Web Development

Internet Explorer 6

Although I slung some HTML back in the early Netscape 1 days1, I really got going as a web designer/developer2 back in 2005. These were the heady days of early web standards, with Doug Bowman and Co.’s spiffy Blogger redesign and new, standards-based templates pushing forward the state of web design.

In 2005, Internet Explorer 6 was already four years old. To put that into perspective, Chrome has only existed for just over five years, and Mobile Safari for nearly seven. And today, IE6 is finally dead, at least in terms of being supported by Microsoft. I was longing for this day nine years ago, little would I have ever guessed that it would still be hanging on in some parts of the world.3

In 2005, IE6 was the bane of my existence. People today sometimes joke that Firefox is the new IE, but they probably weren’t around for the old IE.4 The funny thing is that IE6 was a really good browser when it was released, but Microsoft abandoned it after crushing all other browsers, finally releasing the only-marginally-better IE7 a staggering seven years after IE6 was released and an entire generation had been scarred by IE6’s quirks, bugs, and outright non-support.5

So, pouring one out for IE6. It defined a few generations of web design, from great initial release, to domination and stagnation, to its refusal to just go away. Probably nothing else has ever united the web design community like a hatred of IE6, and let's just hope we never have something with that kind of a stranglehold on the web's progress again.

  1. Thankfully archive.org doesn’t have any of my Smashing Pumpkins fan pages with twinkling starry background gifs. 
  2. Do we still not have a good word for people who do some of each? 
  3. Mostly in China, where a staggering 22.4% are still using it. 
  4. Besides, everyone knows that Android < 4 is the new IE. 
  5. Quick, name the thing that bothered you most! No alpha PNGs was mine. 

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