Fighting against the new Internet Explorer 6

May 11, 2011

Few weeks ago, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 and launched a campaign to "move the world off Internet Explorer 6". This is a good news for web developers because Internet Explorer 6 is/was the major cause of headaches. However, are we sure that there will be no more headaches?

When creating a new website we have to take into account IE7 and 8 consequently the headaches starts again and again.

Which is the cure? There is one?

There is a cure and the therapy foresees some "doses" of Chrome Frame. Chrome Frame is a plugin that allows to use the most recent web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, etc.) on IE6, 7 and 8, enabling a Chrome-like rendering engine.

On the Chrome Frame Developer Guide there are all the details about this solution.

Side-effects?

Of course, all therapies have some side-effects and, in my opinion, this solution has the following:

  1. we create zombies: people install the plugin instead of updating the browser; the consequence is to extend the life of this buggy browser;

  2. accessibility issues: to install a plugin cannot be easy to people with special needs.

Conclusion

I plan to use this solution because it is really time saving, but with some modifications: I am implementing a server-based solution that, by sniffing the user agent string, proposes to the user the possibility to install a new browser (Firefox or Chrome) or the Chrome Frame plugin.

And you, what are you up to do for your headaches?


A photo of Elia Contini
Written by
Elia Contini
Sardinian UX engineer and a Front-end web architect based in Ticino, Switzerland. Marathoner, traveller, wannabe nature photographer.