The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
April 17, 2009

10 Cool Things We’ll Be Able To Do Once IE6 Is Dead; And A Few We Can’t

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General

James Edwards has a fun little list that dares to dream about life after IE 6. He gives us a list of 10 things that we can look forward to in that sunny time:

Use child selectors

No more having to define endless descendent rules to cancel out other descendent rules. With CSS2 child selectors we can specify CSS rules that only apply to direct children, not to descendants in general.

  • Make full use of 24-bit PNGs

    No more blending images against different coloured backgrounds so that the edges have decent anti-aliasing. With PNG alpha-channel support we can use images with shadows, glows and other opacity effects, safe in the knowledge that all graphical browser users can see them.

  • Use attribute selectors

    No more having to define type classes for inputs — things like <input class="text" ... /> — when we can address them with CSS2 attribute selectors like input[type="text"]. We can even use CSS3 substring-matching attribute selectors (supported in all modern browsers including IE7), which can be very useful for defining selectors that apply to a range of different attribute values, thereby reducing significantly the amount of code it takes to address groups of elements with similar class names (for example).

  • Use a wider range of display properties

    Being able to use things like display:inline-block instead of float:left means no more endless float within float within float, or the slightly-dubious use of overflow:hidden, just to get blocks to clear properly. (Though I should point out, we had to wait until Firefox 3 for this one too!)

  • Use min-width and max-width

    Although IE6’s implementation of width is very similar to the correct implementation of min-width, it’s not the same, and it doesn’t serve every purpose; and it doesn’t do anything about max-width. With the end of IE6 can come a new renaissance in block-layout design, with the greater flexibility that designers have been crying out for for years.

  • Throw away 90% of CSS hacks (and 90% of the reasons for needing them!)

    No more worrying about bizarrely repeating characters, mysteriously invisible blocks, or frustrating double margins; with the end of IE6 comes the end of needing to be able to diagnose and cure such a large array of rendering bugs.

  • Add abbreviations that everyone can see

    Although personally, I only use the <abbr> element and never use <acronym>, still it does occasionally irk me to remember that IE6 users won’t see the expansion, and bugs me even more on the odd occasion that I need to script for them (and can’t).

  • Trust z-index again

    No more scratching our heads as we ponder why layer X is on top of layer Y when it should be beneath, wondering what we might have done wrong, only to remember that — d’oh — we haven’t done anything wrong, it’s a stacking context bug in IE6.

  • Save time and money

    Significantly less time spent hacking means shorter development time and lower development costs.

  • Enjoy ourselves again!

    Writing CSS will become the pleasure that it used to be. That is, until our expectations rise again, and IE7 becomes our nemesis …

  • But we still have to wait for CSS Counters, box-sizing, and decent JavaScript (and much much more…. like Canvas / SVG support!).

    Hopefully the automatic update plan for IE 8 will kick this into gear.

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