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August 16, 2010 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft’s IE turns 15. Starting as a licensed version of Mosaic, it is now up to version 8 and a platform preview of version 9 was recently released. Don't expect everyone to migrate over to 9 in a hurry though: It's for Vista and Windows 7 only. Meanwhile, despite everyone's best efforts, IE6 grimly hangs on to life.
posted by Artw (93 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
My parents still use IE6... They had IE7 installed for a while, but "it didn't work with my email". Or something.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 AM on August 16, 2010


Surely there are security holes that could be exploited to solve this problem.
posted by DU at 11:54 AM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Which is a shame because IE 5 for the Mac was a great browser.
posted by nomadicink at 11:54 AM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Puberty is hell.
posted by swift at 11:54 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


We've got IE6 in the European Parliament. It is truly awful. But, hey, who needs a secure browser in the European Parliament!
posted by quarsan at 11:54 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Starting as a licensed version of Mosaic

Only sort of. According to the Project Lead for Spyglass and later primary technical contact for the IE team, Internet Explorer 1.0 was based on Spyglass, which was in turn based on the technology of NCSA Mosaic, but not the source code.
posted by jedicus at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


based on the technology of NCSA Mosaic, but not the source code.

What does that mean? They looked at the source code and then rewrote it the same way?
posted by grouse at 11:57 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


IE6 - bane of my life. Last product release called for semi-transparent rounded corners on semi-transparent fixed overlays.
Welcome to 2 manweeks of bickering back and forth just on PNG support. Ugh.
posted by Metheglen at 11:57 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't believe anyone still uses willingly IE. At work, I am forced to use it, and with the constant crashes and hangups, not to mention lack of add-ons, it really is an inferior product at this point.

Why does MS even bother? Is it really worth so much effort just to be able to potentially control some search market?
posted by eas98 at 11:57 AM on August 16, 2010


Last product release called for semi-transparent rounded corners on semi-transparent fixed overlays.

Did they want dropshadows?
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on August 16, 2010


It took until version 8 for IE's getElementById function to... actually get elements by their ID.

Previous versions, in some sort of Kafkaesque developer-horror would occasionally return elements by their NAME instead of ID when getElementById was called. (IE8 still does this too, if you don't specify the right DOCTYPE)

And then I started writing Javascript for the BlackBerry browser, and developing for IE suddenly began to seem like a pleasure by comparison. True to their mission of catering to the corporate world, RIM modeled their browser's behaviors off of IE6, and true to RIM's reputation, they somehow managed to even botch that.
posted by schmod at 12:02 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Which is a shame because IE 5 for the Mac was a great browser.

Oh no he didn't.....
posted by schmod at 12:03 PM on August 16, 2010


Which is a shame because IE 5 for the Mac was a great browser.

But it was a totally separate project from some very smart folks (like Tantek Çelik). Which isn't to say the Windows IE people aren't smart, just that it was a different animal
posted by yerfatma at 12:03 PM on August 16, 2010


When you install Microsoft's Virtual PC on Win7 and load it up with Microsoft's own XP image.....IT COMES WITH IE6. And you can't upgrade.
posted by I-baLL at 12:03 PM on August 16, 2010


I work at a Fortune 500 company. We still use IE6. We are supposed to roll out to IE8 this year, but I'll won't believe it until I see it.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:04 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


IE 9 is Vista/7 only? That wouldn't have anything to do with MS trying to kill off XP, would it?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:04 PM on August 16, 2010


I can't believe anyone still uses willingly IE. At work, I am forced to use it, and with the constant crashes and hangups, not to mention lack of add-ons, it really is an inferior product at this point.

Why does MS even bother? Is it really worth so much effort just to be able to potentially control some search market?


I'll bite. I still willingly use IE, and in fact, tried switching to Chrome recently. I didn't like it and switched back. I'm used to using IE and the small differences (which I can't even name off hand) present large enough stumbling blocks to slow me down. I keep everything updated, so IE is as secure as any other browser. If I need to browse a dodgy site I'll use Chrome with script blocking instead. Otherwise I don't really care about any browser add-ins.
posted by codacorolla at 12:04 PM on August 16, 2010


But it was a totally separate project from some very smart folks (like Tantek Çelik).

