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monroe

Message From YouTube About IE 6 Browser [Solved]

168 posts in this topic

In my earlier posts I was a little indifferent about IE6. My position has changed dramatically since my last post here. What has changed my position from 'Meh' to 'OFF WITH ITS HEAD!!' you ask? I wont bore you with the details but lets just say it involves me, a webpage Im paid to maintain, Virtualbox, IE6 and repeated use of the F-word and its friends.

I cant help but question my own sanity when i spend 5 minutes verifying that things work in FF/IE8/Chrome only to spend 10 minutes testing in IE6, 20 minutes locating and implementing the workaround when it inevitability renders wrong in IE6, then another half hour getting the page to render the way it was in FF/IE8/Chrome before the IE6 workaround code was added then another 8 hours trying to forget the pain in the a** that is righting code that degrades well to a browser that was replaced 3 years ago that for some reason people want to cling to even though there are far superior browsers out there.

The anti-IE6 move followed reports last month that Google's YouTube was doing the same, that Digg would soon curtail support for the ancient browser and a petition on Twitter collected nearly 10,000 signatures supporting the effort. Facebook has been prompting IE6 users to swap out their browsers since February 2009.

thats a quote from the linked article not me -hench why i put it in quote tags (and thats not my handle either)
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In my experience, usually all it takes to fix IE6 CSS rendering problems is:

margin-left: 6px !important;

margin-left: 3px;

where the numbers 6 and 3 aren't particularly important, just that there's a difference of 3 between them (since IE6 adds 3 pixels for no good reason and ignores the !important flag).

Queue

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Like BenoitRen said before, older versions of IE have really poor support for any modern standard (namely CSS2 and the DOM for IE6 -- before that? borked box model, no png alpha channel and TONS more). IE6 was OK when it came out, back in 2001 (compared to Netscape). But 8 years have passed and browsers have improved quite a bit. It directly makes web developers' and web designers' lives hell (like PC_LOAD_LETTER seems to have noticed), and it has real costs directly associated with it.

An old pic that's somewhat funny, but so very true (the red quarter shrank a lot since 2006 but that's about it):

timebreakdownofmodernwe.jpg

I spend more time to get something to work with IE6, than it takes to design/build it in the first place (and make it work with all other browsers combined). Half my time wasted on this = double the development costs, because if IE6. There's a lot of ways to deal with that bast*** child that IE6 is: really fugly CSS hacks (which usually break with every new version of IE, and can make other browsers screw up), browser-specific style sheets (one for IE6, one for everything else), and conditional comments.

The sooner IE6 dies, the better. When it does, we can widely use features that it doesn't support (or keep using it without having to feed IE6 a separate, retarded style sheet so it kind of works), and also build web sites and apps a LOT quicker, which also means cheaper. Most of us would have better ways to spend that extra time and money than designing/developing for the absolute lowest common denominator (we'd also cut down on the swearing quite a bit too).

Millions of us are dreaming about this.

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The sooner IE6 dies, the better. When it does, we can widely use features that it doesn't support... I spend more time to get something to work with IE6, than it takes to design/build it in the first place...
Maybe it's better not to program a website with so many good-looking features. Keep it simple. Adding fancy features to a website means a lot of self-inflicted pain.

The ultimate measure of the quality of a website is not how it looks, but how much traffic it gets. The ugly-looking www.drudgereport.com uses rather simple webcode and is one of the best websites there is:

VISITS TO DRUDGE 8/09/09

017,089,163 IN PAST 24 HOURS

673,202,344 IN PAST 31 DAYS

8,189,949,260 IN PAST YEAR

How many extra visitors will you get on your website by adding a fancy feature? Also, adding fancy features may decrease traffic by increasing browser incompatibility and thereby excluding older people who use older browsers. Fancy features should be used at sites specifically targeted at young audiences and at people who want to use the latest gadgets ("early innovators"). I prefer sites which display fine in Internet Explorer 5.5.

