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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    At what level do you support IE6?

    Hello lads and ladies,

    I know this is a topic that has been discussed to death as of late, but I wanted to get some opinions on the level of support that you guys offer for IE6.

    My current stance is that an ie6 user should have access to all functionality that a non-ie6 user gets with regards to content, but, at the same time, various visual enhancements may be unavailable.

    For example, I have recently gotten a nice fade-transition type slideshow implemented with jquery, but in ie6, the images just flick between each other instead of having a nice transition. In other cases, a paragraph may slightly overlap with another element, various margins may be inconsistent etc.

    Now, at what point do you actually say "OK, that is good enough for the average IE6 user" ?

    Should we be spending those extra hours trying to get the design pixel perfect, catering for transparent pngs(who of you still implement png hacks and scripts etc), visual effects? Or should we start catering for this in our quotes?
    Open discussion appreciated ...

    Cheers,
    D

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict CWebguy's Avatar
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    For me it depends on time, I will code for the popular browsers, IE7 (now IE8), Firefox first, and then check IE6 and others compatibility after that. I don't see why a user wouldn't upgrade an old browser, but it still does exist so I try to find time for them to.

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    hi ...
    yeah, thats the thing ... a lot of folk are unable to upgrade due to network restrictions, stubborn IT mangers and so forth ... my thought, is: as long as they can still access the content in a reasonable fashion, then surely that should be the boundaries to which you mark your support?
    Limit, even

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    Actually, to follow on from my previous post, I find that the only reason I still support IE6 is due to the fact that I think that the main reason people are not given the chance to upgrade, is due to some internal IT restrictions reason (local intranet support etc.) Shouldn't the people that run these sorts of archaic networks be moving on?

  5. #5
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    ...Shouldn't the people that run these sorts of archaic networks be moving on?
    Business don't want to pay for replacing something that is not broken. As far as they are concern there Intranet applications are not broken.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    I completely agree with what you say from a business point of view (eg funding to upgrade an entire network or resources to invest in a better system),but, are they still going to still be using it when it is , say, 10 or 15 years old? These IT guys, if they are worth their weight in salt, should surely realise that their technology is based on something so old, and something so proprietory?

  7. #7
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Sure the IT guys will know that, but unless they con convince the boss they won't get the funding. Sometimes 10 to 15 year old technology is still good enough to keep things going. For example I was told this story by one of my professors about a saw mill running on a ancient computer. This computer is encased in a bubble pulled full of filtered air. Now this computer controls the all saws in the mill that is all it does. Management felt no need to replace it because it continued to do that job without issue.

    In any case, unless IE 6 is the target for an application. I only get it to function at the most basic level in a usable way to get to the content. I put no effort into the styling to get pixel perfect results.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    I check it to see how the pages work with the CSS that modern browsers use and apply any patches needed to make it usable - it doesn't matter that it doesn't look the way it does in more modern browsers as long as the 20% of people still using it can access the page. It is never going to work the same as a modern web browser because there are too many CSS commands that it doesn't understand.

    At this point it is also worth letting the people running old IE versions know that Microsoft has released an update for their browser and providing them a link to download and install IE8. With the exception of business intranets there is no reason apart from ignorance for anyone running Windows XP to still be using that browser.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    At this point it is also worth letting the people running old IE versions know that Microsoft has released an update for their browser and providing them a link to download and install IE8.
    I'm glad to see this idea finally gaining popularity. For years, I argued that webmasters should urge visitors to download quality browsers - namely Firefox and Opera - only to be told that doing so is unprofessional, unethical, a waste of time, etc., etc.

    I just recently read an article that said people are now less tolerant of browser problems because they've become more accustomed to downloading and upgrading alternative browsers. There's no reason an individual cannot and should not have two or more browsers installed on their computer.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Yeah, I am currently working on the last site to which I will offer full IE support. No, what is the best way to display these messages.

    I know that PHP browser sniffing is fairly un-reliable, and I wouldnt want this functionality to be reliant on JS

  11. #11
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Unfortunately for me, my new portfolio website takes advantage of several “innovative” uses of code I have created and as a result IE6 struggles to keep up with my shiny new design so I am working on the basis that I will provide unobtrusive JavaScript to “patch” IE6’s misgivings and allow it to have the same look and feel, but if JavaScript is disabled, I have some conditional comments to help give the site basic functionality so that people can still make use of the website.

    But then again, it is my portfolio, which I feel is the best place to experiment with web design!

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict Poiesis01's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat as felgall with 20&#37; of my visitors still using IE6. I don't do the ugly 'upgrade' thing though, as I still feel it is unprofessional

  13. #13
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    I try and code around problems, but if something really isn't working then I'll serve a 'basic' stylesheet that doesn't follow the overall site design, but at least makes everything work OK. That's for my sites.. for clients I just pull my hair out in big clumps

  14. #14
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poiesis01 View Post
    I'm in the same boat as felgall with 20% of my visitors still using IE6. I don't do the ugly 'upgrade' thing though, as I still feel it is unprofessional
    IE6 has over 600 known security holes - as my site is about computers I would consider it to be unprofessional to NOT help these people know about this and where to go to download the latest version. Microsoft were extremely uncaring in not making the patch for all these security holes a critical fix and leaving people to download the patch (IE7) for themselves.

    Another consideration is that Internet Explorer is the only browser that doesn't automatically tell people when a new version is available.

    The simplest way to display such a message in your page just for those visitors using a specific version of IE is using Microsoft conditional comments.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  15. #15
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    I completely agree with what you say from a business point of view (eg funding to upgrade an entire network or resources to invest in a better system),but, are they still going to still be using it when it is , say, 10 or 15 years old?
    You've never worked for a large bureaucracy...

    My e-mail at work is an old version of Lotus Notes over 10 years old.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru Dashman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    You've never worked for a large bureaucracy...

    My e-mail at work is an old version of Lotus Notes over 10 years old.
    As the previous comments have suggested ( eg saw mill), if you are still using Lotus Notes, and it does what is needed, then that is good.

    But, does that mean that every email newsletter (although I am loathe to them, I still have to do them) I send, have to render the same as it does in Apple Mail, Outlook or Entourage etc? Does Lotus accept HTML email? I don't know.

    No, I havent worked for a large bureaucracy, but I have once left a job where I was the one and only "techie" and was told that my design should look good in IE6, and that how it looked in other browsers did not matter. I did not leave for that sole reason, but it pretty much told me that I was in the wrong place.

    To be honest with you, I am tired of spending up to 20% extra time trying to solve problems with IE <6 that I do not have with any other browsers. Instead of trying to work on things that may improve user experience, visually or functionally, I always have a thought in the back of my mind of "will this work in IE", or "How much time will I have to spend trying to get this to work in IE".

  17. #17
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    To be honest and be fair to you guys, its been years since I have use Internet Explorer for long surfing on the net. I am more of a Firefox user this past few years now. I cannot say that IE is not great, its just that I am satisfied with how Firefox is performing.

  18. #18
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    I care about IE6 when I'm paid to care about IE6. Basically I care about IE6 for the sites I develop at work, but I barely consider it for my personal sites. As long as there aren't any showstopping errors I'll proceed.

    Everyone I know who is still using IE at home is on version 7, and I know a lot of "regular" people who are now using Firefox/Safari/Chrome instead of IE on windows so I'm seeing less of a point other than for boring legacy enterprise stuff.


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