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That’s How Our Love Must Be, IE6

Jun 23, 2011 In Web Culture By Nishant Kothary

I've been thinking about this for some time, and it's time we talk, IE6.

Dear IE6,

The clairvoyance of a lyricist never ceases to amaze me. Toto is a great case in point. They captured my recent feelings for you with the words, “As soon as forever is through, I’ll be over you,” almost two decades before we set eyes on each other.

Do you remember the day we met?

I logged into a lab terminal at Purdue University. There you were on my Windows XP start menu right below Netscape 6.1. I’d been with Netscape for a few years, so it felt wrong when I clicked on your, I have to admit now, gorgeous icon. That curve still gets me. It was love at first sight: from your marble skin and your beautiful buttons, to the way you made the Internet sing.

I wasn’t the only one enamored with you. Among the thousands of admirers you quickly amassed, even the man apart from the rest of us was accused of making you the apple of his eye. You were even at the top of the list for the valiant Web Standards Project.

It truly was your time, IE6, and for good reason—you were fast, intelligent, beautiful, and untainted, like Brook Shields in The Blue Lagoon.

But then the prophecy of another brilliant lyricist came to the foreground: “Love is blind, and lovers cannot see, The pretty follies that themselves commit.” Blind lovers we were, for none of us saw the skeletons. But, skeletons are never lost. They are only buried to be found. And time revealed yours, IE6, even if it was after we’d written home and told mom about you. We found all of them in their glorious betrayal.

In a decade, we went from being soul mates, marooned on an island in the caress of love, to this: a countdown to your demise brought to you by none other than your creator. Like Shah Jahan, you are imprisoned by your blood and left to die watching the Taj Mahal you helped build. Imagine: without you, would cats have been reborn as the comedians of our generation? No, indeed.

While you await your demise, your hair white, your curves collapsed much like your lungs that are hanging onto their last breath, I sit here encompassed in fear. What if I’ve underestimated the metaphorical depth of Toto’s prescience?

The thing is, even as we inscribe your name meticulously on a tombstone, my friends can’t stop talking about you. Everywhere I go, your future ghost follows. The incessant bitching is inevitable, I suppose; after all, you were a heartbreaker in a league of your own. But what really gets me biting my nails is how they keep watering the roots of your malevolent soul, encouraging you to haunt us forever more. For example, they write about you. In books!

Even less than a month ago, I read a book that dedicated entire sections to you. Not in that, “Remember IE6? Hahahahahaha!” sort of way, but as if you were still alive. You know, in that, “Oh, bloody hell, now let’s see how we can do this super-futuristic-awesome browser wizardry in IE6 using Weimaraner whiskers marinated in the the poop of a Tyrannosaurus Rex *grumble grumble*,” way.

I want to move on, IE6. I don’t even care to discuss our asset split. Here, I’m tearing up the prenup. You can keep the house. The car. The plant. My audio cassette collection. The stuffed-cat measuring tape. Everything. Well, everything but my Weimaraner. Trust me, you don’t want him anyway. He has separation anxiety. Seriously, do you need any more codependent ex-lovers?

Yes, I want to move on. But I can’t, because it’s clear that the world is not ready to move on yet. They’ve got some more bones to pick from those skeletons. And some royalty checks to collect.

And so it is, as soon as forever is through, I’ll be over you.

Your estranged lover,
Nishant Kothary

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11 comments so far. You should leave one, too.

Gavra said on Jun 23, 2011

Great letter! :)

RobIII said on Jun 23, 2011

A little late to the party but, hey, welcome in 2011! Nice letter. If only you'd have written it about a year or 2 ago when the rest of us were breaking up with IE6 too ;-)

Nishant Kothary said on Jun 23, 2011

RobIII — A year or two ago was fashionably late, buddy. Heck, MIX Online stopped supporting IE6 in 2008 (and we're Microsoft). ;-P But yes, people need to move on. At least, stop writing about IE6 and how to solve front-end problems for IE6-support.

TonyMao said on Jul 3, 2011


Jason H. Davis said on Jul 7, 2011

Sadly, with Microsoft pledging support for XP until 2014 if the problem is not IE6 it will be IE8. IE8 is the newest browser supported under XP.

Csaba said on Nov 16, 2011

Well said! Was good to read... :)

Shin Mark said on Dec 5, 2011
piscinas prefabricadas precios said on Dec 7, 2011

Nice writing my friend, i really like it.

Anindita Debnath said on Dec 20, 2011

Very nice writing! Love the crisp style! :)

Ray said on Mar 16, 2012

I agree with Jason. IE8 seems already to be old but there is not another option for Windows XP users.

Nice writing btw. :)

Mohit Bumb said on Apr 8, 2012

Nice article nishant