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IE6 is leaving soon... ?


shelfimage
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I am planning to drop support completely for IE6 1st quarter '09 - I can't wait - unless I absolutely need to for a client.

 

Another line chart showing a dramatic decline in IE6.

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2009/01/ie6_on_the_way.html

 

It's still taking 20% in November 2008 according to http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

so I think it's too early to stop checking and using conditional comments if necessary.

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Well I guess we're stuck with it for a while longer...:(

Not me. I am absolutely dropping it before the end of this first quarter unless there is a compelling reason not to because a client's needs demand it. Users of Win NT, 98, ME, 2K, and 2003 average less than 2.75% - although not entirely reliable, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_desktop_operating_systems.

 

Over 90% of my sites look the same in IE6 as they do in compliant browsers except for transparent pngs, and weird bugs that suck up too much time. So, if an IE6 user visits a site that was not brilliantly hacked to look exactly like it does in compliant browsers, it will still function for them although it may not look spot on.

 

I've rolled out more and more sites using transparent pngs - when appropriate - and the hacks to get them to work in all cases is a huge waste of time. I'm usually combining two or three solutions. This results in a worse user experience for IE6 users. Too slow and too flaky on their platform.

 

Creating alternate images in place of trans pngs and hacks and alternate HTML/CSS content for IE6 is a huge waste of time and defeats the purpose of doing it the intended way - with trans pngs, standard compliant code, CSS2 and 3 specs...

 

I think it will be considered bad practice to support of IE6 beyond the summer of 2009. Although, I will miss the additional income... I reviewed my projects and estimate I spent about 2000 minutes to work on IE6 compatibility in 2008.

 

Some noteworthy dates to consider:

  • IE6 was released summer of 2001
  • Windows XP was released fall of 2001
  • MS dropped support for XP SP1 in October of 2006.
  • MS began dropping support for the first IE6 releases on XP July 2004
  • MS dropped support for IE6 on Win 98 & ME September 2004 and dropped support for all IE6 sp1 versions October 2006
  • The planned date to drop support for IE7on Vista is April 2010 - 15 mos from now!
  • The planned date to drop support for IE7 on Win XP is July 2010

 

 

.

Edited by shelfimage
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Personally, I check a few outside stats like the W3C and others, but I pay special attention to my own stats with regards to the deciding factor.

 

... But then again, we get about 500 000 visits a month, so we have some data.

 

Another thing to consider is the subject of the site: if you are building a site where your visitors are more likely to be up to date with newer computers, then IE6 becomes much less important. Sometimes though, it is hard to predict these things.

 

Stefan

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If you are sure your sites look OK except for pngs, then perhaps you can ignore IE6.

 

However, many people find that IE6 causes a jumbled appearance as doubled margins cause divs to drop down to a lower level, we often have to sort out IE6 problems like that here. I think website designers should at least look at their pages in IE6 and if the layout is a disaster, something has to be done.

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I don't think IE6 is all that bad. Grant it, I haven't designed the amount of websites anywhere close to what you guys have, but I have made a lot of demos and such. I can say one thing, at least whenever (usually at least) IE6 is throwing me some trouble, I know exactly what the error/bug is. It's been diagnosed to such a degree, that every bug has the equivalent of a book in it's name. That's more than I can say for like Chrome, and Opera on a few occasions.

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If you are sure your sites look OK except for pngs, then perhaps you can ignore IE6.

 

However, many people find that IE6 causes a jumbled appearance as doubled margins cause divs to drop down to a lower level, we often have to sort out IE6 problems like that here. I think website designers should at least look at their pages in IE6 and if the layout is a disaster, something has to be done.

 

I should say that I would never let a site get released that is completely jumbled in IE6. And, I will still look at it in IE6 for curiosity's sake. If it is completely jumbled, then I did something horrible in the html or css that needs to be fixed anyway.

