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  1. #1
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    how much should i care about IE 5.01?

    it's my limited understanding that IE 6 even has already taken over a sizeable chunk of the demographic. my ideals and principles on top of that make want to ignore IE 5.01 forever. yet i know some people still have it. notably, all the sales guys in my office. >:[

    and boy am i sick of tyring to hack for it. honestly though, if we ignore it.. won't it just go away??

  • #2
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    The reason people may still be running IE 5.01 is that they also use some Netscape style plugin and all versions of IE past that point no longer allow those style plugins.

    It took a long time to get my company to move past IE 5.01 simply because of the cost of replacing one plugin which was used by a great many people.

    I suggest you ask someone why they've locked down at IE 5.01 to get the exact details.
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.

  • #3
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    well, i know for a fact in our office that it's simply that they don't know any better and/or are lazy. IE is free! there's no reason the whole office shouldn't be to 6.

    also, i'm just looking for support on pushing standards compliant design, and CSS-P. IE 5.01 seems to mess things up the worst in that regard. i need some evidence to back me up with my boss.

  • #4
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    It's about time they upgraded, even ie6 is way beyond time. If they want free, get them to get firefox

  • #5
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    Heh heh..I was on a guy's comp the other day...He had IE5 and a bunch of other old stuff....jeez
    Zoobie or not Zoobie...That is the problem.
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  • #6
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    well, IE is free too..

    but i meant more, as a developer.. how much should i cater to IE5 as a responsible professional?

    i realize that ideals don't always huff it, and you have to account for certain undesirables. but i really believe we should be doing more with CSS-P and web standards, etc, yet business/sales types think more about the bottom line, and if they're lookin' at IE 5 and occasional customers are too and they say, "that doesn't work." that's all they care about, sadly.

  • #7
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    but i meant more, as a developer.. how much should i cater to IE5 as a responsible professional?
    If you code directly for the w3c then whatever breaks, breaks and when they ask why their page looks broken you tell them its not your fault its the non-standard compliant browser. Obviously I am kidding and I would think you need to cater to their needs since the page is a reflection of your work. In a hypothetical world we would all code just to the standards and users would actually care, but in reality users could care less about standards and are going to want to use an application that is well designed (aesthetically and usable).

    So as a professional you should be coding towards web standards but also understand who your audience is. I think you could talk with the ie 5 users and see if they would upgrade to 6. Most of the time users are just fearful that their internet will be broken if you change it.

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    yes, i agree with everything you just said. but it's amazing how difficult a suggestion like, "upgrade your browser" is to some people. i can just see it now.. what you suggested is PERFECTLY reasonable to me. that when we come across a user saying, "hey this is broken," that we would reply simply with, "are you using the most current browser? no? then you need to upgrade."

    but where i work, we drop trow and bend over at the clients' whim more often than not. people here are too afraid to rub anybody the wrong way that they take that whole "the customer is always right" philosophy WAY to far.

    that's a problem with this entire society actually, but that's a whole other thread..

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    Forget IE 5 as it is now an ancient browser...very few people are using it, and i don't see why you should sweat over it.

    On from most of my website, IE 5 users represent only 8% while IE 6 has 77% so I personally won't be bothered about IE 5 users.

    You can check Browser Statistics for your website to decide for yourself.
    Last edited by barnettgs; 02-14-2004 at 11:12 PM.

  • #10
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    Actually, when you look at most libraries, if they're not running NS to avoid viruses, they're running IE5...
    Zoobie or not Zoobie...That is the problem.
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  • #11
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    Okay, I'm going to give you advice that I believe is irrefutable.

    As a responsible professional, you should still care about your IE5 audience

    Let's take barnettgs' web-statistics as an example. The nature of his site is irrelevant, because we are going to apply his numbers to a hypothetical client, Bob Enterprises.

    Let's say Bob Enterprises contacts you to prepare a quote for them for a new website. If you are doing what you should, you will address the issue of browsers as they relate to his user-demographic. Based off recent data from his current website, 8% of his traffic is IE5. Now, tell me, are you going to look Bob in his face and tell him you don't wish to accomodate those users, and as a result he may potentially lose 8% of his business AFTER paying you to make him a new website? I hardly think so. Such an action could neither be deemed reponsible nor professional. Remember, most people paying for a website are doing it for a reason - to make money themselves.

    Now, our example aside, barnettgs's statistics are hardly comparable to the norm. Some sites will be lower, some will be much higher. IE5 is by no means recent, but is still a widely-enough used platform to not ignore it. According to the much larger internet-usage snapshot available at thecounter.com, IE 5.x still has over 15% of the browsing public.

    Now, I do agree that there are times to leave old browsers behind. When is that time? Well, simple:

    When the time invested into a site's browser compatiblity creates a cost-prohibitive production environment based on the client's financial goals and target demographic, then then direct support* for lower-end browsers should be dropped.
    *You should always provide upgrade information, or at least make your content degradable

    Typically, I think you'll find as I have, this number is around 2%-3% and lower. Let's study this statement with an example:

    Let's says Bob gets 1000 unique visitors per month. Let's also say his current customer conversion rate is 3%, meaning 30 visitors per month buy products or services from Bob Enterprises. Let's also say the average profit Bob earns from a customer is $20. Now, 8% of those 30 customers are IE5 users. That gives 2.4 visitors per month, or, about 29 for the year. That means that Bob Enterprises stands to lose about $580 in profits if he loses all his IE5 customers (remember, competiton on the web is steep, and users are quick to move to another site if they have a problem with one) over a period of one year. If it will cost Bob more than $580 in time for you to make his site IE5 compatible, then a cost-prohibitive production envrionment exists and you should discuss this with him. However, even at a decent rate of $50/hr for a freelancer, $580 buys the client over 11 hours of time -- enough in my estimation to make most IE6 compatible sites IE5 compatible. A lower rate would yield even more time. As you probably have figured out, if Bob's IE5 traffic was only 2% then he'd only stand to lose $145 in profits for the coming year - a much different scenario.
    Please note that this simple example doesn't include other important considerations with profit models, such as repeat business and the viral benefits/detriments of gaining/losing customers.

