The end of IE6 is soon?

In the light of recent ideas that Web designers should spend less and less time, making fixes for Internet Explorer 6 (this browser is almost 10 years old already), I was curious to compare some browser stats for

But first, a couple of words about the reasons why support for IE6 should be limited.

The Reasons

Dan Cederholm: How I Might Deal with IE6

Roger Johannson: No more pixel perfectionism in IE 6

Basically, the idea is as follows: Limit the time, which you dedicate to IE6, to the possible minimum. Yes, the design will look a bit different in this old browser, but so what? The important thing is that the design should work, and that there are no problems with the accessibility or functionality of the website.

In certain cases, you can even decide, if you wish to ensure a minimum support for IE6, or completely ignore it, in a similar way that Netscape 4.7x was ignored years ago, using the @import command for CSS styles.

For IE6, you can use IE conditional comments, like in this example:

<!--[if gte IE 7]><!-->
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="screen.css" />

“Translated” to human language, this small piece of HTML code means the following:

If Internet Explorer is version 7 (or higher), the CSS file ‘screen.css’ will be loaded. Otherwise, the file won’t be loaded (IE6 or lower). All other browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.) will load the file screen.css quite normally. I have tested this in Firefox 3, Safari 3.2, IE7, IE6, and the code works perfectly.

Here’s the test example

Open this page in Firefox, Opera, Safari or IE7+ — the background of the page should be green, and it means that the ‘screen.css’ file is loading normally.

Open the same page in IE6 (or even older version) — the background should be white, and it means, ‘screen.css’ is not loading for it.

And now about my browser stats.

I decided to check, how many site visitors of my personal blog are using Internet Explorer, how many of them are using version 6, and also, how stand up the numbers for Firefox and a few other popular browsers of today.

The Numbers

As a base for my comparison, I took the last month (Jan. 22 — Feb. 22 2009), and I also compared this period with the same period, but 1 years ago (Jan. 22 — Feb. 22 2008).

Firefox (Jan. 22, 2009 — Feb. 22, 2009): 56.18% of all visits
Firefox (Jan. 22, 2008 — Feb. 22, 2008): 49.79% of all visits
Firefox: +6.39% increase in number of visits, during a period of 1 year

Internet Explorer (Jan. 22, 2009 — Feb. 22, 2009): 33.47% of all visits
Internet Explorer (Jan. 22, 2008 — Feb. 22, 2008): 40.90% of all visits
Internet Explorer: -7.43% decrease in number of visits, during a period of 1 year

At the present moment, Opera is around 5%, Chrome is around 3.2% and Safari around 1.5% (of all visits to my site). All other browsers (Mozilla, for example) have so low numbers, that they can safely be ignored.

The tendency is clear. Firefox slowly, but constantly is increasing its influence, while Internet Explorer makes exactly the opposite. Safari, Opera, and also Chrome, are present in the whole picture, but quite modestly. Firefox and IE are the “big players”, or at least, this is true for my blog visitors… :)

Now let’s see the numbers for the different versions of IE.

IE7/IE8 vs. IE6

IE7 (Jan. 22, 2009 — Feb. 22, 2009): 55.22% from the total share of IE in the stats
IE7 (Jan. 22, 2008 — Feb. 22, 2008): 41.59% from the total share of IE in the stats
IE7: +13.63% increase in number of visits during a period of 1 year

IE6 (Jan. 22, 2009 — Feb. 22, 2009): 43.64% from the total share of IE in the stats
IE6 (Jan. 22, 2008 — Feb. 22, 2008): 57.18% from the total share of IE in the stats
IE6: -13.54% decrease in number of visits during a period of 1 year

The trend here is also clear: IE6 slowly loses grounds, while IE7 is becoming more and more widespread.

IE8 Beta also appears in the stats, but the numbers are very low — around 1%.

The Verdict

Firefox: 56.18% from all visits to the website
Internet Explorer: 33.47% from all visits to the website
— IE7: ~ 55% (of all IE visits)
— IE6: ~ 43% (of all IE visits)

In total, my users, which are using IE6, are less than 15%. All others use Firefox, IE7, Safari, Opera and Chrome.

Is 15% too low a number, so I can apply the CSS “filtering” for IE6? No, it is too early for that, I think.

But I guess that in 1-2 years the share of IE6 will become so low, that there really won’t be any point in trying to fix the XHTML/CSS code for it.

