Andy Clarke of For A Beautiful Web has presented a stylesheet for the web browser we haven’t been able to push off the provebial cliff: Internet Explorer 6.
When I asked myself why people visit my sites, and the ones that I make for other people, the answer was always “for the content”. Content that is almost always written words and that means type.
That is why I’m now advocating to my clients (and to you), that where feasible, not to waste hours in time and a client’s money on lengthy workarounds in an unnecessary attempt at cross-browser perfection. Instead, you and I should provide simple but effectively designed HTML elements. This means just great typography for headings, paragraphs, quotations, lists, tables and forms and no styling of layout.
But this idea is not new; this Universal IE6 CSS file contains just enough rules for a practically unstyled but easy to navigate website. You’re basically giving websites loaded in a low-fi browser a low-fi experience. Examples here, here, and here.
Despite its waning popularity, we seem to have amassed a whole buffet of solutions to the shortcomings of IE6, ranging from the hostile upgrade messages and campaigns to the subtle conditional stylesheets and scripts.
I can just imagine someone creating one of those personality quizzes out of this whole debacle: which IE6 compatibility fix are you? There’s an idea.
But really, dealing with IE6 and somesuch boils down to principle and circumstance. Can your clients and your conscience accept barely recognizable version of their sites in twentysomething percent of their audience? Is your sanity more precious than squishing mysterious bugs? Or do you feel like throwing some humor in?
Let me know if someone’s actually made a personality quiz about this; I’d love to take it.