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June 23, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Internet Explorer 9 will support the CANVAS tag, making support for the tag ubiquitous across major browsers.
posted by Artw (74 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
And what happened then?
Well, in Whoville they say:
that the Grinch's small heart
grew three sizes that day!
posted by weston at 4:57 PM on June 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


In the meantime, excanvas is very good for getting Internet Explorer to display canvas elements.
posted by honest knave at 5:01 PM on June 23, 2010


Canvas makes me sort of scared. I worry that in a couple years once browsers manage to optimize it sufficiently people will simply make the whole page a canvas and start using custom JavaScript UI libraries a la Java's Swing. It'll be one step forward and two steps back.
posted by GuyZero at 5:03 PM on June 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


*spittake*
posted by boo_radley at 5:06 PM on June 23, 2010


IE9 also got some absurd sunspider numbers via dumping a lot of work off to the GPU. I'm one to applaud new methods and techniques, but this seems to be cheating a bit to me.
posted by boo_radley at 5:07 PM on June 23, 2010


Su-sunspiders? In my computers?

The future, it frightens and baffles me.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:10 PM on June 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


not solifuges (which aren't even spiders dammit), but the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tests.
posted by Fraxas at 5:15 PM on June 23, 2010


So, this means what exactly?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:15 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's too bad, I was hoping for a sudden and ignominius end for IE. Instead, we must wait while it slowly dwindles away.
posted by DU at 5:17 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


GuyZero, I think you're justified in your concern. People are thinking about it and even doing it already in some cases. The Bespin guys said DOM performance was a major factor in their decision to go use the canvas for a text editor -- you'd really think that'd be something the DOM would be up to, but apparently not. And when John Resig spoke at a JavaScript meetup at Yahoo last December, he said something about the idea of creating a DOM from scratch as a solution to certain capability/performance problems... and the only thing I can imagine he meant was using Canvas.

There's also enough kool-aid left in the web standards pitcher that it's possible a lot of people will consider this evil/harmful no matter how practical it is, and it's probably better directed that way than at worries over something as petty as appropriating tables for layout. But as the HTML5 train picks up speed, there's going to be developers joining with little of that grounding and an awful lot of incentives to just get things working and looking nice.

Maybe if DOM performance improves, it won't be overwhelming.
posted by weston at 5:21 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


It means that in seven or eight years, when the bulk of IE users have finally upgraded from IE7, we'll be able to use the canvas tag for something other than "hey look! I'm using the canvas tag!"

I actually have a lot of respect for the IE9 team; they seem to be doing it right for a change. The fact that we still have to cope with IE6 today is mostly the users' fault, not Microsoft's.
posted by ook at 5:24 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, if I understand correctly, Microsoft just co-signed Apple's execution order for Flash, right?
posted by Ryvar at 5:24 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, if I understand correctly, Microsoft just co-signed Apple's execution order for Flash, right?

Until HTML5 authoring tools show up, not exactly.
posted by GuyZero at 5:26 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fraxas: "the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tests."

This is an important explanation, and one I should have done. This suite of tests determines important benchmarks like scuttling speed; stinging and pinching; how fast can it lay eggs in your motherboard -- these are all answered by the SunSpider ECMAScript (because we're being proper) benchmark tests.
posted by boo_radley at 5:28 PM on June 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


Until HTML5 authoring tools show up, not exactly.

Welcome to emacsnotepad.exe!
posted by DU at 5:32 PM on June 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Canvas in different browsers (wmv)

It's like everybody is so excited to back to 1999!
posted by kaseijin at 5:36 PM on June 23, 2010


Well, now I can sleep nights.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


And since IE9 is coming to XP it means Flash is dead! Hooray!
posted by mullingitover at 5:54 PM on June 23, 2010


I still use IE6. There's a 9 coming out?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:59 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still use IE6.

Well stop it. You're making trouble for everyone: Web developers have to do complicated dances to make their pages look right in IE6's buggy rendering engine, and you're opening yourself up to a lot of security holes that are fixed in the later versions of IE.
posted by JDHarper at 6:12 PM on June 23, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yeah, stop creating more work for web designers. It's not like they get paid by the hour!
posted by smackfu at 6:15 PM on June 23, 2010


The webdesigners I have known do not. They got paid per contract.
posted by kafziel at 6:18 PM on June 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


so. uh. can i start coding in html5 yet? is it worth it to upgrade my code?
posted by Mach5 at 6:20 PM on June 23, 2010


As mullingitover hints IE8 will be the new IE6 unless everyone upgrades from XP. IE9 is Vista SP1 upwards only, precisely because of all that hardware acceleration and GPU use, which is done via Direct X 2D.

