TaskSpeed is a test suite useful to compare the performance of various javascript libraries. These are usually source of a lot of discussion on which is the best library. That’s a topic better left aside.

IE suck

What’s remarkable instead in this speed test suite, is the obvious manner in which it appears that Internet Explorer (IE) is lagging far behind in terms of performance, IE6 particularly (but IE7 sucks too, and IE8 will suck pretty soon).

Again, nothing new there, except for the fact that it outlines how library authors “try” to make it work on IE6 but it’s just plain painful to watch it try painfully to render whatever animation your website has, turning animations into an experience closer to museum’s still-nature contemplation.

The law of Nature

So the issue at stake is: should library authors drop support for IE6 entirely (thus removing a lot of overhead), or instead “come down” on the amount of features, since what remains the number one browser worldwide obviously can’t swallow it?

My personal opinion

The natural law of things says that old and wounded ones get left behind the herd when they cannot follow the group anymore. Eventually a wolf comes eat them and oups they’re gone.
The problem here is that natural selection does not act as fast in the software world: no big wolves to “clean up” the mess. Old software can linger along for as long as there is hardware and people to have it run.

We need a big bad wolf

So, maybe we should sponsor a big virus editor to roam on the internet to hunt down IE6, and when found, make IE6 unable to open up anymore and instead invite to install a clean firefox/chrome/safari/opera solution.

There we’d have our big bad wolf (or a portuguese cleaning lady if this vision fits you better). :D