back to article Dump IE 6 campaign runs afoul of dump IE 6 campaign

The anger and frustration normally associated with Internet Explorer tends to focus on specific areas: security, stability, and standards. But those feelings have now spilled over into efforts dedicated to "saving" developers from the aging IE version 6. Veteran developer Michael Hudin has accused a group calling itself …

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Alert

There's a better solution

Forget about IE6, IE7, IE8, or whatever.

Use a *standards-compliant* Web browser, and prominently post on your site "This Web site was designed to comply with the W3C standards. If it does not appear properly in your Web browser, then your browser does not comply with existing International standards. Please ask your browser vendor to fix it."

Problem solved.

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lets face it

"Urging people to get rid of IE 6 is just the first of many campaigns to help developers"

developers need to help themselves here a little. OK i know they are hampered by their contracting businesses, but If websites were all built to web standards, with a small message on IE saying that the site might not display/work properly, and that they should upgrade to a standards compliant browser to ensure that there are no problems. it would result in a much cheaper development with much more maintainable code.

Some developers certainly seem to have no problem on sites presenting firefox/opera users with messages saying that you need to use Internet explorer 4 or better to view the site??

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Bronze badge

count me in (out?) that 30-40%

Dunno, I'm perfectly satisfied with IE6, myself. Does everything I need. In full-screen mode has buttons, menu and address bar, all in a very thin band across the top of my screen - can't duplicate that with Firefox, no matter how hard I try (maybe I'm doing it wrong). Have no use for tabbed browsing, either, though I can see how some people might like it. Maybe IE8 will have some compelling features that tempt me to upgrade, provided it's back-ported to w2k.

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Tim
Coat

And the users

would say what is a browser? what is w3c ?

and go to someone else for there goods/services/porn

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Re: There's a better solution

Yup. Been fed up with Internet Exploder (and a few other poor excuses for browsers, to be fair) for a long time. I don't "optimise" for any browser. There's a standard out there. Use it. It's free of charge. Also, it saves real money in web development.

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Who's Hijacking Whos Ideas?

I think it should come as no surprise that Web Developers generally are not fans of IE 6, so it doesn't seem like anyone can really lay claim to the idea.

In any case, it looks like stopie6.org was registered a month prior to end6.org, so it seems Mr. Hudin may have had a little 'inspiration' as well.

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Stop

Sound familiar?

We are the Judean People's Front! Down with the People's Front of Judea! XD

Honestly, talk about pointless bickering. Just get that browser out of my sight (...site?) already. Many a time, I have cited it as being my number one source of work-related stress.

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Anonymous Coward

"dump IEx"

'"Dump IE" & "Dump IEx" (C), my terms are either .05c per use or $100.00 for non-exclusive right to use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "better solution"

If it were only that easy!

Of course, you could add words like: "security risk", "proprietary" and other such things (anti-trust?) to aid the cause. Unfortunately it won't work as long as ANY version of IE has penetration over 10% (or some similar figure).

Short of some unspeakable act (there are many) that wipes out Microsoft, all we can do is dream.

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Market forces and monopolies

Unfortunately, Morely's idea is a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. Most website success is dependent at least in part upon visitor numbers for ad revenue and whose going to risk loosing 50% of their income from advertising for the sake of making a principled stand on web site design efficiency?

With that MS and Apple deal for IE as the bundled OS browser on Windows AND MacOS from 1997 until 2002 (it's been a long time since Apple was the champion of the consumer), MS had a monopoly on browser use which peaked at around roughly 90% share over 2002 and 2003. Thanks to the US protectionism of US based global monopolies, browser development is probably around four years behind where it should be.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately

browsers are not exclusively used for crappy Web 2.0 internet content. They are also used for thin client front ends for many (internal) business applications, many of which will fail if forced to run on browsers which are more standards compliant.

How many companies out there want to pay to fix something which currently (as far as they're concerned) isn't broken?

I know that my company has no intention of upgrading to IE7 (or Firefox, Opera etc.). If employees want a better web surfing experience, they can ruddy well do it at home. As long as the company's business-critical applications which use a browser front end work, the internet can go hang.

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Anonymous Coward

40% on IE6

Perhaps the 30-40% still using IE6 are doing so because they do not like the IE7 user interface. I'm for Firefox anyway!

