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Microsoft keeps IE6 Life-Support Machine Switched On Until 2014
Will support it till 2014
esllou




msg:3971590
 12:23 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

[news.bbc.co.uk...]


Microsoft has underlined support for its Internet Explorer 6 web browser, despite acknowledging its flaws.

The software giant said it would support IE6 until 2014 - four years beyond the original deadline.

Critics - some of which have started an online campaign - want the eight-year-old browser mothballed because they claim it slows the online experience.


 

incrediBILL




msg:3971592
 12:45 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Webmasters can simply start an IE 6 blockade and end it on our own.

StoutFiles




msg:3971610
 1:45 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not really, as long as companies keep using IE 6 then they won't upgrade.

"Can you guys upgrade the browser? My favorite websites aren't loading correctly!" Yeah, that'll go over well.

The websites who choose to ignore IE6 will lose some visitors. Not a ton, but some. A blockade won't end IE6.

incrediBILL




msg:3971615
 1:55 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not really, as long as companies keep using IE 6 then they won't upgrade.

Companies suddenly blocked from most, if not all, of the 'net will take a hint and upgrade.

The websites who choose to ignore IE6 will lose some visitors. Not a ton, but some. A blockade won't end IE6.

It's been done before, it's how we killed buggy Netscape 4.

Of course it won't work if everyone says it won't.

It's solidarity that gets things accomplished, not nay-saying it won't work.

koan




msg:3971648
 3:05 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The websites who choose to ignore IE6 will lose some visitors. Not a ton, but some. A blockade won't end IE6.

It doesn't have to be a blockade. It can be a slightly irritating notification at the top of your pages to remind IE 6 users that they do not have access to the full experience and they may encounter bugs.

J_RaD




msg:3971658
 4:09 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

OoO scary "online campaigns"

ie - twitter - facebook - myspace - youtube

oh no web 2.0!

D_Blackwell




msg:3971663
 4:24 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Webmasters can simply start an IE 6 blockade and end it on our own.

Absolutely. I am not in a position where I have to support IE6 anymore.

I understand that arguments will again be made about certain companies, government agencies, and such, (who are always last to get anything done and requiring hand-holding support forever). Don't need these user - don't want them. They are not on my money sites or my personal sites and are not my problem.

For business - ecommerce - I'm pretty generous in testing - but not that generous. No more. IE7 & IE8, Chrome. These I keep on eye on. FF and Opera users are mostly sufficiently updated that simply doing the coding in either one is almost testing enough by itself.

For personal websites, I do not consider IE at all and even have a couple that redirect IE users elsewhere. No money at stake on these sites, and the people who use them or have access to them are on latest version builds of the good stuff.

johnnie




msg:3971664
 4:38 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Shame. Can't wait to see this obsolete abomination abolished.

I would definitely be interested in standardized community-supported nag-screen.

piatkow




msg:3971715
 8:21 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Of course if your business has any sort of brand recognition do you really want the press complaining that you are building your ecommerce site for geeks rather than real people? Whatever we may think about IE6 (or IE generally) that is how the press will interpret it.

swa66




msg:3971758
 9:41 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've been taking the approach that non-IE users will get far more nifty stuff whenever possible (e.g. by using CSS3 stuff) and well IE users won't get to see it. (not even those on IE8)

If we all let browsers do what they can and not stop on doing things because "IE can't do it" (yet again) and work around the problem and get the IE lovers the best possible for their browser (and reduce all others to the best possible for IE only), we'll never get beyond today's mess.

Similarly I'm not holding back on things like IE7.js (and IE8.js), sure it'll slow down the IE users, but they get a choice for a far faster browser.

If MSFT is going to continue life support for IE6 that long without fixing any of the well known bugs (they've not done for the past 8 years, why would they in the next 5 ?), how long will it take till we can get their customers upgraded away from IE8, which is what will be needed to get to CSS3. And CSS3 is on our doorstep in most other browsers and an answer to many design challenges I've seen in the past years.

