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Postcards from the Front-End

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

Sitepoint.com 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 positioniseverything.net 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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Testing for IE6 and IE7

This is probably a little late in mentioning (about a year late), but I would strongly recommend against using hacks when it comes to trying to install IE6 and IE7 on the same box (Tredosoft’s hack).  For a couple of reasons:

  1. You risk permanently screwing with the Windows Registry, which the Tredosoft hack explicity does.  My co-worker, whom I gleefully recommend the hack to, still has IE6/IE7 issues.  And trying to uninstall the hack or applying provided patches didn’t work for me.
  2. The last time I checked, after applying the hack, you need to apply another one to enable conditional comments
  3. Bottom line, Microsoft didn’t intend for these two browsers to co-exist

So it’s no surprise that I highly recommend using Microsoft’s Virtual PC. Installing it and then uploading a VPC image of the XP operating system with IE6 will enable you to have an exact replica of that browser, or you could do it the other way around.

You can download all of the stuff here.

Float clearing for IE7

Try using { display: inline-block; }:

.clearfix:after {
	content: ".";
	display: block;
	height: 0;
	clear: both;
	visibility: hidden;
}
.clearfix { display: inline-block; }
.clearfix { display: block; }