Browsers are a dime a dozen today but there are a few things that differentiate between those that make your life easier and those that are just plain messy. The basis of choosing a good browser is mostly based on word-of-mouth – you hear a friend find a new name on the market and you download it onto your computer. Most of these browsers have become brand names, however trusting a brand blindly is the last thing you should do.
The Internet Explorer 6 was one of the flagship products of Microsoft’s Internet experience package. It is considered as the browser that changed the game and also the browser that took out all competition before it. However, the lack of competition meant that Microsoft didn’t really have to care about the kind of product they put out there. If you were a web programmer, you would soon realise that the IE6 browser was one of the most irritating and annoying browsers to work for.
Here’s some reasons as to why should you not use Internet Explorer 6 as your primary browsing software.
This is probably the biggest bug that the IE6 had and that almost everyone who ever used it seems to have encountered. If you were using a div tag and happened to use a float property to assign the margin, there was a chance that IE6 would double the value of that margin and put in twice the gap you originally intended. This wasn’t the worst bit – the bigger problem was that you couldn’t tell when that would happen.
Sometimes, IE6 would accept the float label and work perfectly; on other occasions, it would just be doubled!
The problem with IE6 was that it was quite dumb. It had to be told everything and when designing something, assigning the height as 100% would just throw up an error. 100%? Of what? Fact is, IE6 had no parent height property and that meant, you had to first assign a height to the parent and then follow that up by putting the height on the div as 100%.
No Transparent PNGs
PNGs were not the norm when IE6 was released and because there was no competition who was catering to this form of images, IE6 plainly didn’t care enough to fix its issues. If you had a transparent background on your PNG, it would simply appear as white. Apparently, it wasn’t until the programmers at Microsoft put in a CSS patch to fix this problem
Sometimes, it’s just not the case of a bug that couldn’t be found because the column-bug was rather blatant and should have been fixed by Microsoft. For e.g. when you make a two or three column website, don’t be too surprised if you suddenly find one of those columns missing for no good reason. IE6 just had a way of putting one on top of the other, without bothering to ask your permission. It just thought that it knew better.
Despite specifying the width of the column, IE6 would just expand the column to the total width of that area and anything larger than it, would simply be pushed behind these columns.
Last Minute Magic
Sometimes, when you put something at the end of a line of code, especially something within comments, such as <!—This is a comment–>, IE6 would consider it its duty to remove it. The thought is that something commented at the back should be easy enough to remember so you might as well do that – remember it – because IE6 will just kick it out.
Shoot those Bullets
If you happen to use an ordered list or any list for that matter, you are likely to pull your hair out thanks to the IE6 bug that ensures that launching a rocket into space is easier than adding a top-padding to your list and maintaining a steady margin. You might find yourself reaching out for a gun quite soon.
If you are just a regular user of IE6 and not someone who cares anything more than just being able to find the information you want, just remember that the next time IE6 shows you an out-of-shape and distorted website, its probably because the designer is lying somewhere in a pool of blood, midway through the project.
Martin Trent – author
In this day and age, if you are still wondering about why certain technologies are loved or hated, you are likely to come across Martin’s work. A massive lover of open-source software and technologies, Martin has constantly focussed on subjects like “Why should you not use Internet Explorer 6” or “How Linux will save the World one day”. His day job is on an IT helpdesk and he keeps up to date by reading blogs of support companies like Evolve Computers to stay in touch with the technology world and what’s on its cutting edge at all times.