Sugar 5.5 and Internet Explorer 6 support

bsoremsugar —  April 17, 2009 — 25 Comments

IE 6 LogoAs a part of the upcoming Sugar 5.5 release, we are doing a major overhaul on our Theme framework. Not only will these make it easier to build new themes and customize the out-of-the-box themes, but we’ll also be optimizing our CSS and Javascript code to decrease payload and load times, providing a much better user experience. But we have one potential roadblock to that:

Internet Explorer 6.

Released in the fall of 2001 ( that’s nearly 8 years ago now! ) it is woefully out of date in terms in CSS and Web standards compliance, especially in comparision to “modern” browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and it’s successor Internet Explorer 7. The blogosphere has been aflutter with the news of dropping IE6 after Microsoft’s announcement of the automatic updates to IE8. We are considering removing IE6 support as well, since doing so will allow us to simplify our testing/support matrix, and remove lots of IE 6 customizations from our code.

We are looking for feedback from the community on the impact of this potential change. Please leave any thoughts you have about this ( good or bad ) in the comments below or in the forum.

25 responses to Sugar 5.5 and Internet Explorer 6 support

  1. 

    I recently saw a great article posted by Netflix on how they made the experience better by focusing on the client side of the application (PDF – http://billwscott.com/share/presentations/2008/stanford/HPWP-RealWorld.pdf) . A lot of the enhancements were just not feasible with IE6. I wonder what percentage of users use IE6 with SugarCRM and if they would upgrade their browser if it meant a better User Experience?

  2. 

    I recently saw a great article posted by Netflix on how they made the experience better by focusing on the client side of the application (PDF – http://billwscott.com/share/presentations/2008/stanford/HPWP-RealWorld.pdf) . A lot of the enhancements were just not feasible with IE6. I wonder what percentage of users use IE6 with SugarCRM and if they would upgrade their browser if it meant a better User Experience?

  3. 

    IE 6 support should be dropped from 5.5. At some point supporting legacy code stifles innovation by making developers waste time on backward compatibility. And that point in time has come.

  4. 

    IE 6 support should be dropped from 5.5. At some point supporting legacy code stifles innovation by making developers waste time on backward compatibility. And that point in time has come.

  5. 

    The last bastion of IE6 is internal corporate IT, so the question is: how many corp IT neck-beards are using SugarCRM for internal applications? My guess is: “not many”. Even if I am wrong about that, they don’t have to upgrade to newer versions of SugarCRM. IOW, it’s up to them if they want to live in the past. Move on or be left behind.

  6. 
    Jonathan Stark April 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    The last bastion of IE6 is internal corporate IT, so the question is: how many corp IT neck-beards are using SugarCRM for internal applications? My guess is: “not many”. Even if I am wrong about that, they don’t have to upgrade to newer versions of SugarCRM. IOW, it’s up to them if they want to live in the past. Move on or be left behind.

  7. 

    IE6.0 is not as dead as you seem to be thinking.
    Today different statistics evaluate this share to 15 to 20%, and that share doesn’t seem to ve really decreasing as fast as we all web developpers would like to http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-daily-20080701-20090419 http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

    So in my opinion drop IE6 support is the solution to avoid troubles of backward compatibility and CSS/JS tricks. But as you already know, most of these IE6 users are from the biggest companies and they are probably most interesting Sugar customers, and mainly because of ActiveX they are not about to drop there IE. Moreover considering new Microsoft browser IE7 and IE8 they are not really a good option to upgrade to (slower, no real addons…).

    In the other hand gmail is now triggering a message to IE6 users inviting them to use another browser and we can hope that’s the beginning of the end. Like for PHP4 support, but with a lot more at stake, there should have some major website/application to stop considering IE6 and things will happen.

    So choice is hard to make here. As we know Sugar 5.5 is due for this summer, only a few month from now, and minds shouldn’t change much in the meantime. So I think, we partners, will have to get new arguments against the eternal question from every CTO which is “show me how it works with IE6?”.

  8. 

    IE6.0 is not as dead as you seem to be thinking.
    Today different statistics evaluate this share to 15 to 20%, and that share doesn’t seem to ve really decreasing as fast as we all web developpers would like to http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version-ww-daily-20080701-20090419 http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

    So in my opinion drop IE6 support is the solution to avoid troubles of backward compatibility and CSS/JS tricks. But as you already know, most of these IE6 users are from the biggest companies and they are probably most interesting Sugar customers, and mainly because of ActiveX they are not about to drop there IE. Moreover considering new Microsoft browser IE7 and IE8 they are not really a good option to upgrade to (slower, no real addons…).

    In the other hand gmail is now triggering a message to IE6 users inviting them to use another browser and we can hope that’s the beginning of the end. Like for PHP4 support, but with a lot more at stake, there should have some major website/application to stop considering IE6 and things will happen.

