IE7 tax

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IE7 tax

Arun Ganesh
As someone who writes css, I am particularly frightened by IE7. And I can
imagine there are a lot of frontend developers and staff out there who
spend significant time on fixing things for this niche audience, when they
could be working on more constructive things. I came across this service
today which has started to levy a a surcharge on IE7 users [1] and it got
me thinking.

6% of wikimedia project page views are from IE6/7 - because of the
following:
- IE6 ships default with XP
- Legal users with SP2+ can upgrade to IE8
- If you have 90s era hardware, no SP for you. Can only be solved by buying
some new hardware (or switching to linux)
- IT admins who dont know much about IT and have kept the workforce hostage
through their ignorance. Can be solved if the workforce and boss demands it.
- People new to computers and are not really sure how to use the mouse.
They need to be told IE7 is bad and how to upgrade
- Those without an internet connection. Can be solved by not using the
internet.
- IE7/mspaint hipsters. No solution.

 As one of the most visited places on the internet, it is probably in the
best interests of the planet that we decide its no longer worthwhile to
support this fallen angel. Maybe it time to start showing a notice to IE7
users that their days are numbered and wikipedia may no longer work as
expected unless they move forward in their lives. It has to happen some
day, so why not now and save the internet a lot of pain and suffering?


[1] http://www.kogan.com/au/blog/new-internet-explorer-7-tax/

--
j.mp/ArunGanesh
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Re: IE7 tax

Sébastien Santoro
Hi,

If you didn't take the Arun Ganesh's proposition seriously, you can
ignore this mail.

On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As someone who writes css, I am particularly frightened by IE7. And I can
> imagine there are a lot of frontend developers and staff out there who
> spend significant time on fixing things for this niche audience, when they
> could be working on more constructive things. I came across this service
> today which has started to levy a a surcharge on IE7 users [1] and it got
> me thinking.
>
> (...)
>
>  As one of the most visited places on the internet, it is probably in the
> best interests of the planet that we decide its no longer worthwhile to
> support this fallen angel. Maybe it time to start showing a notice to IE7
> users that their days are numbered and wikipedia may no longer work as
> expected unless they move forward in their lives. It has to happen some
> day, so why not now and save the internet a lot of pain and suffering?

Our mission isn't to "save the internet a lot of pain and suffering".

The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to
collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the
public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.".

I don't know if there are mission statement for the Wikimedia tech or
the MediaWiki developers communities, but I don't think to improve
some developers comfort pushing so strongly issues like not supporting
a product help DIRECTLY our objectives WITHOUT BREAKING OTHER
OBJECTIVES (like for the WMF, "to disseminate [the educational
content] effectively and GLOBALLY").

I fear this GLOBALLY includes the 1.5-5% IE7 marketshare.

--
Best Regards,
Sébastien Santoro aka Dereckson
http://www.dereckson.be/

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Re: IE7 tax

Stephen Bain
In reply to this post by Arun Ganesh
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Maybe it time to start showing a notice to IE7
> users that their days are numbered and wikipedia may no longer work as
> expected unless they move forward in their lives. It has to happen some
> day, so why not now and save the internet a lot of pain and suffering?

Unfortunately this is only going to encourage people to downgrade to IE6 :)

--
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[hidden email]

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Re: IE7 tax

Chad
In reply to this post by Arun Ganesh
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  As one of the most visited places on the internet, it is probably in the
> best interests of the planet that we decide its no longer worthwhile to
> support this fallen angel. Maybe it time to start showing a notice to IE7
> users that their days are numbered and wikipedia may no longer work as
> expected unless they move forward in their lives. It has to happen some
> day, so why not now and save the internet a lot of pain and suffering?
>

Absolutely not. We have debated the "show notice to broken browsers"
thing multiple times--and the answer is always "it's annoying as hell
when sites do it and it's not our place to do so."

The stance on "supporting crappy old browsers" has largely over time
turned into--continue supporting all browsers with at least 1% of our
readers (roughly,I don't believe that number's ever been set in stone).
Once they are less than 1%, continue supporting unless it's a burden
to do so and/or makes support for newer browsers impossible. And lastly,
never purposefully break a browser if you can help it.

