IE6: Goodbye, and thanks for nothing

Yesterday, I said that Internet Explorer 6 is dead to me. Allow me to expand on that a bit.

Internet Explorer 6 was first released on August 27, 2001. Back then it was a pretty decent browser. But technology doesn’t stand still. Other browsers with more features came along, and started to snoop away it’s market share. Hell, even Microsoft has released two more versions of IE since then. By now, there is just no good reason left to use that eight-year-old and severely outdated browser. Upgrade to IE8, or if you can’t do that, just use one of the better alternatives like Firefox, Opera, Safari or Chrome.

As a web developer, I’ve developed a fierce loathing for that worthless excuse for a browser. If you are in the website building game yourself, you should know the reasons: bugs beyond number, no support for alpha-transparent PNGs, non-standard support for standards, etc. Sure, you learn to live with it and anticipate and work around these issues, but it’s a waste of time really. If you’re just an ‘ordinary’ internet user, well, would you rather use a big paper map to plan your route, or just plug in a navigation system? There’s probably a better metaphor for insisting on using an outdated program that came with the computer you bought and are to lazy to update, but I can’t find it. That it ain’t broke doesn’t mean you shouldn’t upgrade it.

Now that IE8 has shipped, I feel there is absolutely no need to keep paying attention to version six, unless I’m contractually obliged to do so. For my own websites, that means that I’ll be coding webstandard-compliant HTML and CSS, which modern browsers should be able to handle. If they can’t … tough cookies. And just because I can, I choose not to send any styles to IE6 at all (apart from an, *ahum*, inspired font choice) using a technique that Dan Cederholm can explain much better than me. Lucky IE6 users get a completely functional, be it kinda naked, website with a friendly message that it’s time to move on.

Concluding: IE6 is dead. It’s time to put it in its grave and let it rot in peace.