Internet Explorer 6 final is out
August 27, 2001 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Internet Explorer 6 final is out for windows. Hopefully they've worked all the bugs out from the public beta. They're claiming full 100% standards support for DOM level 1 and CSS 1 (it only took five years!), though time will tell how accurate that claim is.
posted by mathowie (64 comments total)
Downloading now, thanks Matt. I hope backward compatibility issues aren't a major headache. Sigh. Fingers crossed (for xml/xsl and .hta issues).
posted by kokogiak at 4:13 PM on August 27, 2001

i hate how they don't let you download a zip or something so you can install it later. the wizard just starts installing.
posted by deftone at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2001

awesome! i've been hearing about the standards compliance for a while now, and I'm really eager to try it out. any caveats, other than the disabled netscape-style plugins?
posted by chrisege at 4:28 PM on August 27, 2001

I'm assuming IE6 installs over IE5 ?

Which is rather stupid and is holding me back from installing, because as a developer (ok, maybe not), I need to be able to test sites across all the common browsers - and with the slow adoption of new browsers/plugins, IE5 is still going to be around for a long time.
posted by mkn at 4:29 PM on August 27, 2001

What's a really good, rich, cutting-edge-standards site to test it on?
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:35 PM on August 27, 2001

Note that a certain number of the newest CSS features will be enabled only for pages with the proper DOCTYPE directive.
posted by jeffbarr at 4:36 PM on August 27, 2001

First impression - I hate the little blue-colored XP-flavored "e" icon everywhere, and the new "smart" 404 page isn't all that helpful at all - but it does have a blue line across the top (?). I'll probably get used to it. So far so good tho. And yes, mkn, IE5 appears to be swallowed up by IE6 now.
posted by kokogiak at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2001

I always agonize over upgrading. It took me forever to download N6.1, because I was waiting for people to yay or nay it. IE6 users, any odd problems you can see? Is it significantly better, and worth tossing IE5 over?
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2001

Like mkn, I'll have to put off d/l IE 6 until there's a greater percentage of users with it. I much prefer IE 5.5 over any of the versions of Netscape, but at least Netscape let's me install multiple versions.
posted by Option1 at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2001

I'm downloading it at the moment, but while I was customizing the setup, there was an advanced button which apparently lets you save it first before installing. If this turns out not to be the case, I'll post again once I've finished downloading.
posted by Zootoon at 4:52 PM on August 27, 2001

I'd be glad to post a follow-up after a full day of hammering, but after an hour, I'd say it "feels" stable and seems to render pretty quick, esp. pages with fairly complex table structures. So far all my xml/xsl and .hta stuff works the same/slightly faster. (Emphasis on "so far")

One thing to watch out for: if you count on a large image overflowing the screen, you're outta luck - IE6 now "auto-resizes" it by default, crunching it into available window space. Of course you can click it to get a little button to pop up and "expand" it to fullsize - or switch off a setting in the Advanced section of Internet Options. Not a huge deal, but I don't like it much.
posted by kokogiak at 4:55 PM on August 27, 2001

Checking my own pages, IE 6 now shows things I've set as {display:none;} which 5.5 didn't...
posted by transient at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2001

I'm still on IE 5.01. Mostly because I do web design and need to be on the browser most people use. Don't expect wide spread 6.0 support till AOL upgrades or until everyone merges onto WinXP. I give it another 2-3 years before I'll finally be able to use standards.
posted by geoff. at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2001

Seems to work fine -- it does install directly over 5 though, unlike NS. Not a big deal unless you're a designer trying to compare what your site looks like on all browsers -- and even then it's a still not huge deal since it's not too much of a leap forward. Beats the hell out of Netscape though, that I am sure of. (Funny, the side bar matches this site, way to go mathowie! Perhaps MS owes you something.)
posted by moses at 5:05 PM on August 27, 2001

kokgiak: You can turn off the image resize, and image toolbars in Advanced Options.
posted by riffola at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2001

hold up, the display:none css command doesn't work on IE6? bah, that's how i got NS 4.7 users to bug off! grrr... i'll have to wait for a day or two until i hear what everyone has to say, so make sure you guys post your gripes, warnings, and cool things you found!