Not sure i'd call it cheating exactly though.
posted by Artw at 6:20 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


so. uh. can i start coding in html5 yet? is it worth it to upgrade my code?

Well, that depends on a lot of things. Unless you have a narrow demographic, it's probably bad to rely on HTML5 for a while to come. That said, it can certainly be used to add things or provide alternate implementations that many users will have access to. But realistically any "core" features will have to do without it unless you know you are targeting up-to-date users of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

There are a fair amount of people out there with HTML5-capable browsers (admittedly various subsets, but the 3 major non-IE browsers have a fair amount of HTML5 functionality, and so does Opera), but it's nowhere near 50%.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:26 PM on June 23, 2010


Unless you have a narrow demographic...

...unless you know you are targeting up-to-date users of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.


Or you can use The Right Tools For The Job and if people are using Bad Software they can Just Upgrade. (Where "people" and "they" may entities larger than individual humans.)
posted by DU at 6:31 PM on June 23, 2010


Anyone care to offer the 250-word-or-less description of what CANVAS is and why we would want it?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:43 PM on June 23, 2010


They had to do this, if for nothing more than street 'cred'. You simply can't be calling yourself the biggest player on the Desktop but then turn around and have to offer up a bunch of lame excuses as to why your users can't do X on your product. Your customers don't want to hear excuses. Excuses are for the weak. Excuses mean you've been backed into a corner and you have to start defending yourself.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:45 PM on June 23, 2010


Well, the simple answer is that it's a region you can draw into with Javascript. Normally in JS you create DOM elements --- strings, images, tables, etc. To do "drawings" before HTML5, you'd usually use CSS to position and clip images in complicated ways. Canvas allows you to use standard 2D drawing techniques on a web page.

In practical terms, this means it's a great way to replace Flash for things like games.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:47 PM on June 23, 2010


Google worked up a presentation slideshow here that displays some of the things canvas can do.

As for whether it's a Flash killer, I don't have a dog in that race but my impression is that it's not.
Here's what Adobe has to do: Make Flash-created content exportable as canvas-ready content.
Here's what everyone else has to do: Create a program that is as easy for visual designers to make content with as the Flash IDE is.

If there is already some kind of Javascript + HTML5 authoring tool that lets me work at the level of abstraction that Flash does, great, please send a link. My suspicion is that we're years away from this.
posted by chaff at 6:47 PM on June 23, 2010


It basically defines a rectangle on the screen that you can draw to using a very simple graphics API. By repeadly redrawing it you can acheive animation effects, and you can export the whole thing as a PNG. Actually that might be a good way to think of it - as a customisable PNG you can write pixels to.

It's very flexible and useful if in someways a bit primitive and regressive - there's no "there" there as far as the browser is concerned, it's just a rectangle of pixels.

It is not the second coming of Jesus Christ nor, on it's own, a replacement for Flash.
posted by Artw at 6:50 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not to be confused with SVG, which is a way of doing vector graphics in browsers in a DOM accesible way, which seems a more "proper" way of doing things to me but has the disadvantage of being slow as dirt by comparison.
posted by Artw at 7:02 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wanna see what Canvas can do today? (Best in Chrome/Safari, slow in FF 3.6, IE? HAHAHAHA)
posted by SirOmega at 7:13 PM on June 23, 2010


Chocolate Pickle: "Anyone care to offer the 250-word-or-less description of what CANVAS is and why we would want it?"

Canvas is one of a few new technologies/ tags specified in HTML 5 that will give web sites a way to present video, audio and graphics without resorting to plugins. There's other things in the spec that are interesting to web designers, but not really viscerally interesting to people outside of the industry.

You can see some notable things here on the test drive site. If you're looking for something zazzy, the asteroid demo is probably a good place to start. You need some html 5 compatible browser to see anything here, so recent firefoxes, chrome, apply. If you're stuck on an IE, you won't see much of anything.
posted by boo_radley at 7:16 PM on June 23, 2010


making support for the tag ubiquitous across major browsers

Except for the massively entrenched userbase still stuck on/obviously using (I'm looking at you, XQUZYPHYR) IE6, 7 and 8.

