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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for September, 2008

The Final Word on IE6

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

A friend of mine recently asked the question “Why the Hate on Internet Explorer 6?” He explains some very logical reasons why it doesn’t make sense to be so negative about IE6, and as I agree with him on just about all points, I thought I’d give the clearest answer I could.

Simply put, IE6 shouldn’t get any hate. Nor should it receive any love, either.

The best thing the web standards community (and any other smart web folk) can do is stop complaining about an ancient browser whose developer waited too long to replace, and just stop supporting it altogether.

One of the benefits of web standards is that our documents are marked up correctly before we reach the presentational stage. One of the benefits of IE6 (et al) is that we can target specific versions using Conditional Comments. The combination of the two means we can still send our content to old browsers, but not have to bother with the presentation, thus saving ourselves hours of needless headaches and frustrations, while not punishing the users of said old browsers by denying them access to our content.

There’s constant discussion about whether or not to continue support for IE6, and the only reason ever given these days in favor of supporting that browser is its market share. That market share is diminishing, and we’ve already reached the second beta of IE8, so let’s start dropping it already. Make the argument against supporting IE6, to your clients, your boss, your team—whoever needs to hear it, keep applying pressure and don’t back down.

It’s time to stop supporting IE6. Period.

This article has very kindly been translated to Serbo-Croatian language by Jovana Milutinovich from Webhostinggeeks.com.