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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast KingOfMyCastle's Avatar
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    IE5. Time to give it the boot?

    I've noticed that many of my sites that use CSS positioning don't work in IE5. In fact large portions are off the screen. I know this is down to the broken box model but is it worth fixing it? How many people actually use it? And shouldn't they upgrade?

    The site I'm working on now is for a charity organisation so I really want to push accessibility to the forefront. The last thing I want is for them to get calls saying their site is unreadable.

    Is May 2007 the time to really give up on worrying about IE5?
    John King - King Websites

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard HarryR's Avatar
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    I'd say yes

    I'm finding it easier and easier to get the same feel of the design in IE 7, Firefox, Opera & Konqueror - but IE 6 always seems to need some manual tweaking, and I'm still finding some bugs in IE 7 which need specific tweaks.

    Whereas IE 5 is now a no-hoper for complex xhtml 1.0 strict designs with css as far as I'm concerned.

  3. #3
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    IE5 can work with CSS, but it will take some know-how of its quirks. When you say CSS positioning, do you mean absolute positioning (bad idea), or do you mean floats and margins (good idea)?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast KingOfMyCastle's Avatar
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    Hi! Yes, I mean floats and margins. The stuff that IE loves
    John King - King Websites

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Well the best thing to do is to strip everything of their margins and padding through the universal selector. Then from there, be very careful where you apply them. Each layout will be different (even each implementation of each layout), so you'll just have to be careful.

  6. #6
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    My -

    Scrap IE5.

    Although some may disagree with my POV, here it is:

    My stats show that less than 1% of visitors are using IE5 (6 out of 1,000), while over 75% are using IE6 or IE7. I think you should design for the majority of your market share.

    While IE6 can be a PITA, 93% of those who use IE have the Windows XP OS. XP also has automatic updates for the IE browser and for those who don't currently use IE7, they probably will soon, since they have apparently updated to IE6 in the past.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast bochgoch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfMyCastle View Post
    Is May 2007 the time to really give up on worrying about IE5?
    Yes -- the only way to get people to move on from old browsers is to stop supporting them. IE6+ only from now on ........

  8. #8
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Scrapping IE 5.01 is a great idea, but I'm not 100% completely sold on scrapping 5.5 just yet. I don't know why, it's just one of those "gut feelings" I have from time to time.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Whereas IE 5 is now a no-hoper for complex xhtml 1.0 strict designs with css as far as I'm concerned.
    So is IE6 and IE7 and probably IE8. No version of IE supports Xhtml.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree, time to say sayonara to 5.0. I'll glance at a new design in it just for giggles but unless something is really fouled up I won't bother.

    Funny thing is the last 3 designs I did came up perfect in 5 and 5.5... the only issues I had were very minor ones in IE6.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine View Post
    So is IE6 and IE7 and probably IE8. No version of IE supports Xhtml.
    You loose credibility when every other post you make is an attack on IE6 and IE7...
    Stick to sensible and helpful advice.
    Hate gets you nowhere.

    (I use firefox)

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John View Post
    You loose credibility when every other post you make is an attack on IE6 and IE7...
    Stick to sensible and helpful advice.
    Hate gets you nowhere.

    (I use firefox)
    So is the other poster bad for "attacking" IE5? Was his advice any more sensible or helpful? Would no one learn from that fact?
    btw, "lose" is spelled L-O-S-E. And my post is a "hate" post?!! Man! Talk about sensibilities?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John View Post
    You loose credibility when every other post you make is an attack on IE6 and IE7...
    Stating that no version of Internet Explorer supports XHTML is an attack?
    It's nothing but the truth.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  14. #14
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Please try to keep this civil.

  15. #15
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Yeah, afterall, even truth can hurt.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Evangelist croatiankid's Avatar
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    I actually never tested my designs in IE 5(.5), but I only started serious web design less than a year ago.
    Hrvoje Markovic
    Croatiankid designs

  17. #17
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Currently, I don't have the option to test in anything less than IE6, so for now I'm running blind. I do like the fact that Tommy has a disclaimer on his site stating that the pages won't display properly unless a 'modern, standards-compliant browser' is used. Makes me want to do that also
    Wouldn't be very good if I did this as a professional though.
    Anyway, sorry for the fluff.. just me two cents

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    I do like the fact that Tommy has a disclaimer on his site stating that the pages won't display properly unless a 'modern, standards-compliant browser' is used.
    I've been torn on this issue. A month ago, my site was running under a broken doctype, poorly coded and incomplete CSS, and antiquated, table-driven HTML structure. Now it's running smoothly with a CSS-driven structure and under HTML strict -- thanks in large part to the gurus on SP </plug>. I've put an absolute ton of time into making the changeover. So I'm definitely up for having my users go with modern browsers that will display my site the way I mean it to look. On the other hand, 52% of my viewers use IE6 to view my site, and only 17% use Firefox. The other browsers, even less. I'm quite sure that most of my visitors don't know and don't care what browser they use, and don't know HTML from Hot Pockets. It's not that kind of site. So how much real impact would such a disclaimer have, and how many users would feel put off by such a disclaimer? (On the third hand -- the gripping hand, for Niven/Pournelle fans -- less than 3% of my visitors use IE5. So I can't design for them if it will cause me undue stress and loss of productivity.)

