Sea Change


For the first time, I’ve today got a job from a large(ish) company for which Internet Explorer 6 support is not a requirement.

Not for some oddball research project, either; it’s their core product. Great news, and I think it’s the right call: it’ll take half the time to do the job, and the code will be much simpler to test and maintain without all the stupid CSS hacks IE6 requires.

More relevantly, if their usership stats continue on their current trend, IE6 usage will be negligible by the launch date anyway, so it makes sense even when not considered from the point of view of my personal convenience. Still, they’re the first major company I’ve seen ready to pull the trigger on that. I hope more follow that trend soon; the more people start letting their websites break in IE6, the sooner users will upgrade to a “real” browser.

It’s funny how that ping-pongs back and forth: I remember when the buggy problem child you still had to support was Netscape 4, with its crappy, crashy javascript extensions; for years you wished everyone would wise up and switch to the shiny new IE5 already. But before that, Netscape 4 was the exciting new bleeding-edge toy (DHTML! Woo! And look at these cool new javascript extensions!); best thing since, well, Netscape 2. (Background colors! Aligned images! Yeehaw!)

(Come to think of it, I have no recollection of Netscape 3. Did they skip a digit?)