I'm all in favor of killing IE6 now (if enough others join me in doing it). All it takes is a conditional comment loading a dedicated CSS file, you basically can set all but html to display:none and html loading a background image telling them their poor excuse for a browser isn't supported anymore. No search engine would even have to see anything at all of it.
Well that CSS would in a real browser, for IE I'd need to test if it separates html and body properly ...

The press: we just need to make enough statements that we will not stand for legacy IE versions any longer. Upgrade or loose.

Upgrading them all to IE8 however isn't a solution to all our problems either. IE8 lacks virtually all of the pre-CSS3 that is very usable in the other browsers today. And some of the choices in IE8 will haunt CSS3 for a long while e.g. use a CSS3 pseudo class in a selector and poof it ignores all of it, even if it can recgnize other parts of the rule.
Yes, I'm saying IE7 and IE8 will be the next "IE6" in the future. And will continue to be till Microsoft stops making these slow steps (that aren't all that big to start with) and starts to fix and update their browser regularly (like any other browser out there), without having their user base go in a panic over "upgrade", no we don't want that.

Funny that they did upgrade IE6 twice for non-security issues: "eolas". But that the guillotine bugs (IE6 and IE7 have them) never got fixed ... (and no nobody is going to rely on text or backgrounds not being displayed halfway down the block, unless you select it or scroll the page or so ...

[edited by: swa66 at 9:56 am (utc) on Aug. 14, 2009]

IanCP




msg:3971763
 9:52 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft keeps IE6 Life-Support Machine Switched On Until 2014

And Microsoft is doing precisely what? I see absolutely nothing. Zero support beyond a PR exercise.

Quoting IncedibleBILL

Webmasters can simply start an IE 6 blockade and end it on our own

Why would anyone do that Bill?

For me personally, to upgrade today [from Win98SE + IE6] I would need to go to:

a) Windows 7

b) Latest Windows Browser

c) Probable hardware upgrades needed

d) Definitely upgrade the regular software I use each and every day

Now Bill, demonstrate for me how my "user experience" is going to be enhanced? This would be after my estimated outlay of $2,000 in expenditure to simply comply with your wishes.

Since when did webmasters become advocates for Microsoft or anyone else, annoying Adobe in particular?

I search the internet for "information". I do not search looking for the latest "all singing all dancing" gizmos.

I certainly don't use them. If your site doesn't render properly in IE6 then I'll simply move on. Pretty simple concept!

Bill, over the years I've learned to respect you and your opinion BUT:

Webmasters can simply start an IE 6 blockade and end it on our own

Is as arrogant as it ever gets.

You want people to upgrade? Then sell the benefits. Thus far, I see absolutely none. Zero, nothing. I come from the KISS school of thought

Developments over the last two years, mainly newspaper outlets consuming needless huge bandwidth, have led me to explore other avenues with browsers. I now surf "news sites" using Mozilla Firefox 2 [shock, horror, scandal]. It at least has the courtesy of allowing me to "terminate" an unresponsive script.

The only other disadvantage, mainly through no support for Win98SE, is the inability to use Nokia's PC Suite for my $99 Nokia 6085 phone. Yes, I paid $99 outright and have a $15 a month plan with $20 worth of free calls which I don't actually use. Last month $4.66

Moving on, I'm now exploring Ubuntu and Wine. Is this the end result Mr. Microsoft and others wanted?

I repeat:

Demonstrate for me how my "user experience" is going to be enhanced? What exactly am I missing out on?

What exactly is so entrancing about your sites [assuming you exactly provide real information] that I would need to visit with the latest version of M$'s browser?

That is the real question. If IE6 causes problems then don't cater for it.

Simple, we'll make our own judgements.

[An aside]

My PC is 11+ years old, I NEVER buy "name brand" products, I've always rolled my own from judicious buying.

