Dump IE 6 campaign runs afoul of dump IE 6 campaign
Accusations, denials, tee-shirts
The anger and frustration normally associated with Internet Explorer tends to focus on specific areas: security, stability, and standards. But those feelings have now spilled over into efforts dedicated to "saving" developers from the aging IE version 6.
Veteran developer Michael Hudin has accused a group calling itself Savethedevelopers.org of hijacking his idea for a campaign to rid the web of IE 6, which he says makes life hard for web developers. The catalyst for Hudin's anger was a TechCrunch article promoting Savethedevelopers.org without referencing him or his campaign.
While Hudin acknowledged that two people can have the same idea, he noted that he kicked off his campaign - End 6! - last year and registered the domain name in October 2007.
Hudin is explicit about the motives of his original campaign - he is a developer and wants an easier life building web applications. According to Hudin, Savethedevelopers stole his idea and are trying to make money from related merchandise - teeshirts sold via Cafepress.com.
"I could have tossed some AdWords up there or a tacky t-shirt, but I didn't. Why? I was much more interested in making the campaign work and making the net better," Hudin blogged.
Ron Goff, technology director at web developer Conveyor Group, which set up the Savethedevelopers, denied prior knowledge of Hudin's campaign. The Savethedevelopers site, meanwhile, said there's no mark-up on the merchandise its selling, and tee-shirts help show support.
Goff told Reg Dev: "We got an email from him [Hudin] and let him know there was no intention to steal his idea. The point of Savethedevelopers is that it is not just a single campaign. Urging people to get rid of IE 6 is just the first of many campaigns to help developers."
Both campaigns argue that web developers face significant extra work because they must cater to the idiosyncrasies of several versions of the main browser. IE 6 is claimed to be especially difficult to support because of its age and its inability to cope with many of the requirements of advanced Web 2.0 applications. Despite being superseded by IE 7 in late 2006, IE 6 is still in wide use at between 30 and 40 per cent.®
If only it was so easy
As a home-user Desktop PC Technician, I find that many of my customers are running less than XP SP2 (98, ME, 2000, XP SP0/1 etc) so they haven't been upgraded to IE7. This means a lot of my customers are running IE5 and IE6 by default. Many are also on Dial-up. Many have problems accessing websites with Flash, ActiveX, Java, https, etc either because their PCs are old and/or borked (hence they need me). Many don't know what a browser actually is let alone what Firefox is. Expecting EVERYONE to change isn't an option. That's why my site is written in really basic static HTML - I can't afford to alienate my potential customers with anything that might not work.
Killing IE would require all web developers everywhere to agree to redirect all IE traffic to the Firefox website after a certain date.
Encouraging/forcing an upgrade from IE6 to 7 isn't sufficient, since the only difference between them is that IE7 has tabs, almost passible font smoothing, and natively supports transparent PNGs. It's just as non-standards-compliant and family-shaming to it's developers as version 6 was. IE7 is too little too late, and should be put down.
This scenario is obviously preposterous. So I suggest instead that Google do this, which would be just as effective as everybody else in the world doing it.
If I seem angry, I am. I'm a web developer.
What an absolute load of bollocks, sir. Is the 802.11g wireless standard the one used by the people with the most market share? How about the IDE/SATA/SCSI standards, or the ISO standards for business interchange, and so on, and so on? A standard is something agreed on by a group of people in order to make their products intercompatible - that is, they all run on the same base, or produce similar output, etc. Your "code for IE" approach is only ever going to create huge headaches for developers and users alike, especially when the next question would be "what version of IE are you going to code for?" IE doesn't even agree with itself, so how can it be a standard?
Real web developers - and by that, I mean those of us in the real world - code all their websites TO STANDARDS and then hack in extra annoying code to make them work in IE. That way, the website works in all browsers for all users, excluding no-one. That is the mark of a "real web developer," not some strange loyalty to only one buggy, obsolete browser made by a collection of idiots.
As for the IE6 issue, I wholeheartedly agree with those that want it and every version before it to die. IE6 has tormented me for long enough, and its inability to render anything properly has on occasion made me look a fool - if a site you made doesn't appear properly in a browser, as far as the client is concerned, that's 'cos you're crap, not because the browser's crap. I was pleasantly surprised by IE7. It's still rubbish compared to FF, Opera and Safari, but it's a damn sight better than IE6 and certainly a step in the right direction. The others were appalling, and should be retired in much the same way as a lame racehorse.