Killing IE 6

Apple’s MobileMe will not support IE 6. Per an email to subscribers:

To use the new web applications, make sure you have one of these browsers: Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 2 or later.

37signals is now doing the same, and will be dropping IE 6 support.

For most things that I’m in developing, IE 6 still has to much market share to ignore. That said, I can’t wait until the day we can kill IE 6. It’s from a previous generation of web browsers. It’s time for it to go.

Considering IE 7 is a free upgrade, or you could download the awesome Firefox 3, or Safari 3 it’s about time. I suspect we’ll see more and more sites start to do this, and likely in 2009 see some larger mainstream products no longer support IE 6.

It’s great to see the process starting. I can’t even begin to estimate the hours I’ve wasted getting IE 6 to work with something trivial on all other browsers.

The advantage of killing some old browser support is that it’s easier to take advantage of some of the features in more modern browsers that have much more robust features and better CSS support. Not to mention PNG transparency that doesn’t suck.

Modern web browsers like Firefox invest a lot into features to allow for a better web experience. Killing support for old browsers means they can be used. It’s the start of a better web.

Meta Stupidity Followup

In the past day I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading on what others think of this meta stupidity. A few suggested remedies are particularly good and worth a post linking to. My two favorites both from Mozilla hackers are these:

David Baron has a must read blog post. Since the bulk of these older sites are on intranets, why not just allow administrators to enable compatibility mode on intranets? Seems like a perfectly logical solution that doesn’t hold back the web, and allows them to achieve their goals.

Daniel Glazman has another idea that I think is very valid.

  • Microsoft should freeze, and I really mean it, its current IE6/IE7 HTML 4 engines, and drop that META tag idea.

Ditto. That needs to be a very deep and reliable freeze though.

Meta Stupidity

As Robert O’Callahan, John Resig, Anne van Kesteren all point out, this idea of using a meta tag to select a rendering engine is bad. Here are my personal thoughts on the issue. Not as a browser developer but as a web developer.

Essentially the argument by the IE team is this: Rather than fix the problem, lets create a larger problem so the smaller one isn’t very noticeable.

Yea, that’s how I parsed the blog post. For anyone who disagrees, perhaps I interpreted it wrong because they didn’t select the correct parser because they didn’t include the following:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8;FF=3;raccettura=serious;OtherUA=4" />

All joking aside it’s an insane idea guaranteed to set things back.

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