Edited by Multibooter
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Maybe it's better not to program a website with so many good-looking features.

So your suggestion, as a solution to IE6 sucking, is that we should make ugly looking websites? :blink:

The ultimate measure of the quality of a website is not how it looks, but how much traffic it gets.

You're essentially saying that only content matters, not looks, but I believe most people would disagree and pick [X] give me both. The 2 aren't mutually exclusive.

By your way how measuring how good something is, then Google news, Yahoo news, AOL news, CNN news, NY times, MSNBC, Washington post, USA Today and several others are all far better (and interestingly enough, they also all look a LOT better too). Either ways, I'd say that's just a measure of popularity, not how good it is. I wouldn't call the music that sells the most the best music either.

How many extra visitors will you get on your website by adding a fancy feature?

Is that supposed to be the only reason to make something look good? Most people like the eye candy, usability and so on.

It's easy for the most part too, it's only IE6 that makes it a pain, and it's only a matter of time before we drop support for it. As for pre-IE6 browsers, we long have stopped supporting those (it has accounted for 0% of our traffic for as long as I can remember).

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How many extra visitors will you get on your website by adding a fancy feature?
My primary goal is not to drive traffic to our site. My goal is to assist my visitors while they are there. sometimes "fancy" features such as ability to navigate the page without obscure errors nagging my visitors while breaking my design are required.
I prefer sites which display fine in Internet Explorer 5.5.
well if my sites display correctly in your browser great but if they dont, I wont be investing time in correcting the problem. I simply dont have the time. Here are the stats from the site i had the above problems with:

this is the breakdown of IE versions from May 1 to Today (IE accounts for 73% of our visitors):

7.0	66.47% 	
8.0 16.86%
6.0 16.64%
5.5 0.04%

5.5 is hardly worth worrying about and IE6 will fall into the same category likely by the end of the year.

The reality of Drudge report is they are nothing more than a link aggregator which relies on real websites to provide the content that keeps people coming to their site (which looks like a 5 year old threw it together in 10 minutes in frontpage) people often use the google main page as a example of minimalism success stories but google success is in their results not their main page. The people that pay me to maintain their site expect me to place a huge amount of content on the main page but still have things be easy to find. that and they hired me because their site looked like a 5 year old threw it together in 10 minutes in frontpage so i dont they theyd like it if i gave them a site that looked like drudge just to satisfy 0.04% of their visitors.

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So your suggestion, as a solution to IE6 sucking, is that we should make ugly looking websites? :blink:
www.drudgereport.com isn't investing much in good looks.
You're essentially saying that only content matters, not looks, but I believe most people would disagree and pick [X] give me both. The 2 aren't mutually exclusive. By your way how measuring how good something is, then Google news, Yahoo news, AOL news, CNN news, NY times, MSNBC, Washington post, USA Today and several others are all far better.
It depends on the audience. "An ounze of image is worth a pound of performance" applies very often. I personally am more interested in content. My favorite news site for the past 12 months has been Xinhua http://www.chinaview.cn/world/index.htm because of the content; it does look much nicer than www.drudgereport.com but I never mention to my wife how nice a website looks, only that something interesting was on such-and-such a website. But this is just one man's opinion, and I personally have not gone to the news sites you mentioned, in the last couple of years, except if linked from www.drudgereport.com The only other news sites I visit every day are http://www.elpais.com/global/ , http://www.nzz.ch/ and http://www.bloomberg.com/index.html?Intro=intro3
I wouldn't call the music that sells the most the best music either.
I fully agree with you. A bestseller novel is not necessarily good literature, it just makes good money for the publisher and the author. But websites are an investment, and traffic is probably the most important objective of most owners of a website who employ a website programmer.
Most people like the eye candy, usability and so on.
Yes, nice to to have.
it's only IE6 that makes it a pain, and it's only a matter of time before we drop support for it. As for pre-IE6 browsers, we long have stopped supporting those (it has accounted for 0% of our traffic for as long as I can remember).
If a website looks good in an old browser, it probably also looks good in a new browser. Maybe by initially programming a website for an outdated browser like IE 5.5, even if it accounts for 0% traffic, you stay away from incompatible new features and may save yourself a lot of headaches. But somehow state-of-the-art bells and whistles are the pride of an up-to-date website programmer. Edited by Multibooter
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Despite that we (Win9x users) are limited with browser choice, I agree with those who think that IE 6 should die.

