Friday, August 17th, 2007

Fixing GC issues on IE 6: New IE download

Category: IE, Microsoft

The issues with garbage collection in IE 6 are well known. IE 7 has fixed the bulk of them, but what about IE 6 users?

It turns out that Microsoft has downloads for the various Windows operating systems, so if you could get your users to install one of these puppies they would be a lot happier running your rich Ajax application.

I really hope that Microsoft makes these critical updates so they actually get pushed to end users, else it doesn’t even matter than someone put in the hard work to make the fix.

Download the install for:

Posted by Dion Almaer at 3:47 pm
27 Comments

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2 rating from 140 votes

27 Comments »

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But…is there a way to ‘detect’ if they have it already installed and suggest the download automatically?

Comment by Jon — August 17, 2007

ScriptEngineMajorVersion();
ScriptEngineMinorVersion();

Comment by ... — August 17, 2007

Ha ha ha ha ha. Yeah. Get IE users to upgrade.

Good one.

Comment by Dean Edwards — August 17, 2007

Ha ha ha ha ha. Yeah. Get IE users to upgrade.
Good one.

What if we could trick IE6 users into downloading the upgrade, after the ScriptEngine… detect? Offer a free Bejeweled download or Adriana Lima wallpaper with the GC upgrade bundled in… The typical IE6 user will have no understanding of GC issues but very likely likes free games, or pr0n. I view the future… instead of spyware, bundled UpgradeWare!

uhh…. Free Jessica Alba Strip Screensaver to the first coder to implement!

Comment by Charles — August 17, 2007

What about the fix that went into that security update from a couple weeks ago — that’s no good? http://ajaxian.com/archives/ie-memory-leaks-be-gone

Comment by Alex Bischoff — August 17, 2007

Or… if you can get them to download a patch and install it, then get them to download a real browser instead!!

Comment by Joe — August 17, 2007

For a minute there I thought IE7 was gonna fix my Green Card issues.

Comment by kimo H1b — August 17, 2007

This is cool, but what is it suppose to do?

Comment by Oliver Tse — August 17, 2007

Green Card issues – lol.

Comment by Kishore Senji — August 17, 2007

I’ve blogged about this before.

Comment by Jordan — August 17, 2007

subtlegradient.com/articles/2007/06/26/warning-do-not-update-your-windows-testing-box

This is stupid. Seriously, why upgrade and stay with IE6?
Upgrade to Safari, Firefox, IE7, or rm -rf / yourself!

This is useless for developers because we still have to be compatible to non-patched IE6. Once IE9 comes out, sure you can ditch support for IE6.

Comment by Thomas Aylott — August 17, 2007

Never mind…

Script 5.7 is the same version as that found on Vista. So, the GC issues **should** be resolved.

Oliver

Comment by Oliver Tse — August 17, 2007

Just curious: Are we really sure that a “Windows Script” update also influences the jscript engine of the currently installed browser? Does IE really use this engine or comes with a separate one? Any references or informations resources regarding this topic would be great.

Comment by Sebastian Werner — August 17, 2007

Again it’s a bad choice of Microsoft to only offer this download after the required validation step. As this, indentical to IE7, is a really important update, it would be much easier for the users to update, if there is not a validation step between them and the download file. Hope they will change their mind.

Comment by Sebastian Werner — August 17, 2007

Do anybody know, if this fix memory leaks only or does this affect “the wall”, too, which results into extreme performance losses with each additionally created instance/object/string?

Comment by Sebastian Werner — August 17, 2007

This patch is working great for me.
(I think it gives IE6 the same GC as IE7.)
Allocating 100000 objects takes now 1 second instead of 6 seconds on IE6!

Comment by arnaud — August 18, 2007

I’d say that this release improves the JScript engine. I don’t actually expect it to fix GC for COM objects (such as the DOM tree), since this was fixed last month in an IE patch and not a JScript patch. Not to say that a new engine won’t speed things up though.