-Chad

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Re: IE7 tax

Arun Ganesh
In reply to this post by Arun Ganesh
>
> Absolutely not. We have debated the "show notice to broken browsers"
>
thing multiple times--and the answer is always "it's annoying as hell
>
when sites do it and it's not our place to do so."
>

> The stance on "supporting crappy old browsers" has largely over time
>
turned into--continue supporting all browsers with at least 1% of our
>
readers (roughly,I don't believe that number's ever been set in stone).
>
Once they are less than 1%, continue supporting unless it's a burden
>
to do so and/or makes support for newer browsers impossible. And lastly,
>
never purposefully break a browser if you can help it.


Chad, in a couple of years when this number does touch 1%, would there be a
notification for users of such browsers beforehand? I expect there might be
some sort of alert, so that the unsuspecting users are aware that the
problem might be the browser and not the website. So you would still have
something annoying, but seen by 1% rather than the 6% today.

My main point of contention is that the number of people using IE7 without
an alternative option is minuscule and with some awareness, the current 6%
number would touch 1% sooner than later, which is a good thing for both
developers as well as users. On the other hand, the developers can continue
to spend effort at backward compatibility for browsers that do not work as
they should. And there will continue to be users of such browsers, because
everything seems to work fine for them. Is it worth sustaining this cycle
longer than it needs to be?

PS: I will admit, I am a newbie here and probably missed the most exciting
IE7 threads :) I'd appreciate if you could link me to the archives off-list
so I can read up everyone's arguments. My selfish interest in this is less
time spent to check compatibility and more to try out new stuff.


--
j.mp/ArunGanesh
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Re: IE7 tax

Chris McMahon
In reply to this post by Arun Ganesh
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 5:21 AM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]>wrote:

6% of wikimedia project page views are from IE6/7 - because of the
> following:
> - IE6 ships default with XP
> - Legal users with SP2+ can upgrade to IE8
> - If you have 90s era hardware, no SP for you. Can only be solved by buying
> some new hardware (or switching to linux)
> - IT admins who dont know much about IT and have kept the workforce hostage
> through their ignorance. Can be solved if the workforce and boss demands
> it.


I'd like to reframe these examples.

First, as I understand it, most IE6/IE7 users globally are running pirated
versions of Windows.  For financial or political reasons, they will not or
can not acquire legal versions and thus can't upgrade their browsers.

Second is certain types of Enterprise shops.  Before I was hired at WMF, I
worked for a company that processes complex financial records for
pharmacies participating in a US federal program that reimburses pharmacies
for the cost of drugs prescribed for indigent patients.  Well over 50% of
our users were on IE6/7.   This was for two reasons:  one is that these
pharmacies are in the business of selling drugs, and IT is only a tiny part
of their operation.  Second is that with millions and millions of dollars
passing through a system regulated by HIPAA and other laws, the risk of
upgrading is seen as higher than the risk of using old tech.

I don't think we can dismiss IE6/7 users cavalierly.
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Re: IE7 tax

Derric Atzrott
>Second is certain types of Enterprise shops.  Before I was hired at WMF,
>I worked for a company that processes complex financial records for
>pharmacies participating in a US federal program that reimburses
>pharmacies for the cost of drugs prescribed for indigent patients.  Well
over 50% of
>our users were on IE6/7.   This was for two reasons:  one is that these
>pharmacies are in the business of selling drugs, and IT is only a tiny
>part of their operation.  Second is that with millions and millions of
dollars
>passing through a system regulated by HIPAA and other laws,
> the risk of upgrading is seen as higher than the risk of using old tech.

I can second this.  I used to work for a Credit Union and we made extensive
use of IE7.  It wasn't that we in the IT department liked IE7, it was just
that the cost of replacing the interface our tellers and MSR worked with was
too high to justify the change.  Someone ages ago had decided that the best
way to build the GUI version of the teller interface was to use ActiveX in
Internet Explorer.

Thank you,
Derric Atzrott
Computer Specialist
Alizee Pathology


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Re: IE7 tax

John Du Hart
In reply to this post by Chris McMahon
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM, Chris McMahon <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 5:21 AM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> 6% of wikimedia project page views are from IE6/7 - because of the
>> following:
>> - IE6 ships default with XP
>> - Legal users with SP2+ can upgrade to IE8
>> - If you have 90s era hardware, no SP for you. Can only be solved by buying
>> some new hardware (or switching to linux)
>> - IT admins who dont know much about IT and have kept the workforce hostage
>> through their ignorance. Can be solved if the workforce and boss demands
>> it.
>
>
> I'd like to reframe these examples.
>
> First, as I understand it, most IE6/IE7 users globally are running pirated
> versions of Windows.  For financial or political reasons, they will not or
> can not acquire legal versions and thus can't upgrade their browsers.