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IE6 Obsolete?

Not as long as IE7 is the alternative MS browser. Still running IE6 alongside FF2 thanks, no intention of upgrading to the drivel that is IE7.

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Joe

@ Morely Dotes

Nice idea, and I'd love to have the balls to do it on a site, but try explaining it to the client when it doesn't work on a PC in their office, with a look of dismay on your face as they put the chequebook away...

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Good Call

To Kevin Thompson, thanks for pointing out the www.stopie6.org website. Naturally, I knew nothing of it at the time I was working www.end6.org and I searched high and low for other people doing something similar as I didn't want to duplicate this.

While they registered their domain in September 2007 and I registered in October 2007, I think that we both brought our sites online at the same time as you can see that the first comment on their is November 30, 2007. They also aren't really doing a widget type thing, but are more focusing on showing people how to detect IE6 from visitors

My main beef with the new guys is that their whole name is all about making the life of the developer easier. In the US, we front-end guys make anywhere from $30-$100 an hour. Even with the dollar in the toilet, that's still a good deal of money to be paid to deal with IE6, but it's definitely wasted money.

My main concern with IE6 is that some of my relatives have gotten viruses through exploits and the browser in general is just not safe for an end user to use. People aren't upgrading here and have been needing a bit of a nudge to take the plunge.

Hudin

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What an idiot.

I had the exact same idea myself a few weeks ago. Get some javascript everyone can use that has a little pop-up, telling IE6 users to upgrade. To suggest that someone 'stole' the idea from him is a load of utter arse.

More to the point though, IE6 isn't going away. Anyone suggesting that people should make W3C compliant sites and tell IE users to switch has obviously never made a web site in return for money, because telling 30-40% of your audience to piss off is not something favoured by any client I've met.

As people have said above, the corporates aren't moving- and that's the problem. My work has a wide variety of ugly ActiveX jobbies for all sorts of jobs. They're old and use shoddy technology, but they work. They're not getting upgraded, and neither is IE6. Don't get me wrong, I hate it, but that's the way things are...

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NHS computers stuck to IE6

Some of the security stuff intended to make sure that only the correct million people read your medical records has been cunningly coded to require IE6. It doesn't seem to be anything to do with needing any feature that goes away in IE7, although use of a better browser does seem to have been prevented by designing in an Active X component, it is just that the things apparently check if they are talking to IE6, and if not demand that someone pays to restart the process from scratch.

Ah well.

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Dead Vulture

When I installed IE7...

...I kept IE6 in a folder on my desktop. I usually use FF3 anyway.

The new slogan for IE8 when it comes will be 'It actually renders stuff right!' - although only if you put a meta tag instructing it to do so on your page. Come on microsoft... Wake up and smell the validation!

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Gates Horns

@Joe

Just put the script in after the pointy haired client has approved the design and you've uploaded.

Ive put used

<!--[if IE]>

<a href="http://www.spreadfirefox.com/?q=affiliates&amp;id=211203&amp;t=219"><img border="0" alt="Firefox 2" title="Firefox 2" src="http://sfx-images.mozilla.org/affiliates/Buttons/firefox2/ff2b80x15.gif"/></a> | <![endif]-->

before :-)

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This post has been deleted by its author

really .. and what should I do ...

.. about my Win98SE machine, since they stopped supporting a perfectly usable IE 5.5 SP2 ? IE 6 doesn't display THIS site right about 50% of the time

still getting most of what I need for websites from HTML 4 and tables, which all browsers seem to read fine except old Netscape 4.x

ok ok .. XP machine has Firefox .. and I do the .php stuff with that machine .. I confess !

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@Unfortunately

Using it internaly is irrelevant... If a company has that setup it probably has a lot of other rules about what can/can't be done about it... But maybe something dedicated like mozilla's prism thing(not that I'm a fan of crapzilla anyway) would work better in those cases...

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Bronze badge
Stop

IE7 is hopeless...

I agree with the AC above... IE7's interface is horrid. The few times I am forced to use IE, I would much prefer the simple old IE6 interface.

If MS fix tabs and menus in IE8, then maybe I'd agree, but until then, IE6 remains my choice of the IE's.

Firefox 3 is where it's at.

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Stop

It's your environment

Boo hoo. Programming is tedious and difficult. I'm crying real tears. Boo hoo.

Those of you who program for desktops have no idea what the fuss is about.

Those of you who develop in a standard intranet environment for enterprises know that good environments use standard browsers for their thin-clients. The environment is stable.

Those of you who hawk your wares in the uncontrolled "wild-web" better know how to build durable and dynamic web applications that expose similar visual and interactive controls, depending on the hand that (web) fate deals you. The good developers who know how to do this well will be rewarded and capture greater market share of their own. Those who complain about it should learn another profession. I'd recommend trying out for Professional Microsoft Critic, but you might find a lot of competition out there.

Work is hard. Programming can be pretty tough. Good programmers do what programmers need to do. Bad programmers just move up to become bad project managers; but that's a different rant.

Learn to be good at managing the hard stuff. Then charge more money. For my part, I say, "Long Live IE6!"

I love seeing IE6. It looks like profit.

And now, there's an island of Big-endians and an island of Little-endians and they're all arguing over who hated IE6 first?

All the hot chicks in college were right. You are all a bunch of geeks!

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@Joe

I'm in the midst of building a new site and am going for a halfway house - the site's usable with IE5 and up but I'm limiting the number of cosmetic IE hacks. If the site's viewed in MSIE there's an extra (small, unobtrusive) link on each page linking to a page explaining that the user's browser is not standards compliant (I know there are other offenders but IE is the worst). Also, the bug report form has no 'cosmetic issue' category when viewed in IE and includes an extra warning that I don't want cosmetic bugs reported if they only affect that browser.

So far I've had to add hacks for just two MSIE CSS issues that really rendered (excuse the pun) the site unusable. It's made my life a little easier at least. There are only a couple of minor cosmetic issues with the site viewed in IE that I'm aware of, but it's nice to know I don't have to care about fixing them. :)

The real problem is, as AC said in "Unfortunately" above, internal web applications that work only in MSIE. My employer has a couple of those, but the last couple of new ones introduced do work in FF2 so although this is likely to cause a bit of lag in the adoption of standards-compliant browsers it does seem to be changing.

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Lo-fi version?

AFAIK the problems with IE6 are down to CSS, DOM, JavaScript etc.

If it's truly that painful to code around it's deficiencies, then it must be less effort to throw together an accessible "lo-fi" version without any of the Web 2.0 crap, and direct IE6 users there based on user agent strings.

At the same time, mobile users and those with screen readers etc might appreciate the extra choice.

John

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Anonymous Coward

Still using IE6

On the work network because the users are too thick to grasp tabbed browsing and are too slow to accept there are other browsers available...

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Boffin

@ thomas k

We all do stuff wrong.

Try F11.

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I'm a dinosaur

Still running Windows ME and IE 5.5 on a Pentium 3. It works so why fix it!

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Flame

Don't you understand what standards are?

A standard is not something that a bunch of people have written down somewhere, it's the system used by the most people. Microsoft have something like 90% of browsers and so whatever they impliment becomes the standard. Users don't want to change browser just to use a site so if the site is not IE capable then the site will lose visitors.

Silly little W3C buttons and suchlike mean nothing to the average user so it would be in firefox et al's best interest to render things in the same way that IE does. I was very enthusiastic with FF 1 but 2 and 3 are rubbish and offer no advantages over IE7 while IE7 works with all the .NET apps I use and things like Windows Update. I flirted with IE tab for a while but ditched it in favour of IE7 because tabs were the only thing that I actually liked about FF.

Real web developers write sites for IE whereas Comp Sci students who are doing some free work for their uncle 'designing' a web site tend to go overboard on the standards compliance, it's that simple.

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Well,

www.savethedevelopers.org looks rubish for me in Opera 9.26, and they recommend Opera (amongst others). That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Cannot Dump it

Like other people here we cannot move to IE 7 because our business apps will only work on IE 6 and the vendors don't seem in a rush to change that, cannot blame them really.

The fun bit is that this stopped our deployment of Vista for our student clusters :-)

Been told you cannot have IE 6 on Vista!!