Comment by Mark Wubben — August 18, 2007

@Sebastian Werner: I’m sure they won’t, you should get a licensed copy of windows

Comment by Nick — August 18, 2007

For a web site, you shouldn’t ask user to upgrade it, you must adopt the older version.

The best way is time. Wait for XP SP3 and wish Microsoft will include this.

Comment by gslin — August 18, 2007

Why doesn’t IE have an automatic updater?

Comment by Rizqi Ahmad — August 18, 2007

I’ve blogged about this before. And I printed a T-Shirt with the information on it. And I got the URLs tattooed on my buttocks. Like, years ago. So nerrr.

Comment by Jerome — August 18, 2007

I remember the good old days where users where forced to update since sites contained messages like “your browser doesn’t support frames”. I some times feel the urge to just write “your browser is leaky and old, you must upgrade to a new one”. It’s a shame that we are to afraid to do that these days.

I mean there is today no need to upgrade since there are a bunch of developers out there pulling their hair off in order to make all sites work anyway. :)

Comment by Spocke — August 18, 2007

For many corporate users, upgrading their browser is not easy, simply because the browser is not theirs. It belongs to the company they work for, as does many other corporate software. While we can blame big companies for delaying browser upgrades, average users are innocent in this case. Using IE may be an internal requirement; maintaining a separate Firefox installation just to work with That Cool Ajax Web Site is quite inconvenient because all your settings, customizations, bookmarks, passwords etc. still reside in IE.

What is really necessary is a consistent policy of providing all the minimal features for IE6 (or even maybe IE5?!) while enriching the interface in decent browsers. This is the way Microsoft goes with their OS: while providing application compatibility layers even for Win98 software, they consistently enhance the set of features available for a new generation of applications. We may hate them or not, but Microsoft (besides being the root of all evil :-)) is a large software company with good reputation among businesses, therefore we may benefit from their strategy a little.

Most of web2.0 resources nowadays do not follow the above mentioned guideline; 90% of them are providing the same set of features for IE6 users, making things looks well where they are not, and the remaining 10% go geek and support only the latest browsers, thus cutting off a good deal of their potential audience.

Comment by Max Shirshin — August 18, 2007

This cannot be a good thing.

Now that IE7 is a recommended update by Microsoft, everyone who uses Windows Update now uses IE7. The rest of the IE-using public does NOT use Windows Update. If they’re using IE6, they’re getting the memory leaks. If we update our version of IE to one where this is fixed, we won’t know when our code is causing serious leaks for our IE6-user customers.

We have to, sadly, keep our buggy old copy of IE6 until everyone is using something else, and work around the memory leaks as best as we can in the mean time.

Comment by Kit Grose — August 19, 2007

Now that IE7 is a recommended update by Microsoft, everyone who uses Windows Update now uses IE7. The rest of the IE-using public does NOT use Windows Update.

Well, that’s not exactly true. For example, I’ve been using Windows Update (as well as Microsoft Update) since the day I installed Windows on this machine. Still, I haven’t got IE7, since it can’t be installed on Windows 2000 through WU/MU. And the reason I still have W2K on my machine is simply that it still is the most stabile OS from Microsoft. My new harddrive has XP on it, but I still haven’t started using that one – still migrating my old stuff onto it… might take the next couple of years to get that job finished ;)

Comment by Markku Uttula — August 20, 2007

@Nick: It’s not me who has not a license. But it is generally bad from Microsoft to block users from such updates, which are highly interesting for third parties. I think that their are a bunch of users of our two million customers who cannot update their system because of this restriction. It would be a lot better to handle this fix like a typical security update a push it to all windows machines this way automatically.

Comment by Sebastian Werner — August 20, 2007

Some mention in Microsoft’s Jscript blogging site too.

http://blogs.msdn.com/jscript/archive/2007/08/12/windows-script-5-7-released-for-windows-2000-windows-xp-and-windows-2003-server.aspx

Comment by John — August 21, 2007

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