It's like the family axe, which we've had for 100 years. We've only changed the handle 10 times and the head 5 times.

incrediBILL




msg:3971781
 10:04 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why would anyone do that Bill?

Why?

Because it's as busted as it gets in the CSS game and it causes many people trying to move forward in the web development game a LOT of heartache.

Is as arrogant as it ever gets.

You want people to upgrade? Then sell the benefits. Thus far, I see absolutely none. Zero, nothing. I come from the KISS school of thought

Oh yeah?

I'm a software developer from way back and when we set the minimum specs for the next version, you either upgrade to be in compliance or you don't.

You think I would write software compatible with Win 95, 98, ME or even XP at this late stage in the game?

NO!

Tons of precedence already on the web, if you don't have Flash 9 you can't see Flash 9 files, same with PDF versions, etc.

All I can say it there's no way in hell I'm going to put up with IE 6 until 2014, that's just insanity.

STOP THE INSANITY NOW! BLOCK IE 6! ;)

Fine, if blocking it is arrogant just stop fixing any problems you see with IE 6, refuse to develop for it, and make frustrated people decide on their own to give up that antique pile of bugs.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 10:08 am (utc) on Aug. 14, 2009]

jamiembrown




msg:3971783
 10:06 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

@IanCP: Wow! That was an empassioned tirade! If you're so anti functionality, usability and user experience you could try Lynx - its very good and there's a version that will run on Win98.

IE6 has wasted enough man hours around the world. Its definitely time for it to die.

incrediBILL




msg:3971788
 10:08 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

IE6 has wasted enough man hours around the world. Its definitely time for it to die.

Thank you, exactly my sentiments.

IanCP




msg:3971789
 10:11 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

On review, I can't believe some of these posts.

It's not "rocket science" to develop scripts which redirect to simply say:

"Neanderthals, if you can't bother to upgrade from IE6 don't bother coming to my site, it's too precious".

Good grief. Anecdotal evidence says only 10% of users still use IE6. If that is of no consequence, then use the method above, if not LIVE WITH IT and stop putting "all singing, all dancing irrelevancies" on your pages.

Isn't that your problem? IE6 doesn't properly render the latest junk fads?

I honestly can't see a real problem here. In the real world people like me are highly unlikely to visit your sites!

A real storm in a teacup, stop putting square pegs in round holes.

incrediBILL




msg:3971792
 10:21 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Isn't that your problem? IE6 doesn't properly render the latest junk fads?

If your printer rendered postscript the way IE6 renders CSS you would return it to the store you bought it from because none of your documents would ever look like they did in the word processor.

If IE 6 was a printer the landfills would be overflowing with discarded IE 6s.

It was shipped in 2001, it's completely obsolete with all current web specs, it's time for it to disappear and not one minute too soon.

plumsauce




msg:3971804
 10:36 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

YAH! YES! GREAT NEWS! GOOD DECISION! +10!

And, what IanCP said.

Redirect and ban away. I don't go where I'm not wanted anyways.

There is no problem developing for IE6 if that is the design goal to begin with.

The problem starts when the designer thinks that the only cool thing to do is design for mozilla and then discovers he did it in a non-compatible way because he waited until the boss browsed it in IE after release to tell him. Never even bothered to browse it in IE before release day.

My support policy on the mozilla/safari/chrome/opera series: "oh it works? that's nice"

Oh, and ajax?

Never going to run here. Activex is off. Your site needs ajax? See ya!

At least IE, since the earliest versions *always* handles copy and paste properly. You can't say that as of the code base version shared with Netscape 7.2/latest Seamonkey, Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it works from right click, sometimes from the menu, and sometimes not at all.

Taking a look at the source code, "there are lots of W-T-F moments" to quote a security researcher commenting on Wordpress a few days ago. Well same goes for mozilla. As the original netscape code gets discarded for the crime of "not invented here", it just gets more and more bizarre.

Forget crying about web "standards". At the end of the day, whatever works for the majority of browsers is the defacto "standard". And, it's IE. All the moaning and groaning is not going to change that. Nor will it make clients stop demanding reworks.