It's funny: among web designer colleagues, the ones who proudly declare that will not support IE6 are actually deemed courageous.
posted by fatbird at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2010


I would declare anyone who can get away with not supporting IE6 a lucky fucker, and am lucky enough to be currently in that group. Everything just suddenly gets much easier.
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on June 23, 2010


It's very flexible and useful if in someways a bit primitive and regressive - there's no "there" there as far as the browser is concerned, it's just a rectangle of pixels.

I'm sort of out of my depth here, so please excuse my ignorance if my question makes no sense. kaseijin's video mentioned the ability to play videos without any add-ons or extensions. Combined with ArtW's explination, does that mean that, instead of streaming a video file and playing it through Quicktime or whatever, the video would just play inside a self-contained canvas window, along with navigation buttons, etc? If so, how is that different from a big square java window? Would it just be more flexible, or better integrated or something?
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:36 PM on June 23, 2010


Can anyone point out decent demos of games using canvas? When I tried using it, I was surprised that there was no support for animation (other than repainting the changed areas of the image - that is, implementing a dirty rects algorithm in EcmaScript). Performance was pretty bad in Firefox, and not much better in the WebKit browsers.

I think calling canvas a viable alternative platform for Flash games is premature at this point.
posted by zixyer at 7:42 PM on June 23, 2010


Java and Flash can both export functions to Javascript. It's called reflection in Java, don't remember what you call it in Flash. Can canvas not do this? I can't help but think that this is a missing feature that will have to come along in an updated specification?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:45 PM on June 23, 2010


Never mind, I get it. The Canvas is just a drawable; any objects and methods you implement will be in the external JS, so there's nothing for it to export. Doesn't sound too terrible, though some backing store that can be objectized and swapped in and out would be pretty nice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:50 PM on June 23, 2010


It's very flexible and useful if in someways a bit primitive and regressive

Yeah, it's basically how all graphics programs were made 15 years ago.
posted by smackfu at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2010


Can anyone point out decent demos of games using canvas?

Here you go. These are quite impressive - I can't see Flash lasting more than 5 years as a major player on the web.
posted by ripley_ at 7:59 PM on June 23, 2010


Canvas tag is the new IMG tag.
posted by qvantamon at 8:00 PM on June 23, 2010


9/11 changed everything, except people using IE 6. Motherfucker came out in August 2001, isn't supported by the last two versions of Windows, is a security risk, took a dirt nap last March, and still won't die.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:02 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


kaseijin's video mentioned the ability to play videos without any add-ons or extensions. Combined with ArtW's explination, does that mean that, instead of streaming a video file and playing it through Quicktime or whatever, the video would just play inside a self-contained canvas window, along with navigation buttons, etc? If so, how is that different from a big square java window? Would it just be more flexible, or better integrated or something?

Canvas and video are separate things. Canvas gives you a paintable region of the web page. The video tag gives you a video player you can embed in the web page. The latter is in practice the same as having a Java applet or Flash video player embedded in the page, but has a couple advantages:

* On supported browsers, no plug-in is needed, and no worries about having to update plugins separately, etc.
* Theoretically performance should be better since the player is more tightly integrated. But this will depend on the code, and is not a guarantee.
* It doesn't rely on proprietary or commercial technology, so anyone can write and distribute a browser that supports the video tag, and there can be lots of competing implementations (theoretically this should lead to good stuff)

The video can be controlled either through browser-provided navigation or by Javascript -- on the YouTube player we have our own controls that tell the video tag what to do through Javascript, since we want to be able to control the look and behavior of the player more specifically. But in its simpler form, you can embed a video in your web page with just a video tag and a src element specifying the location of the video.
posted by wildcrdj at 8:09 PM on June 23, 2010


Worlds simplest online video player:

<video controls><source src="example_video.webm" type="video/webm"></video>

(where that src points to an actual video file, replace webm with appropriate container/codec)
posted by wildcrdj at 8:14 PM on June 23, 2010


Does anyone know if they've committed to supporting the 3D context as well?, because that's where the real action is going to be.
posted by ecurtz at 8:16 PM on June 23, 2010


Might be a tougher sell, it basically being "here's open-GL, off you go"
posted by Artw at 8:38 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, okay, the Akihabara demos are definitely very convincing. Though I think I never saw more than around 10 sprites moving around more than 1/4th of the canvas at a time, and only with a single background. The scroll area seemed to be pretty small in all the games. I'm not sure if that was a limitation of the engine or because the games were small as well. The games themselves are pretty compelling and the capabilities of this engine are probably all you really need for simple web games.