And then IE6 will become history, in a much similar way that Netscape Navigator 4.7x became history a few years ago — something which made me very happy at the time! :-)

Most popular fonts on Windows, MacOS and Linux

If you are a Web designer and often write (X)HTML/CSS code, then the following list might be useful for you. In it, I have combined the most popular fonts on Windows, MacOS and Linux systems. The data is drawn from here and the stats are valid as of January 17th, 2009:


Microsoft Sans Serif: 99.61%
Arial Black: 97.82%
Franklin Gothic Medium: 97.58%
Palatino Linotype: 97.54%
Verdana: 97.54%
Arial: 97.13%
Courier New: 96.96%
Comic Sans MS: 96.83%
Tahoma: 96.79%
Lucida Console: 96.76%
Impact: 96.49%
Trebuchet MS: 95.97%
Sylfaen: 95.00%
Lucida Sans Unicode: 94.34%
Georgia: 92.97%


Monaco: 96.91%
Arial: 96.62%
Courier: 96.48%
Helvetica: 96.48%
Arial Black: 95.78%
Verdana: 94.37%
Georgia: 93.53%
Helvetica Neue: 93.07%
Trebuchet MS: 92.69%
Geneva: 92.41%
Courier New: 92.12%
Gill Sans: 91.58%
Comic Sans MS: 91.42%
Times New Roman: 90.58%
Arial Narrow: 90.44%
Apple Chancery: 90.15%
Skia: 90.15%
Lucida Grande: 90.01%
Futura: 89.73%
Hoefler Text: 88.47%


DejaVu Sans Mono: 92.31%
Bitstream Charter: 90.77%
URW Chancery L: 89.87%
Nimbus Mono L: 89.35%
Century Schoolbook L: 89.09%

In bold above I have marked 7 font families in total. They are those fonts, which are found often on Windows and Mac (simultaneously), and these are (in mixed order):

1. Verdana (sans-serif font family)
2. Georgia (serif font family)
3. Courier New (monotype font family)
4. Arial (sans-serif font family)
5. Arial Black (sans-serif font family)
6. Trebuchet MS (sans-serif font family)
7. Comic Sans MS (sans-serif font family)

Unfortunately, none of these 7 fonts can be found among the most widespread fonts on Linux/Unix. Looks like I was wrong, when I assumed, that Verdana, for example, is one of the most popular fonts on Windows/Mac/Linux — the full stats show that Verdana is available on more than 90% of Windows/MacOS systems, but only on ~ 50% of the Linux systems…

More interesting conclusions can be made from the two available lists (short and long), for me it is enough to know that there are at least a few font families, which can be found on Windows and Mac systems at the same time.

Or, at least, your chances are quite high that one of these 7 fonts will be available… :-)

CSS Naked Day ‘2008

Today, exactly at midnight, my blog (, as well as Ani’s blog (, are getting rid of their ‘clothes’.

Today is ‘CSS Naked Day‘ — the day which promotes Web Standards!

CSS Naked Day 2008 - getting naked with CSS styles... and not only CSS ;-) class=

This ‘CSS Naked Day’ is 24 to 48 hours long, and will show, that a blog or website with well written HTML+CSS can look pretty well even without its clothes (without its CSS styles).

So, if you see my blog without CSS today or tomorrow (without its design), don’t be puzzled by this fact — we ‘stripped of’ our CSS styles for a good cause — and, as you can judge by the photo above (which we made together a few hours ago), not only of our CSS clothes, but also of our real clothes! (Read also a story at the Blogherald) ;-)

Long live Web Standards! :-D

35 Designers by 5 Questions

Smashing Magazine published today a very interesting article.

35 web designers were asked the following five questions:

  • 1 aspect of design you give the highest priority to.
  • 1 most useful CSS-technique you use very often.
  • 1 font you use in your projects very often.
  • 1 design-related book you highly recommend to read.
  • 1 design magazine you read on a daily/weekly basis (online or offline).

The answers? You can read them in the article itself:-)

CSS Naked Day, 2007 Edition!

To promote Webstandards, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and semantic (X)HTML – this year again CSS Naked Day!

More information: two words by Dustin at his blog, at, and, of course, at the official webpage of the participants :) The list of participating websites is over 900 and growing (see also technorati).

My blog is first-time participator (for obvious reasons – in April 2006 didn’t yet exits;-), which means from midnight EET (East European Time, or GMT + 2h) all CSS styles in it will be disabled for a minimum of 24 hours — and if you wonder, why the design of the website looks so bare – this is the reason:)))

Well, Optimiced is not so beautiful at the moment, but a good cause requires some sacrifice, and I’m willing to do it:)