compatibility with IE6 on windows

Aaron Toponce atoponce at
Thu Oct 30 17:19:40 GMT 2008

Denver Gingerich wrote:
> It is very unwise to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 on the
> Ubuntu web site.  A major goal of Ubuntu is to reach out to Windows
> users.  People viewing the Ubuntu site in IE6 will go away thinking
> "Ubuntu sucks" because it doesn't look nice in their browser.  These
> same people often don't know what a web browser is, let alone that
> they are using IE6.
> On a practical note, IE6 users represent about 25% of all Internet
> users [1] [2], which is more than all versions of Firefox combined.
> Furthermore, there is no pressing need for people to upgrade because
> Microsoft will support IE6 with security updates, etc. until July 13,
> 2010 [3].  I suggest that Ubuntu continue supporting IE6 on its
> website until at least that date.

IE6 has dropped 10% since January 2008 and over 40% since January 2006.
At this rate, by the end of 2008, it will be approaching 15%, with
probably 5% by mid to late 2009. The Google Chrome browser will have
better market share than IE6.

Further, I'll take a stab in the dark here, and bet that users who are
coming to the Ubuntu website don't fit into the current browser market
share trends. I would be surprised if the IE6 usage was over 10% on

Also, Windows XP and newer, got a required update to go to IE7 as a
security mandate some time ago. People who haven't upgraded to IE7 are
to blame, not the web developers who are keeping their websites up with
the latest browsers.

> Asking people to use a different browser is not an option because many
> people will view the Ubuntu web site from work where their employer
> defines exactly what they can and cannot install.  At many workplaces,
> IE6 is the only browser available.  I witnessed this first-hand when a
> job agency said they couldn't read my resume; I had sent as XHTML/1.1
> it with a .xhtml extension and IE6 refuses to open
> application/xml+xhtml documents.

People should be working at work, not browsing the web. If it's a system
administrator who's browsing, looking to install Ubuntu on their
corporate servers, or workstations, then he probably has an alternative
browser installed.

> The Ubuntu website is not the place to be forcing people to change
> browsers.  If the Ubuntu community wants to remain inclusive, we must
> support browsers with significant usage shares.

You're not a web developer, are you? The amount of time it takes to
support IE6 on your site, is wasted time and money, especially if you
work for a company. I helped start an online exercise and competition
website. We had to target IE6 at the time, as it owned 40% of the market
share. We hated it. The amount of CSS and Javascript hacks we had to
pull off was enough to make you scream. Everyday, we walked away cursing
IE6. We looked forward to the day when IE7 was released, with supposed
better standards support.

Supporting IE6 at this point is silly and stupid. It's an old, archaic
browser that is dying. Too much work would be required to maintain and
upgrade the site. IE7 has been on the market for years, with IE8 around
the corner. Firefox, Chrome and other browsers are forcing standards on
web developers- which they should have been doing from the get-go, then
there would be no IE6 pain.

No, should progress web standards, not hinder them.

 ,-O  Aaron Toponce
O   } Ubuntu Member

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