I was never fan of IE and IMHO even in 2001, IE 6 wasn't a good browser.

Nowadays this is just terrible piece of software.

With help of KernelEx you can ran Firefox 3.5 (yesterday, I've tested pre 3.5.3) and without it SeaMonkey, Opera, K-Meleon, Flock (maybe something else).

If some security issues are not a problem there's also Firefox 2 (last version released on December 2008).

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5.5 is hardly worth worrying about and IE6 will fall into the same category likely by the end of the year.
My main browsers are Opera 9 and Firefox 2, and I try to stay away from Internet Explorer for security reasons. I use IE 6.0 on my laptop and IE 5.5 on my desktop only if a site doesn't display right in Opera or Firefox.

I would program a website from the oldest browser up, not from the newest browser down. If you made IE 5.5 your lowest common denominator, you possibly would have less browser compatibility problems. But the extent of backward compatibility depends on the features essential to your website.

The reality of Drudge report is they are nothing more than a link aggregator which relies on real websites to provide the content that keeps people coming to their site (which looks like a 5 year old threw it together in 10 minutes in frontpage)
I disagree. The selection of the articles and their ranking/location on the page (headline, top, middle, or bottom) is the content of the drudgereport. When the drudgereport has 4 links for a topic it means the topic is red hot and a crisis is coming up (e.g. some time ago with Iran); when the number of links drops to 1 or 2 it means a situation (as seen by people with inside knowledge) is calming down.
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I was talking about IE6 vs IE7/8.

Codes uncompatible with IE7 or above have little use and and are largely unused, sometimes unkown.

Have you ever made a website using CSS? Pseudo-selectors like first-child and last-child are very useful, as is the > selector. None of those are supported by IE6. They were also often unused, because IE6 still had a big market share, and you also had to support IE6.

The JavaScript DOM is very useful for little animations, interactive features, and web applications. Something as basic as getComputedStyle is not supported by IE6, and has to be worked around.

The only reason they want want more "interactive" stuffs is advertising. Save for advertisements, the creation of a website is very simple.

Utter nonsense. I've made interactive stuff, and none of it has been advertising. The same goes for many things. Websites aren't that simple anymore. Just google for complaints about CSS by people who don't understand it.

It doesn't take 50% more coding time to support IE6. Just simplify the way you desing webpages.

Bogging down the design is not a good proposition, and proof that IE6 isn't that good. Nevertheless, Phantasy Star Cave's main page is pretty simple 2 column design, yet I had to use a CSS hack to get it to render properly in IE6.

Another site of mine, SeaMonkey.be, doesn't render properly on IE6 because it doesn't support the CSS min-height property. And that's a very basic design.

Posting a comment on a blog is an activity that exists for more than 10 years. Why does it has to be all of a sudden not possible on IE6?

This is about much more than weblog posting, which is handled server-side.

I urge you to learn about web design instead of making wildly inaccurate statements.

Maybe it's better not to program a website with so many good-looking features. Keep it simple. Adding fancy features to a website means a lot of self-inflicted pain.

See above.

I prefer sites which display fine in Internet Explorer 5.5.

Good luck, because that had a wrong box model that could lead to serious rendering quirks.

But somehow state-of-the-art bells and whistles are the pride of an up-to-date website programmer.

Look, most CSS is not about bells and whistles. It's basic style information.

