I tweeted this at the beginning of November, but felt it was worth reposting and subsequently retweeting. Smashing Magazine did a great article on continued support of older browsers. While not all web projects require this same amount of time and effort to make work in IE6, there is definitely more labor involved — often with a degraded and sub-standard result, not to mention slight code bloat to fix things like IE6′s lack of PNG transparency and conditional style sheets.
While I don’t take as hard of a line as the Smashing Magazine article, it does make a very valid point — stop giving away stuff for free and see how quickly clients move away from the “need” category when it comes to older browsers.
“But The Client Wants IE 6 Support!”
In searching for a better way to test in older versions of Internet Explorer, a co-worker found this. I haven’t tried it yet, but have downloaded all the files in preparation to do so. Check it out for yourself, and share in the comments your experience and opinions on this as a solution.
Installing IE6, IE7 or IE8 on any OS (Windows 7, OS X or Ubuntu)
For awhile, I’ve been a fan of DD_belatedPNG as the fix for IE6′s lack of alpha transparency on PNGs.
Supersleight jQuery Plugin for Transparent PNGs in IE6
On a slight tangent, can’t they put together a crack team of Microsoft to get people stuck on IE6 some sort of frankenInternet Explorer that is closer to a modern browser on those old OS’s? The whole web and China in particular would thank you.
Wrote this article linked below for Centerline Digital’s blog a few weeks back and thought I’d do a little highly relevant, but still self promotion cross-posting of that article.
Internet Explorer 6 continues to hang around. Let’s do our part to kill it off.
Leading the Fight to Say Farewell to IE6
With IE9 in public beta, it’s now been succeeded by 3 full versions — all with PNG transparency support, plus better CSS, HTML and standards in general support.
Trash All IE Hacks
Other than the actual initial build of a new site, what’s the most time-consuming and hair-pulling-out task related to building a new web site? Cross-browser compatibility. We’ll all have huge sighs of relief when IE6 finally dies out completely, but there’s still a fair amount of browser testing that should be done.
Found a good article on cross-browser compatibility checking resources.
How to Check Your Website with Multiple Browsers on a Single Machine (Cross-Browser Compatibility Checking)
I sure hope this helps get rid of some stragglers on IE6 — the bane of all web designer and developers. I cannott tell you how many designers and developers welcome the day that they log into all their sites and their clients sites to find that the Internet Explorer 6.x number have dropped to zero. Sure, they’re tailing off, but I’m still seeing enough users that I’m using conditional comments to target IE6′s buggy and plain off web standard implementation.
An article over at ZDnet, said that “about 20% of the web still use this wretched browser.” Sad. Just sad, especially when there are so many other great (and free) choices — Firefox, Chrome and Opera to name just a few.
YouTube Drops IE6 Support on March 13th