At that time, using the rel="shortcut icon" in addition to rel="icon" was to address compatibility issues with IE which used the rel="shortcut icon". I've done some quick scanning and it appears that this was an issue up to IE6. IE7+ appear to support the rel="icon" which is the official link type.
Msg#: 4331885 posted 7:41 am on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
Just for fun, about six months ago, on a site where it was fun and no biz (info thingie) never inserted any link to favicon... just put one in the root. Guess what? Loaded anyway. Kind of makes you wonder... (and I'm not talking about dev browsers... users, friends and family can see it, too).
That said, best to do it right and insert the link...
PS: Put the favicon in there to prevent 404s since the bots/browsers were looking for it... didn't care if it showed or not...
Msg#: 4331885 posted 8:50 am on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
Guess what? Loaded anyway. Kind of makes you wonder...
I think browsers will, by default, look for "favicon.ico" in the web root. But modern browsers do support other kind of image formats these days... gifs, pngs, etc. And for these you will have to specify the LINK.
Msg#: 4331885 posted 10:03 am on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
I haven't checked on this for a long time but IIRC IE6 and earlier needed an explicit reference. No idea about later releases. Every version of Firefox that I have used found the favicon without any help.