Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

IE6, so this is goodbye!

Special thanks to Matt for this write up regarding IE6 Independence, in response to 37signals’ landmark decision to remove IE6 support in their products.

Just by the mention of IE6 in a party full of web designers and it’ll turn into a complaining, ranting, whining session. Believe me, the thing every web designer out there loathes about is making sure, by hook or by crook, that their layouts, designs and whatnots display accurately (or if accurately is overrated, then correctly) on that bigass browser.

The glorious history of IE6

IE6, so this is goodbye! Born on the 27th of Auhust 2001, IE6 was the most widely used Internet browser of it’s time, with a peak usage share of 95% in 2002, introduced alongside with Windows XP. IE6 provides a flawed, partial support for CSS 1 (that explains everything!), not to mention it’s buggy, problematic and horrendous rendering of alpha transparency in PNG graphic. There is a whole long list of serious bugs in IE6, which has cost designers to sacrifice thousands of work hours trying to fix that weird double margin or expanding box problem, and not to mention, time and effort spent on swearing, cursing and voodooing IE6. This pie chart explains everything about our frustration (note the green section):

Time Breakdown of Modern Web Design

The blog post on 37signals has tried to put the idea across very nicely (they’re such angels!):

IE 6 is a last-generation browser. This means that IE 6 can’t provide the same web experience that modern browsers can. Continued support of IE 6 means that we can’t optimize our interfaces or provide an enhanced customer experience in our apps. Supporting IE 6 means slower progress, less progress, and, in some places, no progress.

Read more on 37signals’ blog post.

teddY-risatioNâ„¢ Zeta & IE6

After spending countless hour googling for IE6 fixes and painstakingly trying out the fixes individually, but none of them seem to work to my liking. So I’ve finally concluded that it’s time to withdraw my theme’s support for IE6 visitors – three and a half years of visitor tracking data tells me that overall, less than 8% of my visitors are using IE6 so I think not supporting IE6 will not be much of a problem for me, and for them. I even took the liberty to create this cute little warning message for visitors who are browsing through IE6 and below (click to view full size):

Warning message for IE6 and below users.

*NOTE: If you realised something is amiss, do not panic – this is a mockup (in fact, it’s shot in IE7 because I simply do not have IE6). By right, the PNG images will look really very crappy.

In case laziness got the better of you and you refuse to click on the thumbnail, here’s the message:

You are currently using Internet Explorer 6 or below – these versions of Internet Explorer do not display, or render, the alpha transparency in PNG graphics properly. It’s highly recommended that you:
(1) upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, which is possible if you’re using a counterfeit copy of Windows, or
(2) download and install Mozilla Firefox 3 or Safari 3

Oh, and if you’re wondering how did I target this message specifically towards visitors who are using IE6 and below, I’ve made use of the conditional comments that is intepreted by IE but regarded as just normal comments by other browsers (thus they ignore it).

  1. <!--[if lte IE 6]>
  2. Place message here
  3. <![endif]-->

*NOTE: lte means ‘less than or equals to’, thus the message will be displayed to visitors using IE6 and below.

It’s not the end of the world yet…

When I say withdrawing support for IE6, that does not hint to you in one way or another that I’m not supporting Internet Explorer in general. IE7 did way better than IE6 (although it still pales in comparison with Firefox – that’s what makes Firefox 3 a kickass good browser), and hey, there’s still IE8 to look forward to (it’s still in beta, and still suck at Acid3). On a side note, Microsoft has no plans to fully embrace the standards set by Acid3 – how disappointing, tragic and absurd, since other browsers are killing to get 100/100.

Chris Wilson [MS] (Expert):
Q: What do you guys think of the Acid-tests, especially Acid3? Is it your goal to let IE 8 pass Acid3?
A: Alex, The ACID3 test is a collection of interesting tests, spread across a large set of standards. Some of those standards will see improvements in IE8 – in fact, IE8 already improves on IE7′s score – but we are focused on the most important features and standards to make web developers’ lives easier. The ACID3 test does not map directly to that goal.

Read the interview at Expert Zone Chat.

Plus, there’s other browsers for you to choose from. I personally recommend Firefox 3.0 and Safari 3.1 – I have both installed because I use them for testing purposes, and remember, the more the merrier :razz: Opera isn’t half bad, but it’s less common.

What do you think?

What do you think of IE6? Rant, complain, whine – you can do that :) oh, and what do you feel about the withdrawal of support for IE6? Thank you for reading!

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25 responses to “IE6, so this is goodbye!” » Leave a response

  1. HanneResponse

    Teddy! First thing I did after getting here was look at your bio page. You’re three days older than myself ^.^ Near-twinz (-z for that extra internet effect) I’d say if I didn’t already have one :P

    AND. IE6. My old lover actually. While I do understand why you want to withdraw support for it, take a look at this page:
    It’s a demo for a web analyzing tool (looks very handy btw). Now click on Confetti, change the drop down menu to browsers and see the statistics. Might come in handy if you wish to analyze your site. Notice how IE6 is used by 8 times the crowd that IE7 is? That just goes to show how sad IE7 is, in my humble opinion. Also, take a look at this article: http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/browsers/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208801958

    Might prove some interesting reading material. 45% is scary :sad:

    I also think I am the only webdesigner (if I can call myself such, brace yourself, this is outrageous!) that have a love for IE6. I’d rather have the complete badass IE6 browser compared to the only sneaky IE7. I also have massive amounts of memories with IE6 back in my Windows days. (Didn’t use any other browser, and yes, I was ‘enlightened’ of such things as Opera and Firefox.) It also makes for good discussion material with other webdesigners.