I bet it would even be possible to have multiple backgrounds by positioning multiple canvases on top of each other.

I do find it a little funny that IE 9 uses full-on GPU acceleration to display some fish bouncing around a static background. If only they just added animation to the spec...
posted by zixyer at 8:42 PM on June 23, 2010


What's wrong with IE6?!
posted by cmonkey at 8:51 PM on June 23, 2010


> What's wrong with IE6?!

It's slow, compiles worse than a cart full of donkey shit, lacks tabs, has all kinds of vulnerability issues requiring patches that slow down Windows, the list goes on. The only reason it still has any mainstream support is because lots of internal corporate websites and webapps won't run on anything higher because they're coded terribly and the company doesn't have the money or the IT dept is too heavily invested in them to upgrade. Go download IE 8 or better yet Firefox or Chrome this instant.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:10 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


YHBT, Burhanistan (cmonkey is a linux kernel programmer)
posted by Ryvar at 9:43 PM on June 23, 2010


Aw sheeit.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Of course, it's IE, so this 'support' won't behave anything like any other browser, in completely random ways.
posted by jjb at 10:25 PM on June 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


CANVAS isn't really ready for prime time. It's in IE9, but will it be a full implementation? And CANVAS still lacks accessibility hooks -- the "shadow DOM" has been promised but isn't close to being ready for rollout.

The important thing to understand, though, is that CANVAS isn't XML-based, which is why the HTML5 Politburo are pushing it over SVG. SVG is slow, as artw said, but it also has the advantage of having native animation functions -- CANVAS is just redraw-redraw-redraw, and if the APIs were equal SVG would be destroying it for speed.

The idea that CANVAS will destroy Flash is hilarious. SVG, I think, has a better shot on its own of taking down Flash, but the reality is that Flash will die not at the hands of CANVAS or SVG but at the hands of the audio and video tags. Remember, Flash exists because there was a need for animation, audio/video embedding, and slick interfaces. jQuery has already moved XHTML into a position where Flash isn't required to do the animation or interfaces; what Flash does best is embedded media. When we have an agreed-upon set of standard video codecs (hopefully both H.264 and VP8) that should open up the video tag to real use, at which point Flash won't be necessary for video... and the end of Flash will begin.

But right now, Flash is more accessible than CANVAS or most of HTML5. I hate Flash, but I'd rather use it than HTML5. It's only a matter of time before NFB sues someone for inaccessible CANVAS.
posted by dw at 10:50 PM on June 23, 2010


OK I just played some of those Akihabara games and they are cool as hell.
posted by chaff at 11:49 PM on June 23, 2010


dw, I have been using canvas across browsers for over four years, in an accessible way. Excanvas introduces browser compatibility. For accessibility, the designer simply uses layers of absolute positioned DOM elements along with canvas layers.

We're open to using SVG and revisit it every once in a while, but when we last checked, we couldn't find an SVG+Javascript test framework for our continuous integration, while we did find one for canvas. Have we missed something?
posted by honest knave at 3:55 AM on June 24, 2010


Glad to see Microsoft weren't dicks with the Test Drive site and there's no browser sniffer, ala Apple, insisting that you have to use a particular browser to view the technology demos when for the most part, you don't.

As for a replacement for Flash, I'm all for it in many ways but still don't see it as fully featured as Flash is for animation. Flash has filled a void in animation and vector support that hasn't been present until the near future and even still to get to it's level will take some time. And when will Canvas block come out to kill annoying Canvas adverts?
posted by juiceCake at 6:17 AM on June 24, 2010


Those Test Drive pages are really excellent. Especially the one that shows the unit test results, including the complete failure of IE8. And publishing the unit tests just makes it more likely that all the browsers will work identically which is just a win for everyone.
posted by smackfu at 6:32 AM on June 24, 2010


Chrome and Opera couldn't implement Greasemonkey without making my life harder. I doubt that the Microsoft Internet Explorer team can't implement canvas without making everyone's eyes bleed. This is the worst web news in a decade, and everyone's applauding it like they don't have a history of embrace-and-extended-and-mutilate. CSS would be so much easier if IE6 hadn't supported it at all.
posted by Plutor at 6:45 AM on June 24, 2010


Here's what the browsers need to implement in order to kill Flash (and, of course, they need to implement these features in a way that makes it easy for developers to use them in all browsers):

-- the ability to play back STREAMING video. Streaming video is NOT video that starts playing before it has completely downloaded. That's PROGRESSIVE video. (Streaming video does that too, but that's not its defining characteristic.) YouTube uses progressive video. The video tag is (currently) for progressive video.

