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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Unhappy

Developers have to want to change

It doesn't help that some developers/companies are still pulling in the opposite direction to the trend towards standards compliant websites. I went to do my shopping on tesco.com at the weekend for the first time in about 3 months, and found that parts of the website now don't work properly in Firefox because what was an almost purely java site now has chunks of ASP in it. I had to switch to using IE6 just to get my shopping done.

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@Simon Painter

"Microsoft have something like 90% of browsers"

Not any more they don't. Our main website's stats suggest IE is down to 75% and falling. That's still a lot, but it's no 90%, and the trend is slow erosion in the IE share. IE6 accounts for about 1/3 of those and fading fast. Our other sites tell a similar tale. Our visitors in all cases are average people, many of whom, when asked how they found our website, will answer "on the internet" or "using my computer". We're not exactly aiming at tech savvy people here, yet IE is on the slide anyway.

"Real web developers write sites for IE"

Uh, no. Real web developers write sites to work with as many browsers as possible, IE included. That generally means adhering to those "silly" W3C "standards", then hacking around what's broken in IE.

We have every right to grumble about IE6 being junk, sure we get paid for the time spent fighting it's inadequencies, but I'd rather spend that time making more clients happy with additional projects, doing productive work.

Lazy idiots who can't be bothered to do their job properly and end users who think "web development" means using Word or Frontpage, write websites specifically for IE. Which of those two are you, Simon?

"it would be in firefox et al's best interest to render things in the same way that IE does."

Genius idea! Let's implement it, shall we Einstein?

-------------------------------

/* HACK HACk HACK!1!! Display like IE does */

if ( rand() <= 0.5 && ( (dayofweek() % 2) || getwinddirectionastext() == "north" ) ) {

quirksmode = true;

buggerupthedisplaycompletely(quirksmode);

if ( nonmicrosoftstandardsdetected() ) {

bluescreenexit(1);

}

}

-------------------------------

Mr Painter, meet my friend, Mr LART. He wants to tell you what he thinks of your idea.

*whack*

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Not an original idea at all

Back in July 2007 a site I frequent underwent a redesign. This redesign included was a pop-up window that appeared only to users of IE6 and earlier warning them the site was not optimised for IE6 and that it was no longer supported by MS and that they should they upgrade to IE7, FF2 or Opera 9. It only appeared once a session.

Now there were many annoyances involved in this redesign, but that pop-up caused the most bitching. Some of it was from people who were legitimately stuck on work computers with IT departments that refused to allow any browsers other than IE6 on their machines. But most of it was from people who seemed to think this pop up infringed their constitutionally protected right to run an obsolete web-browser.

It was removed before they fixed any of the real problems the update caused.

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@There's a better solution

But Amaya and Opera have poor/no javascript implementations...

Someone really needs to rethink the Web to dissociate the presentation data and the programming data at the browser level... Oh, and some security would be nice !!

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My solution

A couple of weeks ago I was toying with setting up a site to host a load of rants about how much I dislike people and the things that they do. To deal with the IE development I was just going to detect IE, then serve a page that instructed the user to try a real browser and come back later.

Then again I wasn't planning on profiting or saying anything very important, plus one of the main goals of the site would be to piss off a large number of people, and IE users (Any version, see if I care...) are some people that I could do with pissing off.

Someone mentioned sticking your fingers up at IE users in the 3rd world, etc. That gives me a great idea for the jpeg on page that IE users get. And 3rd world users have much better uses of their time than reading the trash that I hope to write.

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Pirate

Here's an idea ........

.... why not leave your damn ego aside, leave the fanboy rubbish aside, and let people use what they damn well please?

I'm a developer myself, and code my websites according to spec, and also allow for older and/or alternative shells such as IE5.x, IE6.x, Opera, FireFox etc etc etc. I'm not going to tell half of my userbase to essentially bugger off because I don't like what they may be using.

In my case, I detest Firefox, but at the same time, I appreciate that each user has their own preferences, and I respect that. Perhaps those wanting everyone else to adhere to their demands on shell usage, should do the same?.

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@phat shantz

Exactly right.

Developers can have opinions and curse and moan to other developers, but bottom line is 'make it work for all browsers' is normally what clients say thinking that they themselves use IE, but they know people with macs so to them all browsers is really those two, but if the spec says that then i take it to mean all the ones i can test in (IE 5,6,7, FF on win, linux, mac, Safari, KHTML, Konqueror).

Also most users dont care, "whats a browser" is about right.

Recently a client saw me working on their site with Firefox and Firebug to look at the AJAX requests, they asked me if that was my development environment 'like visual studio'. I laughed alot but shows average knowledge.

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Users aren't going to dump IE6 just yet

Just write code which supports the 'standard' - by which I mean cross browser compliant code for IE6, IE7, FF, Safari and Opera. Is that really too hard?

In my experience the problem is web developers not bothering to read up on the 'standard'. OK, maybe not the people here but those in some of the mum & pop stores.

As for Opera, FF and Safari supposedly supporting W3C 'standards', do the really? Do they support XSLT 2.0 yet?

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@Simon Painter

What an absolute load of bollocks, sir. Is the 802.11g wireless standard the one used by the people with the most market share? How about the IDE/SATA/SCSI standards, or the ISO standards for business interchange, and so on, and so on? A standard is something agreed on by a group of people in order to make their products intercompatible - that is, they all run on the same base, or produce similar output, etc. Your "code for IE" approach is only ever going to create huge headaches for developers and users alike, especially when the next question would be "what version of IE are you going to code for?" IE doesn't even agree with itself, so how can it be a standard?

Real web developers - and by that, I mean those of us in the real world - code all their websites TO STANDARDS and then hack in extra annoying code to make them work in IE. That way, the website works in all browsers for all users, excluding no-one. That is the mark of a "real web developer," not some strange loyalty to only one buggy, obsolete browser made by a collection of idiots.

As for the IE6 issue, I wholeheartedly agree with those that want it and every version before it to die. IE6 has tormented me for long enough, and its inability to render anything properly has on occasion made me look a fool - if a site you made doesn't appear properly in a browser, as far as the client is concerned, that's 'cos you're crap, not because the browser's crap. I was pleasantly surprised by IE7. It's still rubbish compared to FF, Opera and Safari, but it's a damn sight better than IE6 and certainly a step in the right direction. The others were appalling, and should be retired in much the same way as a lame racehorse.

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Pirate

Extreme Measures

Killing IE would require all web developers everywhere to agree to redirect all IE traffic to the Firefox website after a certain date.

Encouraging/forcing an upgrade from IE6 to 7 isn't sufficient, since the only difference between them is that IE7 has tabs, almost passible font smoothing, and natively supports transparent PNGs. It's just as non-standards-compliant and family-shaming to it's developers as version 6 was. IE7 is too little too late, and should be put down.

This scenario is obviously preposterous. So I suggest instead that Google do this, which would be just as effective as everybody else in the world doing it.

If I seem angry, I am. I'm a web developer.

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Unhappy

If only it was so easy

As a home-user Desktop PC Technician, I find that many of my customers are running less than XP SP2 (98, ME, 2000, XP SP0/1 etc) so they haven't been upgraded to IE7. This means a lot of my customers are running IE5 and IE6 by default. Many are also on Dial-up. Many have problems accessing websites with Flash, ActiveX, Java, https, etc either because their PCs are old and/or borked (hence they need me). Many don't know what a browser actually is let alone what Firefox is. Expecting EVERYONE to change isn't an option. That's why my site is written in really basic static HTML - I can't afford to alienate my potential customers with anything that might not work.

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