 

What I don't want to do is include alternate content delivered by conditional comments or JS hacks (or CSS hacks which I stopped several yrs ago). I have no problem adding display:inline to the my floated elements that have margin applied in the same direction as the float to make sure a site isn't jumbled.

 

floated-box {

display:inline;

float:left;

margin-left:20px;

etc...

}

 

So, I guess that is supporting IE6 in some manner but I don't consider that a hack or something that has to be delivered in an alternate CSS or JS file for IE6. I should not be so quick to completely disregard IE6. but at the same time, I feel that a substantial movement has to be made by the community for the good of all - the user, the designer, the developer. Otherwise, we are playing the role of an enabler.

 

 

*Devil's Advocate*

On the other hand, if everyone else drops support for IE6, then maybe I can create an alias that promotes services to fix broken websites to display in IE6 and other non compliant browsers. I might make a few extra bucks :)

Edited by shelfimage
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*Devil's Advocate*

On the other hand, if everyone else drops support for IE6, then maybe I can create an alias that promotes services to fix broken websites to display in IE6 and other non compliant browsers. I might make a few extra bucks smile

 

Only until IE8, after that all they need is the meta tag to trigger IE6 mode and your out of income again... ;)

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*Devil's Advocate*

On the other hand, if everyone else drops support for IE6, then maybe I can create an alias that promotes services to fix broken websites to display in IE6 and other non compliant browsers. I might make a few extra bucks smile

 

Only until IE8, after that all they need is the meta tag to trigger IE6 mode and your out of income again... ;)

Dang! IE crashes my party again! :lol: Thanks goodness the emulate meta tag has been reported as unreliable by many testers. :sarcasm:

Edited by shelfimage
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There's a quote by Ashleigh Brilliant that goes, "Should I abide by the rules unitl they're changed, or help speed the change by breaking them?" Every time I have to screw around to get a page to display properly in IE6 I'm tempted to 'speed the change' by saying the heck with it and letting people who still insist on using a outdated, crappy browser cope with the crappy results until they upgrade/change. If web developers as a whole stopped catering to IE, the plebeians would be forced to abandon it. The revolution is NOW! :P

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I still write IE6 CC with ie6fix.css and at mostl a few extra minutes to fix layout; the rest the users of IE6 could eat as it is or install good browser. The trouble is some people (clients) have no idea what browser is. You wouldn't believe it, but it is true.

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Well, I'm not a web designer, just a web monkey trying to make all my layouts play ball. As much as I really hate I.E. and for that matter the limitations of css, I couldn't envisage anyone truly dropping support for I.E....

 

Having said that, if I were a web designer I would want to limit all I.E. browsers. Sort of restrict them in some way, or make a visitor's experience to a website that I developed look noticeably inferior. Maybe I wouldn't make it too obvious at first, but if everyone else joined in, then who knows?

 

I'm working on yet another holy grail layout, where most of the problems concern I.E. browsers. Though, because of the very unusual use of floats and absolutes that I have applied to it, there are also problems with other more compliant ones too. Still, as with other layouts that work well in compliant browsers, but then not in I.E., I will again revert to applying only a fixed-width to those muthas. :)

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my stance is no more alternate content for IE6 and that is equal to not supporting it. I do not advocate popups or badges that appear if IE6 is being used b/c that is considered alternate content.

 

For example, no more alternate CSS, no more alternate images, no more JS to make things work in IE6 (trans pngs, menus), no more IE expressions and filters.

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  • 4 months later...

interestingly, what I've found out lately: some people still have IE6 not because they have very old machine or whatever reason else but because "they dont want to have any business with Microsoft, so they wont have any regular updates as well."

I think what we can do for the time being - support only basic layout for IE6 and at the same time clients ( end web visitors) provide information about urgency of regular browser versions updates: first of all for security reasons.

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The only real answer is to design the page structure with really simple basic html codes and make the site look good with good images.

 

Don't use any codes or hacks that cause a problem in IE versions generally. No pseudo this and pseudo that, no hovers on anything than the "a" tag, no .clearfix:after etc.

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