Outsourcing IE6 bug fixes: good or bad idea?
I found a very interesting idea by Tim Van Damme, which examines the possibility of a service that fixes nothing but Internet Explorer 6 bugs, much like the slicing/PSD-to-HTML niche that’s grown in popularity over the past years.
I guess that’s how troubling IE6 has been to us. Who here hasn’t delayed fixing up websites to make them work properly in IE6 until the very last minute? Who here hasn’t cursed IE6 and Microsoft (and even Bill Gates) a million times? Who here can’t relate to the (humorous) pie chart below?
Clearly there are problems with such a service, like how it’s too specific and biased against a single browser version—surely there are other browser bugs a web developer must pay attention to. And how letting others do the bug-fixing for you might bring about even more complications and wasted time anyway.
Never mind how long this business will actually last. It still begs the question of how to deal with cross-browser compatibility the right way. And the answer is, it really depends from site to site, company to company, audience to audience. Some things to consider:
- Have you tried avoiding styles that are trickier to fix for IE6?
- Can’t you leave those rounded corners just square ones in IE6? Or make those translucent effects opaque?
- Would you consider doing taking more stringent action by dropping support for IE6?
I think Kai said it best, it’s “a business idea that shouldn’t have to be one!” But it still makes for an interesting discussion. When you’re faced with stumbling blocks while developing for IE6, what would you rather do, roll up your sleeves and do the dirty work yourself, or ship it off elsewhere?