Irony, I LOVE YOU.
posted by nomadicink at 12:05 PM on August 16, 2010


IIRC, for a while IE5 on Mac actually had the best CSS support of an browser going.

(Not that it was hard to be better than pre-Firefox Netscape Navigator)

(Or that when I stopped having to support the bloody thing there wasn't a sigh of relief)
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on August 16, 2010


eas98: "I can't believe anyone still uses willingly IE. At work, I am forced to use it, and with the constant crashes and hangups, not to mention lack of add-ons, it really is an inferior product at this point."

The problem is that everyone still thinks they can write pages for just IE. If I could use some other browser and not worry about the USPTO site randomly exploding, I would. Even if all websites became 100% Firefox compatible my users would point and scream, "Aha! The new software sucks Mr.Smarty-pants-computer-guy!" if there were any errors in browsing, browser's fault or not. The masses equate Microsoft with compatibility standards, even if it isn't the truth.
posted by charred husk at 12:06 PM on August 16, 2010


IE 9 is Vista/7 only? That wouldn't have anything to do with MS trying to kill off XP, would it?

Possibly. Also much of it's speed comes from DirectX 2D, which is in turn Vista/7 only.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM on August 16, 2010


Not only is IE still the most popular browser, almost three times as popular as FF, but apparently IE6 is apparently still (just a bit) more popular than FF. Of course, "popular" in this case probably means "don't know how (or why) to upgrade."
posted by Gator at 12:08 PM on August 16, 2010


Hmm. 17% sounds a tad high for IE6, 16% quite low for firefox. Also, where is everything else?
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I understand why so many businesses are still using I.E. 6, but it still seems analogous to them retaining a fleet of Ford Pintos because the shop already has the spare parts.
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I did like IE 5.5's built-in radio toolbar back in the old days. Very handy and convenient just as streaming music was starting to take off in the mainstream yet before the lawyers and advertisers moved to kill and adapt it.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:16 PM on August 16, 2010


Huh, it looks like Hitslink has gone to a pay system, if you want to see more than the top five (whatever) you have to sign up. I'm sure it didn't used to be that way. Bummer.
posted by Gator at 12:17 PM on August 16, 2010


Meanwhile, despite everyone's best efforts, IE6 grimly hangs on to life.

And I've tried everything I can think of; fire, decapitation, at one point I lured it into a 20 ton press and tried to crush it Terminator-style.

That fucker just. won't. die.

Next I'm going to try the nuclear option. I apologize in advance for any collateral damage this might cause, but at this point I'm taking the total war approach.
posted by quin at 12:18 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


On my work site, this year IE6 dropped below 10%...and there was much rejoicing. (Basically just by me.) IE still has the lead by a mile, but it's almost all IE8 now, which I'm ok with. FF is around 17%, Safari & Chrome both a bit less than 5% each.

I do remember when IE5 was the awesome new browser, though. The place where I worked back then held on to Netscape 4 for an appalling long time. That's progress, right?

"Enterprise" anything still seems to be designed specifically for IE6, even to the point of not "supporting" IE7 or IE8! So incredibly frustrating.
posted by epersonae at 12:20 PM on August 16, 2010


Wow, w3Schools leans hugely Firefox by comparison. Of course, they have a specific audience.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on August 16, 2010


Worth noting that Microsoft IE product teams are not at all happy about the continued popularity of IE6 amongst large corporates.
posted by johnny novak at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2010


God Netscape 4 was bad. Really, with IE6 as the browser to complain about we have it so much better than those days.
posted by Artw at 12:22 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you update to IE7 or above, you will lose all the wonder that is Active Desktop. Push technology is the future, people.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:27 PM on August 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


I can't believe anyone still uses willingly IE. At work, I am forced to use it, and with the constant crashes and hangups, not to mention lack of add-ons, it really is an inferior product at this point

I'm not sure what version you're using, but I've been using IE 7 and 8 since the both of them were available. To be honest, I don't see any of your issues pertaining to IE itself. (In my experience, IE crashing has been due to other garbage loaded into the system; not the browser itself.)

