Die IE6, DIE!

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Albert Wiersch
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Die IE6, DIE!

Post by Albert Wiersch » Mon May 09, 2011 11:08 pm

Someone brought this site to my attention:
http://www.theie6countdown.com/default.aspx

It's an interesting site, trying to make IE6, a ten year old browser, die.

There is a little chunk of banner code you can add to your site to display a message to IE6 users:
http://www.theie6countdown.com/join-us.aspx

It looks like the below:

Image

The HTML seems pretty harmless (it's in the form of an HTML comment) and I decided to add it to the home page of CSE HTML Validator.

They even provide some virtual machines that you can use to do some testing.
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MikeGale
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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by MikeGale » Tue May 10, 2011 2:31 am

This is an interesting issue. Often misunderstood.
  • In it's time IE 6 was at the cutting edge.
  • Internal Microsoft forces saw the IE team, effectively disbanded. See http://b.qr.ae/jLdljj for some insight. I liked XMLHTTP when it came out and had hope from my tiny glimpses of the NetDocs idea. The failure to build on these ideas was a great disappointment.
  • IE is designed so that you can't keep an old copy on a machine. It takes a deliberate act of will to keep it! It's users wanting to (or forced to) keep it that has let it live so long.
  • In part some companies etc. invested heavily in IE6 only web page creation systems (intranets). This would have looked entirely rational when it had 85%+ share and the memory of Netcape 4.17 was fresh in your mind! They then fired the teams that put that code together. They feel stuck! This segment is no longer very strong. Some apparently also like the fact Facebook etc. don't work with IE 6.
  • Korea is heavily into it, apparently because their encrypted communications (banks etc.) are reliant on technology (Active-X and a special protocol SEED (which they use instead of SSL)) that must be particularly comfortable to use from IE6, and cannot be used from non-IE browsers. Not sure why China uses it so much. These two countries have a different spectrum of popular sites to those used in the West, that could be part of the situation.
So it's ironic. Microsoft deliberately designed IE so that it's really hard to keep old versions, then a whole lot of people deliberately force their machines to keep IE 6. (Deeply weird man.)

I can't see it soon changing in Korea, unless a way around the special encryption technology is found.

If your audience doesn't include people who mostly use Korean or Chinese web sites, then IE6 was ditchable some time ago! (Testing for it takes a bit more work too!)

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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by Albert Wiersch » Tue May 10, 2011 7:46 am

MikeGale wrote:So it's ironic. Microsoft deliberately designed IE so that it's really hard to keep old versions, then a whole lot of people deliberately force their machines to keep IE 6. (Deeply weird man.)

I can't see it soon changing in Korea, unless a way around the special encryption technology is found.

If your audience doesn't include people who mostly use Korean or Chinese web sites, then IE6 was ditchable some time ago! (Testing for it takes a bit more work too!)
Yes, interesting stuff. I did not know all that - especially about why some choose to keep with IE6 (I never heard of SEED instead of SSL).

I have been working on CSE HTML Validator's site, updating it to HTML5 and making some other improvements. I have been doing some tests on the newest browsers but have not done much back testing. I did try in IE6 though, after the "Die IE6" site (as I like to call it) was brought to my attention, and was actually surprised that it didn't look that bad, though there were some issues... especially one that I find strange that happens on the home page but not the other pages. I don't know why because the pages are basically the same structure with the same CSS... but I'm not going to worry about IE6. :D
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MikeGale
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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by MikeGale » Tue May 10, 2011 6:50 pm

If enough people who use CSE make sites for Korea and China (for those IE6 users) then it is worth some effort.

I ran a tiny test on this, using IE 8 and Korean content. Something went wrong with IE8 when loading a page. That might be tied in with the IE 6 issue. Maybe Korean sites mostly or only test with IE6. (Which in itself would be interesting.)

For testing against a range of browsers I find that sites that do this for you are useful. It only gives you images and is not useful for processes that run after loading, but that's a lot better than nothing! The one I mostly use has an IE6 option.

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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by Albert Wiersch » Thu May 12, 2011 4:50 pm

MikeGale wrote:For testing against a range of browsers I find that sites that do this for you are useful. It only gives you images and is not useful for processes that run after loading, but that's a lot better than nothing! The one I mostly use has an IE6 option.
Yes, I am using the free browsershots.org right now to see how the recent changes to htmlvalidator.com affect the rendering. Like you said, it's only screenshots but it's a quick & easy way to get a general idea of whether a site generally displays as you expect in a multitude of different browsers & OS's.

What site or sites do you use for this? Thanks.
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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by MikeGale » Thu May 12, 2011 7:47 pm

The site I currently use most isn't for everybody. It's a pay to play service.

I use it when I have HTML emails to test. eMails like that are basically a horror story, far worse than web pages. I have no intention of running all the MUA's (email readers) that are popular. So without a testing service I'm not even interested in creating them. It also has a web page rendering system as part of the deal, so I use that too during the times my account is active. (It's relatively fast and has good features. Though for HTML validation CSE is superior!)

It's called Litmus.

It's biggest user base is newsletter senders. (I wouldn't be surprised if some of them would look like spammers to me!)

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Re: Die IE6, DIE!

Post by Albert Wiersch » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:33 pm

I just read that IE6 usage in the US is now below 1%. :D

Internet Explorer 6 usage in the US dips below one percent, Microsoft celebrates with a t-shirt
It looks like the web browser that wouldn't die is finally on its last legs. While it's not quite dead yet (especially when you consider the worldwide usage figures), use of Internet Explorer 6 in the United States has now officially dropped below one percent for the first time...
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