If a site has commercial significance, it must support IE, full stop.

[edited by: plumsauce at 10:44 am (utc) on Aug. 14, 2009]

SuzyUK




msg:3971805
 10:36 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Webmasters can simply start an IE 6 blockade and end it on our own

I know there are a lot of larger design sites following that mantra at the minute, but I'm not sure I'm all in favour of an all out blockade.

Sure if you've got a lovely design site which is meant to show all the latest cutting edge techniques, then yes you have a case but I'm sure all your readers are already up to speed and not using IE6 already.

I remember these "best viewed in messages" of old, they didn't work too well back then and I'm sure they'll work even less better now, no-one likes to have it shoved in their faces what they should be doing, those old messages didn't stick around too long on the credible sites, and even now they are I think considered a bad reflection on the site owner.

How many people even when converted to Firefox or Safari.. or whatever the latest "best" browser is will update eternally? After the last really large push of advertising from Firefox, they suceeded in gaining a market share yes, but at what cost.. add-ons, leaks, speed issues etc, how many of those "converts" went back to what they were familiar with or stayed with an earlier version, the speed of enhancements going on at the minute is incredible even without IE to worry about

Sorry I think another tipping point in Browsers Wars has reached yet again and users are already informed or if they are stuck with IE6 at workplaces they already have personal preference on laptops, PDA's etc.

IanCP says it best:
I search the internet for "information". I do not search looking for the latest "all singing all dancing" gizmos.

being a designer I love all the singing/dancing enhancements but first and foremost the Web is for Information, and accessing that information is the No.1 priority is it not?

You can always do what we did for NN4 (though it was via a hack for it) and simply provide a text only version for IE6 using a Downlevel-revealed conditional comment [webmasterworld.com] to supply a very basic stylesheet to IE6, or non at all if your document is well formed enough without any style and move on. Subtlety tends to work best and the curious will investigate or ask, and users will be more likely to upgrade by making their own informed decision rather than having some high minded designer tell them too, and remember that while IE6 may be the frustration of designers, it's not the designer these messages will reflect on but the actual company behind the site.

As another aside IE7 is not much better/different than 6, and Microsoft knows that, 7 was never planned and was a stopgap - getting rid of 6 will simply transfer the frustration from 6 to 7 (yes it will happen for 8 too ;)) for the next generation and detract from what we really want which is for IE to stop dictating the pace, so the best thing you can do is don't even try to play along.. move on. Code simply, provide all the information for all, enhance the ones that can be enhanced.

swa66




msg:3971810
 10:43 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

From a CSS perspective IE indeed is a nightmare (and currently IE6 is the worst offender of all).

If you make something in CSS, it'll take you if you're medium experienced about twice as long to work around the bugs and be acceptable in IE6 and IE7 than to get it working in all other browsers combined.

If you're inexperienced in CSS, you're likely to fall for the trap of developing in IE: a road to nowhere as IE will set you on the wrong foot all the time, at every turn. And if you're not all that experienced with the IE bugs, things like the 3px jog, the double margin, the broken box model, ... will drive you insane.

Very experienced CSSers tend to know what IE will most likely break and even apply workaround proactively, but that's just overkill for any real browser. They might also spot the bugs of IE faster and know the different workarounds to try to get IE6 to comply.

I cannot believe anybody who's done some CSS not to have way too intimate knowledge of how bad (even evil) IE6 is, and how much it is holding back all of us.

plumsauce




msg:3971815
 10:46 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know there are a lot of larger design sites following that mantra at the minute,

And they will have the honour of becoming smaller design sites.

plumsauce




msg:3971816
 10:50 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you make something in CSS, it'll take you if you're medium experienced about twice as long to work around the bugs and be acceptable in IE6 and IE7 than to get it working in all other browsers combined.