    So choice is hard to make here. As we know Sugar 5.5 is due for this summer, only a few month from now, and minds shouldn’t change much in the meantime. So I think, we partners, will have to get new arguments against the eternal question from every CTO which is “show me how it works with IE6?”.

  9. 

    I’m so happy to read such news. As a web application developer, I’m always frustrating when loosing so much time to build a IE6 compatible application. Will internal corporate IT use IE6 forever ? I don’t think so. It’s why important web application like SugarCRM should move forward and push IT and other people to upgrade there environment.
    Thanks a lot Sugar.

  10. 

    I’m so happy to read such news. As a web application developer, I’m always frustrating when loosing so much time to build a IE6 compatible application. Will internal corporate IT use IE6 forever ? I don’t think so. It’s why important web application like SugarCRM should move forward and push IT and other people to upgrade there environment.
    Thanks a lot Sugar.

  11. 

    I mandate Firefox for Sugar at my place. We find that even IE 7 has a hard time rendering many pages properly. Never a problem with FF 3.x.

  12. 

    I mandate Firefox for Sugar at my place. We find that even IE 7 has a hard time rendering many pages properly. Never a problem with FF 3.x.

  13. 

    As part of that last bastion (and I imagine the majority of pro and enterprise customers too) we are stuck with IE6. It’s not a matter of wanting to live in the past as CRM admin has no final say on what browsers are installed by IT support. If Sugar drops support for IE6, then it’s a good argument to update to IE8 (or spread the use of firefox within the company) but it can’t be guaranteed. it might be that we will be cut adrift at pre 5.5 for a while.

  14. 

    As part of that last bastion (and I imagine the majority of pro and enterprise customers too) we are stuck with IE6. It’s not a matter of wanting to live in the past as CRM admin has no final say on what browsers are installed by IT support. If Sugar drops support for IE6, then it’s a good argument to update to IE8 (or spread the use of firefox within the company) but it can’t be guaranteed. it might be that we will be cut adrift at pre 5.5 for a while.

  15. 

    Although I initially didnt like the idea of dropping support for IE6 I think you have to move on at some point. IE7 and 8 are available so no reason to worry about IE6.

  16. 

    Although I initially didnt like the idea of dropping support for IE6 I think you have to move on at some point. IE7 and 8 are available so no reason to worry about IE6.

  17. 

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback!

    One question for those who for whatever reason cannot use another browser besides IE 6; would you plan on upgrading to Sugar 5.5 upon release, or wait 3-6 months before upgrading? Normally corporate deployments tend not to be on the bleeding edge, so I’d suspect it would be more of the latter.

  18. 

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback!

    One question for those who for whatever reason cannot use another browser besides IE 6; would you plan on upgrading to Sugar 5.5 upon release, or wait 3-6 months before upgrading? Normally corporate deployments tend not to be on the bleeding edge, so I’d suspect it would be more of the latter.

  19. 

    I think that those still running MSIE 6 should be dealing with the pain, rather than everyone else who’ve upgraded or migrated.

  20. 

    I think that those still running MSIE 6 should be dealing with the pain, rather than everyone else who’ve upgraded or migrated.

  21. 

    A few other sites who have removed IE 6 compatibility or significantly lowered their support for it:

    – Apple’s MobileMe (http://www.apple.com/mobileme/pricing)
    – Facebook (http://www.kryogenix.org/days/2008/08/27/facebook-doesnt-really-support-ie6)
    – 37 Signals, makers of Basecamp and many other web apps (http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/07/basecamp-phasin.html)

    Does anyone know of any others?

  22. 

    A few other sites who have removed IE 6 compatibility or significantly lowered their support for it:

    – Apple’s MobileMe (http://www.apple.com/mobileme/pricing)
    – Facebook (http://www.kryogenix.org/days/2008/08/27/facebook-doesnt-really-support-ie6)
    – 37 Signals, makers of Basecamp and many other web apps (http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/07/basecamp-phasin.html)

    Does anyone know of any others?

  23. 

    I have a great idea. All those in the web design/dev arena decide on a date when we all stop using ie6. It will be a unified push to get rid of the enemy. I think we have pandered to its oppresive regine far too long, lets stand up for “ie must die day”, spread the word!

  24. 

    I have a great idea. All those in the web design/dev arena decide on a date when we all stop using ie6. It will be a unified push to get rid of the enemy. I think we have pandered to its oppresive regine far too long, lets stand up for “ie must die day”, spread the word!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Sugar Developer Blog » Blog Archive » Mainstream media has realized that IE 6 dying - August 7, 2009

    […] remember back this spring I wrote up a blog post about the future of Internet Explorer 6 as we move forward with developing the new Themes Framework […]

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