Streaming videos never downloads to your computer. They work similarly to the way TV works. A little bit buffers on your computer, plays, and then is replaced by the next bit. Most of the major content holders demand streaming, because they don't want users caching their entire videos.

I know this, because this is what my job is about. My company serves both streaming (NBC, CBS, etc.) and progressive (YouTube, Vimeo) videos. Most of our clients demand streaming. We can build both HTML and Flash players for them, but we will have to keep using Flash until ALL browsers can display streaming video with HTML. Currently, I'm pretty sure NO browsers can do that, though perhaps there's some experimentation going on.

-- ability to parse metadata (e.g. tags and subtitles) in video and audio files/streams.

-- access the user's webcam.

-- access the user's microphone.

-- display and animate both vector and raster graphics.

-- and they need to do all-of-the-above with at least the speed of Flash.

-- native 3D (Flash just barely supports this, but it's a start.)

-- ability to manipulate and create binary data (e.g. access down to the bit level).

I am not a Flash evangelist. I will happily dump Flash in the trash when HTML can handle all-of-the-above. If ALL browser-manufacturers suddenly release new versions tomorrow, and those new versions are capable of doing everything I've listed, how long will it be before I can safely assume most people have upgraded? Because THAT'S the day I can dump Flash -- assuming that, by then, Flash doesn't have some new proprietary capabilities my clients demand.

Yes, I agree that users "should" upgrade their browsers. But they don't. And as someone working for a company that lives or dies by giving clients what they want, I need to live in the real world.
posted by grumblebee at 6:56 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


And when will Canvas block come out to kill annoying Canvas adverts?
posted by juiceCake at 8:17 AM on June 24 [+] [!]


This already exists; it's called NoScript. Canvas doesn't display anything until something (e.g. javascript) draws on it.
posted by Jpfed at 7:10 AM on June 24, 2010


I wouldn't mind flash as much if it would just update in a less odious fashion. Something as central and powerful as flash should be updating from Microsoft and Apple's update servers, not the off chance that billy-bob clicks "yes" to a dialog box and then has the wherewithall to follow through.
posted by codacorolla at 7:33 AM on June 24, 2010


It's funny: among web designer colleagues, the ones who proudly declare that will not support IE6 are actually deemed courageous.

And, thus, who deserve to be fired. You're telling me that you want my website to tell a significant fraction of the user base that they're not welcome?

The Web is NOT A PDF. If you hadn't tried to make it look exactly the same on everything everywhere, and start following the actual principals of markup, then your pages would have been readable in just about anything, easily. It may not have looked perfect in everything, but it would have worked. Instead, you tried to control layout to the pixel, and it looks like crap in anything except whatever the hot browser running whatever the hot standard is. So, you have to spend hours and hours hacking around everything that isn't the hot browser running the hot new standard, and by the time you are done, there's a new browser, and even better, there's a new message on your voicemail saying.....

GODDAMIT YOU FUCKFACE, THE CEO JUST LOOKED AT OUR WEBSITE ON HIS NEW MAC AND IT LOOKS LIKE SHIT!!!!

The reason you've made life hard on yourselves is that you've insisted that HTML is a page layout tool, not a text markup tool. You insisted that you could do this, and now, the user base insists that you do so, and now your life sucks because the world won't upgrade as fast as you want it too.

Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

Thus, you can code in hacks for *ANY* browser with more than .5% of the userbase, and you know, it better be functional in links as well. That's what you promised your clients. That's what you need to deliver.

Or you can find another job, and stop writing checks that future standards and past browsers may or may not be able to cash.

On Preview: Grumblebee's last paragraph nails it.
posted by eriko at 7:34 AM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


And, thus, who deserve to be fired. You're telling me that you want my website to tell a significant fraction of the user base that they're not welcome?

