IE 6 unsuitable for web 2.0 apps?

I read Richard McManus’ blog posting yesterday on whether IE 6 is unsuitable for web 2.0 apps.

Among other things, he cites Ross Dargahi’s blog post at Zimbra:

From a Web 2.0 application developers perspective (developers who use a lot of JavaScript and DOM manipulaion), IE 6 is plagued by a number of well known problems such as its ability to readily leak memory. Regrettably, Microsoft’s next release of Internet Explorer, IE 7, does little to resolve these issues.

There’s no question that it’s very easy to cause all kinds of memory leaks in IE 6. When we developed an Ajax-powered calendar creation site last fall, getting it working in IE 6 was a huge issue.

When we ran compatibility testing with iBeta, and even when we were doing usability testing with The UE Group, we were experiencing chronic crashing problems in IE 6. Memory leaks where killing the browser after people were on the site for more than 15 minutes or so. And, of course when that happens, people don’t blame their browser, they blame the website they were on.

However, we actually managed to fix the memory leaks – Mike Skovgaard, the primary developer on the site, worked crazy hours to trace every single instance where anything was called in the browser and explicitly release that memory.

So eventually IE 6 worked out OK for us – although getting it working was a lot tougher than Firefox, no question. Certainly, however, we’re hoping that IE 7 will be better.

I’m guessing, however, that Zimbra’s app is probably a lot heavier-duty than ours … and that probably has a lot to do with their issues.

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I would have posted this as a comment at the ZDNet blog but didn’t, for these reasons.

[tags] IE6, explorer, web 2.0, memory leaks, web apps [/tags]