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    The first paragraphs could be seen as an interesting argument in a discussion following the recent article accusing Google of sabotaging Firefox.

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      And the story of Youtube killing EdgeHTML, forcing them to adopt Chromium.

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        Oh, wow… thanks a lot for the link!

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      To quote https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18697824, “one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn’t keep up”.

      It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you.

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        Nothing in this story is about technically breaking IE6 users, and one of the recommended alternatives was IE8. I don’t think it’s very relevant to that discussion.

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          This is literally about a conspiracy to kill IE6. I think it is relevant, because it is a proof (a very good one) that such conspiracy existed, which makes existence of conspiracy to kill Firefox more likely.

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            An engineer-level conspiracy to get people to upgrade IE6 to IE8 that did not have leadership buy-in, because they felt they couldn’t fail such a large user base. It might indeed be relevant, come to think about it.

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              A conspiracy to kill support for a certain version of a program is not the same thing as a conspiracy to kill the software itself. The former type of conspiracies is quite common in software. If that’s the kind of line of argumentation you’re okay with using, then I guess you should agree that firefox conspired to kill the extensions it supported before firefox quantum. Please reconsider your argumentation. A lot of us are scared of the power Google has over the internet, though framing it from a conspiracy theorist’s point of view puts a bad light on the rest of us that are arguing for a less monopolized internet based on facts and not on fallacies.

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          Was IE6 frustrating to design for after it lost the lead in standards support while retaining the lead in users?

          Yes, surely.

          Is it wrong to exclude a useragent just because it is frustrating to design for and you are too rushed to write fallback code?

          In my opinion, yes. Because that takes away from the Web’s goal of accessibility for all.

          What if your visitor has no choice but to use IE6?

          We should learn from this story… But what?

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            Perhaps IE6 might have been good because it held back the web as a platform for a while; it depends on how bleak your view of the web is.

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              What if your visitor has no choice but to use IE6?

              What if a visitor has no choice but to use netcat without a pager? Do you ensure your HTML will fit in a short scrollback buffer?

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                What if a visitor has no choice but to use netcat without a pager? Do you ensure your HTML will fit in a short scrollback buffer?

                Uh, I’ll bite. Who is browsing the web in 2019 with netcat?

                Follow-up question: How would you watch a video on youtube using netcat?

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                  Follow-up question: How would you watch a video on youtube using netcat?

                  I’ll bite. What if they just read the comments?

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                    Then the joke’s on them. Never read the comments!

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                    Neo's eyes light up as he steps closer to the screens
                    that seem alive with a constant flow of data.
                    
                                        NEO
                              Is that...?
                    
                                        CYPHER
                              The Matrix?  Yeah.
                    
                    Neo stares at the endlessly shifting river of
                    information, bizarre codes and equations flowing across
                    the face of the monitor.
                    
                                        NEO
                              Do you always look at it encoded?
                    
                                        CYPHER
                              Have to.  The image translators
                              sort of work for the construct
                              programs but there's way too much
                              information to decode the Matrix.
                              You get used to it, though.  Your
                              brain does the translating.  I
                              don't even see the code.  All I
                              see is blonde, brunette, and
                              redhead.  You want a drink?
                    
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                      That was a hyperbolic reaction to ‘what if your visitor has no choice but to use IE6’.

                      IE6 has been dead and buried for years; barely anything on the internet functions for IE6 anymore (for good reasons - eg IE6 doesn’t support any good ciphers for https, and you don’t want to allow downgrade attacks).

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                        This comment is anachronistic. IE6 wasn’t “dead and buried for years” in 2009, when YouTube displayed this banner. The char in the article shows it had about 25% marketshare, which is pretty significant!

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                        Not sure if this would work on YouTube, but you could extract the link to the .mp4 file, download it, and then use a textmode video viewer to watch it.

                        You could also review stuff like the video description.

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                        I would like to accomodate them somehow. I have not thought about this problem much so far.

                        But I have tested and verified basic functionality of my site with Links, Lynx, without JS, IE8 (6 to come), and NN3.

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                        The IE6 problem was, in part, self-inflicted. When they had >95% of the market share they should have just modified the standards in several key areas, like the different box model. IE was the standard, not some stuffy document written by some guys at W3C.

                        Quite a few of these items were just arbitrary without a clear objective “better” way to do things. Funny enough everyone is now recommending that you do * { box-sizing: border-box }, which is IE’s old box model :-/

                        There were some other pain points too, but this was often the biggest that was also really hard to work around.