i'm not in so much of a rush to get the update, 'cause i have a bad feeling it's going to mess something up over here or my 128mb of RAM and 450mhz processer won't be able to handle it.. if it were an opera upgrade on the other hand, i'd probably be already downloading and running it.
posted by lotsofno at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2001

David Baron's CSS test pages are some exhaustive test suites that you can use to run IE6 against.
posted by mathowie at 5:15 PM on August 27, 2001

deftone: To download for later installation (or to create, for example, a network install), do this:
* Run IE6Setup.exe
* Accept license agreement
* Click "Install minimal, or customize" radio button
* Click Next
* Click Advanced
* Click "Download Only" checkbox

Granted, it's not stunningly obvious, but it is an option and it's been consistent since later releases of IE4.
posted by dhartung at 5:15 PM on August 27, 2001

riffola - thanks, but I thought that's what I said (bottom of comment). I was just disappointed that it's set to crunch huge images by default - seein as how end users almost never change their default settings.

One other side note - I was browsing the 5k entries page in IE6, and everything looks centered within the tables (two columns in the white area, both centered within their tables) - I don't think it looks that way in IE 5, it was all left-aligned there.
posted by kokogiak at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2001

I downloaded it on one computer here, and I'm really not finding any faults with it.

i notice that there's some discrepancy with dhtml speed across sites - some seem to run a little more smoothly than before, and some chug more than before - but I think this might be more of a code issue than a browser issue... ? I think.

Any idea about how IE6 reacts to bad code? I hadn't had the chance to try anything.
posted by mkn at 5:25 PM on August 27, 2001

I've noticed a few sites have alignment problems, probably a div inheretance thing. Brig's site is aligning all her post text to the right. The strangest one is Steve's site. I'm sure he knows what he's doing but his divs look all messed up in IE6.
posted by mathowie at 5:26 PM on August 27, 2001

Rumor has it that all non active-x plugins (i.e. quicktime) will not work in IE6?
posted by tomorama at 5:27 PM on August 27, 2001

tomorama - from their FAQ: "Internet Explorer does not support Netscape-style plug-ins. However, Internet Explorer continues to support the Embed tag. Content creators can continue to use the Embed tag for components that are built on ActiveX® technologies, as has been the case since Internet Explorer 3. A few examples are the Flash and Shockwave products from Macromedia, as well as the SVG Viewer from Adobe Systems." Full FAQ here.
posted by kokogiak at 5:35 PM on August 27, 2001

What strikes me as odd is if you try and install it in Windows XP (2535), it won't let you choose minimal or customise.

Tomorama: Here's the thread about IE dropping support for non ActiveX plugins.
posted by riffola at 5:37 PM on August 27, 2001

I just clicked through the install, and there wasn't an option to only download the files >:-\. It's probably a Windows 2000 thing, since the first screen said "typical Windows 2000/XP". Typical indeed.
posted by smaugy at 5:51 PM on August 27, 2001

My biggest "gripe" with IE 6 is the restrictive privacy settings. Good on one hand, bad on another. In short, you get a little "eye" with a red slash at the bottom of your screen - telling you (when you click on it) that certain cookies (third party cookies especially) have been blocked or may be deleted at the end of your session.

This breaks a lot of banner advertising schemes, including the one that I use at work to put ads on our business sites.

The solution? Well, considering it's pretty hard to make a user "accept" your cookies ("To view and interact with the ads on this site you must move your security settings down to minimum!") you can instead set an HTTP header on your web server that specifies your P3P compliancy. has lots of information on this, but basically it comes down to:

- Downloading a P3P policy generator (Java mostly)
- Generate and XML, HTML and Compact Policy with it
- Install (save) the HTML and XML policies on the server
- Add an HTTP header to all web pages with the compact policy
(Apache will do this easily to all pages on a server with one line)
posted by Fat Elvis at 5:51 PM on August 27, 2001

Checking my own pages, IE 6 now shows things I've set as {display:none;} which 5.5 didn't...

