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Wednesday, January 18th, 2006, 12:10 pm

Browser Compatibility Responsibilities

Firefox and other icons in the dock

I recently volunteered to take browser compatibility more seriously. I never truly believed there was a place for platform discrimination. However, refusal to upgrade from Internet Explorer to Firefox is not quite so excusable. Web standards should be fundamental enough to be supported at the very core of a browser and behave reliably. And yet, I realise that my attitude must change.

The context of this post is WordPress, a blogging platform whose development and community I have been a part of for over a year. In fact, I have put my name down among the Roles in WordPress Wiki page. To quote:

Testing / QA

Browser Testing – Testing Firefox, IE, Opera, and Safari against major WP functionality; documenting bugs; coding workarounds.

  • I have a large variety of browsers which are built for Linux (including old versions), so I will continue to test nightlies and report inconsistencies and incompatibilities whenever time permits. I can use emulation to test under Safari and IE, but I have WinXP and an iMac at work. –[[User:schestowitz|schestowitz]] 3:38, 13 Jan 2006 (GMT)

The idea of roles in WordPress was introduced less than a fortnight ago. While editing the Wiki, I also decided to bind a vague personal description to an empty placeholder page which carries my name. I chose:

An ordinary guy who is overly fascinated by ‘anything Linux’ and ‘anything PHP/MySQL’.

My role involves using a large variety of browsers, especially exploring the Administration Panel (/Dashboard) side. Due to Safari and Internet Explorer, I will have to work on alternative platforms, too. Mac OS X is powerful, but rarely has the ‘expessivability’ of GNU/Linux. Also, it has commercial strings attached to it. Many of its applications bear a cost. To test cross-Web browser compatibility, I can disengage from the 3 Linux that I regularly use and take advantage of the iMac and Windows XP machines at the office. These operating system definitely have a place; just not in my house [smile]! They have not been switched on for months, but now there is a reason for a small change. I love WordPress! As matter of face, it was love at first sight and the affair carries on.

I have reported a few bugs already and some have been resolved:

2 Responses to “Browser Compatibility Responsibilities”

  1. Mick Hamblen Says:

    A local Temp agency had applicants go online to apply for a job. Going to the web site a got a message that I had to use Internet Explorer on a Windows computer. I ended up using the local librarys machine. If I was at home I could have pasted my resume. This lack of browser compatability is discrimitory

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    There are sites that still refuse access by non-IE browsers, which is both a platform and browser discrimination. None of these is free either, which makes the mind ache. For that matter, one can use Opera which pretends to be Internet Explorer (version 8.5 still does) and therefore can ‘penetrate’ all sites.

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