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DR

@There's a better solution

what solution is that?

last time I checked NO browsers were entierly standards compliant.

in fact last time I checked mozilla didn't support all the html4.0 tags.

(border color light / border color light, instead choosing to either apply shading for 3d effect if they are not specified, or choosing to just render grey if the colours are specified...

so there, quit your bitching. when [insert your favourite browser here] is fully standards compliant then perhaps you'll have a point telling others that they shouldn't be using their choice as it's lesser. until the stfu.

@Hudin,

oh so you didn't notice that someone else had the idea before you? but it didn't stop you running your mouth off when someone else had the idea after you.

and i seem to remember that years ago I knew someone who put notices on his websites telling people that I.e was shite,

that same person also detected screen resolutions and made jokes at people running in low res.

you're not the first to have the idea, and you won't be the last.

/rant

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Can't install IE7?

AIUI you can't install IE7 without the Windows Genuine Advantage, so there's a whole lot of people going to be stuck on IE6.

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RE: @Joe

Might be better to do:

<!--[if lt IE 7]>

<script src="http://www.end6.org/js/eng_end6.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

<![endif]-->

or <!--[if IE 6]>

Firefox has its own standards problems. Try the acid2 test in FF2. Forcing only firefox use is as bad as the old "this page is for IExx" pages.

For me though, until most browsers can support standards correctly, and the w3c gives us back the target property in links, I shall continue to write html in transitional and support old IE versions as well as new browsers. Hell, I'll even support users on lynx.

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Paris Hilton

Hate IE7

Tried running IE7 and kept getting the blue screen of death / OR it ran as fast as an ashmatic ant.

Paris, because for all her faults she is a lot better looking than IE7.

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WebKit gets 100% on Acid3 as of yesterday

If you want compliance, you got it: http://webkit.org/blog/ Opera is nearly there too. Beyond compliance, either of those are way faster and better looking than IE and FF anyway. FF2 is almost unusably slow, but FF3 is much better.

With a bit of luck, since MS thankfully changed their minds about standards mode, IE8 might possibly pass acid2 at launch, and thus we might finally see the end of having to put all that extra work (which our clients pay for) into downgrading for IE compatibility.

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JP
Thumb Up

@ thomas k

"With IE6...In full-screen mode has buttons, menu and address bar, all in a very thin band across the top of my screen - can't duplicate that with Firefox, no matter how hard I try (maybe I'm doing it wrong)"

For some reason when I press F11 my FF browser (v. 2.0.0.13) does *exactly* what you're describing here, although TBH I can't remember if it did this before the latest update or not.

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Jax
Unhappy

You all should read

Joel's latest post, which is unusually good for his later stuff:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/03/17.html

Backward compatability IS good. You guys are essentially sticking your fingers up at people in the third world running old technology with limited computing knowledge.

Don't be so mean!

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Anonymous Coward

@phat shantz

My thoughts exactly. Theres money to be made.

Also - quit bitching about standards people - if more than 20% of people use something it's a standard, whether it has a seal of approval or not. Get on with life.

Oh and Firefox is just a browser people - get over it.

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Stop

meanwhile, back in the real world...

...all the clients who actually pay for the web development will demand that it works on whatever they're using.

p.s. many, many users are still stuck on IE6 because they cannot install/upgrade anything on their machine, and the desktop team have no reason to go and upgrade everyone on the network.

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tim

F11

I'm not sure they were referring to full screen mode, more that ability in IE to fit all the toolbars in one row in IE6 something you can't do in IE7 or Firefox

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hmmm smells like BS

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Real web developers write sites for IE whereas Comp Sci students who are doing some free work for their uncle 'designing' a web site tend to go overboard on the standards compliance, it's that simple.

----

What total and utter unremitting bollocks - damn - I just bit a troll.

If you go by the way in which a browser renders a page rather than by the name of that browser, IE doesn't really have market share.

IE 6 and 7 render differently so that's 2 different categories.

Opera 8+, FF2+, Konqueror and Safari render basically the same. On some sites this could quite easily get something like 25% IE 6, 35% IE 7, 39% stuff that's W3C compliant (give or take) and 1% other... meaning "IE" is not dominant.