I also run Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and Opera on my various other systems. In all honesty, I find little difference between them aside from the add-ons available.

But hey, don't let me get in the way of some Microsoft M$ bashing.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:27 PM on August 16, 2010


IE6 at work here, too. IE8 is being "studied" or something, but I'm not looking for it any time soon.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:29 PM on August 16, 2010


We've got IE6 in the European Parliament. It is truly awful. But, hey, who needs a secure browser in the European Parliament!
posted by quarsan at 11:54 AM on August 16 [+] [!]


Well, it isn't as if anybody in the EP could keep a secret to save his life, anyway. Also, after the bank robbery (and the repeat you may possibly have heard of), I guess that web security is the least of their problems.
posted by Skeptic at 12:31 PM on August 16, 2010


Also: as someone who has experience running a small shop of public use computers at a public library, the lockdown tools that we use can be wildly screwed over by switching browsers, and all of the different permissions that entails.

I hope, sincerely, that the future are OSes where there's an option in the admin profile that turns certain things on and off and sandbox certain profiles.

I guess 7 is already sort of like this.
posted by codacorolla at 12:33 PM on August 16, 2010


I can't believe anyone still uses willingly IE

Have you tried IE9? Assuming they don't add problems when they make it "real" (we'll see), it's currently the fastest browser out there. Really impressive. Of course right now it's just the engine, the "chrome" is still basically missing (although the beta is supposed to be out soon). It's got good standards support, too -- all the HTML5 stuff I've done for Chrome/Safari/Firefox just worked out of the box in IE9 (which I have to admit was the biggest surprise, heh).

As for XP support, come on. It (XP) is 9 years old. You can't expect to get the latest software forever.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:36 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Only 15 years? Gosh it feels like IE has been hanging around for a lifetime.
posted by Hoenikker at 12:41 PM on August 16, 2010


The web developers who hire me for backend work have a nice schtick for when IE6 compatibility comes up: "Sure, we can do that, but it'll cost extra--it's almost a decade old now. If we give it a miss, I can promise reasonable functionality with IE6, it just won't be perfect." They then proceed to ignore IE6, because no customer has been willing to pay extra for IE6 compatibility.

As in this cartoon, the one you should shoot is this guy! THIS GUY! THIS MOTHERFUCKER RIGHT HERE!
posted by fatbird at 12:44 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


With Spyglass landing a fat contract with Microsoft, they must be still around, wallowing in the pure pleasure of a positive cash flow, right?

Well, you see, the terms of the license said Spyglass would be paid for every copy of IE sold.

Microsoft, to date, hasn't sold a single copy of Internet Explorer. It's given away for free.

Spyglass didn't make it out of the tech bubble alive.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:46 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


fatbird: "The web developers who hire me for backend work have a nice schtick for when IE6 compatibility comes up: "Sure, we can do that, but it'll cost extra..."

Yeah, at my company we've started doing that. My life is much easier now.
posted by brundlefly at 1:00 PM on August 16, 2010


I can't believe anyone still uses IE willingly

Sadly where I work that mindset took on pretty heavily about 3-5 years ago when IE had a pretty bad reputation. We started seeing all types of browsers pop up...mostly Firefox. Now for software compliance we have to make sure that our systems with Firefox are secure (which they are not...as they have been slow to patch their vulnerabilities now that malware has taken notice). As it stands, IE8 (protected mode, reduced user rights, and without Adobe BHOs) is the most secure browser setup we could put on workstations. Many other browser developers are just finding it harder to live in "security through obscurity."
posted by samsara at 1:04 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I've got IE6 right here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:07 PM on August 16, 2010


apparently IE6 is apparently still (just a bit) more popular than FF.

The slices in that pie chart appear have different numbers on them than the legend does. Which ones do I trust?

Next I'm going to try the nuclear option. I apologize in advance for any collateral damage this might cause, but at this point I'm taking the total war approach.

