University Web Developers

University Web Developers

One of my favorite web applications, BaseCamp, is phasing out support for IE6 starting today. But recently, Google has improved Gmail's code base for IE6. My question is which browsers do you support? Do you have an policy stating which browsers are officially supported? Personally, I can't wait for the IE6 (and 7) to give up the ghost and would love to find good rationale for not supporting them anymore, especially IE6.

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Simply based on usage stats. MSIE 6 still a big portion for us. Basecamp is an application, so has more freedom to dictate usage requirements.
Yeah, we've still got 20% of our users on IE6. Support the browsers that people are using. Even if they suck. :(
Unfortunately, IE6 still makes up about 45% of our visitor base, so we will have to continue supporting it for quite a while, I fear.

I test our site fairly regularly in IE6, IE7, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Opera 9, Safari 3 and Chrome.

I agree with you. I can't wait until IE6 is phased almost completely out, and I have to stop using workarounds for simple things like PNG transparency.
We've been using supersleight and haven't had PNG transparency problems. IE6 users might see a white block in the background of a PNG but it goes away as the page loads. I too would like to see IE6 go away forever.
I will take MSIE 6 over Safari any day. And twice on Sunday.
Your preference is not one that I hear often. Would you mind elaborating?
Sure! The Safari DOM is different enough that some basics don't work. Like:

- some XSLT transforms
- the "focus" and "blur" events are incomplete
- javascript is slow
- many canned WYSIWYG editors fail

These off the top of head. Haven't had to test in Safari Windows, but thinking about it gives me a shudder.
While we do not have a "set in stone" policy that declares which browsers we will support and not support. We set a priority to develop our code around the latest standards to accomplish the design we are aiming to achieve. Once we've achieved this point we take the time to observe what breaks in a list of browsers defined by Google Analytics. We pray that browser developers follow the standards created; meanwhile, we will try to adjust what we can in our code for those "broken" browsers.
When people complain about IE6, my answer is: "Don't use it, switch to Firefox." In extreme scenarios, I'll tell them to use IE7. But officially, I unofficially don't support IE6 anymore. That said, I design with the idea of progressive enhancement in mind. Using IE6, you should be able to use the basics of the site fine. But you'll miss out on some of the "bells and whistles."
Conditional Comments
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of them (at least not in the <!--[if IE]> sense). I think there are better ways to do that, like with the templating language our CMS uses, I can do a check and include different content based on browsers. This also allows special treatment for things like Firefox or Opera if I want, which just ignore normal conditional comments. You can also do this with jQuery, which can be good for visual elements that might not display right, so long as it isn't JS dependent.
Why not? This allows you to have MSIE specific styles for the things (like transparent PNG support) that are simply not supported, without the use of hacks.

Our user base is about 20% MSIE 6, so saying that we don't support that browser is not an option.

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