Saturday, 5 September 2009


I'm making a website at the moment, Internet Explorer 6 is 8 years old, if it were a human, it would be in a care home hobbling around with a zimmer-frame with senility firmly set in. It's not only slow but it's also inherently insecure. That apart, it's horrid to code for as Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided that they didn't need to follow web standards and make up their own, as all the modern browsers render pages correctly according to web standards (even IE 8) it's hard to get modern techniques working in IE 6.

Google, You Tube, Amazon and some others are due to stop supporting IE 6, You Tube are already offering an upgrade option to IE 6 users. This means they won't test their sites to see if they work in IE 6 so you might still be able to use the site but it may not behave as expected.

So, my question is if you were using IE 6, would you mind having a message giving you options to upgrade before viewing a site?

Any take on the subject would be greatly welcomed.
Jenny x


Lynn Jones said...

So many browsers, so many *ahem* standards :) Even so-called IE specific sites behave differently under 5, 5.5, 6, 7 and 8. Oh the joy eh? :D

Personally, I use Firefox and IE. I generally use the former because of the extra options (like Ad blocking and mouse gestures). But I'll use IE as well. I guess being a Windows user, I have that choice.

Would I mind? Not especially.

Carolyn Ann said...

I believe the current courtesy is to ask *on* the site. Some sites apparently ask before loading, but I don't think that's the favored approach.

There are some IE6 "help" sites out there (I was reading about them in some British web design magazine), but in general I think IE6 support is going away. It's just too problematic! You've probably found them.

These days, I do not try to support IE6. If the site works on it, great. If it doesn't - there's not a lot I can do! Mind you, at this point I don't even have Windows loaded into a virtual machine. My testing these days is restricted to Safari 3 and 4, and whatever the latest Firefox is. I do try take a look at Opera, as well. Mostly because Molly Holzschlag (CSS guru) now works there!

(As a side note, I don't know of anyone who actively tests on IE for Mac, anymore. That got dropped at version 5, if I remember correctly.)

Carolyn Ann

alan said...

I've seen a lot of things that state "this site best viewed with..."

I remember reading about the fight surrounding the original DVD format and exactly what format the sound would be in, 5.1 or...? After incessant jockeying for their own, a standard was finally settled on by the manufacturers.

Unlike the VHS/Beta, Blue Ray/Hi Def things we've been drug through...8-track versus cassette...

Then there are the 3 sets of tools in my garage, Whitworth, SAE and Metric!



GirlWhoShould said...

A lot of ie6 browsers are in work places because the budget doesn't allow IT to upgrade (a false economy given the stability and security issues imo).
As for the rest i see no harm in a gentle nudge reminding them why and links to available browsers for their os. Just allow for some false positives.

Jenny Ford said...

Thanks for all the responses on this (non-trans) subject. On my Linux machine I've got Firefox and Opera as my main browsers, on my laptop (XP) I generally use Firefox or Google Chrome. I've still got IE6 which doesn't handle PNG transparency properly which is the main thing that's throwing a wobbly.

We're not in the 90's any more browsers don't cost anything, IE 8 has been marked as a critical update by M$ for a while now.

That's it settled then, I'm not supporting IE 6. I will monitor my visitors to check I'm not loosing visitors.

Thanks, Jenny x