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The happiest funeral ever - IE6 is dead; the death of a browser

The happiest funeral ever - IE6 is dead; the death of a browser

The happiest funeral ever - IE6 is dead; the death of a browser

Death of IE6 - Bye bye, American Pie The 12th of February 2008 will be the happiest day of my web developer life. On this day (and it will be Tuesday, although it should be Monday - they are always bad) Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), which I also call "Internet Exploder" will finally die. People say you should never be happy with someone else's death and while I fully agree, I can't hold back from yelling "wawaweewa" in true Borat style. Why is that, you ask? Simply - Microsoft will force all Windows Update instances (so almost all XP machines) to automatically download Internet Explorer 7, IE6's older younger brother (some say almost equally bad, but we'll talk about that in a minute) and to overwrite the old installation of "Layout Crasher" with its successor. Of course that won't happen over a minute and I know that it will probably be Christmas before Santa will bring me nice and fresh WebTrends statistics on IE6 disappearance to read - but come on, what news! Smiley Maybe I should explain, why Internet Explorer 6 is such a pain to us web designers working here at PlusNet - and our colleagues around the globe. Answer is very trivial - no matter what you build, it does not display right in IE6. It may work "just right" or "almost like it", but in the terms of web site layout rendering this browser is worse than my old Sharp microwave (if I could only install Opera or Firefox on it, it would anyway). You want precise positioning in your layout? Feel free to try, but you're going to finish with a nasty CSS hack anyway. His Hackness prevails. In theory, it should not be a big problem but in fact most of the things we do we could present in the form of nice equation: Web design (xhtml + css) development time = 10% of actual work + 90% of debugging Internet Explorer 6 Is Internet Explorer 7 better then? Only a little, but at least it is "kind-of-working" all the time (not only when it is in the mood) and the tweaks we need to perform on fragile CSS are (mostly) trivial. It's far from ideal of course, but you can't make a web designer happy - that's an old truth. Still we are so looking forward to Exploder 6's bye-bye-farewell trip to the Dark Side of the web. Microsoft - you have my deepest congratulations on the decision. Better later than never. Hey, who is going for a Company Night Out? I know it will be a middle of the week - but finally there's something to celebrate! - the death of a browser. Ah, one more thing... As an old, grumpy web designer I cannot resist: Use Web Standards compatible browser. It will pay off well, especially now when Web is evolving so fast. Obsolete mechanisms must go. Here I said. Rrrrrrevolution coming! Smiley

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36 Comments
Grafter
Woohoooo! This truely is a very happy day, and i may even be able to reduce my costings on projects due to potentially not having to spend 50% of the time getitng it working in both IE6 and IE7
Grafter
I just love that image!
Dabbler
Out of interest, you say nearly all XP machines - any estimates on what percentage won't be upgraded?
Newbie
No idea. You would need to ask Microsoft Smiley I do not have such statistics (although I would love to see them, so keep me updated, ha ha) Smiley
Community Gaffer
Jonathand: People who know what they are doing with Windows Update will be able to disable the update. Also, a lot of companies may be doing this, as they probably have web applications which will break if not being viewed in IE6. (Down to IE6's failings right now!) We need to wait for the % of customers using IE6 to drop significant before we can start ignoring it's quirks. I'm not sure off the top of my head how low it needs to go, but definite less than 5% I'd have thought.
Newbie
I agree, but the sooner world will forget about IE6 and below, the sooner we'll get normal Internet browsing experience. Therefore, delicate "pushing" for users still sticked to IE6 is a great idea (on a mass scale, of course).
Community Gaffer
Are you suggesting The Death Blow?
Newbie
That would be lovely. Smiley
N/A
You said IE7 is IE6's older brother - I think you meant younger brother.