Yesterday eleyna and I were talking, and we came up with an idea: maybe the way forward isn't to hate, but celebrate! Let's make our sites look festive in IE 6! And when I say festive, I mean color schemes from the brightest and boldest hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant you've ever visited. Or maybe all of them. Vivé le seis!

Or, maybe a GeoCitiestype stylesheet. The style, it should fit the era of the browser, no?
posted by weston at 1:09 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Microsoft, to date, hasn't sold a single copy of Internet Explorer. It's given away for free.

That's not accurate. Internet Explorer 1.0 was sold as part of Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95. I can't find how much Plus! retailed for, but it was definitely a commercial product.

Internet Explorer 2.0 was sold as part of the "Internet Starter Kit for Windows 95." According to this 1996 Microsoft press release: "Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 also has a major presence on retail store shelves. It is the core offering in an Internet Starter Kit for Windows 95...The Internet Starter Kit sells for approximately $19.95"

The terms of Microsoft's deal with Spyglass also specified a minimum quarterly license fee, but with the release of IE 3.0 for free as part of Windows 95 OSR2, the minimum fee was all Microsoft was paying. In 1997 they settled a contract dispute with Microsoft paying Spyglass $8 million.

"Spyglass didn't make it out of the tech bubble alive" because in 2000 it was bought by OpenTV, which is still around, albeit not exactly thriving.
posted by jedicus at 1:17 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Irony, I LOVE YOU.

Sorry, what did I miss?
posted by yerfatma at 1:19 PM on August 16, 2010


Sorry, what did I miss?

A great version of IE was made by people outside of the main IE development group.
posted by nomadicink at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2010




this guy! THIS GUY! THIS MOTHERFUCKER RIGHT HERE!

Put that fucker down and 90% of the worlds malware becomes ineffective right away. Not to mention the botnets that drive it.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2010


The only thing I hate more than IE is ActiveX.

Here's me for the last seven or so years:

"Wow, I really like this Firefox browser! These add-ons are pretty cool, and it seems a lot faster than Internet Exp-- hey! What's going on? Why can't I click this button in my online banking menu?"

Or

"I love my mac, and I really like Safari. It's a nice brows-- wait, why doesn't this tabbed menu drop down properly when I rollover it with my cursor?"

Or

"I'm sure glad my work let's me use Chrome, it's a nice browser. I'm still not sure why it doesn't work on our Sharepoint site or the company portal when I want to look at my PTO balance. That's weird!"

And of course, everytime this happens I just look up at the URL and what to I see? .aspx
posted by jnrussell at 1:49 PM on August 16, 2010


Last product release called for semi-transparent rounded corners on semi-transparent fixed overlays.
Did they want dropshadows?

Nope but the meeting for the next release had them in. I pointed out the hassle that we have to go through every time they do this and are still forced to code for that browser and they did finally back off.

All browsers have their problems, but dropping that one would save us around 4 manweeks a cycle. (Not that I believe too strongly in the concept of a manweek)
posted by Metheglen at 1:55 PM on August 16, 2010


The only thing I hate more than IE is ActiveX.
[snip]
And of course, everytime this happens I just look up at the URL and what to I see? .aspx

sorry to be a precisian but that isn't ActiveX - that's Active Server Pages Extended.
I don't dislike that technology more than IE, I dislike the mentality behind it that says "I coded it in ASP or ASPX and so I don't have to test or check it because it works on IE!"

I'm going to get all ranty now so I think I'll stop there :-)
posted by Metheglen at 2:00 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


And of course, everytime this happens I just look up at the URL and what to I see? .aspx

asp.net tightly linked with ActiveX? INot these days, certainly - these days MS is all about the JavaScript (yay!) and the Silverlight (um... )

Of course, though .net can be great to develop for, the client side code it's generated can frequently shitty and for a while they were pushing the ajax.net JavaScript library, which was a dog. Plus do you see the ids webforms kicks out? Jesus.

