A good and safe Internet

I noticed recently that some visitors to this site are still using ancient versions of Internet Explorer (ancient being anything before IE7). This is, frankly, unacceptable. Using these outdated browsers is not only bad for you, but also bad for the internet as a whole. Its akin to driving through the city in a car that has no brakes.

I’m not sure why anyone would still be using these browsers. Maybe some people are simply unaware. If this is the case, then I can at least do something about it. So for now on, if anyone visiting this site is using an outdated browser, you’ll get an ugly warning like this:

IE6 Warning

IE6 Warning

I don’t care what browser you use, whether its Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 3. Just make sure its a modern one.

If you’d like more information, the following websites are dedicated to educating people about why IE6 is bad:

If you have a WordPress blog and would like to have such a warning as well, I’m using a plugin called Shockingly Big IE6 Warning.

9 thoughts on “A good and safe Internet

  1. Yeah, IE6 is crap. Unfortunately, some people are stuck with it – some of my company’s clients use Win2K and won’t use Firefox, so IE6 is what we’re stuck with supporting.

  2. Hello Blair,

    I am against those campains for the following reasons:

    1- they actively and positively promote IE 7 as a recommendable alternative browser to IE 6.
    a) if IE 7 has 90% (or so) of all the bugs (spec violations, unsupported DOM interfaces, incorrect implementations, missing, incomplete support, broken support, etc), then why would anyone being logical and coherent want to promote and recommend IE 7?
    b) IE 8 has fixed several hundreds of CSS 2.1 bugs when comparing with IE 7. Why those 2 websites (and any other websites promoting to replace IE 6 either with an upgrade or by switching to an alternate browser) are not actively promoting IE 8, instead of IE 7, as a more defendable, a more reasonable, a better, more sensible choice?
    c) Ancient, outdated and old are qualificatives related to time and relative terms, not necessarly related to the crux of the matter here: web standards compliance and security. So, why are these 2 topics clearly addressed and clearly explained to the IE6 users/visitors?
    d) “Ensure sites work in IE6″ is exactly a wrong way and one of the worse approach to entice people to upgrade or to switch. People should read reasons to switch or to upgrade their IE 6 browsers and people should occasionally (not necessarly intentionally) motives to switch or to upgrade their IE 6 browsers
    e) According to David A. Wheeler in his “Internet Explorer 7: Still a security problem”, IE 7 is not recommendable… but those campains promote IE 7 … still in 2009! Someone is very wrong here.

    Addressing the people’s intelligence, will to cooperate and addressing people’s objective best interests in this matter is the sure way, the most proactive, the best way to have people upgrade to IE 8 or to switch to latest released and stable versions of Firefox (v. 3.0.10) and Opera (v. 9.64). Those 2 campains are not doing this or not doing this well or sufficiently.

    There are ways to meet the users’ perspective and understanding of the issues involved. Offering IE 7 as an acceptable, recommendable, viable and sensible choice is a very, very bad idea.
    I personally found and reported 174 bugs in IE 7 (and I intentionally stopped at 174 because it really was not making any sense to search and report more bugs) and provided testcases (all reproducible, verifiable) for each of them and found several hundreds of sites were complaining about IE 7. So why would anyone being honest, coherent and consequent want to propose IE 7 as better for IE 6 users???

    regards, Gérard

  3. Gerard, try going to the plugin’s site and seeing how it actually functions.

    I installed it on my blog and it simply tells IE6 users to upgrade to Firefox (and provides a link for Firefox). It doesn’t tell them (if you don’t want it to) to upgrade to IE7.

  4. It’s simple: I can only use IE6 on my companys systems , i have no other choice.

  5. Al Billings,

    If you visit the 2 websites
    http://www.stopie6.org
    http://www.bringdownie6.com
    then it recommends explicitly IE 7 along with (and among) other possible choices (Firefox, Opera, Safari).

    There are now many campains (I have bookmarked about 50!) to phase out IE 6 but a wide majority of them suggest/recommend IE 7 as a recommendable replacement: this is not coherent. If the top 2 reasons to stop using IE 6 is web standards compliance and security, then the replacement the user would go on to do should not have those top 2 problems… and IE 7 clearly has those top 2 problems!

    IE 7 supports the hasLayout feature, has all of the margin collapsing bugs IE 6 had, has buggy float model implementation, clearance bugs, abs. and rel. positioning bugs, all of the left: auto offset, top: auto offset bugs IE 6 has, etc,etcet. So why would you recommend IE 7 as an acceptable replacement for IE 6?

    Worse is that some sites do not hesitate to recommend to continue to patch webpages (and to continue to support specific markup code and CSS code patches targeting IE 6) so that they nevertheless continue to work in IE 6. You know, IE 6 users should find occasionally by themselves good motives to change or to upgrade. I’m not saying that IE 6 users should be intentionally annoyed here by dedicated webpage code targeting them.

    Trash All IE Hacks
    http://www.webdesignerwall.com/general/trash-all-ie-hacks/
    is one rare site inviting people to drop IE hacks.

    Interview with an Adware Author Jan 12th, 2009
    philosecurity.org/2009/01/12/interview-with-an-adware-author
    is a good article to quote (judiciously) to convince IE 6 users to replace IE 6 (and again, not with IE 7!). Schneier did just that:
    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/01/interview_with_10.html

    Creating a campain is one thing: creating one that is effective, justified and coherent is another.
    Be logical and address the users’ intelligence are the ingredients often missing in those “stop using IE 6″ campains.

    regards, Gérard

    [previously mentioned but not linked]:
    Internet Explorer 7: Still a security problem
    http://www.dwheeler.com/blog/2007/02/05/#ie-2007-bad , by David A. Wheeler

  6. Yeah, IE6 is crap. Unfortunately, some people are stuck with it – some of my company’s clients use Win2K and won’t use Firefox, so IE6 is what we’re stuck with supporting.

  7. Are Simon and PB the same person? Is there a pro-IE6 faction out there spamming anti-IE6 posts? Was PB just lazy and copied Simon’s comment?

  8. Yeah, IE6 is crap. Unfortunately, some people are stuck with it – some of my company’s computers use WinXP and won’t use Firefox, so IE6 is what we’re stuck with supporting. Some companies have vendor apps that only work properly in IE6, but these big players don’t bother putting resources in creating real platform independent webapps.

  9. Indeed is very strange how some people manage to stay so far behind! I mean even if you are not techie at all, it should be obvious to upgrade to a newer one!

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