No, I'm pretty sure that's not true at all. Even if they are running a
pirated version they can still update their browsers.



--
John

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Re: IE7 tax

Derric Atzrott
>No, I'm pretty sure that's not true at all. Even if they are running a
pirated version they can still update their browsers.

Not sure about Internet Explorer 8, but as of October 2007, you don't need a
genuine copy of Windows XP to move from IE6 to IE7. [1]

I'm not sure when they made this change, but it appears that you may also
download IE8 without having a genuine copy of Windows these days [2].

[1]
https://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2007/10/04/internet-explorer-7-update.as
px?Redirected=true
[2] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43



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Re: IE7 tax

Max Semenik
On 14.06.2012, 18:20 Derric wrote:

>>No, I'm pretty sure that's not true at all. Even if they are running a
> pirated version they can still update their browsers.

> Not sure about Internet Explorer 8, but as of October 2007, you don't need a
> genuine copy of Windows XP to move from IE6 to IE7. [1]

> I'm not sure when they made this change, but it appears that you may also
> download IE8 without having a genuine copy of Windows these days [2].

> [1]
> https://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2007/10/04/internet-explorer-7-update.as
> px?Redirected=true
> [2] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43



Furthermore, whatever Windows you have or whether you paid for it or
not, there are lots of free browsers that are much better than even
newest IE anyway. But in any case, we must not annoy any significant
part of our audience.

--
Best regards,
  Max Semenik ([[User:MaxSem]])


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Re: IE7 tax

Amir E. Aharoni
2012/6/14 Max Semenik <[hidden email]>:
> Furthermore, whatever Windows you have or whether you paid for it or
> not, there are lots of free browsers that are much better than even
> newest IE anyway.

+1.

> But in any case, we must not annoy any significant
> part of our audience.

We are site number 5 in popularity, more or less. We are talking about
annoying less than 10% of our audience, and for pretty good reasons:
giving them a faster and more secure web, and saving ourselves time,
effort, money and mental health.

Google, which is the number 1 site in popularity, is annoying over 60%
of its audience with a Google Chrome advertisement right at the top of
http://www.google.com . Google is giving this to all versions of IE
and Firefox.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

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Re: IE7 tax

Chad
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2012/6/14 Max Semenik <[hidden email]>:
>> But in any case, we must not annoy any significant
>> part of our audience.
>
> We are site number 5 in popularity, more or less. We are talking about
> annoying less than 10% of our audience, and for pretty good reasons:
> giving them a faster and more secure web, and saving ourselves time,
> effort, money and mental health.
>

10% of our audience is still a huge number of people. Hell, so is 5%. We
don't know their reasons for using an older browser--maybe Grandpa is
still using his Compaq from 2001, maybe you work at a company like other
people have alluded to. Maybe someone's just crazy and likes IE6/7.

I think you're horribly exaggerating the effort and mental health expense
required to maintain these browsers.

> Google, which is the number 1 site in popularity, is annoying over 60%
> of its audience with a Google Chrome advertisement right at the top of
> http://www.google.com . Google is giving this to all versions of IE
> and Firefox.
>

That's their prerogative--they're trying to sell a product.

I personally think IE6/7 users would be better served by ditching
IE entirely--preferably to a WebKit-based browser. Others might
suggest Firefox. Others would say to grab the latest IE. There's
even some weird kids who might suggest moving to Opera ;-)

We should not implicitly advertising any browsers.

-Chad

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Re: IE7 tax

Derric Atzrott
>That's their prerogative--they're trying to sell a product.

>I personally think IE6/7 users would be better served by
>ditching IE entirely--preferably to a WebKit-based browser.
>Others might suggest Firefox. Others would say to grab
>the latest IE. There's even some weird kids who might
>suggest moving to Opera ;-)

>We should not implicitly advertising any browsers.

Not to get off topic, but to throw it out there, we can avoid the problem of
not recommending any particular browser in a method similar to Microsoft.
[1]

Of course, that begins to get into more work than is reasonably needed for
this.  While I'll be the first to say that people really ought to not use
IE7 at this point, I agree that asking them not to isn't really our
decision, especially considering the mission statement of the Wikimedia
Foundation, as mentioned earlier.

