Home > Internet, Software > Why Internet Explorer 6 should die

Why Internet Explorer 6 should die

While working with my Joomla site recently, I did lots of research into how browsers render web standardised pages. I discovered that Opera, Chrome, Firefox and others are pretty good at sticking to the standards, where as Internet Explorer wasn’t, especially version 6. 7 is better, while 8 is the best and most standards compliant browser out of Microsoft yet. The net result is that pages tend to look different in IE, usually very different in a bad way for IE6 unless there is a manual code work around.

I checked my site in the above mentioned browsers, using IE8’s Developer Tools to switch to IE7 mode to test the site. I couldn’t test IE6 out, as I didn’t have an operating system with it installed nearby and I didn’t have a virtual machine handy yet to use an old Windows XP install to test out.

Eventually I was able to test it out at work though, and it was interesting. The site rendered better than I expected in IE6, probably due to some CSS hacks in the Joomla template itself. However, the fonts looked pretty bad, the site was sluggish, and there was some weird issue with icons missing yet not missing on one particular page that offered downloads.

Having been a network admin for a few years now, I’ve seen how full of holes IE6 is, as well as the lack of features. No tabs, poor printing support, slow rendering speed, no built in RSS reader and more made the browser a misery to use. And that was from an end user standpoint! That is why I switched to the Maxthon browser a few years ago. Others found solace in Firefox, and the net result is that FF now has about 18% of the browser market.

I know that some firms have software that was designed just for IE6, so they have no choice but to use it for now. However, anyone else using it should switch right now to IE8, Firefox or another browser. It’s downright dangerous to use IE6 still and it also prolongs the pain web developers have to go through to code separate code just for IE6. The market share of IE6 has thankfully been dropping every month, and with IE8 being rolled out as a critical update to Windows, it should help to drive that number right down.

A number of websites have now stopped supporting IE6 as a browser, with the end results that the page often looks weird. Sourceforge is one such place, while I’ve seen some horrid results of other sites. While it is not yet ideal to drop support because of the market share I just spoke of, one has to applaud these sites for taking the risky first move.

IE6 will go down as the browser that kickstarted a revolution in the browser market again, but apart from that, it’s a product that is better off sent to the grave. Do your bit and either upgrade to IE8, or swap browsers. Whatever you do though, help send IE6 to the dustbin of computing history.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: