Let’s face the truth – we all hate tweaking sites that we code to make sure they look the same in IE6 as in all other browsers. And it’s not because of us being lazy, there are literally tons of compatibility issues with IE6.
The list of the bugs is really long, but just to name a few: floats and margins bug, borders bug and many, many more. Fortunately, there are some hacks and workarounds that help overcome most of these problems, for example a well known underscore hack, where CSS properties that have underscore symbol in front of the them, can be taken into account only by IE6 (haha, this hack itself seems to be one of those compatibility issues ).
I personally spent many hours trying to figure out how to make layouts, fonts and borders look OK in IE6. With gaining more experience, I started spending less and less time on fixing these issues, but still don’t like wasting time doing this.
Unfortunately Internet Explorer 6 still holds a large market share (18.41% according to NetMarketShare, but it’s really more than 20% if we include other editions, e.g. Maxton and others).
Some day we all will have a dilemma: to continue tweaking our sites to make sure they are fine in IE6, or try convincing our users that IE6 is most unsecured browser in the world and it’s time to move to newer versions.
Below are listed 5 most bizarre jQuery plugins that can help you convince your visitors to abandon IE6 in favor of a better browser. They are ordered by the level of dislike for IE6, that web developers should have when they appeal to their visitors to stop using this browser.
I tried all of them to make sure they work well and created demo pages for them as well, so feel free to share this article with everyone still using IE6, who knows may be it will have some effect . If you would like to view demo of these plugins, you probably need IETester as you don’t have IE6 installed on your work machine, do you?
1. Ultimatum: jQuery Crash
jQuery Crash is a tiny jQuery plugin that does exactly what its name suggests – it crashes IE6. This is probably the most serious way of convincing, you must really hate IE6 and perhaps spent a lot of precious time fixing IE6 issues.
2. Extreme Warning: IE 6 Blocker Script
IE 6 Blocker Script is a jQuery plugin that displays a warning message saying that this page cannot be viewed using IE6 and suggests using Firefox instead. You can easily change plugin’s code and display any other message, for example I added Chrome browser.
3. Serious Warning: Blacknwhite
Blacknwhite is a jQuery plugin that makes the page appear only in black and white colors under IE6 browser. You can also let your visitors know somewhere on your site that this is not a bug, but rather a reminder that they are using an outdated browser.
4. Suggestion: jReject
jReject is another jQuery plugin to convince your visitors to break of the habit of using IE6 browser. It displays very nice and polite warning saying that IE6 is out of date and should be upgraded to a newer version of IE or a different browser.
5. Friendly Reminder: Bad Browser
Bad Browser is a simple jQuery plugin that detects IE6 and displays a sliding message at the top of the page to your visitors. Once the user closes the warning message, this plugin creates a cookie to make sure this user doesn’t get repeated warnings. I changed it a little bit to suggest using IE8 instead of IE7.
Of course, there are some corporate standards that won’t allow you to make use of any of these plugins on your employer’s site of sites of your customers, but if you run a funny, non-serious site, then why not? I’m personally thinking about adding a friendly reminder on my site.