If it turns out there is something significant that we can't do because we
must support IE7, then I'll be all about dropping support for it in order to
move forward.  But without a very good reason, I don't think that is the
best way to go; at the very least we should wait for their usage to go down.
5% of ">2500 per second" [2] is still quite a number of readers.

Thank you,
Derric Atzrott

[1] http://www.browserchoice.eu/BrowserChoice/browserchoice_en.htm
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_in_figures_-_Wikipedia


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Re: IE7 tax

Andre Engels
In reply to this post by Chad
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Absolutely not. We have debated the "show notice to broken browsers"
> thing multiple times--and the answer is always "it's annoying as hell
> when sites do it and it's not our place to do so."
>
> The stance on "supporting crappy old browsers" has largely over time
> turned into--continue supporting all browsers with at least 1% of our
> readers (roughly,I don't believe that number's ever been set in stone).
> Once they are less than 1%, continue supporting unless it's a burden
> to do so and/or makes support for newer browsers impossible. And lastly,
> never purposefully break a browser if you can help it.

Just to give some data: Looking at May, this 1% limit would mean
supporting the following browser versions (May 2012 data):

* Chrome 18.0 and 19.0
* MSIE 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0
* Firefox 3.6, 11.0 and 12.0
* Safari 534.55 (desktop), 6533.18 and 7534.48 (iOS)
* Opera 11.62 and 11.64
* Safari 533.1 (Android browser)

Furthermore, the following have no version at or over 1%, but do get
there or at least near when all versions are combined:
* Opera Mini
* WikipediaMobile (our own mobile app)
* BlackBerry browser
* Apple PubSub (rss reader)

--
André Engels, [hidden email]

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Re: IE7 tax

Tyler-57
In reply to this post by Arun Ganesh
Yes, Microsoft was great when they made IE 6, but when IE 7 came out, Microsoft killed
the Internet star. I mean, HTML 5? What? I read a book that said after HTML 4.01, it would
be XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1 ... not HTML 5!
Tyler Z
On Thu, 14 Jun 2012 20:45:20 +0200, Andre Engels wrote:


>On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Absolutely not. We have debated the "show notice to broken browsers"
>>thing multiple times--and the answer is always "it's annoying as hell
>>when sites do it and it's not our place to do so."
>>
>>The stance on "supporting crappy old browsers" has largely over time
>>turned into--continue supporting all browsers with at least 1% of our
>>readers (roughly,I don't believe that number's ever been set in stone).
>>Once they are less than 1%, continue supporting unless it's a burden
>>to do so and/or makes support for newer browsers impossible. And lastly,
>>never purposefully break a browser if you can help it.
>
>Just to give some data: Looking at May, this 1% limit would mean
>supporting the following browser versions (May 2012 data):
>
>* Chrome 18.0 and 19.0
>* MSIE 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0
>* Firefox 3.6, 11.0 and 12.0
>* Safari 534.55 (desktop), 6533.18 and 7534.48 (iOS)
>* Opera 11.62 and 11.64
>* Safari 533.1 (Android browser)
>
>Furthermore, the following have no version at or over 1%, but do get
>there or at least near when all versions are combined:
>* Opera Mini
>* WikipediaMobile (our own mobile app)
>* BlackBerry browser
>* Apple PubSub (rss reader)
>
>--
>André Engels, [hidden email]
>
>_______________________________________________
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Re: IE7 tax

Ryan Kaldari-2
In reply to this post by Andre Engels
You do know we still support IE6 right? We should probably discuss dropping IE6 support before IE7 :)

Ryan Kaldari

On Jun 14, 2012, at 11:45 AM, Andre Engels <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Absolutely not. We have debated the "show notice to broken browsers"
>> thing multiple times--and the answer is always "it's annoying as hell
>> when sites do it and it's not our place to do so."
>>
>> The stance on "supporting crappy old browsers" has largely over time
>> turned into--continue supporting all browsers with at least 1% of our
>> readers (roughly,I don't believe that number's ever been set in stone).
>> Once they are less than 1%, continue supporting unless it's a burden
>> to do so and/or makes support for newer browsers impossible. And lastly,
>> never purposefully break a browser if you can help it.
>
> Just to give some data: Looking at May, this 1% limit would mean
> supporting the following browser versions (May 2012 data):
>
> * Chrome 18.0 and 19.0
> * MSIE 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0
> * Firefox 3.6, 11.0 and 12.0
> * Safari 534.55 (desktop), 6533.18 and 7534.48 (iOS)
> * Opera 11.62 and 11.64
> * Safari 533.1 (Android browser)
>
> Furthermore, the following have no version at or over 1%, but do get
> there or at least near when all versions are combined:
> * Opera Mini
> * WikipediaMobile (our own mobile app)
> * BlackBerry browser
> * Apple PubSub (rss reader)
>
> --
> André Engels, [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