    I look at it from their viewpoint the same way as I look at an OS -- it should do its job quietly and efficiently, in the background, without anyone being any more aware of it than absolutely necessary. Besides, I don't want to go back to the "This Site Best Viewed In A Browser You've Never Heard Of and Don't Know How to Install" kind of thinking.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    My site is a blog about web standards and accessibility (mainly). People who are interested in those things usually have more standards-compliant browsers than IE, and won't be too surprised about a statement like this.

    On the office site (a government agency) we say,
    This web site looks best in a modern, standards-compliant browser, e.g. the latest versions of Mozilla/Firefox, Opera or Safari (Mac). We have made some adjustments for Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 5 or later), but its inadequate support for standards imply certain limitations.

    Older browsers, of course, display the same content. However, the design is not visible.
    This statement has stirred some emotions. Mostly, people have been positive about it. I've had one email saying that we're daft and that one should design for IE only, but that was from an alleged web design company whose front page used a frameset with nine (9!) frames to centre a small amount of text. They also declared the wrong character encoding, making each occurrence of '&#229;', '&#228;' or '&#246;' show up as '?' in Gecko browsers.

    Our site is fully accessible in IE5, of course. It's just that in IE5 and IE6 the layout is purely elastic, while more modern browsers get a constrained liquid/elastic hybrid which improves usability a bit.

    Version-4 browsers and older get unstyled semantic HTML, so it's still fully accessible. We are now discussing whether we shall continue to 'support' IE5. Visitor stats are down to 1&#37;.

    Of course, the content must still be accessible, even if one decides to stop providing a design for IE5. A page that is broken and unusable in IE5 is not acceptable, in my opinion. If one doesn't want to spend time developing a design that works in IE5, one should serve it unstyled HTML.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  20. #20
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Hey Tommy, -- Your browser statement is just not showing up on my PC. Do you think maybe Ida edited it out?
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  21. #21
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    To see the one armchaircritic referred to, click on Colophon in the right-hand menu and then on the link 'Technical information' within the content of the colophon.

    The one I quoted is on the office site, to which I haven't linked.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  22. #22
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Aha! Thanks -- the only page I didn't access before because I thought it might be in Swedish!
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  23. #23
    www.logoraman.com electroskan.com's Avatar
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    When I had IE 5 in my computer..I had a hell lot of problems in the contest area of SP...I couldn't read the discussions in the contests...my browser was not displaying anything...so I finally decided to go with opera.
    LOGORAMAN
    [FB] [TWITTER] [BEHANCE] [FLICKR]

  24. #24
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    As a sidepoint, my employer has recently switched from a tables design to CSS, and clearly the site looks ok in IE, however view it in FF or Opera and the design elements go awol. This is an international organisation!

    Tommy: Is the fact that your site doesn't display styles in IE something to do with the XML-HTML your site appears to be written in? I avoid the use of XHTML of course because it could be confused with pretend-XHTML

  25. #25
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by armchaircritic View Post
    As a sidepoint, my employer has recently switched from a tables design to CSS, and clearly the site looks ok in IE, however view it in FF or Opera and the design elements go awol. This is an international organisation!
    That's usually what happens when you test in IE while developing the site, instead of testing in a more standards-compliant browser. I always test in Opera, verify in Firefox and then tweak for IE.

    Quote Originally Posted by armchaircritic View Post
    Tommy: Is the fact that your site doesn't display styles in IE something to do with the XML-HTML your site appears to be written in?
    No, IE doesn't claim to support application/xhtml+xml, so it receives plain old HTML. IE5/6 do display the styling, although there is some graceful degradation compared to CSS2-compliant browsers. IE7 doesn't apply any CSS, though.

    The main style sheet is @import'ed in such a way that IE browsers don't get it (because they don't support media types after the @import directive). That's by design, so that I could serve a completely separate style sheet (using conditional comments) for IE5/6 without having to undo a lot of stuff.

    IE7 has far better CSS2 support than its predecessors. The IE style sheet doesn't work with IE7, so it doesn't get it. Unfortunately, IE7 still doesn't support media types after @import, so it doesn't get the main style sheet either.

    I'm on Linux at home, so I can't test in IE7. At the office we haven't upgraded to IE7 because most of our users are on Windows 2000. It's possible that IE7 would work with the main style sheet that is used by Opera, Firefox, Safari, Konqueror, etc., but I haven't tried it. I know I should, but I'm planning a rewrite anyway.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane


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