Except that

The Web is NOT A PDF.

is exactly what the CEO doesn't and won't understand, along with the print designer they hired. They want pixel perfect layout and support for all browser back to IE6. The standard of "semantic, not page, layout" isn't generally an acceptable goal to either.

However, I'm talking about consultant developers, not employees. Employees don't get to pick these things, but the people I'm talking about are prepared to walk away from work that requires IE6 compliance.
posted by fatbird at 8:05 AM on June 24, 2010


Can anybody give me a good idea of what good performance on the astroid belt demo is, and how I might get better than 1 FPS (in Google Chrome under Ubuntu 10)?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:25 AM on June 24, 2010


However, I'm talking about consultant developers, not employees. Employees don't get to pick these things, but the people I'm talking about are prepared to walk away from work that requires IE6 compliance.

Meanwhile, I'm better there are other consultants who are willing to do the hacks if you pay them enough.

To be honest, I'm one of them. I'm part of the problem.

I have some artistic stuff that I care about, with which I will not compromise. If you offer me $50K to direct "King Lear" with Keanu Reeves in the lead, I'll say no -- not for any amount of money. But I just don't care that much about websites. (I'm not dissing those who do. I'm sure there are people here who would happily put a crown on Reeves for enough cash. I'm just saying that mos of us are whores for some things but not for others. But as log as there ARE whores, Johns will hire them.)

So Mr. CEO tells you to make it IE6 compliant. You walk. I stay. I do the work. The CEO doesn't learn the lesson you want him to learn.
posted by grumblebee at 9:24 AM on June 24, 2010


Most of the people stopping support for IE6 are not building sites that involve marking up lots of text. Anyone can make a website that displays static content and works pretty well in all the browsers one cares to test. The people dropping support for IE6 are the web application developers, and rightly so. The development cost to accommodate those 10% of users is astronomical, and will at best result in a slow, frustrating experience for them.
posted by Nothing at 9:50 AM on June 24, 2010


Also, pixel perfect designs are really not difficult under the html and css standards, except where browsers, such as IE6, completely fail to follow standards or have rendering bugs.
posted by Nothing at 9:52 AM on June 24, 2010


So Mr. CEO tells you to make it IE6 compliant. You walk. I stay. I do the work. The CEO doesn't learn the lesson you want him to learn.

When the revolution comes, you'll be first against the wall, Grumblebee.

However, I'm not talking about the following:

client: "It has to work in IE6"

web guy: "You insult me, sir! You insult me from the depths of your black soul!" [storms off].

The guys I know try to strike a nice balance without committing themselves to pixel perfection. They say something like "look, IE6 is ten years old, and a minority browser by itself. I can guarantee compliance with IE7/8, FF3, Safari 3, and Opera. Including IE6 adds a ton of complexity and expense. I can guarantee reasonable degradation for IE6--it may not look totally correct, but it'll still be usable." If the client demands pixel perfection, they get the "fuck off" price, or a simple "sorry, we don't offer that." For most clients these days, it's a bit of a teachable moment, and most don't actually care about IE6 enough to increase expense.
posted by fatbird at 10:54 AM on June 24, 2010


dw, I have been using canvas across browsers for over four years, in an accessible way.

Really? Is the text DOM getting picked up by screenreaders? Because every test I've seen of Bespin shows it's as inaccessible to screenreaders as early Flash.
posted by dw at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2010


I don't cotton to the anti-IE6 crowd, mainly because I remember in my early days of web development how much better it was to develop for IE6 than the standard at the time, Netscape 4. Instead of them getting a better job, I'd rather they be forced to write CSS only div/span layouts for Netscape 4.

That said, I'll be glad to see IE6 go. The CSS bugs are legion, and given that over half of all browsers will have full CSS2 support by the end of this year, there's really no reason for IE6 to hang around.

I'm down to 5% of all users on IE6 here. I stopped supporting Netscape 4 when it got to 5%, so I don't see any need to continue to rack my brain with IE6 bug fixes and hacks. I waste enough time dealing with IE7's.
posted by dw at 1:50 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


JScript and DOM changes in IE9 preview 3
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on June 28, 2010


IE’s big leap forward; CSS3 selectors fully supported

Also: No more stupid filters, just use Opacity!
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on June 28, 2010


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