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Increased calls for the death of IE6

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Friday July 17, 2009 )

It’s hard to believe so many people are still using Internet Explorer 6 given IE7 has been around for quite a while and Internet Explorer 8 is now available.

Checking the stats of a few sites I work with shows around 15% of visitors are still stuck on IE6. This seems to be a fairly common number which is taking a long time to decrease and it’s becoming a real problem for web developers want to take web design to the next level.

I’m certainly not at the cutting edge of web design, but I’ve noticed IE6 now causing some problems on sites I work with. Something will look fine in IE7,8 and Firefox, but there will be weird display issues in IE6. Because I don’t and can’t run an instance of IE6 on my own system, then I have to rely on services such as BrowserShots while testing for the bug (BrowserShots is a great service by the way).

In fact, IE6 is becoming such an issue in the web development community that it even caught the attention of Australia’s ABC news who reported on a thread on Mashable regarding the topic.

According to Mashable, “with the coming release of HTML 5, we’re about to hit a breaking point where innovation will be stifled if websites must continue to cater to this browser.”

Even with the ubergeek developer stuff aside, IE6 is quite buggy and has a few long-standing security issues that haven’t and probably won’t ever be addressed.

If you’re an IE6 user, I warmly encourage you to upgrade your browser and in the process, consider a switch to Firefox. I was a staunch Internet Explorer user until the beginning of this year, often pouring scorn upon Firefox fanboys who overhyped it as a cure for all ills, but in my opinion Firefox has come of age and is now far and away the better browser.

One of the best things about Firefox is the huge selection of extensions that can be easily added to it to enhance functionality according to your needs.

Give it a go, it might take a couple of days to get used to it, but after that, I doubt you’ll go back to IE. Even if you’re not quite ready to forsake IE totally, you can have it and Firefox co-existing quite peacefully on your computer.


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