Recently, there’s been an increasing emphasis and enterprise-organized uprising focused on eliminating IE6 from the world as quickly as possible. For the unaware, supporting this outdated browser is expensive and limits our creative abilities when it comes to web development.
Mashable has summarized Microsoft’s position that IE6 cannot die until Windows XP dies, even though Microsoft strongly encourages users to upgrade.
We recognize that IE6 was the best browser on the market when released — in 2001. We, also understand that many organizations have invested significantly, buying and building apps on proprietary, non-forward compatible technology such as ActiveX or extensions to IE6. While extensions are not inherently evil, they have a tendency to lock you into a single-vendor solution, which may not be supported in future versions of their product, in this case IE7 and later.
This is one of the reasons that we’re proponents of open source software. We build web applications using free and open source works such as Dojo, which we help adapt and update for new browsers as they are released, to prevent getting stuck with untenable solutions. If you’re looking to unshackle yourself from the confines of an IE6-strapped web application and empower your users to participate in the joys of modern-day web browsing, contact SitePen for a free 30-minute consultation today.
So your cool new app is perfect, but you want it to lock the user out when the browser hasn’t had focus after 15 minutes? Well that’s easy you think, I’ll just connect to the document’s blur and focus events and be good to go. You quickly add a little bit of code to your Dojo widget:
dojo.connect(dojo.doc, "onblur", this, "onWindowBlur");
dojo.connect(dojo.doc, "onfocus", this, "onWindowFocus");
That should do it you’d think. Launch your app with Firefox and everything is great, easy enough. The same is true with Safari. After reluctantly firing up your Virtual Machine to test Internet Explorer 6, much to your dismay, onfocus events are immediately followed by onfocusout events. You feel the harsh reality that IE6 is going to suck away a bit more of your life.
In the last post on string performance, we did an analysis of string performance that spanned all of the major browsers, with the goal of optimizing the performance of the dojox.string.Builder. While we were able to create significant improvements in performance—particularly with Firefox—the performance under Internet Explorer was still pretty poor compared to native methods.
The goal for this article was to bring Builder’s performance down to comparable native operations—and we were able to do with through a combination of a slight change in code with using different ways of calling the append method.