Jun 252010

OK, so I feel it is officially time to kill IE 6 and below. IE 6 has been the bane of web developers’ existence for quite some time now. I say, just kill it. If your product manager whines and says “but we need to support all browsers” insist that they reconsider. Management and product managers don’t understand the real cost associated with supporting this awful browser. Many think that it’s simply a little more tweaking. It’s not. If they truly knew how bad it is they’d understand.

I also think that there’s a bigger picture here. If your site doesn’t work in IE6, it will actually propel people to upgrade. So don’t enable (“enable” as in, allow someone to continue their addiction) it and eventually people will get the picture.

The last site I built had IE6 traffic of 1.6%. I’m sure those people were at their corporate offices when they looked at the site. So they had to go home to their Macs and use Firefox or Safari. Big deal, I say.

I do think you should actually check for someone using the browser and tell them they suck. So, here’s a quick hack to put an end to IE 6 once and for all.

Assumption: You have a main div on your page that has an id of “main”. We need this to hide the whole page. If you’ve got it named something else, just change the id in the style definitions below. If you don’t have one at all, you’ll need to wrap all your existing content inside of the new div.

<div id=”main”>
the rest of your page content here

Stick this somewhere in your head tag. Make sure it comes BEFORE the IE-specific directives below it.

<style type=”text/css”>
#ie-upgrade {
 display: none;

Now put this after that:

<!--[if lte IE 6]>
<style type=”text/css” media=”screen”>
  #main {
   display: none;
  #ie-upgrade {
   display: inline-block;
   color: white;    /* my site had a black background. remove this line if yours doesn’t */
   font-size: 650%;  /* was really trying to hammer it home */
   font-weight: bold;
   margin: 20px;


Finally, add this to your page after the <body> tag, but before (outside of) the “main” div discussed above.

<div id=”ie-upgrade”>This site is not supported in your version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to IE 7 or above, <a href=”http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html”>Firefox</a>, <a href=”http://www.apple.com/safari/download”>Safari</a>, or <a href=”http://www.google.com/chrome”>Chrome</a>.</div>

P.S. If you have Google Analytics code on your site, keep it outside the main div too.

 Posted by at 1:27 pm  Tagged with:
Jun 082010

The most dramatic thing at tonight’s New York Tech Meetup was, far and away, Scott Heifferman, founder of Meetup.com, smashing an iPad on stage (yes, it was a real iPad). Perhaps the furor over Apple’s ubiquitous onslaught of advertising got to him, perhaps it was to be dramatic, probably both. (He was telling us about a new feature on Meetup.com called “Meetups Everywhere” which allows anyone to spark Meetups around a specific topic all over the world.) His move was dramatic, albeit lacking in much of a point (His point was that his innovation is way more cool than the iPad.). http://meetup.com/everywhere

Here’s a brief write-up of some of the other startups that presented. NYTM is at a new space today, the beautiful and spacious NYU Skirball Center. The 500+ person event is now housed in a giant space with two balconies, wonderful lighting, and clearly higher tech A/V equipment than at the FIT Center.

Snacksquare – This is a hot LBS (location-based service) start-up – a cool Web2.0 interface lets a store owner define a square radius from his location. When someone checks in on FourSquare, Lattitude (or soon Facebook when they add LBS), a coupon will be sent directly to that user. http://www.snacksquare.com/

Knowmore – This is an aggregate of all your social networks. I guess it is kind of like a web-based version of TweetDeck. What I like about it is that it shows all content inline – photos, videos, etc, right in the same screen. Looks pretty nice. http://knowmore.com

Fairshare – A mobile app to let New Yorkers share cab rides. You can set where you are, where you are going, and tell your potential ride what you’re wearing so that they will recognize you. http://www.fairshareny.org/

Tynt – Here’s an interesting little innovation that uses Javascript to add a little snippet to the bottom of something you copy out of a web page. You copy text off a web page, paste it into your email program. At the bottom of that little snippet of text a link gets inserted that directs back to the webpage where you copied it from. Of course the user can manually remove it, but you probably won’t. http://www.tynt.com/

Thumbplay – 70 person start-up here in New York. Delivers content to mobile phones – live streaming music? He’s talking a lot about how his cool the site is using HTML5, native HTML5 video, transitions & fades. Not exactly sure what the product does, but his demo is very energetic and is all about how cool HTML5 is. All streaming music down to a mobile phone. He demos 5 HTML5-only tags: auto tag, web database, drag & drop, notifications API, local storage API.http://www.thumbplay.com/

Forrst – This is a private club of developers & designers to discuss tips, hacks, tricks, etc. Was originally written in Ruby/Rails, when it got bigger, he re-wrote it in PHP (LAMP). Do you pay to join? No, it’s free, but it is invite only. http://forrst.com

Perpetually – Visual web analytics, business intelligence and enterprise archiving. There should be a way to perfectly archive web content. Creating ways to capture all the content on the web and find ways to make use of it. Like the web archive, it snapshots sites perfectly in time, allowing you to go back in time and see how a page looked in the past. Primary use is with web analytics. He says that there was a site that couldn’t figure out why their traffic dropped, until they used this tool and noticed that the traffic dropped right at the same time the moved the search box on their site. http://www.perpetually.com/

 Posted by at 7:28 pm  Tagged with: