Norway Does Battle with IE6, Twitter Tracks It
No one likes Internet Explorer 6 (IE6 for short), a web browser that’s been around since 2001 and just won’t die. Designers truly loathe it, because it forces them (us) to do various fixes and ugly hacks that just shouldn’t be needed these days. And users, well, they should loathe it but obviously they don’t know better.
If you are using IE6, please switch to IE7, Firefox, Safari, or just about any other web browser out there!
In Norway they are taking it one step further than above. It started as a week long experiment (still ongoing as I’m writing this), but it seems to be evolving to an actual movement to stop the use of IE6. And that’s good for the web.
Finn.no did it first, and then newspapers and other sites followed up on it. Basically, it’s a warning that tells you that your web browser is old and bad, get a new one here and there, but only if you’re using IE6.
And it started with a tweet, of course. Norwegian blogger Eystein Mack Alnæs, who writes in plain old English at That Norwegian Guy, translates it to this:
To everyone with control of mayor Norwegian sites: What about a spring cleaning to get rid of IE6? One week of encouragement on our homepages?
Check out his post on this as well, he’s got some great links to sites participating in this “event”, including this screenshot gallery featuring Norwegian sites giving IE6 warnings.
Naturally, since it started on Twitter, there’s a hashtag for it. Do a search for #IE6 and you’ll see people talking about this, and adding similar functionality to their blogs. It’s having an impact in Sweden as well, this post on Mindpark (in Swedish, Google Translate here) might very well spark something similar since Mindpark is owned by a couple of Swedish newspapers.
If you want to tell your visitors to get a better browser, you can use the code on this site, or use this WordPress plugin (ugly but works), and I’m sure there are several other options as well.
I’m against blocking out IE6 altogether, and as a designer it’s my job to make a website work for the readers, no matter what browser they’re using. However, telling them that they could get a better experience is OK, and we’ll most likely add this functionality to the Blog Herald in the coming upgrade.
Will you join the battle with IE6? Then tweet it, adding the #IE6 hashtag. And do tell in the comments.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.
Allthough this campaign sprung from developers’ desire to rid the world of a non-standard-compliant web browser, it’s not just about web standards and developing cross browser sites. It’s also important to stress the security issues with IE6. It’s an old browser with unfixed security holes.
Absolutely! The less IE6 installs there are, the better. Spread the word!
Thanks for helping to spread the word!
Readers might also be interested to check out the international anti-IE6 wiki.
I have a great idea. All those in the web design/dev arena decide on a date when we all stop using ie6. It will be a unified push to get rid of the enemy. I think we have pandered to its oppresive regine far too long, lets stand up for “ie must die day”, spread the word!