The Plague of IE6: Throw the Monkey into the River!

Written by Chris Roane
IE6 is Like a Monkey

Back when Internet Explorer 6 was mainstream, it was normal practice for web developers to implement hacks for code to work properly in that browser. But are some of us still encouraging this practice? What part are web developers playing in spreading this disease?

IE6 came out in 2001 and has been long discontinued. I would assume that most people would want to move from this horrid beast, but it seems there are a few stragglers. Which leads me to this question…

Why are web developers still implementing code specifically for the worst browser in the world?

Because they don’t have the balls to tell their clients that less than 10% of all visitors use IE6, and in fact there is evidence the number of customers you want to have in this percentage is very low. It is kind of like a sunglass company focusing on blind people.

Since 2005, IE6 has been on the rapid decline, and the only reason it hasn’t been totally eliminated is because some web developers still develop for this web browser. I haven’t implemented specific IE6 hacks with web sites I’ve worked with for years (including client websites), but apparently not everyone is on this same train.

Solution to the Problem

Why would you want to get a better browser when you don’t think the one you have is broken? Because of the web developer idiots who still work around this browser, thinking that somehow all their time doing this is worth it!

The solution becomes very simple; developers need to refuse to make their layouts compatible with IE6. This will lead the monster out of the den!!! If enough people do this, the few people who do use IE6 will eventually figure out they are using a broken and decrepit browser. For them, it would be like discovering they had cancer, but then realizing there is a cure. Hallelujah!

Joseph McCullough from mcculloughdesigns.com wrote a great article on the concept that the life of IE6 is up to web developers. Below is a quote from that article:

Some developers will see a problem in IE and automatically make an <;if IE6> conditional statement without considering the possibility that their code is flawed, simply because IE6 is so prone to mess things up.

…Due to IE6’s terrible CSS rendering, it is nearly impossible to have both good code and innovative IE6 design at the same time…

So it’s up to us. Pressure from larger companies will help the process. For example, Youtube will be cutting off IE6 Support. But even so, the designers who make the code will determine if IE6 stays or IE6 goes.

Since we are talking about monkeys, I thought it was appropriate to include a photo of a monkey hybrid.

web project management  The Plague of IE6: Throw the Monkey into the River!

A photo of Ashley Tisdale combined with a monkey. Interesting and freaky at the same time.

Do you agree with this perspective? Why or why not?

Photo and Image by Artifex

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

3 Comments or Pings to The Plague of IE6: Throw the Monkey into the River!

  • “It is kind of like a sunglass company focusing on blind people.”

    Excellent!

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my rebellion. I’ll sacrifice a paycheck to better the web. When you think about it, it’s probably saving money anyway. All that time you have to take to do IE Hacks is now freed up to do more innovative and productive things; allowing you to learn more and charge more.

    • Chris Roane says:

      If they are willing to pay me the extra time to make a website IE6 compatible (if it is possible), than I have no problem doing it. But if they don’t bring it up or they want to have a conversation about it, I will let them know my opinion. :)

      I decided to take a more aggressive approach with this article, and add a little humor into it. It was a very fun article to write.

  • Peter says:

    Hi there, its not completely up to the web developers. If you are working on a project for a large corporation, many of whom are still using Internet Explorer 6 as their standard browser then there is no choice – Unless of course you don’t need the work that bad. It would be a staggering amount of dollars is you added up the worldwide lost productivity because of this monster browser.