‘IE tab browser’.

  • aQustic

    Thanks a lot for this, I’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time!

  • http://www.maxhyatt.com MystaMax

    Great find! This will definately come in handy! Thanks

  • http://jrickards.ca jrickards

    A great extension for testing pages in IE and FF at the same time without another browser window.

  • http://www.satviz.com davestarr

    Congrats to Peach (and others) who have discovered Avant. No one disputes that IE has been left in the dust, but the continual drone (even bribes via Adsense) to replace it with Fire fox is amazing. I’ve been using/attempting to use FF since it first went public but it is not a worthwhile replacement for IE .. no matter how it’s hyped. It baulks on a lot more than a few “dodgy bank sites”, but even if that was all it baulked on, I find it hard to eat and live my life without access to my bank.

    Avant is a IE browser as IE should have been and a better replacement than FF (and it’s dodgy extensions that always are out of sync).

    Funny how there are a number of plug-ins for FF to make it do what IE does, natively … yet I haven’t seen any need for an IE plug-in to make it emulate Fire Fox … ironic, eh?

  • Pingback: christoph-hoerl.de | Weblog und Homepage von Christoph Hörl | Internet Explorer im Firefox

  • velocd

    This is a fantastic extension!

    However I don’t find myself ditching IEView just yet, I’m sure there are unresolved quirks in IETab.

    About the only thing I’d wish for is CTRL+T and CTRL+W functionality of Firefox within the IETab.. yet this is unlikely possible since IE can’t access Firefox.

  • http://www.imperu.net/ ronald_poi

    And the greatest chuckle? IE now has tabbed browsing in Firefox before it has it natively.

    now that gave me a laugh!
    very impressive, ill use it from now!

  • Mike Empuria

    I like. Thanks for pointing us to it.

  • http://www.lopsica.com BerislavLopac

    I have problem using IETab — after loading a page, it shows the “plug-in required” message. :(

    Anyone has an idea how to get rid of it?

  • Etnu

    Useful for testing CSS stuff.

    IE’s biggest problem is hardly it’s lack of tabs, though. The utterly crap development tools available for it (I’m still waiting for a developer toolbar that’s even half as good as the firefox one, something remotely as powerful as the DOM inspector, or maybe just a javascript debugger that can compete). Why on earth would I pay for software that’s inferior to software that’s not only free (as in beer), but that I can freely modify the source to if I so choose?

    Funny how there are a number of plug-ins for FF to make it do what IE does, natively … yet I haven’t seen any need for an IE plug-in to make it emulate Fire Fox … ironic, eh?

    The only FF extensions that “do what IE does” are ones that force a page to render in IE for those sites where the webmaster is TOO INCOMPETENT to design a site that actually renders correctly for users on other browsers. FF now has about 10% of the market (and Gecko collectively around 15%). Add Safari and Opera, and you’re looking at 20% of the browser market that isn’t IE, and all with far better CSS and advanced web technology support, more frequent updates, faster security fixes, etc. There’s no excuse for a website not functioning properly in non-IE browsers. That being said, it’s been a long time since I came across a site that doesn’t work correctly in Firefox in the first place, other than Windows Update (good thing I hardly ever touch Windows these days anyway, I suppose).

    IE7 is a pretty amusing case. It offers nothing that FF, Safari, and Opera don’t currently offer, and it’s CSS support is still lacking. After 5 years, the best that can be created by the largest software company on the planet is playing catch up?

    Oh, and have you ever tried creating a “plug in” for IE?

    Now, I don’t necessarily have anything personal against Microsoft here, I’m just frustrated that they just let their browser sit there. It makes my job as a web developer more difficult, and it’ll never drop below a 60-70% market share as long as Windows is the dominant OS and IE comes bundled.

    Lately, a lot of websites have taken to making the sites gain added functionality in better browsers by taking advantage of their superior support for things like CSS and built-in RSS readers. I hope the trend continues, because then people will have a compelling reason to upgrade — and that, ultimately, will make my day-to-day life easier.

  • http://www.deanclatworthy.com Dean C

    Omg this is genius :D Gonna make my life so much easier.

  • EOBeav

    I have problem using IETab—after loading a page, it shows the “plug-in required” message

    Beris, you need to download both parts of the extension, if you’re using Fire Fox 1.0.x

    But yes, this is an awesome plugin, especially for developers to quickly view their work in both browsers. Now, how about a FF extension to show views in Safari, Opera, Netscape, et al?

  • lauriek

    All the Avant/IE lovers, does Avant remove all the stupid security holes in IE? Does it remove the fact that IE is a component of the OS so if compromised your whole OS is immediately compromised? No I thought not. Get a grip guys!

  • Anonymous

    my college uses sharepoint, a microsoft CMS. Its the most irritating product in the world, its a nighmare for our blind users, uses some lame embedded script left right and centre, document libraries grouping doesn’t work cross browser and its the most resource hungry thing i think ive ever come across.

    Ive recommended alot of my users switch to FF to avoid all the spyware etc. on the net and now they are having to remember to use IE to use the college network. this plug in is getting spotlighted on the front page and i can see they are all going to install this.

  • http://www.ilovecode.com ses5909

    That is awesome. Going to istall it now! Thanks for the find.

  • Anonymous

    … for those sites where the webmaster is TOO INCOMPETENT to design a site that actually renders correctly for users on other browsers …

    Sometimes it is not about being incompetent. Sometimes it is about developing for the money. Assumptions in all caps about the competence of all webmasters who fail to cater to the 10% market share of FireFox are annoying. Some of us only write for IE because our logs indicate that over 95% of our visitors are using IE. When the money speaks up I will use my competence to target FF. Until then keep your snobbery and assumptions out of it.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    Some of us only write for IE because our logs indicate that over 95% of our visitors are using IE.

    While I agree with you that it may not be strict lack or competence that leads a developer to ignore non-IE browsers, how often do you think people come back when your site fails in Firefox? Would you expect your Firefox/Safari figures to climb now?

    Unless you have some amazing and absolutely irreplacable content, I doubt very much that your Firefox users are switching to IE to use your site — they just go.

  • FRED

    I WANT TO SEE SOME GOLD

  • http://www.goldnet.ca Magdalena

    Some of us only write for IE because our logs indicate that over 95% of our visitors are using IE.

    Unless you have some amazing and absolutely irreplacable content, I doubt very much that your Firefox users are switching to IE to use your site—they just go.

    I totally agree with you AlexW – I check my sites in IE, Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, and as of recently – Safari, and what I see in my logs is around 20% of non-IE users right now.

  • http://www.positionstrategique.com/index.htm Denyse

    I love this – if only because the local online chicken order place does not support FF for the ordering site.

    Until now, every time I ordered I would bring up the site in FF (force of habit) – groan when it would fail – and have to find IE among my programs to fire it up just to be able to order online. If their chicken wasn’t so damned good, I would not bother.

    For checking sites, DW allows for switching between different browsers – but this little tool will make that task even faster.

    So, well done – I bow to thee Oh developer!