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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