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Re: IE7 tax

Risker
In reply to this post by Tyler-57
I agree with Chris and Derric here; at least in the "western world", a
large percentage of IE7 users have not upgraded for "Enterprise" reasons.
Many of these enterprises use proprietary software that is written for IE7,
and upgrading to the IE9 versions can be cost-prohibitive. Often by waiting
another couple of years, the cost of the upgrade will drop to the level
that is acceptable to the organization (or alternately they can make a
better business case because support drops for the older versions or other
critical changes are being held back).

My own employer is in this situation, and until they figured out how to add
Firefox accessibility to the VPN, I had to keep IE7 on one of my home
computers for those occasions when I work off-site.

Risker
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Re: IE7 tax

Jon Robson
In reply to this post by Chris McMahon
Another approach to consider for IE6/7 users is where it makes sense ship a
stylesheet which hides everything other than the content. I believe
Wikipedia should be accessible to all regardless of their browser choices.

Here is the IE6 one for those who haven't seen it - there is also an IE7
equivalent somewhere.

code: http://code.google.com/p/universal-ie6-css/
demo:
http://stuffandnonsense.co.uk/content/demo/2009/05/21/forabeautifulweb.html
On 14 Jun 2012 06:57, "Chris McMahon" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 5:21 AM, Arun Ganesh <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> 6% of wikimedia project page views are from IE6/7 - because of the
> > following:
> > - IE6 ships default with XP
> > - Legal users with SP2+ can upgrade to IE8
> > - If you have 90s era hardware, no SP for you. Can only be solved by
> buying
> > some new hardware (or switching to linux)
> > - IT admins who dont know much about IT and have kept the workforce
> hostage
> > through their ignorance. Can be solved if the workforce and boss demands
> > it.
>
>
> I'd like to reframe these examples.
>
> First, as I understand it, most IE6/IE7 users globally are running pirated
> versions of Windows.  For financial or political reasons, they will not or
> can not acquire legal versions and thus can't upgrade their browsers.
>
> Second is certain types of Enterprise shops.  Before I was hired at WMF, I
> worked for a company that processes complex financial records for
> pharmacies participating in a US federal program that reimburses pharmacies
> for the cost of drugs prescribed for indigent patients.  Well over 50% of
> our users were on IE6/7.   This was for two reasons:  one is that these
> pharmacies are in the business of selling drugs, and IT is only a tiny part
> of their operation.  Second is that with millions and millions of dollars
> passing through a system regulated by HIPAA and other laws, the risk of
> upgrading is seen as higher than the risk of using old tech.
>
> I don't think we can dismiss IE6/7 users cavalierly.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: IE7 tax

Brion Vibber
On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Jon Robson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Another approach to consider for IE6/7 users is where it makes sense ship a
> stylesheet which hides everything other than the content. I believe
> Wikipedia should be accessible to all regardless of their browser choices.
>

This is basically what we did for Netscape 4 when we gave up supporting it
back in the day. We switched the style loads so they wouldn't load any skin
CSS on Netscape 4, giving you the raw Monobook skin layout. Not pretty, but
still functional. :)



On 14 Jun 2012 06:57, "Chris McMahon" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > Second is certain types of Enterprise shops.  Before I was hired at WMF,
> I
> > worked for a company that processes complex financial records for
> > pharmacies participating in a US federal program that reimburses
> pharmacies
> > for the cost of drugs prescribed for indigent patients.  Well over 50% of
> > our users were on IE6/7.   This was for two reasons:  one is that these
> > pharmacies are in the business of selling drugs, and IT is only a tiny
> part
> > of their operation.  Second is that with millions and millions of dollars
> > passing through a system regulated by HIPAA and other laws, the risk of
> > upgrading is seen as higher than the risk of using old tech.
>

My experience has tended to be that folks have two browsers in such
environments -- the IE 6/7 for "work stuff" and Chrome or Firefox for
"other stuff" (Facebook, Youtube ;)

-- brion
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Re: IE7 tax

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Max Semenik
Max Semenik wrote:
> But in any case, we must not annoy any significant part of our audience.

Let's put that in a sitenotice. :-)

MZMcBride



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