    Anyway, I think this comment has reached its optimal length, so I’ll leave it at that. I have tonnes to say about IE6 & IE7, but I won’t clog up your comments with it ^.^

    Check out Hanne’s last blog post: Wikipedia

  2. NelResponse

    I can understand your frustration Teddy! IE is the bane of any webmaster’s life. In fact (i know this is bad) but I’ve given up designing for it, it gives me too many headaches. From now on my motto is that you really should have FF. Its so much better!

    Check out Nel’s last blog post: I’m now qualified enough to say…

  3. IdResponse

    I can count in one hand how many layouts have actually been deemed successful for IE6 viewing. I have always seen it as an act of laziness on my part. After all, I am using FF. Who cares about IE? (Well, I do extra checks on IE7, but I almost never use the damn browser because I do find it a little bit more annoying than IE6.)

    As for withdrawing the support for IE6? Go right ahead. Good riddance, if you ask me. But if I am stranded on a deserted island with only IE6 to use with the magical island wi-fi and there is no possibility for upgrading and downloading new browsers (this example makes NO sense, but bear with me.. I’m not fully awake yet!) I’ll understand that it was purely karma acting out on me. Haha!
    What I’m saying is that if I find myself in a net cafe with a dinky computer that only supports IE6, then I would fully know how it feels to be left behind from the rapid progression of the internet. =)

    Check out Id’s last blog post: Nature’s Command.

  4. IvyResponse

    I’m not sure if you’re misunderstanding 37signals withdrawal of support? :?: 37signals is a business software firm (much like WordPress except for businesses) producing CMS for project management and contact management etc. Their support withdrawal would mean that their CMS will incur problems if accessed from IE6. This means that we will see many SMEs reliant on 37signals’ products (small medium enterprises) phase out IE6, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that many homes and large enterprises with proprietary CMSes will.

    Statistically, this shouldn’t change for personal bloggers like us since most people who access our sites do so from their homes. Besides, our visitors’ age group are generally that of students, who are mostly quite tech savvy. So, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any statistical changes with 37signals’ lack of IE6 support.

    With all that said though, IE6 is too ancient for me to give a damn.

    Check out Ivy’s last blog post: Designer Bags: Stares and Status

  5. SleviResponse

    I’d say good riddance, IE6 should have died of many years ago. The initial adaptation on it was also great to see, it’s a shame it stalled down a bit. But we definitely can’t keep on going with trying to keep stuff compatible with something outdated so badly.

    Seeing as to how modern browsers are completely free to download they really don’t have any reason not to upgrade anyway.

    Check out Slevi’s last blog post: Boost those cholesterol levels for better memory

  6. HanneResponse


    This was the site that brought me here, I was randomly blog surfing :) And I know one person too with the same birthday as moi. But that’s kind of a given considering he’s my twin (refers to previous comment).

    IE6 is indeedo luv! It makes for good amusement too to see who has coded their websites to pan out for IE and who hasn’t.

    Check out Hanne’s last blog post: Wikipedia

  7. BrandyResponse

    Ie6 BLOWS. LOL. I’ve posted that same image in my blog before too.

    Thanks for sharing that code. I’m going to (eventually) put that up on my site. *favors entry*

    Check out Brandy’s last blog post: What’s next?

  8. hp84Response

    I agree with you that IE has lots of problem. I remember those days when I still use IE as my primary browser, keep on facing error every now and then.

    Currently, I am using Firefox as my main browser, but I have yet to upgrade to the latest Firefox 3.0. I heard positive and good review about this Firefox 3.0. Anyway, I am still using IE as my secondary browser, in case some application does not load properly with Firefox.

    I am planning to give Safari a try also.

    Check out hp84′s last blog post: Jang NaRa

    1. hp84Response

      My previous blog was a total mess, when I tried it with IE. It really gives me headache.
      It is good that all my bookmarks and settings are untouched after installing Firefox 3.0. Let me install first, and I will let you know my opinion on Firefox 3.0.

      Check out hp84′s last blog post: Jang NaRa

  9. RillaResponse

    Lol I love your IE6 message there. I try my best to make my sites compatible with IE6 as well though. Because a lot of my visitors still use IE6. I think it’s worth going into your site statistics and see if you actually should cater for IE6 visitors.

  10. abdusfauziResponse

    yup. you’re right.
    IE6 does makes our [webdesigner] designing + coding process like HELL.
    im about to withdraw from debugging in IE6, but, i just can’t do that yet.
    F**k You IE6.. you wasted my time! ergh! :twisted:

    Microsoft doesn’t care with what we wanted to have? Are they stupid? We are the one who makes Internet is a must for their customer.. They’re just such a loser in reaching better things, thats why they said it is nothing to chase for. Dumb You, MS!

    p/s: even me, who use Mac, has to use VM just to debug in IE6. my comment might sounds like im angry. yes i am.

  11. AisyahResponse

    haha. I’ve withdrawn IE6 waaay before you for I did not want to die for too much headache tweaking my design to fit IE users. Gosh! I HATE IE6. IE7 is fine. I don’t understand why people still use IE6. stupid IE6. Maybe I should make such message like yours, teddy. It’s a briiliant Idea. Great post!

    Check out Aisyah’s last blog post: Still Life Drawings

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