IE6 needs to go! But we can ease it’s passage…

Arcus Global

Arcus Global
March 6, 2011

Timeline of Web Browsers

Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against the victor in the general sense! I’m not overly afflicted with that particular British meme which means that we always root for the underdog. It’s just that it’s so old now, so very, very old!

My dissertation for my MSc was in AJAX techniques and, in the round, AJAX wouldn’t have existed without IE6. I spent quite a while looking at the history of the internet and the browser wars and, despite it not being all that long ago, learnt loads.

But now Microsoft itself is trying to usher IE6 out of the door like a party guest who’s past his welcome. No more dated flares, platform shoes, shirts open to his navel and medallions and no more drinkings Buck’s Fizz and Party Sevens (think I may have gotten my decades mixed up there – but the message is the same – think it was something to do with countdown in the Microsoft uri).

Working with Local Government and the NHS as we do we know that there are odd times when IE6 is absolutely required by the legacy systems some of our clients require. We can offer two solutions to this though while allowing users to enjoy greater security and access to the new, standards-complaint, technologies offered by modern browsers:

  1. We can replace the application either through rewriting it so that it doesn’t rely on the quirky nature of IE6 or we can suggest alternatives and tailor them to your needs (Often saving money in the short- and long-term).
  2. We can offer a virtualised IE6 either through dedicated software or a virtual machine.

I do get carried away when it comes to browsers; as soon as I get into work I open up Opera, Chrome and FireFox. I need to though as most of my development work requires access to the internet in one way, shape or form so I use each browser for specific tasks. Opera is fantastic for reading newsgroups, Chrome is top for keeping in touch with the other members of the team and FireFox is where I check things are working correctly using the FireBug extension.

Despite my enthusiasm though it really is worthwhile checking out other browsers, Internet Explorer 9 is showing great promise, there is a pretty comprehensive list on WikiPedia – and there are ways of running browsers without having them installed so that they can be run alongside IE6 if that’s what you really need…