Nope. I make it work in IE from the get go and deliver one css. There is no "workaround" because it was targetted for that browaer to begin with. No special "hacks" to differentiate between browsers. The one css gets delivered and if your browser of choice likes it, that's fine.

incrediBILL




msg:3971828
 11:17 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

all the latest cutting edge techniques

Not at all, we're talking basic stuff [google.com] that befuddles all the people begging for help with IE 6 all the time right here on WebmasterWorld.

JAB Creations




msg:3971834
 11:40 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I charge clients extra for it and once the next version of my site supports SSL I'll be charging visitors for it too. Of course they can just install another browser for free. I will charge for all except the latest version and the second latest only if it's been less then a year since the latest version has been out. Most people prefer free. If they don't like it then their ignorance wasn't worth my frustration.

Conditional comments only go so far though. My site is exceptionally dynamic and it requires JavaScript onload events to fix some rendering bugs that a second CSS file along just couldn't fix. It still loads old and buggy in general but I've cleaned most things up.

The real next nightmare will be IE8, not IE7. I presume Microsoft will lame out and abandon XP as far as IE9 is concerned which will not only leave us with a large install base without CSS3 capability though we'll still have the JavaScript 1.5 limit! We'll have to wait and see though they'd be out of their minds not to update the 'JScript' engine.

- John

koan




msg:3971856
 12:26 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's not just about being able to do more song, dances and spinning logos with the newest browsers, it's about the fundamentals, standard HTML and CSS, that IE 6 cannot handle properly and it makes for longer and more irritating development time. While good in its time, IE 6 now is an anchor to the messy past, and the minority that clings to it just make it harder for web developers. Of course, if you still make web sites like in 1995, you may not see it, but others are asked to do modern web sites by clients.

I do hope a few of the big players like youtube and digg incite the laggers to keep up a bit. In the world of technology, especially the internet, 8 years is very old. Browsers are free! All that is asked is 10 minutes of their time. Many probably weren't simply aware of it.

kapow




msg:3971865
 12:44 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

We STILL use tables for layout. A simple table layout still seems to avoid the nightmares that the css purists suffer. I was just wondering if the table/css dust had finally settled and if we should move to css layout. While all this incompatibility continues (which might be till the end of time) I'm staying with easy-build and easy-edit table layout.

johnnie




msg:3971890
 1:15 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Come on people, how hard is to rid yourself of an old, obsolete an bug-ridden piece of software? Or are you also still typing on wordperfect 5.1? I know its scary, but sometimes you just have to change, much like a granny who uses the ATM.

There's no 'rocket science' in upgrading to IE8.

Gibble




msg:3971912
 1:44 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

funny, ff just had a nice little dialog to alert me to a new version...1 minute later, updated to latest

frontpage




msg:3971916
 1:50 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

You think I would write software compatible with Win 95, 98, ME or even XP at this late stage in the game?

That's rather odd seeing how most users still have not adopted Vista and the majority of MS users are using Win XP.

Don't count on end users to go out and upgrade to Win 7 either as there is no upgrade process, you must do a clean install.

So, the only folks who will be using official MS Bloatware™ Win 7 are people who bought new computers with it installed or techy's experimenting.

tangor




msg:3971928
 2:05 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's no 'rocket science' in upgrading to IE8.

This is true, but one has to have sufficient OS and hardware to install it. There are still too many machines which aren't even running XP!

I don't code for IE6 and haven't for the last two years...then again, I code KISS and no javascript except a framebuster on a half-dozen pages out of 1700...

chicagohh




msg:3971945
 2:28 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Whenever I run IE, I use IE6.0 - From a user standpoint, I have not seen the need to upgrade.

@Bill - Have you blocked IE from your main Web site?

What are the percentages of IE usage of peoples Web sites? Across the board, on a couple dozen sites I manage, the average IE share is 17.4%. These are not small sites, but generate millions of pages views each month. The industry is real estate and health care.

17.4% is too many visitors to simply give the finger.

This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: 71 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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