These days they seem keener on jQuery (double ultra plus yay!) , actually seem to be doing something about the ridiculous code webforms generates (the hideous long Ids are gone) and you don't even have to use webforms if you choose something better like asp.net MVC (no .aspx there, of course).
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of the workstations at my workplace still use 6; we have the option of upgrading to 7 on our personal machines, although 8 is still verboten. At this point, I think that it's purely a matter of The Devil You Know. (We're also still using Office 2003 and XP.) Of course, we also have the option of installing the latest version of Firefox, go figure.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2010


we have the option of upgrading to 7 on our personal machines, although 8 is still verboten.

Yeah, I've heard about people finally crawling up to 7. That's just... I dunno... /shakes head.
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on August 16, 2010


I've been properly schooled, so it isn't ActiveX. My bad. From a user perspective, it still sucks. And I agree that the mentality "I don't have to test it because it works on IE" is absolutely terrible.
posted by jnrussell at 2:12 PM on August 16, 2010


Weirdly IE6 is not a supported browser for SharePoint 2010.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on August 16, 2010


And I agree that the mentality "I don't have to test it because it works on IE" is absolutely terrible.

I wonder who still does this--perhaps it's an artifact of software vendors selling to the Fortune 500, where IE6 is a guaranteed platform. All the web developers I know develop for Firefox and patch for IE (Safari/Chrome usually works without needing much handholding).
posted by fatbird at 2:18 PM on August 16, 2010


the mentality "I don't have to test it because it works on IE" is absolutely terrible.

Those people should be put up against a wall and shot.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would burst into tears if IE6 were beating FF in my (library) webstats. Currently (for the last month) I've got:

IE (total) 45.68%
FF 38.69%
Safari 8.84%
Chrome 6.24%

Of IE's 46%: 84.5% is IE8, 12.62% is IE7, and only 2.87% is IE6 (thank god).

Our overall stats are heavily weighted toward IE8 because that's what we're running in all the labs, and our labs make up a large portion of our traffic. If I remove the local traffic, it looks like this:

IE (total) 41.48%
FF 29%
Safari 16.78%
Chrome 11.58%

Of IE's 41%: 65.5% is IE8, 27.89% is IE7, and 6.57% is IE6.

These numbers are obviously more reflective of people's actual choices, since none of them are lab computers on campus. More macs off campus than on, clearly.

I think it's reasonable to stop supporting IE6. We did it a year ago.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:30 PM on August 16, 2010


I don't dislike that technology more than IE, I dislike the mentality behind it that says "I coded it in ASP or ASPX and so I don't have to test or check it because it works on IE!"


IANAProgrammer, or a coder, just a plain ol' common user, but I also serve as the first line of support for my company. I run XP because my small company is run by folks who heard that Vista was a problem and haven't been willing to try W7. We also have a couple of industry specific programs that haven't been upgraded for 7 (or for 64 bit SBS for that matter). So, we use IE mostly because there are a couple of sites we depend on are subject to this "my work is done" mentality Metheglen cites.

I don't find IE8 all that bad, except that for some reason, it keeps asking some of our users to configure their version of 8 (set their search engines, choose their accelerators, etc.) about every twenty starts or so. I like Chrome because I can type a search or a site in the URL bar--it's one of those "aha" things that would make me a fan of any browser--and the thing I hate most about IE is that even being vigilant & proactive with my users & my own self, we all seem to keep getting so many freaking toolbars that we have very little browser real estate for the actual purpose of internet browsing, which should be the point of a browser, amirite?
posted by beelzbubba at 2:34 PM on August 16, 2010


I am very suspicious of net marketshares numbers. They "retooled" how they're calculating their numbers last year, and suddenly IE's numbers jumped and ff fell. They're not very consistent either with what I've seen on any of the sites I've worked on recently. One of the sites has a 35 - 55 demographic (leaning slightly female) and IE6 is at 5.7%. Another is at 1% ie6 users (and only 10% ie7 users). And that's a b2b site.

If you're using ie 6 or 7, for the love of god, upgrade. You're (or your company) is doing no favors running old, insecure browsers. I'd love to see people use browsers with some teeth like Chrome or FireFox, but at least use a secure browser. Set it back to ie7 mode if you really like poorly rendering sites.

Google dropped support of ie6. Images.google.com has cut ie7 out of the newest version and you're dropped to the older version.

