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19 August 2008

IE6 ? It’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!

Internet Explorer & Firefox visitors stats on adamtibi.net

I redesigned my website, adhered to the XHTML standards, validated on the W3C validator and everything went alright, now the last step, cross-browsers compatibility tests.

First step, I need to look at the previous stats to learn what browsers are support-worthy. And? Surprise, surprise! IE6 is still alive with quarter of the IE users! But why?! My blog is targeted at the IT pros which are expected to be on modern browsers.

Back in the first half of this decade, Microsoft knocked out the real last competitor, Netscape Navigator (which is now, funnily enough, uses the IE engine) and IE6 became the dominant browser on the internet. Then Microsoft thought, should we upgrade this uncompliant, bugy browser which has no competitors? And probably you know the answer. IE6 was born on August 2001 and IE7 was released on late 2006, that is 5 long years for such a critical software. I would think MS would had left it to live longer if not for Firefox. Even more, Microsoft is rushing into IE8 which is claimed to have standards better compatibility by passing the ACID2 test.

browser visitor stats from 21 July to 17 August 2008 on adamtibi.net

IE6 was preventing the web from moving forward with lots and lots of CSS and XHTML bugs. All the important XHTML and CSS updates that have been released years ago are not implemented, therefore as a developer or a designer you can’t use them and you are stuck with what IE6 states.

So while feeling disgusted, once again, I had to comply with IE6 and do some CSS hacks to make IE6 happy. I have also posted these pie charts which are collected by Google Analytics on adamtibi.net for the public benefit.

Final word, I am not a Firefox fan, but thank you Mozilla, you saved the web.


5Comments
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  • MSD August 20th, 2008

    Nice topic.
    Concerning browser wars, IE6 still has ground for a very simple reason. IE7 sucks. I mean if I am going to stick with Microsoft products, I am not picking IE7 over IE6, ther reason is simple again, it is not worth the upgrade. Also, since the target audience is software professionals and developers, they would still want to have their browser compatible with the market for which they develop, that is so they would test against it. I am not going to go into multiple versions of IE at the same machine, or even having 2 or more seperate machines (one for testing), because that is another topic. Now when it comes to FF, it is still the king, compare the features. Just as a quick example, compare the annoying and user unfriendly search inside IE7 to the very nice and user friendly search in FF. Moreover, when it comes to extensibility, FF still is better.

  • Adam Tibi August 20th, 2008

    Well the thing is, if the IT pros are after compatibility then they would be using FF but if it is not a concern then they would be using the latest IE version, so the question is still there, why are they still using IE6?!

  • mikedopp August 27th, 2008

    I gave up on IE6 2 years ago. Unfortunately I have to test for it still in professional life.

    IE6 is so very buggy. Remember the IE teams motto: “Don’t Break the Web” which means don’t break it more cause my grandma is using it.
    -Chris Wilson IE Team Lead

    Unfortunately IE is going the way of Netscape.

    -MikeDopp of well mikedopp.com

  • Adam Tibi August 27th, 2008

    I think we don’t have any other choice to do other than waiting the curse of IE6 to fade.

    Meanwhile we should target higher version and just make it acceptable for IE6! I want to use transparent .png!!!

  • Xanthir, FCD September 30th, 2008

    It’s a little known fact that transparent PNGs are perfectly possible in IE6, as long as you’re willing to stick with 8-bit PNGs. Even the CSS rendering engine handles it fine.

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