On NOT dropping Internet Explorer 6 support.

ie6 browsers

The big news on the browser support front is that a lot of big players are dropping support for IE6. Web developers all over the world are throwing parties and stuff, but frankly I don't get it... IE6 is almost 8 years old now, if you can't code to that, I suggest you find yourself a proper job. And as Christian said:

Social web sites not supporting IE6 is a sign, but a sign to an audience that already understands the problem. It is like adding a message for blind users as a JPG without alternative text – nice idea, wrong tool to reach the intended target group.

What I propose and am doing at my customers, is not to drop support for IE6 but simply demote it from A-grade support. So I created a 4th level of support for IE6, to be called A minus.

A minus support means, that everything still needs to work, but minor layout bugs get a lower priority. It means that you can use more advanced css stuff for the other A-grade browsers and accept that not everything will be supported in IE6. As long as it only is the rounded corners that those people are missing, that's fine with me.

And to my surprise also to a large number of my clients, especially after I explain to them the extra costs involved in making every little detail of a site the same across all browsers.

The added benefit of this is that you continue to support the legions of IE6 users, who can't upgrade their browser, due to company policy or what ever reason. They will never see the difference, as only us web developers test in multiple browsers. Real users don't even know ( in most cases ) that their is such a thing as a browser...

So dropping IE6 to A minus will let you do all of the css3 tricks you have been dying to do for years. IE6 users won't know the difference and better browsers will get a better experience. Your testers won't stop you from doing it, if you give them a different level that IE6 needs to go to...

See also this post from Maaike de Laat, as it seems she made this point earlier...

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