Along the lines of the garish webpages for ie6, I really want to make my next web page so that it turns black and white if you're using IE6. With a little bit of javascript cleverness I should be able to do the images too. Sort of a different twist on the Universal IE6 stylesheet.

I charge extra to make things work in ie6. And when you look at the number of people using ie6, I can't imagine its worth it for most people. If you ARE still using ie6, chances are, most of your experiences on the web aren't very good.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:44 PM on August 16, 2010


Weirdly IE6 is not a supported browser for SharePoint 2010.

Not weird at all. Microsoft dropped support for IE6 a long time ago, and have been actively campaigning for people to upgrade, as well as encouraging software/application developers to update their software and not charge businesses an arm and a leg to do so.

Microsoft even set Pete LePage to An Event Apart Seattle to talk about killing IE6. In which everyone was like "yeah, duh." but it was nice to see Microsoft was officially behind killing it. (Now if they'd only get behind killing 7, and maybe 8 . . .)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:54 PM on August 16, 2010


Microsoft actually still supports IE6 in an official sense, however, other of their products don't, and they'd be very happy if everyone stopped using it tomorrow.
posted by johnny novak at 2:59 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well it's weird to me as I associate it with the kind of corporate setting where IE6 reigns... though TBH that's probably mainly horribe outdated installs of it that have been customized in horrible ways to make them IE6 only anyway.
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on August 16, 2010


Well it's weird to me as I associate it with the kind of corporate setting where IE6 reigns... though TBH that's probably mainly horribe outdated installs of it that have been customized in horrible ways to make them IE6 only anyway.

Really? I more or less consider it a web browser that works well enough most of the time. But then again, I go out of my house once in awhile.
posted by jonmc at 4:03 PM on August 16, 2010


You consider sharepoint a web browser?
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on August 16, 2010


twoleftfeet: "If you update to IE7 or above, you will lose all the wonder that is Active Desktop. Push technology is the future, people."

They just call it AJAX now.
posted by symbioid at 4:22 PM on August 16, 2010


Nah, that they called XMLHttpRequest and sort of hid it away in the browser without making a fuss about it from version 5 onwards.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on August 16, 2010


Microsoft actually still supports IE6 in an official sense

No, surprisingly as of July 31st 2010, it seems that they do not.

Microsoft has very official "end-of-life" documentation and policies. The typical rule is that they support 1 version previous to the current release. So - in the case of Internet Explorer, they support IE7.

Sometimes they do bend the rules (and I am sure they did with IE6/XP), but for future reference, here is a link to their official IE EOL documentation:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps/#Internet_Explorer

ex-MSFT, Premier Field Engineering ("boots on ground")
posted by jkaczor at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2010


Actually - they initially released and leveraged XmlHTTPRequest heavily for Outlook Web Access in the 2000-timeframe (IE5 as Artw mentions), they didn't appear to fully grok the whole AJAX paradigm for years and years, kept trying to add layers of complexity, frameworks, etc.

It was actually funny, as someone who was building Intranet apps using XmlHttpRequest in 2001 to see them not understanding how powerful a little XML, HTML, CSS and JavaScript could be.

(Of course... what does that make me quilty of? IE-lock-in, yes as only IE initially supported XmlHTTPRequest that means I personally locked-in one entire organization (that I know of) into the IE-browser world. We were replacing Lotus Notes though, so that should outweigh the bad a little....)
posted by jkaczor at 4:47 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


was at the Toronto launch... cheezy event at a local bar. was the beginning of the end of Internet innocence!.
posted by spish at 6:01 PM on August 16, 2010


Wow, 15 years.

You'd think they'd have got it right by now.
posted by bwg at 6:12 PM on August 16, 2010


No, surprisingly as of July 31st 2010, it seems that they do not.

Yes, they do. they stopped supporting it on XP SP2 on 13-Jul-2010, but you can upgrade to SP3 and enjoy support until 2014. If you find this line on the table you linked to:

Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3

You'll see it was released on 21-Apr-08 and support will end:
Support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first.
The same statement appears on the Windows XP SP3 lifecycle page. If you go to the Windows XP lifecycle page you'll see 'extended support' is due to end in April 2014, which is exactly 5 years after the release of XP SP3.
posted by robertc at 6:41 PM on August 16, 2010


Ironically, I was passing by on my way into Askme to find out if anyone else is having problems JUST with IE right now. I've been having a lot of problems with random temporary hangtimes on IE -- but ONLY on IE. Everything else on my computer is fine.

And I've run AVG Virus scan, McCaffee Housecall, Malwarebytes, AND Ad-Aware -- and they find NOTHING. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears; I will say for this thread, though, that this is one event that is causing me to seriously think of finally switching to Firefox.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 PM on August 16, 2010


Based on sites I have analytics for (and some assumptions about my audience), I'd say IE6 is used by about 4-5% of people accessing the internet from home. I really, really don't like having to care about IE6 for the sake of 4-5% of users. It's an accessibility issue and so is important to deal with, but unlike actual disabilities it can in many or most cases be almost instantaneously cured ("The power of Chrome compels you!").
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:45 PM on August 16, 2010


Ironically, I was passing by on my way into Askme to find out if anyone else is having problems JUST with IE right now. I've been having a lot of problems with random temporary hangtimes on IE

I'm in the middle of tracking down a bug where IE and only IE (well, and Flash running within it) is having problems knowing it's finished grabbing content from certain servers -- it has everything, but just sits waiting for more.

A few weeks ago, I was having problems where IE wasn't recognizing certain virtual hosting setups.

It's not just rendering it has issues with. HTTP, do you speak it?
posted by weston at 7:54 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


IE 6 is still a big userbase because it comes packaged with XP, which is the default state when people reinstall. But like Windows 98 connection with IE 5 before it, eventually nearly everyone will drop support for it.

I can't wait for that day. I'm sure by that point IE 7 will be the Zombie Browser that Would Not Die, because it comes with Vista.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:12 PM on August 16, 2010


Sometimes it isn't even the browser itself that keeps people "tied" to a certain browser - for example, I've mostly ignored all the progress in Safari (and Chrome) on my Mac, and I'm on Firefox for a reason that has nothing to do with the browsers themselves.

It's called AdBlock.
posted by DreamerFi at 10:26 PM on August 16, 2010


I really, really don't like having to care about IE6 for the sake of 4-5% of users. It's an accessibility issue and so is important to deal with, but unlike actual disabilities it can in many or most cases be almost instantaneously cured ("The power of Chrome compels you!").

When a browser is fading into history, there exists a small but significant minority of users who will cling to it like the it's a lifeboat in a storm - not necessarily on purpose, but because they don't know they need to update Windows at the least and maybe install a different browser, and they don't get that there is a hardware upgrade cycle. A not insignificant number do not understand the concept of the browser at all. These people are the same ones who will sometimes purchase an entirely new computer if they get a bad enough virus.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:28 PM on August 16, 2010


Yeah the Mosaic thing is not true.
Both Windows IE and Mac IE started out with the Spyglass codebase, not Mosaic, back in the day, and then they diverged really heavily from that point onwards.
I've seen the source code.

DreamerFi - both Safari and Chrome can run AdBlock now that they have extensions.
posted by w0mbat at 11:31 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


For so, so many people the internet is msn, home page where they read the news, hotmail where they keep in touch and Facebook to do whatever the fuck you do on Facebook. Then its back to work
posted by the noob at 12:34 AM on August 17, 2010


both Safari and Chrome can run AdBlock now that they have extensions

Yes. A very recent, and very welcome development!
posted by DreamerFi at 1:26 AM on August 17, 2010


jkaczor

I'm pretty sure that Microsoft do officially support IE6 because of the large number of important corporate and government clients that use it. That's why they ran the sour milk campaign, trying to shift attitudes without creating a massive problem for their other product teams by dumping IE6 support.
posted by johnny novak at 2:17 AM on August 17, 2010


Ironically, I was passing by on my way into Askme to find out if anyone else is having problems JUST with IE right now. I've been having a lot of problems with random temporary hangtimes on IE -- but ONLY on IE. Everything else on my computer is fine.