This display:none test renders perfectly. There's probably something wrong with your pages.
posted by sja at 6:12 PM on August 27, 2001

Everyone fearful of upgrading because of web testing they do may want to look into running virtual OSs with something like Connectix Virtual PC. They just released it for windows too. Why would you want to emulate windows on windows? Because you can keep seperate drive images and boot to them with the flick of the switch. No dual boot nightmares. Great for testing too. Scared that something might blow up your computer? Make a copy of your monolithic drive image, boot to it, install, and throw away the image away if it doesn't work.
posted by machaus at 6:13 PM on August 27, 2001

Kris's Mini Review (Celeron 400, 1Gb RAM, Win2k):

  • A lot more responsive than IE5.01 (I refused to use 5.5)
  • Lock the toolbars! No more pissing around after you click the mouse too early, moving the Address or links bar and messing up your delicate balance of usability and aesthetics. (ahem...)
  • Block third-party cookies.
  • Media bar. I doubt I'll use it, but it's something to whither away the time, I suppose. It wants me to install the latest media player. Hmmmm nah.
  • I can finally enable passive mode FTP! I might have missed it in searching around the menus before, but still, alas!
  • It might be just me but Win2k seems to boot up a bit quicker - the GUI doesn't usually start to appear until after the ADSL modem has synced.
  • The menus (tools/options) is a lot quicker - I don't get pissed off with waiting just to change the proxy settings now.
  • It fucks up my personal portal page that I spent ages doing. Humph. Maybe the content-type stuff isn't right. I dunno.
  • It still installs Outlook Express. Someday MS will realise that some people would rather not have OE installed.
  • If you use unordered lists in previewing a comment, does it usually go into the default font?
  • I don't know if this is related. Try to post a comment without using a proxy (I use Junkbuster). This comment won't post unless I go through Junkbuster. Strange. Maybe a Mefi coding bug? Probably just me, though. (Error Diagnostic Information An error occurred while evaluating the expression: EQ "Post" Error near line 1, column 16. Error resolving parameter FORM.POST)
That concludes this mini review. Goodnight.
posted by smaugy at 6:39 PM on August 27, 2001

I found a visual walkthrough (didn't see one on the IE site).
posted by timothompson at 6:40 PM on August 27, 2001

thanks, kris.
posted by lotsofno at 6:44 PM on August 27, 2001

Don't forget about the Mefi sidebar thingy.

And you can delete only cookies (I don't think you could do that before).

The "Email this picture..." & "Print this picture" right-click menu options. Gee, Bill, that must've taken weeks to code. It's a bit useless (for me, at least).

I guess the auto-resize picture thing is handy, too. All it needs now is an auto-retry for all the filepile "server overloaded" errors :-)

I haven't found anything else yet...
posted by smaugy at 7:11 PM on August 27, 2001

Well, it passes the Glassdog Test.

But those new icons are just stoopid.

And how the hell do I get it off my desktop again?
posted by solistrato at 7:58 PM on August 27, 2001

dhartung: After I accept the license agreement, I just get screen that says "Windows 2000 / Windows XP Install - 11.1 MB" and a Next button. Once I click on Next it connects and starts downloading. There are no radio buttons to select install minimal or customize. This must be a Windows 2000 thing.
posted by deftone at 8:01 PM on August 27, 2001

Re. my comment about it screwing up my personal portal page: it was just my wibbly CSS that IE5.01 didn't mind :-)

Also, as an added bonus, it seems to have speeded up Windows Explorer, too. I'm *sure* the tree view icons are a little further apart than normal.

Everything just seems a bit more responsive.

All in all, it seems well worth the worry that it could completely screw up your system :-)
posted by smaugy at 8:09 PM on August 27, 2001

kokogiak said: First impression - I hate the little blue-colored XP-flavored "e" icon everywhere, and the new "smart" 404 page isn't all that helpful at all - but it does have a blue line across the top (?).

Wow! I'm an IE5 user and I got that 'upgrade' today too. Usually if I typed in I'd get a very plain thing that said 'Host not found' or such like..

But from today, I'm being subjected to the same stupid MSN page that IE6 users are. Thanks Microsoft for upgrading my IE5 automatically. (Okay, it's not that bad)
posted by wackybrit at 8:11 PM on August 27, 2001

After 10 minutes of scouring Microsoft's site, I fail to find any information about the new Outlook Express. No screenshots, no feature updates, nothing. Outlook Express is the only reason I'd consider getting IE6.. is it any better than before?
posted by wackybrit at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2001

i dunno about this new 404.. sure, it's a lot more colorful, but i was used to the simple old one.
posted by lotsofno at 8:44 PM on August 27, 2001

Wackybrit: Outlook Express 6.0 appears to be exactly the same as Outlook Express 5.5, which was essentially the same as Ooutlook Express 5.0.
posted by MattD at 8:45 PM on August 27, 2001

I just clicked through the install, and there wasn't an option to only download the files >:-\. It's probably a Windows 2000 thing, since the first screen said "typical Windows 2000/XP". Typical indeed.

I found this out yesterday when trying ot dl ie5.5. I need to burn a copy of ie5.5 so when I go to locations w/a slow Internet connection I can simply install from the cd. When trying to download ie5.5 by itself it doesn't allow you. Apparently, this is the same issue when trying to download ie6.0.

I think I found a fix though. If you download from a win98se machine it allows you to choose your options and which OS you are installing ie6.0 on. If you choose to download the full version for win2k/NT/ME it doesn't force you to upgrade w/no choice.
posted by suprfli at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2001

I just triple checked. If you run ie6setup.exe from a win98se machine and choose the Advanced/Download Only option it allows you to choose to download ie6 for win98/NT/Win2k & XP/Millenium.

I guess this doesn't help if you don't have a win98 machine there but if you do download it and then burn it to a cd or install it over the network.
posted by suprfli at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2001

Time to add a new meta tag: <META HTTP-EQUIV="imagetoolbar" CONTENT="no">
posted by mrbula at 9:44 PM on August 27, 2001

I've installed IE6 on my Mac's Virtual PC running Windows 2000 and I don't notice that snazzy new 404 page or the XP-style buttons. It looks the same as IE 5.5 to me, although in the About box it does say it's 6.0. Whassup?
posted by kindall at 10:52 PM on August 27, 2001

Don'tcha just love the "Is this copy of Windows legal?" under Help in Windows Explorer? From what I hear it's not just an XP thing, it does that for all OSes.
posted by riffola at 10:56 PM on August 27, 2001

You could probably get the full install of IE 6 via IE Administration Kit (IEAK)
posted by riffola at 11:20 PM on August 27, 2001

I'm running ME and I can't find the "Is this copy of Windows legal?" thing. And I didn't have to download and automatically install, or even install Outlook Express. In fact that check box was already unchecked.
posted by Apoch at 11:24 PM on August 27, 2001

ie6 looks like the same as 5.5. where are the snazzy buttons? i don't want them but at least would like to see them. is this a special XP feature? IMO, ie6 adds a bunch of features for newbies. one of the best additions ever made to ie was the print preview.
posted by suprfli at 12:26 AM on August 28, 2001

it messed up my 'blog this!' right-click extension and for that, I hate it already. then it won't let me log in to the blogger forum. bah.
posted by mb01 at 3:01 AM on August 28, 2001

IE6 still seems to get the box model wrong.... grrr.
posted by crayfish at 4:00 AM on August 28, 2001

crayfish: "IE6 still seems to get the box model wrong.... grrr."

Damn - I've been using build 2479 since it's been available and box is right in that.

Why would they go and change it in final?
posted by deanburge at 4:30 AM on August 28, 2001

One other thing - the ftp functionality (ftp folder view) is still crap. When it works it's good, but when it just sits there waiting without the user knowing what the hell it's doing, it gets really annoying. It's just sat there now, playing dead. Is it frozen? Has it crashed? Is it waiting for a response from the server? I guess I'll never know.

One day MS will make the task bar (which I believe is part of IE) more customisable. Despite being able to lock the IE toolbar, I can't do that with the taskbar.

