Topic: Why IE6 must die (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="" title="Pages that link to Topic: Why IE6 must die (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: Why IE6 must die <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 11:00 Edit Quote

So an article has been going round work about how IE6 is holding the web back, it's not exactly a new topic, we've heard it all before no doubt, but this time IE6 a browser that was once something to rely on, is now the butt of the joke here and has taken the place of legacy browsers before it, such as NS4 IE5.5 etc.

IE6 Must Die for the Web to Move On

Now once upon a time I would have gladly joined the mob and put up big modal dialogue boxes on my website to stop users entering with a browser I didn't like. But these days and especially with IE6 I feel that's just the wrong way to go about it. What with some great discussions we've had here and other articles I've read on the web I've realised that there are ways to get around these quirks without offending anyone.

Graceful degradation and progressive enhancement are two paths that I hold close to heart these days and at the very least a website should degrade to a suitable user experience on IE6.

Hacks and Conditional Comments allow quick targeting for specific issues, but I'm of the belief nowadays that generally with the right combination of rules that you don't even need to resort to these methods in the majority of cases.

So I wanted to bring it back to the Asylum, and see what are the current thoughts of my inmates, what goals do you seek to achieve with the myriad of browsers out there, and what do you intend to do when it comes to supporting IE6?


White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 11:16 Edit Quote

Who's still using IE6?!?

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 11:39 Edit Quote

Well, for starters 15% of the users of my company's website (the third most popular browser after IE7 then FF3)

Also I've found this sites stats a pretty good measurement of general use.

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 12:30 Edit Quote

Yes, and it looks like some big players are pushing that way:

(I know they mention this in the Mashable article, but I read this one yesterday and found it quite interesting...)

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 13:24 Edit Quote

As much as I wish IE6 and other obsolete browsers were marginal enough to stop worrying so much about them, there are many companies, schools and other institutions that are using it and for whom the cost of even investigating whether swicthing to a more recent browser is feasible ( think intranets and in house software ) is too high.

Check Chris Heilman's : Did Digg and YouTube just spell the end of Internet Explorer 6? post and read the comments from IT admins in such companies.

Now that being said, my personnal approach varies depending on the goal of the page/app I'm writing

  • for shiny toys and wild experiments, I just go with whatever browser(s) supports the technology I wanna play with and don't care much about lesser capable browsers.
  • for widgets and pages that will be part of or only run by Opera ( on various platforms , e.g.: DSi, mobile phones, TVs... ), I know the exact environment in which they'll run and can take advantage of that. No need for CSS hacks, JS frameworks and what not.
  • for regular web pages, my approach is usually progressive enhancement, and I test them with and without JS cookies, CSS.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 18:03 Edit Quote

In my line of work, I come across a lot of problems with client's machines. From time to time I get the fulfilling task of minding a temporary wireless hotspot. Most of the people who inevitably require support are in possession of company-provided laptops (whichever company they're representing) that are often loaded with all sorts of useless crap, malware, and sorely our of date. I usually expect the worst when I see they've got IE6, as it means they haven't rolled out any updates to the OS, hardware drivers, security, etc. IE6, as far as I'm concerned, is obsolete. The machines I find it on are usually so out of date that their first issue is non-support for WPA/WPA2...

...I think what I'm trying to say here is that I'm a snob, and I would just snub it. :P

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 21:27 Edit Quote

Been using IE6 until today. Literally just upgraded. The only reason I just upgraded is because my IE6 was hanging and crashing on the Mashable link. I figured if I finally ugrapded I could read it. Guess what? IE8 hangs and crashes on the link. So does my Opera 8.



Wait... not sure which Opera I'm running. Looks like I'm running 9.24 or something.

(Edited by warjournal on 07-17-2009 21:30)

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Aug 2003

IP logged posted posted 07-17-2009 23:14 Edit Quote
Who's still using IE6?!?

I develop and maintain several e-commerce sites that sell commercial plumbing parts. Our typical customer is a building maintenance person, who probably has the lowest priority for a computer upgrade. Some are literally browsing our sites from an old computer on a shelf in a janitors closet.

Up until a few months ago, about 35% of our customer base was still using IE6. This has improved, now the average for the last 30 days is about 21% which works out to about 10,000 potential customers.

Obviously, we can't afford to not support it.

Surprisingly, Firefox is tied with IE8 at 15% each.

Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: United States
Insane since: Mar 2009

IP logged posted posted 07-18-2009 18:02 Edit Quote

I remember reading in a news article that the U.S. Government actually warned against IE6 once.

I was at this hotel where the public computers operated in the following manner, which I have written in the style of some funny but likely obscure "Super Smash Bros. Melee -- Final Destination" comics I once read.

  • Let's go use a public computer.
  • But wait!
  • No operating system!
  • No programs!
  • No features!
  • IE6.

Basically, it was a very heavily modified Windows XP, with IE6 as the only program. Only the first IE6 window could right-click, and options like "Properties" were removed -- I couldn't even copy a freaking link address! Visually, it was barely recognizable -- I guess that's a good thing, it looked a bit nicer. Every so often, it crashed for no reason (I think they wrapped a program around IE6 to facilitate the modification, which could easily increase the instability), prompting the entire screen to be replaced by some tan "desktop lock" (that's right, there wasn't even a desktop) before another IE6 window popped up, with (of course) no crash recovery.

I found the company's website; as it turns out, this setup was a service they offered to a fairly large number of hotels, so I opened up Gmail, spent an hour looking for links, and sent them a polite message telling them why they should at least upgrade to IE7, if not Firefox (which would be more easily modified). Of the many links, I think at least 15 were incredibly easy ways to crash IE6 on page load, and another was a news article on the U.S. Gov's warning. There were also links about IE6's poor track record for web standards and support for new web technologies, and eloquent explanations on why standards and technologies support is important to web developers, web users, and (therefore) public computer suppliers.


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