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                          You have an argument for the box model.

                          A lot of other IE6 behaviors, however, were simply nonsense. Floats and margins could be applied twice, or be applied a second time but only to the first line of the impacted text, or duplicate text, or changing the size of a box when the only CSS property that you change is color.

                          There’s plenty of nonsense in the web specifications, too (the way inline borders work, for example, is just stupid). But let’s be real, here, most of IE6’s spec violations were buggy behavior that nobody would ever want.

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                            To clarify: I wasn’t advocating the the W3C specs should be rewritten to be “bug compatible” with IE. You are correct in pointing out there were also many genuine bugs, but IMHO the webdev community made their lives harder by stubbornly sticking to the W3C standards instead of making a few changes that were a genuine disagreement of opinion, the box model being the most obvious one (and also the most frustration one, it was the #1 problem I had with even pretty trivial websites).

                            Another example might be IE’s attachEvent vs. W3C’s addEventListener, and probably a few more.

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                            To some extent, this is what Chrome is doing now. While not re-writing standards, they are using bleeding-edge, unapproved standards (that often change later), resulting in sites with the “Works only in Chrome”, much like the old “Best viewed in IE6”-stickers.

                            Chrome is at least (fairly) consistent, whereas IE was, as the article also explains, unpredictable in so many ways. But there is a reason HTML5 was published along with a “standards-compliant way of parsing HTML” in code, and it helped everyone in the long-term.

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                              I don’t think the situations are that comparable, as IE6 grew out of the “standards war” with Netscape. The situation in the mid/late 90s was much more chaotic than it is now. If you think IE sucked then try Netscape.

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                            As we have seen from the aftermath of this story, very few people truly have “no choice” but to use IE6. They may be strongly encouraged to use it by various forces, but sufficient forces in the other direction can still trigger mass-migrations.

                            And this “frustrating” and “rushed” seems to be an attempt to frame the developers as lazy. I think this is a misleading frame. Of course we/they can make anything work in anything, given enough time. But time spent creating hacky workarounds for buggy old browsers used by a small minority is time not spent implementing useful features that everyone else can use.

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                              It’s a history. Despite impression from textbooks, not all history comes with a tidy list of lessons learned bullet points.

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                                after it lost the lead in standards support

                                IE6 never lead in standards support, that was the whole problem. Microsoft implemented whatever they felt like from the standards or de facto usage and there was no consistency in what was or was not supported. Some things worked well, some not at all, some were obviously buggy and behaved exactly the opposite way they were supposed to and MS gave zero fucks about any of it. Their only concern was that their web browser shipped with their OS and that’s the sole reason for its popularity. There was no incentive for Microsoft to cater to web developers until Google came along and started pushing Chrome unto the world.

                                Is it wrong to exclude a useragent just because it is frustrating to design for and you are too rushed to write fallback code?

                                Designing a website for IE6 was not the same as today’s mixed Javascript environment where you just load a polyfill or whatever to get the functionality you want. Many very basic CSS and Javascript features were often entirely missing (or worse, and more usually) entirely broken, meaning you literally could not make your site work and look the same in IE as in all other browsers without simply dropping a whole bunch of functionality.

                                Because that takes away from the Web’s goal of accessibility for all.

                                If that’s the angle you want to take, lack of support for accessibility standards was yet another one of IE6 major failings. I agree that sites should be designed to degrade the “experience” gracefully based on the capabilities of the user agent but here in reality, marketing departments want their sites to look a certain way and the half-a-percent of their users with a non-mainstream browser aren’t at the top of the priority list.

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                                  There was no incentive for Microsoft to cater to web developers until Google came along and started pushing Chrome unto the world advertised Firefox on the most popular web page in the world.

                                  • Google advertised Firefox in April 2006.
                                  • Internet Explorer 7 was released in October 2006.
                                  • Google Chrome was released in September 2008.
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                                    IE6 never lead in standards support, that was the whole problem.

                                    IE actually was pretty good in standards from 1997-2001, especially relative to Netscape’s floundering at it of the time. Their CSS implementation was superior, especially as Netscape 4.x just compiled CSS to JavaScript. The problem was Microsoft squandered and abused their lead and monopoly.

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                                  “Google Video” god, I’d forgotten that existed.

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                                    You may enjoy some other entries in https://killedbygoogle.com/

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                                    That’s a beautiful story, great example of “better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. I do it all the time. I rarely get called out for it.

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                                      Another Pythonista I see!