The Life, Times (and Death?) of Internet Explorer 6 (Comic Strip)

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In recent years Internet Explorer 6 has become the browser web designers love to hate. Security issues, JavaScript errors and inexplicable CSS rendering quirks have made it the brunt of many jokes. With IE6 in its twilight and big companies like Google dropping support1, it seems like a good time to take a fond look back at our old foe. In this post we’re looking at what Internet Explorer 6 used to be and why its image changed over the years. You can also see the comic in a larger version2.

Do we need to review our projects in Internet Explorer 6? Can we stop supporting IE6? If not, how do we handle those users who are still using IE6? And if yes, how can we prompt IE6 users to upgrade? Or how do we convince those who don’t allow their employees to get rid of the legacy browser to upgrade? What do you think? We are looking forward to your opinions in the comments to this post!

Part 13

Part 24

Part 35

Part 46

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/01/modern-browsers-for-modern-applications.html
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ie6-comic-strip.jpg
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ie6-comic-strip.jpg
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ie6-comic-strip.jpg
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ie6-comic-strip.jpg
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ie6-comic-strip.jpg

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Brad Colbow is a web designer living and working in Cleveland Ohio (USA). He is also the creator of the weekly web comic "The Brads" about two web designers trying to start a small company. You can follow him on twitter here.

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  1. 1

    oBAMA SUCKS!

    -16
  2. 202

    Yeah, i agree with this posting. As a lot of things won’t work in IE6 and takes extra time to work on the css separately for IE browsers like IE6, IE7 & IE8. Really hectic… Those who all use IE6 need to upgrade their browser to IE7.

    2
    • 403

      Dai shiva, romba peter udatha….! intha mathiri yellam inga vanthu scene podatha…!! nai unakku css olunga seiya theriyadu ana inga vanthu peria developer mathiri padam katturiya…??!!

      -2
  3. 604

    Really i agree with u…ie6 is very painful to us(WeDesigners OR Developers)

    2
  4. 1006

    Yeah don’t abandon IE6!

    PS. lets continue to teach old English ans Egyptian hieroglyphics as required courses.

    Is it time to abandon IE6? Nope that time came 2 years ago, not like you can’t make a single “Click me” button upgrade you to IE8 or better yet something that is not IE.

    1
  5. 1207

    Thumbed down on stumble for the tacky Bush jab. Show some class.

    -7
  6. 1408

    God, if i don’t see IE 6 dead within this week, I’m going to kill it myself.

    -1
  7. 1609

    Very nice post. You described everything in a great way. Really love this post

    2
  8. 1810

    I agree with Ed in so many aspects.
    I think it’s a personal/professional decision where to draw the line, and who is your target audience.
    If you are building complex apps, you can require a minimum browser to use it, specially if it’s a niche or community app. (just like any piece of software)
    If you are delivering info, the hassle to support IE6 is minimal, just strip all fancy stuff.

    I am currently working for an organization that had mostly IE6. We required, that where feasible, to upgrade to Chrome or Mozilla, the IT department was thrilled that an external agent (our agency) required this as a must for developing a CMS for them. (same with the server).
    But the above story is just one success. But last year I had to tweak a web page for a client that had MAC OS 9. not even Flash saved me.

    Graceful but EVIDENT degradation is a must, we have always drawn the line with market percentages, if less than 5% of a version (Browser or plugin like flash) is used, we cut full support, even graceful degradation.

    The problem with ie6 is part of WIN XP, but XP is so damned good, almost 10 years and still most windows users prefer it.

    But not to despair, in 2 or 3 years we’ll be having this same discussion about IE7, which already gives me a lot of head aches.

    Also for lazy developers, just say: “If Google AND MS drops it, so do we”. But I still vouch for graceful degradation.

    0
  9. 2011

    that is so not true, tables ARE useful

    0
  10. 2212

    Doesn’t change the fact that they’re being removed.

    1
  11. 2413

    Collusus doesnt know really about web it sounds.

    -1
  12. 2614

    It sounds like you don’t know anything about the coming updates of the web.

    1
  13. 2815

    It is OK… We work with what we are comfortable with. Give me the DreamWeave and Im good to go…that is all i need to know. I am good with it.. you probably cannot even use that is sounds heh.

    -1

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