Postcards from the Front-End

A campaign to believe in

IE8 looming on the horizon

After spending the last two days engaged in hand-to-hand combat with IE6 – whining and wishing IE6 would just roll over and die — the folks over at IEblog announce that I IE8 is officially being discussed.

I’m probably a little bit more optimistic than some of the commenters in that post. The amount of animosity developers have towards Internet Explorer (and Microsoft in general) is amazing. I’m not saying it isn’t warranted. Had IE6 developers decided to support PNG’s way back when IE6 was launched, I probably could have added a year’s worth of sleep to my life.

But sometimes I wonder if it’s a little out of hand. It’s like watching the Dixie Chicks in their documentary, Shut Up and Dance, except I guess in this lame analogy, we’re the morons who would run bulldozers over their records.

Using ifixpng for IE6’s lack of PNG support

Just discovered this handy plugin the other day: jQuery ifixpng

I typically use conditional comments  and place all of my AlphaImageLoader nonsense in there so that only IE6 will be served the crazy.  After all, IE7 can understand the filters, and based on my own testing, it doesn’t seem to like the AlphaImageLoader much (go to a page with the filter applied using IE7 and then hit cntrl +).

Why Won’t You Die, IE6?

It’s like that scene from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, when Robin Spitz Swallows gets machine-gunned, fragged, thrown out of a building, and Austin asks incredulously, “Why won’t you die?”

It’s what I’m asking IE6 right now.  The browser-that-needed-to-die this-year still controls 40% of the browser market share as of November 2007.  40%!

What happened to all that talk about how the Windows automatic update feature would rapidly accelerate the adoption of IE7?

IE6 experienced it’s biggest drop in January – February of this year, when it dropped from 54% to 49%.  Since then, however, it’s been hanging on like a cockroach, dropping about one percent each month.

Compliant, but not compliant enough recently published a somewhat anti-climatic article espousing the CSS shortcomings of IE7, more than a year after the product was launched, and about two years after IE7’s beta was released for testing.

I can’t help but feel that some of this frustration aimed at Microsoft is unfair. The developers of IE7 have always stated that CSS2 support was their goal but also that IE7 would never pass the Acid test.

IE7 fixed the bugs we bitched about the most: Peekaboo, double-floating margin, box model, PNG support, etc. Apparently they even visited to get the real deal scoop on what geeks were complaining about. (Perhaps if we’d been more united in our call for standards-compliance, they might have listened, but that’s another story.)

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