Today I read the latest in the long, long, long line of why I won’t support IE6. How fucking droll. If IE6 support is part of your job or the contract – then that’s what it is, that’s the job, that’s the challenge of your work.
I am sick and tired of the same old boring posts and even web sites dedicated to why IE6 should die. We all know IE6 should die. Microsoft knows IE6 should die. Heck, even IE6 knows it needs to die. It’s been walking around like a fucking zombie for years.
See now, here’s the thing: not one person today installs IE6 as their main browser. In fact, given the choice, I’m willing to bet that no person would choose to use IE6 as their main browser over any other browser. But that’s not the problem. So that we’re clear: nobody is fucking choosing to use IE6 and they’re certainly not using that browser just to piss you off!
While we’re at it – when IE6 does eventually die, who’s going to do the find and replace on all the blog posts from IE6 to IE7, then IE7 to IE8, etc.?
It’s a simple matter of when XYZ company bought all their machines for the users back in the XP / IE6 days, it cost them a butt load of money. Companies don’t like spending money where they (think) they don’t have to. So upgrading all those PCs again is not a priority for them. Remember that upgrade comes with support, maintenance, down time, etc – something that costs (another butt load of) money.
I ran some training once fairly recently at an institute of science where the developers told me that the browser with the highest usage, by far, was IE6. It was their job to support that browser.
Their job. They get paid. If you don’t want to support IE6 – then don’t. Nobody is twisting your arm to accept that job as a freelancer. If you’re so against IE6 and you’ve got a full time job – I do hope you brought that up during the interview – and if not, if you’re really hate IE6 – you could quit and find another job, right?
The fact is that IE6 is a difficult environment because it’s unsupported, particularly against todays requirements of web sites. So we charge more for it.
If your client is building a brand new product, and unless they have hard stats showing they need to support IE6, you’ve no reason to support older browsers, and there’s lots of ways of determining the types of browser usage those potential users will have. However, if they’re an existing company, and they do have IE6 traffic that warrants supporting by their business – then that’s just part of your job.
Some development teams are the size they are, and employ the people they do just because of browsers like IE. If it weren’t hard, there’d be a bunch of people out of the job.
Developing for the web requires that you know how browsers work. The challenge of the job is making those web sites work everywhere. Knowing the ins and outs of browsers is what separates a regular Joe Average apart from the Mr James Awesome. If you don’t want to learn about IE6’s quirks (or IE7 or IE8 or IE9’s) then don’t. Someone else will take the work.
As for me, I’ll be holding my breath waiting for the next reason why IE6 should die – like it’s not documented well enough already.