Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Old and trusted technology...

A friend of mine made me aware of an ongoing initiative today. It's one of those "of course. Why didn't I think of that?" things that are found in many corners around the Web, but of which only few gets truly wide acceptance.

I'll do my bit to promote this initiative however.

"Back in the day", when I was most heavily involved in what I term "Web Client Development" or "Front End Development", IE 4.0 was "the thing". Having blown the competition out of the water (by what means, is not a discussion I get much into), finally we were seeing the full potential of the web client get unlocked. Fancy javascript, alphaFilter direct X attributes, old fashioned TABLE layouts - and best of all, there simply WERE no other browsers on the market with any significant market share. Cross Browser testing was something you'd specify as an item on any proposal, and make sure the price tag was high enough that any client would opt out.

Then along came a few... mishaps. IE 5.0 and 5.5 - none of them ever really took off. Firefox was released, and ol' Microsoft HAD to come up with something to compete again. And not a moment too soon. The answer came, in form of Internet Explorer 6.0. Or IE6 as it is lovingly coined today. According to my statistics on this blog, it is still being used by more than 35% of all readers of this blog - making it one of the largest players in the Browser Marketplace still. Not bad, considering it has been around since 2001. 8 years. What's that... two Internet Lifetimes?

Of course, in THIS day and age, everybody wants a piece of IE6 sunshine. New versions of Firefox has been released, little brothers were spawned in form of IE7 and now IE8, and even Google Chrome has entered the arena. This is not even mentioning the preferred Safari browser on the Mac platform, or perhaps even Opera.

But I say, forget all that. IE6 is a proven trusty workhorse. It will render more or less ANYTHING, and not be concerned with making your life miserable with words such as "Compliance", "Standards", "Reliability". It won't make your users confused with such advanced concepts as "Tabs". It has more security related updates than perhaps any other product in the world, and therefore MUST be the most secure product in the world.

And best of all, everyone working in IT Operations don't have to figure out how to work the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to install a later version. IE6 is already there, it's free of charge, it's integrated in the platform. What more could anyone want?

I fully back this initiative. Save IE6. Everything else just adds to an already complex environment, and trying to conform to every Tom, Dick and Harry browser product around is just a waste of everyone's time.

So say we all!

(at least today, we do ;-))


EDIT: As some of you guessed (I would have thought all, but that was not the case), this post was inspired by all the April Fool pages being posted everywhere that day – where SaveIE6 is among them. Now back to more serious matters… ;-)

No comments: