CoffeeFiend, on Jul 12 2009, 12:36 PM, said:
as for web stantards, IE6 was truly horrible, but IE8 is getting better (not up to par, but "good enough" for now as most people still won't use anything that crappy old IE6 won't handle).
You forget IE6 was released way, way back in 2001 (3 years before Firefox 1.0, fwiw). It was the most standards-compliant browser of it's day, with the only other real clients available en masse being Opera and Netscape (which was crap by this point). I'm not saying IE6 was perfect (like keeping the broken 5.x CSS2 layout, etc), but it was the most standards-compliant browser available in it's day, in late 2001. At that time no shipping browser really supported CSS2 in any real, meaningful way (other than IE, Opera had decent CSS2 support, but even then not as much as IE6), and DOM2 wasn't ratified until 4 months before the IE6 beta if my memory serves, meaning IE6 didn't have support for it either (and to be fair, it took a few years for the others to get support for it as well, Opera 6 or 7 in 2003, again if I remember; a little fuzzy on the versions).
It's the 6 years Microsoft sat on IE6 without changing much of anything, and the fact that IE7 wasn't really a big leap in compliance with standards at the time either, that makes IE6 (and to a point, IE7) so "bad". Ultimately, I think people complaining about IE6 "sucking" and not being standards-compliant aren't complaining that it *was* horrible, they're complaining that it's still a pain to continue to support along with better browsers. I, for one, would love it if Microsoft would drop support for "old" browsers at 5 years (when the OS it shipped on leaves mainstream support, for example) rather than 10, because the way the web moves a 10 year old browser really *is* crap to have to support. Or, even better, treat it as a service pack - 24 months after the next one releases, drop mainstream (unpaid, non-premier) support for the old browser and "force" people to upgrade.