Newbie
Yes, of course... Correcting now. My English sucks in the evenings. Smiley
Celebrations indeed! We developers are sick and tired of the non- standards behavior of IE6, and style sheets littered with: " /* IE6 Only */ " hacks. IE7 is certainly better but my advice is to forget it and switch to Firefox - a no brainer in my view. Those on corporate networks will not have this luxury but at least we have some light at the end of the tunnel now.
Windows automatic updates overwrote my IE6 with IE7 and caused havoc. My HP scanner software refused to work (and HP pointed the finger squarely at IE7) and I also found that Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel stopped. I uninstalled IE7, but then had to reinstall XP (oh joy, all those updates) and mess about for ages before I got things back to normal. I *always* use Firefox except when editing on some websites which demand IE. If I can't keep IE6 I will just give up (not that I particularly like it, but it doesn't look as horribly childish and messy as IE7, *and* it doesn't crash other programs.
N/A
I'm amazed that anyone would celebrate what, to me, seems to be a massive pre-planned breach of the Computer Misuse Act by a supposedly law-abiding corporation. Since when has it been OK to force a completely different software product on a user of a piece of licensed software? The XP EULA says that we give Microsoft the right to make an upgrade available and download it, but not to upgrade automatically. The IE7 EULA says nothing about it at all. I agree, IE7 is much better than IE6, but it strikes me that this is very dubious legally.
IE6 was dead long ago - when Firefox 1 came out. It's just that the large number of persistent IE6 users didn't realise they were flogging a dead browser. I think it's called "inertia". Or ignorance. Or fear (of the unknown). I would quite like to get IE7 for the rare occasions a website is so badly designed it can't work with Firefox (or sometimes arrogantly tells me I must use IE!). However Microsoft will never release IE7 to work on my bullet-proof installation of Windows 2000. IE6 will gradually fade and shrivel, unwanted in a dusty corner of my hard drive.
N/A
I hated IE6, tried IE7 when it came out and hated that too. The same bossy 'Nanny' Microsoft attitude. Thank God for Firefox!
johna - i totally agree with you - & when it comes to Microsoft, don't get me started - recent antitrust lawsuits at the very least exemplifying my point. but i was being pragmatic - most users will use IE7 before too long and it's a crumb of comfort that at least we can now make sites that are going to be interpreted as we intended. (notwithstanding your woes John - bluddy ell! - my sympathies) i fester microsluff resentment just as you do Smiley Funny how their sheer market share allows them to dictate our interfaces and yes, many would argue, on a very questionable legal basis. what bugs me most is that corporate networks i.e. peolple in the world of work with a pc, use explorer! why? in the same way, so many customers knee jerk toward Microsoft solutions when open source would be far cheaper and more extensible. take plusnet - predominantly php and mysql - nuff said. Sensible. Cheaper . Just as powerful. No cynical licensing fees. And there was me, thinking I wouldn't get started on a rant.
Grafter
Al Cain said: "IE7 is certainly better but my advice is to forget it and switch to Firefox - a no brainer in my view. ' A no-brainer in my view is to forget Windows, get a Mac, and use Safari.
N/A
Whilst I'd love IE6 to die of natural causes, I doubt that this will have a massive impact on IE7 installations. Anyone with automated updates will have received IE7 months ago. The rest either don't want it (companies have blocked it because it won't work with internal systems) or cannot install it (it only works on XP SP2 and Vista). Even if it's a resounding success, IE6 is still likely to have a market share of over 10% - even IE5 still has a 1-2% share. Therefore, web developers still need to support it. In fact, forcing IE7 on to machines just makes that task more difficult. IE6 may be old and awkward but, if you use web standards and are aware of the issues, you can make your site work in any browser without hacks. It takes some experience and it's not always easy, but it is possible.