It gets better - in most instances IE7 actually renders more like Firefox or Opera than it does IE6 - look at padding in the box model for instance - so unless you're accessing the JS DOM you could say that IE7, Firefox, Opera and so on all render approximately the same. Even giving IE6 the generous market share of 30% it's still a minority browser these days - any web developer working in the "real world" will only worry about it as a secondary consideration.

IE7 only really becomes an issue when coding web2.0 shinies using the JS DOM - and you can get around those problems by using a JS wrapper "class" and providing noscript alternatives.

The whole point of coding to W3C standards is that if YOU follow the standard, every browser on every operating system following the same standard will display your code the same - even those you've not tested. I've not tested my work site with Safari on OSX (as I don't have access to a Mac) but I've been informed it works fine with my standards compliant code (oki - I put an onresize in the body tag that's not compliant).

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Re: Don't you understand what standards are?

Yes. Something that a bunch of people have written down somewhere so that everyone doing that thing can use the same, um, standard.

As for this save the developers thing - yeah, life would be so much easier if no-one ever had to worry about backwards compatability, but it's the nature of the beast really, isn't it? At least it's manageable when you're only dealing with mark-up & style sheets.

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IE6 does what it says on the tin

I agree with Alistair: "Anyone suggesting that people should make W3C compliant sites and tell IE users to switch has obviously never made a web site in return for money, because telling 30-40% of your audience to piss off is not something favoured by any client I've met."

Absolutely. The arrogance of web designers bugs me. Firefox is slow. A ***lot*** of sites break in Firefox. I don't want to use Firefox and view a load of broken sites.Fix your bl***dy sites so they work in IE6 and stop bl***dy moaning.

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Gates Halo

IE6 better than the glorious "standard"

From a developer's point of view, I actually think IE6 performs better than the standard in one respect. If you have a fixed width on a div in IE6 then then div will still stretch to contain its content if the content exceeds the width (hence avoiding breaking your page). However, in the glorious "standards complaint" IE7 and Firefox, if your div's content exceeds the div's width then the content breaks out of the div - thus breaking your page. So in that respect, IE6 is more robust.

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Coat

All Browsers Suck

About 4 or 5 years' ago I switched from IE6 to FF for the sole reason that rendering appeared faster in FF. Since then I have grown to love tabbed browsing. I now prefer to use FF on both my work and home machines. But FF is not a great product by any stretch of the imagination. It became so unstable on my home machine that I was forced to get rid and switch back to IE6. At work I have both IE7 and FF installed, I need IE for a variety of intranet sites as others have posted, but can't say I'm happy with the browser. The default layout of buttons is just silly - why would you want your core navigation buttons (forward, back, refresh, stop and home) to be liberally spread around the interface on both sides of the address box and on separate toolbars. This is why I run IE6 at home.

My impression at the moment is basically that IE is more stable than Firefox; FF has the edge on interface, and the IE7 needs a bit of an urgent redesign.

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Boffin

IE6 Javascript engine is better than IE7's

OK, I pushed at limits with this one, but IE6, Opera and FF all handle this page fine : http://www.jacobsm.com/hangman2.htm

IE7 fails, but it handles http://www.jacobsm.com/hangman.htm OK. How can the javascript engine get worse, going from IE6 to IE7?!? No wonder people don't want to upgrade.

Also, there are a lot of myths associated with FF - check out http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/FirefoxMyths.html

Opera still crashes and GPFs, so I am not happy using it. It takes a while to load too, like FF2. So, I'll stick with IE6 and run MJ Registry Watcher to protect myself - http://www.jacobsm.com/mjsoft.htm#rgwtchr

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Happy

Hmm.

I love this thread. Every politically correct web designer will parrot back "don't force the client to yaddayaddayadda" as The Ideal, then a good portion of them turn round and indulge in frothing rants on how best to force people to change their browser.

30-40 percent? That's a powerful amount of potential customers to be telling to piss off. I hope you're selling air when you do it. I doubt anything else is important enough for anyone to spend more than a second or two before goggle-ing for another place to get whatever it is you're selling.

Of course, if you were to include some frame-based button-disabling design and some javascript/hidden field "stay where you are" code, the would-be customer would <i>have</i> to listen. Better add a non-squelchable wav file yelling at them to change browsers too.

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