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cant help but question my own sanity when i spend 5 minutes verifying that things work in FF/IE8/Chrome

only to spend 10 minutes testing in IE6, 20 minutes locating and implementing the workaround when it

inevitability renders wrong in IE6, then another half hour getting the page to render the way it was in

FF/IE8/Chrome before the IE6 workaround code was added then another 8 hours trying to forget the pain in

the a** that is righting code that degrades well to a browser that was replaced 3 years ago that for

some reason people want to cling to even though there are far superior browsers out there

I'm also wondering why developers keep testing websites on IE6 (and why software makers tested their

prorgams on w98 so long for the same matter).

I'm positive that a website will look fine on IE6 even if never tested on this browser. But that's up to the user to adapt and update to the new technologies. Not the opposite because that's the only way technology evoluates.

As a matter of habit, one or two conditional comments can be added without spening hours testing the baby on a dozen of browsers.

One thing is to add a few lines of wellknown code for the most important stuffs (which will make it 99% compatible), another thing is to toroughly test the whole thing for days on every IE flavors.

thats a quote from the linked article not me -hench why i put it in quote tags (and thats not my handle either)

Sorry, I was too lazy to make two quotes encapsulated. Sorry too for mispelling your name.

---

most CSS is not about bells and whistles. It's basic style information

Yes and problems arise when you try to do bells and wisthles in css.

The problem is that web developers create webpage like they would create a software, with more code than content.

The web space is a simple content display medium by essence. There is no point in reinventing the wheel.

Utter nonsense. I've made interactive stuff, and none of it has been advertising.

I apreciate that but... keep that talk for yourself. On many websites the only interractive stuffs seem to be adds.

another site of mine, SeaMonkey.be, doesn't render properly on IE6 because it doesn't support the CSS min-height property. And that's a very basic design.

And... what "min-height" was used for? I visited your page and indeed it's very simple, so I'd bet that it would be still visitable on IE6 (eventhought it's not 100% the way you wanted it in the smallest details - but who give a ****, huh? ;) ) thought I didn't have the leasure to test it now on my IE6 PC yet.

Offtopic: You should do something about the mouseover menu (in dark blue) because it disapear if the mouse doesn't move directly on the menu. If the move cross an area outside the mouseover menu, the latter disapears. Took me 5 tries to succeed clicking on this menu.

Edited by Fredledingue
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I'm also wondering why developers keep testing websites on IE6

Because many users are still browsing with it. We don't want to alienate ~15% of our users.

I'm positive that a website will look fine on IE6 even if never tested on this browser.

In practice, this isn't always true.

Yes and problems arise when you try to do bells and wisthles in css.

Not just bells and whistles, as I pointed out.

On many websites the only interractive stuffs seem to be adds.

I don't think you're looking hard enough. There's a lot of interactivity, even on this very board.

And... what "min-height" was used for?

To make sure that my second column stretches to the bottom of the viewport, so the site appears as two columns instead of one column and a box with content (mostly only a problem with the main page. It just looks wrong otherwise.

The mouseover menu is pure CSS using the :hover pseudo-class intelligently.

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I'm also wondering why developers keep testing websites on IE6

Because many users are still browsing with it. We don't want to alienate ~15% of our users.

I'm positive that a website will look fine on IE6 even if never tested on this browser.

In practice, this isn't always true.

Yes and problems arise when you try to do bells and wisthles in css.

Not just bells and whistles, as I pointed out.

100% agree with this. I'm not a professional web designer, but I make part of work maintaining the website of the company I work for. And IE6 is my biggest headache. I don't use much active content, the problems mostly occur with CSS. The second headache are Opera and IE7, but there already were few errors. Other browsers are not trouble at all, especially my favorite - Firefox. So, as a web developer I wish IE6 to die. Though we still support it and I think will support it for a few more years. But as Win98 user, I wish long life to IE6 :) .

