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Why You Should Stop Using Internet Explorer 6

davidburleson > davidburleson Blog > Why You Should Stop Using Internet Explorer 6
23/10/2008 - 2:07 PM



Unique views 463 (557)

I have an odd feeling that some of you might come away after reading this slightly offended by what I'm about to say, but it has to be said.

Internet Explorer 6 (aka IE6) is my worst nightmare. Why? Because its probably one of the worst web browsers ever created. It lacks in all sorts of ways.

Why ie6 is my worst nightmare.
Here is the boring stuff that only the technically minded might understand. As a web developer, I build alot of upgrades for ephotozine and our other websites. Every time we build one of these, we have to do a browser test. We test on around 7 different browsers. Its a rather long and boring task, but it has to be done to make sure everyone can view and use these great new features in the same way. HOWEVER, out of these 7 common browsers, ie6 is the one that causes the most trouble. It's sheer lack of understand CORRECT css and and html syntax boggles thousands of web developers.

The past couple of days I have been working on improving the code for ePHOTOzine's menu system to make it more lightweight and correct so it loads quicker for everyone. This morning I was about to upload it, but went through 1 last browser check. It looked fine in Firefox 3, Opera, IE7, Safari, Safari (mac), firefox (mac), camino. I thought I was on to a winner. But, then we decide to try IE6 and IE6 decided "I don't like displaying CSS and html correctly like all the other guys. I'm going to do my own thing.". So now, I have spent alot of today trying to find hacks (fixes) to make this new code work in ie6 correctly.

Ie6 is not the only one, just the worst
No, ie6 is not the only one we have layout issues with when doing upgrades, its just the one that tends to cause our workload to multiply by 50. In fact, this upgrade I have been implementing code for it to work correctly in IE7 as well.

Internet Explorer users fail to understand how rubbish their browser actually is. They don't realise that most all the other browsers play nicely, but Internet Explorer doesn't like to. But hey, that's not my choice, I have to live with that choice. I think if Windows Vista was shipped with Firefox you would fine a huge shift in browser use. That is the reason why most people use IE, because it was on their computer already. They don't change until they realise how much better it can be with a different browser. How many better features are out there for security and making web browsing easier and faster.

Get with the Times
If you are an ie6 user and you are reading this thinking "there is nothing wrong with my browser! I can do everything you can do better. IM NOT CHANGING ANYTHING!" Did you know that Internet Explorer 7 was released over a year ago? I bet that you didn't know that despite Microsoft's efforts to make IE7 available for FREE and on automatic updates for Windows, still 25% of our Internet Explorer users use IE6 on ePHOTOzine. So, ie6 user, what is your excuse for not upgrading? It's free, windows told you to update, they even make it easy to install.

I hear the FireFox users shouting at the screen "don't tell them to install IE7!". Hey, its better than IE6. I don't expect you to swap to firefox, that's a choice you can make another time. But at least upgrade to IE7. And if its out of your control (ie: your office's IT department), tell them to get with the program. IE7 is more secure than IE6 any day and its free to download. So what's their excuse?

I conclude with a few links that will help anyone who is reading this:

Download Internet Explorer 7
Download FireFox
Browser Bug Lists

I'd love to hear your thoughts either way about this. I'm sure there are many out there that understand where im coming from, and others who want to put me in my place. It's a blog, there's a comments feature, use it!

Tags: Firefox, Ie6, Ie7, Internet, Internet explorer, Web, Websites

Comments

rhousham
rhousham  7432 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Oct 2008 - 2:17 PM

I hear you Dave. It just bizzare the way the internet explorer works. Its like it has been programmed badly from the start.

There are things with javascript that you have to program differently. It doesn't do commands from javascript in the right order. I really does get on your wick.

Other browsers have been around now for a while. Firefox is far better. Also ie6 users did you know about tabs? Browsers these days have tabs so you don't need more than one window open!.

I would suggest just to download firefox or ie7 just to try it out. Help us poor web dev peeps out here!.

Last Modified By rhousham at 23 Oct 2008 - 2:17 PM
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davidburleson
davidburleson ePHOTOzine Staff 72345 forum postsdavidburleson vcard United Kingdom
23 Oct 2008 - 2:20 PM

very good point Richard. Tabs are great and they have been around for years as well. There are so many reasons why ie6 users should move on to another browser.

rhousham
rhousham  7432 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Oct 2008 - 2:43 PM

I would also say that possibly security is also one. I would think that firefox and ie7 are more secure. i.e no one from japan looking through your browser.

charliemartin
24 Oct 2008 - 9:00 AM

I am surprised that so many ePHOTOzine subscribers are still using IE6. I would have thought that most photographers these days would be computer literate and would have been curious enough to try and find a better browsing experience. Perhaps they spend so much time editing their pictures they don't have much time left to surf the internet. I have been using Firefox for a few years now and can't understand why anyone would want to stick with IE except for ignorance and perhaps fear of change. Maybe they feel "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Unfortunately I don't think they appreciate just how "broke" IE is.

davidburleson
davidburleson ePHOTOzine Staff 72345 forum postsdavidburleson vcard United Kingdom
24 Oct 2008 - 9:05 AM

Very true charlie,

If these users just spent a little time in a different browser they would quickly see how much IE is broke.

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014128 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
25 Oct 2008 - 8:28 PM

IE6 ain't that bad...well not as bad as the Japanese versions of Netscape4 I used to have to write for. You could crash the entire browser just with a well formed HTML page - no javascript or css!!

I agree with your sentiments David, but I'm sure a lot of corporates are like ours and still insist on using IE6 - with no plan to upgrade to IE7. There's just no business benefit in upgrading. It will be over a year before we will even start to change browsers Sad

LisaRose
LisaRose  7172 forum posts United States4 Constructive Critique Points
26 Oct 2008 - 6:41 PM

I've been using IE7, but just downloaded Firefox to give that a try. To be honest I never even considered the differences between browsers so we shall see. Smile

webjam
webjam  10292 forum posts Netherlands11 Constructive Critique Points
26 Oct 2008 - 9:58 PM

I gave up on IE when I installed Firefox. Firefox works like a dream for me. I am stuck with Windows, but at least with browsers I still have a choice! Smile

Jacqueline

MediumSizeUnavailable

okay okay... just switched from IE to Firefox. Happy now ? Smile

LisaRose
LisaRose  7172 forum posts United States4 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2008 - 5:43 PM

I've been using Firefox for a few days now, and I must say I do like it better. The only thing so far I've noticed that I don't like is when trying to play Pairs on AYF, it takes a few times clicking on a box for it to work. When I go back to IE it works fine.

davidburleson
davidburleson ePHOTOzine Staff 72345 forum postsdavidburleson vcard United Kingdom
5 Nov 2008 - 4:54 PM

Its good to hear that I have at least influenced a few to try Firefox. Im loving the feedback from everyone.

I totally understand what you are saying lobsterboy. But what is the benefits in not upgrading? Surely the advantage of upgrading from IE6 to IE7 is to be up-to-date with all the security fixes and software. They wouldn't be running windows 95 still would they?

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