FTP still frozen.... hrmmmmmmmmm. Maybe I shouldn't try and log non-anonymously in passive mode. Hmm. Then again, works. I dunno. Me stupid.
posted by smaugy at 5:14 AM on August 28, 2001

the drag bars on my toolbars are missing...I can't resize my google search bar :(
posted by Mick at 5:34 AM on August 28, 2001

Mick: right-click and untick "Lock the Toolbars."
posted by smaugy at 5:48 AM on August 28, 2001

I just installed it, and was notified after rebooting that I needed to apply a critical update from 9/10/99. Must have been a really old file in there.
posted by samsara at 6:41 AM on August 28, 2001

another disgusting piece of crapware from billborg. my mind boggles that so many leap to download the nasty thing. my opinion of mefites sags a bit more. never move to a new ms browser until its not new anymore. 5.01 for now and the foreseeable future. but of course, y'all pixel-pushin' designer types just gotta have it so you can learn to code around the latest set of incompatibilities.
posted by quonsar at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2001

How sad is this: I can't download IE6 at work because... my work computer's version of Windows is too old. GOD I LOVE SILICON PRAIRIE! Tee hee... tee hee hee haw... hee haw hee haw whooo! [insert Ric Flair dance]
posted by zedzebedia at 7:05 AM on August 28, 2001

I don't know if anyone else is dealing with this, but I'm in the process of sorting out our site's compact privacy statement right now.

This is a cool feature, obviously, but it's kind of a pain for the short term...
posted by ph00dz at 7:12 AM on August 28, 2001

> I've noticed a few sites have alignment problems, probably a div inheretance thing

Tables inherit the text-alignment property of their parent container. It used to be that <td>s defaulted to left alignment, but now if you have a <table> inside a <td align="right"> then it's own table cells will default to right alignment. From the CSS enhancements page:
TABLE Elements Inherit Text Properties
TABLE elements inherit the value of text properties from their parents. These properties include color, font-size, font-weight, font-style, font-variant, text-decoration, text-transform, letter-spacing, and line-height. With earlier versions of Internet Explorer, for all of the text properties of TABLE elements except the font-family property, set all text properties to the settings on the BODY element.

There are quite a few pages out there that do not align the way they're suppossed to. Mostly pages that have a fixed-width centered table.
posted by tremendo at 7:47 AM on August 28, 2001

quonsar, I think all your post did was betray your prejudices. Certainly, those prejudices are so evident as to make your "review" redundant and valueless.

Equally clear by your statement "y'all pixel-pushin' designer types just gotta have it..." is that you haven't read what the web designers here have said. If you had you would note that most of us haven't downloaded it yet because it writes over IE 5.x. Until I partition my HDD, or instal a virtual OS as suggested by machaus, I'll keep IE 5.5 (along with Netscape 6, 4.77, 3.0 and Opera 5) to test on.
posted by Option1 at 8:20 AM on August 28, 2001

Note that if you installed IE 5 with "IE 4 Compatibility," you had IE 5 and IE 4 running at the same time. IE 6 doesn't seem to let you keep IE 5 running, but it hasn't messed with my copy of IE 4. So now I have IE 4 and 6 on this machine, and 5.5 on one next to me. (In addition to the four versions of IE, five versions of NN, and two versions of AOL on the Mac next to that.)
posted by endquote at 10:33 AM on August 28, 2001

I have an idea. Can someone go through this list and tell us if everything looks fine? Then we wouldn't all have to download it... :-)
posted by fooljay at 10:50 AM on August 28, 2001

Is there any way of getting IE6 without using the IE6SETUP downloader? I want to use my lovely Download Accelerator. My connection often dies (that's BT Internet for ya) and I want to use my resume.
posted by wackybrit at 2:43 PM on August 28, 2001

Wackybrit, try this. I haven't got a f'in clue what these switches actually DO, but it seems to work fine.

ie6setup.exe /c:"ie6wzd.exe /d /s:""#E"
posted by smaugy at 5:36 PM on August 28, 2001

smaugy - I have to say that my new favorite adjective is "wibbly" - thanks! (can't stop saying it in my mind wibbly-wibbly-wibbly)
posted by kokogiak at 11:10 PM on August 28, 2001

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