Last week, Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) got a full funeral and hopefully (soon) burial. I, too, am glad to see the older browser go: Even though there are some who will try to hold on for dear life. Nonetheless, if I was to have given a Eulogy for IE6, this is how it would have went.
You know, I remember when IE6 came out. IE4 and IE5 were the kings, except for those who were really into Netscape Navigator. IE5.5 really made me switch at the time, because I could have two versions on the computer for the first time.
Still, it was simpler times and IE6 was a stable young horse ready to jump out of the stall. I remember loading it for the first time on my Windows 98 machines. It brought in DHTML and CSS support, which was really starting to prove itself in the web page evolution. I could even get the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK), which would let me tweak my IE6 to my infrastructures needs. I really enjoyed changing the IE spinning logo with some custom logos throughout Internet Explorer’s life.
When we hit the dark days of IE7, I was an early adopter, but still had IE6 in my heart. It was the safer browser at the time, simply because the new features would make certain websites not work. I remember this one time I had a customer come in and say they couldn’t access the payroll site. After some troubleshooting, I finally had to walk over to their machine. Once I sat down I noticed things were changed.
“You installed IE7, didn’t you?” I muttered. Keep in mind that this was a smaller company and no real policies were put in place to dis-allow installations or upgrades by the customer (a.k.a. employee).
“I didn’t do anything,” they remarked. “It just started doing that.”
“But we said that this site will not run on IE7,” I replied. ” and you have IE7 installed”.
“Well, I don’t know how that got there. But you can take it off, right?”
“Yes, I can. But please do not install IE7 on this machine until we tell you to …”
Ahh, those were the days when people got to look at their Yahoo email, play the fantasy football leagues and do a full day’s worth of stock trading without the IT department coming down on them. Heck, there were even a few “Pamela Anderson Playboy Screen savers” installed. Brings back memories.
However, IE6 really began to show it’s age. It started to become more of a hindrance than anything on computers. There was another place I worked, employees would have to access IE6 to get to the Citrix Virtual Machine session. They would then open up another version of IE6 to browse the web. IE7 was able to be installed, but it didn’t look great through the VM. That, and my supervisors would tell me not to spend time on updating, since the upcoming Daylight Savings Time fix took precedence.
My memories of IE6 are fond ones. When I heard that Google tried to revive the old gal, I was shocked. In a way, I wanted that to work – giving life once again to the browser. On the other hand, I thought that Frankenstiening the browser would only lead to more problems and two companies that would not really support the process.
So here we are. IE6 – You did us well. You brought us into the Windows XP era, which, too will soon need it’s own Eulogy. You showed us that we can create a webpage that can be altered at a shared source, instead of having to re-key every HTML page out there. You also survived Netscape Navigator and watched Mozilla Firefox usher in the new era.
Here’s to you, IE6. You were a good browser. I will leave you with my online Forum, who died an untimely death about a year ago.