And I've run AVG Virus scan, McCaffee Housecall, Malwarebytes, AND Ad-Aware -- and they find NOTHING. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears; I will say for this thread, though, that this is one event that is causing me to seriously think of finally switching to Firefox.


I checked to see if you ever made it to AskMe for this, but didn't see it if you did, so I'll give my fwiw answer here. Whenever I have encountered this problem, and b/c I maintain 8 XP PCs in a community computer lab, it HAS happened occasionally, the answer that I usually encounter from Windows KB is to turn off all extensions, add-ins, and accellerators, and then add them back in one by one, trying the browser after each change.

I apologize that I'm not much in-depth help here. I'm not by profession a tech support person, so I don't have a step by step process for you. Most times, what I have found, is that there is a toolbar add-in that is causing the problem (although of course the problem lies with IE properly executing the add-in).

One memorable occurrence was after I installed a Google toolbar add-in. The effect on opening IE7 was that as soon as the browser opened, it would disappear and another IE7 instance would open, and again, and again. I had to (ultimately, on Microsoft's instruction) delete IE7, then go back to IE6. I did that, and then never used IE6 again, until I could update to IE8. I've still had the problem with IE8, but they've made it easier to isolate & remove the add-ins & accelerators.

I hope you'll post your question to AskMe, b/c this thread shouldn't devolve into "solve my IE" problem, and I'm sure you'll get better help than I can offer if you post it there.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:50 AM on August 17, 2010


And I've run AVG Virus scan, McCaffee Housecall, Malwarebytes, AND Ad-Aware -- and they find NOTHING. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears; I will say for this thread, though, that this is one event that is causing me to seriously think of finally switching to Firefox.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 PM on August 16 [+] [!]


Just switch. I tell this to anyone who'll listen (which aren't many, sadly) but using IE is like using a SD TV, when you could have an HD TV for free. Sure, you get the basic gist of websites, but you're missing out on so much more. All the cool new web features are in Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

I personally still use Firefox, but unless you're heavily into web development and can't live without firebug, I'd recommend switching to Chrome. Its faster and has a quicker release cycle so its a bit ahead of the curve in innovations. Though it doesn't have quite the array of add-ons that Firefox does. If that appeals to you, then Firefox is the way to go.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:36 AM on August 17, 2010


No, surprisingly as of July 31st 2010, it seems that they do not.
--- Yes, they do. they stopped supporting it on XP SP2 on 13-Jul-2010, but you can upgrade to SP3 and enjoy support until 2014. If you find this line on the table you linked to:

[snip]
--- Support ends 24 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first.

Sorry, but that's a semi-misreading, unfortunately. MS doesn't deem SPs to be products. Products are Outlook, MSWord, Internet Explorer etc.

The Not Applicable here means that there are parts of the browser that have to be supported (most notably mshtml.dll) because they are OS hooks in the SP. But the product IE6 is unsupported. But hey, here's the best thing:
The IE6 Page at Microsoft - complete with IE8 download!

I think that MS is only really keeping it around because of legacy institutions that won't upgrade.
posted by Metheglen at 2:40 PM on August 17, 2010


Holy crap. I just found dynaTrace AJAX via John Resig's blog post Deep Tracing of Internet Explorer and at first impression, this is the holy grail of IE debugging. Heck, it might even be better than Firebug.
posted by weston at 2:42 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what version you're using, but I've been using IE 7 and 8 since the both of them were available. To be honest, I don't see any of your issues pertaining to IE itself. (In my experience, IE crashing has been due to other garbage loaded into the system; not the browser itself.)

I also run Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and Opera on my various other systems. In all honesty, I find little difference between them aside from the add-ons available.

But hey, don't let me get in the way of some Microsoft M$ bashing.


Open the same web page side by side in IE, FF and Chrome. Guess which browsers render the page the way it was intended?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:42 AM on August 18, 2010


Further news on the HTML5 video codec wars: MPEG LA counters Google WebM with permanent royalty moratorium
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on August 26, 2010








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