    So, what I'm saying is that there is no de facto answer to your question. By wrote, you should plan on supporting IE5 until you learn otherwise. The time it takes to make even the most modern looking sites function at a reasonable level for IE5 is still not that bad - nothing like making a site IE4 compatible. Usually involves a separate stylesheet for IE5, some javascript/DOM concessions, maybe a transitional layout, and that's about it.

    Who am I to say these things? I've been a self-employed web-developer for almost 3 years, working for the smallest of the small to some of Dallas' largest businesses. Remember, clients hire you to create solutions for their customers. If you can't create a solution to accomodate 5%-20% of their business, they probably won't hire you -- I know I wouldn't.

    Personally, a client would have to already exhibit a very low percentage of IE5 users (via existing web statistics) for me to comlpetely ignore IE5.

    The web as a whole isn't ready for every site to be CSS-P with XHTML 1.0 Strict and advanced DOM scripting - regardless of how ready you are for it.

    I'll leave you with this and this. Yes, they're funny, but are related to something you said in your first post and function here as good soothsayers.

    </diatribe>
    Last edited by beetle; 02-15-2004 at 09:00 AM.
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  • #12
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    I agree with beetle - you have to support IE5. Not until it drops to ns4-style status will the need to support it go away (like, 1% of users requiring 25% of development time to support)

    Taken on pure demographics - more people use IE5 than Mozilla, Opera, Mac and Linux users *put together* ... but we still support them, don't we?
    Last edited by brothercake; 02-15-2004 at 04:28 PM.
    "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

  • #13
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    There are few reasons to ignore 8% IE users:

    8% visitors doesn't reflect as 8% buyers!

    Even when I don't care about 8% but website is just workable for them. (e.g. displaying incorrectly but visible, many website still do that to my mozzila browsers yet I still buy from them!)

    Ignoring 8% IE 5 users doesn't means they can't view/see my website which is designed for IE 6. Of course they still can view but may experience incorrect layout or fonts etc. How much has changed from IE 5 to 6? I doubt it.

    I don't recommend anyone who is buying things using IE 5 browser as it has bigger security problem than IE6.1?? I just don't feel safe in using IE 5.

    People who is buying things from internet regularly are probably well aware of browsers issues and security. He/She knows how to shop online, might probably knows about Internet security therefore are more likely to get their browsers updated?

    coder_seth, I don't know what makes you bought this up but has it to do with something you have found out your website will not work in IE 5? CSS styling?

  • #14
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    Originally posted by barnettgs
    8% visitors doesn't reflect as 8% buyers!
    Huh? If 8% of your traffic is IE5 users, then it's reasonable to say that 8% of you buyers are too. Unless you have hard data to prove otherwise, this is a perfectly acceptable assumption.
    Originally posted by barnettgs
    Ignoring 8% IE 5 users doesn't means they can't view/see my website which is designed for IE 6. Of course they still can view but may experience incorrect layout or fonts etc. How much has changed from IE 5 to 6? I doubt it.
    Good point, I even made note of this. Still, I have yet to run across a single client that doesn't was the same appearance for all their users. This is a professionalism thing - a step that should be taken by someone wishing to maintin a professional attitude.
    Originally posted by barnettgs
    People who is buying things from internet regularly are probably well aware of browsers issues and security. He/She knows how to shop online, might probably knows about Internet security therefore are more likely to get their browsers updated?
    Wha? That couldn't be further from the truth. Online shoppers are just a smaller slice of the greater demographic - most are non tech-savvy. Sorry my friend, that assumption is both very bold and incorrect.
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  • #15
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    beetle has many good points, but he also has a very one sided view of things: the bottom line. a business has to make money to exist, but it doesn't have to cater to the lowest common denominator to do so. to get every last penny, sure it does. but is that what's most important? every last penny?

    do the logic and reason of CSS-P and XHTML and their reasons for being mean anything? do they mean anything to the hours and dollars wasted already due to using irrational, illogical and ineffecient methods of the past?

    it's a bit of a leap, but what i'm talkin about is the sort of related to why we aren't all driving environmentally friendly hydrogen cars and riding high speed trains all over the world: because there's still a few last pennies to be squeezed out of old techniques. why switch when you can still make money? nevermind all the other legitimate reasons that don't have a dollar sign in front of them.

    *shrug*

    i mostly brought it up because CSS-P and web standards just MAKE.. SENSE.. and there's no reason to stay behind on this one. IE5.01 just causes a lot of headaches with CSS. but IE5.5 isn't that bad at all. i stand by my feelings that it's not unreasonable to tell a few IE5.01 users to get off their butts and download the newest gear. there's no reason they can't. i'm surprised their Windows hasn't mutated and downlaoded it for them..


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