yup - you're not wrong about a mac ajax. i use both pc's and mac's. but we were talking about coding sites that display well across the whole basket of browsers. we have to make sure everyone has a consistent experience whatever they're using. (and as it goes, safari has a few quirks of its own). craig, I'd love to see an example of anything but the simplest site coded to standards and displaying perfectly without any code adjustments for IE6! - you must be a better coder than I. Smiley
N/A
Al Cain - try my site: http://www.optimalworks.net/ It works in pretty much anything - Lynx, IE5.0, etc. and has just been given an Accessites.org award. Many of the sites in my portfolio are cross-browser and do not use hacks or conditional comments (IMHO, both are a maintenance nightmare). The reason they work is because they're standards-based and I know most of the pitfalls. I have used the odd superfluous DIV for IE compatibility, but the HTML is generally clean and uses minimal code. However, I disagree that everyone should have a consistent experience no matter what they're using. You can not provide the same experience to an IE2 user on a 640x480 monitor let alone someone using a screen reader or a PDA. What you can do is make a your site work in ANY browser (after all, HTML is device-independent), and then provide progressive enhancement for those users with images, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, etc. It takes some effort and, yes, IE causes the most grief, but I'm yet to find a design that can not be coded using standards and best-practice techniques.
Newbie
Internet Explorer is not even my second choice, whether 6 or 7, so I'm indifferent. I split my browsing between Firefox and Opera
Just because some have paid a windoze tax, they do not have to use the software; it's a choice - even if the vendors were able to 'forcibly' download it (itself, a no-no). On a Mac, Firefox is my browser of choice (since Safari is not !00% compatable with all sites). Even before abandoning Windoze for Linux, Firefox was the preferred browser. And whilst you can run IE on a Linux box, who would want to when Firefox is available?
N/A
I don't use IE or Windows so no problem. If you want to run hassle free without bugs, viruses etc try Linux. And just for a bonus its cheaper too.....FREE actually.
Newbie
Hate to be picky, but the symbol on the tombstone IS IE7's, is it not?
N/A
Have your Virtual Machine ready to test IE6 in Win2000 or Win98. Too bad Microsoft couldnt make it easier to have mulitple browsers running, but I'm sure it would be some security nightmare for them.
This is awesome news Smiley Although I run IE only in VMware on my FreeBSD box when we build sites we have to make sure it looks more or less alright in IE6. That means tinkering with CSS to make IE6 happy, it's just like you said 90% of time is just wasted. The IE Death Blow: http://www.mentallyretired.com/2007/11/23/open-letter-to-developers-the-ie6-death-blow
sjh
N/A
before i celebrate ... where has this been announced by microsoft?
Great I got into web dev at the right time then
N/A
sorry mate, ie6 is still alive and well according to our webstats. god i hate ie6, everytime i see the browser i just want to kick the living '****' out of my flatscreen.
N/A
I totally agree with John...IE6 is still alive, don't celebrate too early, that move from Microsoft doesn't mean that it'll replace all IE6 in the world. There are still too many ignorant people (or those who for technical reason) who haven't made the change. Hopefully with the new release of Firefox 3, and also with browsers like Flock, Opera and Safari - and even the upcoming IE8, we'll be getting closer to the dates where all of us designers would celebrate - perhaps have a huge party to the death of IE6! Just patience....
I hope your exaggerating about the 90% dev time for ie6. A competent coder would not need 90% to correct this.
N/A
That math equation is priceless...HAHAHAHAHAHA Cheesy Love it! Die IE6, Die!!!!!
You guys must all suck at design. I know my web standards, but I also know how each browser renders css/javascript accordingly. I do not need _hacks or multiple ie6style.css or whatever else. Take the time to be professionals rather than kids out of highschool.
N/A
http://isie6dead.com/
N/A
I have the feeling that IE sucks. Even IE 8. Some time ago, I had to rebuild parts of my homepage. Got some reports that some pages went out of the screen. Even that page view was set to 97% of screen width. Other browsers like Firefox, Google and Opera had no trouble to view the pages.
This article talks about it http://mauricio.hernaski.com.br/blog/the-kryptonita-of-the-web-developer-3/english