Actually, even under Win98 I use IE only to download Opera or Firefox. Currently I'm using FF 2.0.0.20 and latest Opera, but I don't browse much under Win98. For everyday use I recommend latest Firefox with KernelEx or Opera.

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Ok, ok, maybe I didn't look deep enough...

But my point is that the risk of "alienating 15% of your users" is not that high if you drop IE6.

Of course I'm not talking as a professional.

The mouseover menu is pure CSS using the :hover pseudo-class intelligently.

Perhaps the mouseover menu should stretch a little bit more to the left to avoid the problem I described above. (using IE 7 or 8 when noticing this problem).

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I am annoyed by this as well. I wouldn't mind so much if it was just a little message somewhere, but I hate when some websites will just not attempt to parse the code to HTML if you have a browser it doesn't like. At home on my XP I use IE6 and I think I still have IE5.5 on my 98 PC.

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Please note that I'm not advocating to block IE6 users from websites. Only to drop special support for it.

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Because many users are still browsing with it. We don't want to alienate ~15% of our users.

Thats roughly what our % is but I know our webstats for IE6 are unusually high because currently, all of our XP machines on the network usually have IE6 by default and can opt to install IE7+. but a few clicks in WSUS and I could fix that (deadline IE7) but i probably wont do that until right before the end of its lifecycle even though its tempting to do it now :)

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Technically all versions of IE on XP (including IE7 and IE8) will EOL in April 2014, and all of them are in extended support. IE is considered an OS component, and follows the OS lifecycle rather than have one of it's own since it is no longer serviced outside of the OS (no IE service packs, specifically). Meaning even IE8 on XP is in "extended support".

So, unless you've got some IE6-only app, drop the hammer on the IE6 users and bump 'em to IE8 to get decent web standards support - they're long past due for an upgrade ;).

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Another reason to keep IE6 around is that it is still the only browser to support true XML websites. I had one up at one time... Maybe I'll upload it real quick. I know it didn't work in Firefox or in IE7... XSLT support changed at some point for some reason.

PS: I uploaded my old XML tech demo, but it seems my web server doesn't support it properly. :angry:

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Actually, IE6 doesn't support XHTML. Not properly served XHTML, at least.

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Actually, IE6 doesn't support XHTML. Not properly served XHTML, at least.

He's not talking about XHTML with a application/xhtml+xml MIME type which no version of IE supports (although serving as text/html *is* valid now, see this, particularly section 3.2), but viewing a XML file directly, which has a XLST stylesheet linked, just like this example. But that does work perfectly fine in IE 7 and 8, and Firefox, and Chrome, and Safari and pretty much everything else. Besides, I've never seen a website built this way (beyond highly impractical, it's just meant to show a XML file in a easily human-readable way, NOT a replacement for HTML) Hardly a reason to keep IE6 (I can't actually think of a single valid reason)

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Correct - IE's accept headers do not explicitly state support for application/xhtml+xml, therefore you shouldn't serve that to any version of IE and expect good results (as per the best practices guide linked). You should use application/xml or text/html and let the parser determine the renderer via the doctype.

Note that while IE6 (to an extent), and IE7/IE8 support rendering XHTML documents, it still doesn't accept the header application/xhtml+xml.

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although serving as text/html *is* valid now, see this, particularly section 3.2

*facepalm*

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Besides, I've never seen a website built this way (beyond highly impractical, it's just meant to show a XML file in a easily human-readable way, NOT a replacement for HTML) Hardly a reason to keep IE6 (I can't actually think of a single valid reason)

You are right. I did it just for fun. Besides the MySQL (and PHPAdmin) running on my old test server, all webpages were XML, XSLT, CSS and SVG. That's right, no real pictures. I got it to work, but back then (like 2003 or 2004) it only worked in IE6.

Actually, Blizzard's official Starcraft II website uses a .XML for its default file type. I forget what the back-end of their files are, but it took me a long time to figure it out.

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