That IE6 again…

For last couple of years all over the internet people have been trying to make up their minds if they (well, we designers and developers) should still support browsers like IE6, and if the answer is ‘yes’ in what form that support should come.

I’m currently rebuilding my web site and sure enough I ran into the same issue. At first I tried very hard to get my nice jQuery-powered effects to work even in IE6, after all jQuery supports that browser (the effects include a popup window on top of everything else on the page). Well, sure it does, but if the jQuery solution is closely connected with some (frankly, pretty simple) CSS styling, IE6 is more than likely to give one really big headache.

In my case the simple CSS style included absolute positioning and z-index to place the popup loaded through jQuery’s ajax object. To make the long story short, after several hours of googling and trying to find some work-around for IE6′s well known bugs I gave up. Not entirely, the site works in IE6, just doesn’t provide the same functionality as in other browsers. I had anyway built the web site so that it loads what would be shown in the ajax popups even if JavaScript is disabled. To make things simple for myself I included a simple if-statement in my jQuery file:

if ( $.browser.msie && parseInt($.browser.version) == 6 )
// skip it, don't bother, just move on with your life
// run the nice stuff

Yes, the above solution takes around one minute to implement, a lot less than trying to solve 9-year-old IE6-issues. So, should you provide support for IE6? Well, I think so, but I wouldn’t spend too much time and resources on it.