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CODE4LIB  February 2013

CODE4LIB February 2013

Subject:

Re: A Responsibility to Encourage Better Browsers ( ? )

From:

Sean Hannan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 19 Feb 2013 17:30:35 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (136 lines)

Let's not forget that Google has a business case for dropping IE8 support.
Alerting folks to their old browser could (in SEO terms) turn into Chrome
conversions.

-Sean


On 2/19/13 12:22 PM, "Eric Phetteplace" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I guess my general philosophy is that, for any browser with a decent market
> share (>1% ish), it's my responsibility that the website *works*. It is not
> my responsibility to make it look the same or run as fast in every browser,
> which means IE 8 can get flat colors instead of gradients or a fallback if
> it's not too time-intensive to write.
> 
> Google's web apps are dropping IE 8 support; visit Google Docs in IE 8 or
> even an older Firefox and you'll see a warning. AFAIK, Google Search works
> fine in almost any browser.
> 
> And the jQuery thing is true but the versions are off; 2.0 will drop oldIE
> support, 1.9 will be the maintained branch that keeps IE support. See their
> announcement:
> http://blog.jquery.com/2013/01/15/jquery-1-9-final-jquery-2-0-beta-migrate-fin
> al-released/
> 
> 
> Best,
> Eric
> 
> 
> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM, Bill Dueber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Keep in mind that many old-IE users are there because their corporate/gov
>> entity requires it. Our entire univeristy health/hospital complex, for
>> example, was on IE6 until...last year, maybe?... because they had several
>> critical pieces of software written as active-x components that only ran in
>> IE6. Which, sure, you can say that's dumb (because it is), but at the same
>> time we couldn't have a setup that made it hard for the doctors
>> and researchers use the library.
>> 
>> 
>> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM, Michael Schofield <[log in to unmask]
>>> wrote:
>> 
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> 
>>> I'm having a change of heart.
>>> 
>>> It is kind of sacrilegious, especially if you-like me-evangelize
>>> mobile-first, progressively enhanced web design, to  throw alerts when
>>> users hit your site using IE7 / IE8 that encourage upgrading or changing
>>> browsers. Especially in libraries which are legally and morally mandated
>> to
>>> be the pinnacle of accessibility, your website should - er, ideally - be
>>> functional in every browser. That's certainly what I say when I give a
>> talk.
>>> 
>>> But you know what? I'm kind of starting to not care. I understand that
>>> patrons blah blah might not blah blah have access to anything but IE7 or
>>> IE8 - but, you know, if they're on anything other than Windows 95 that
>>> isn't true.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> *         Using Old IE makes you REALLY vulnerable to malicious software.
>>> 
>>> *         Spriting IEs that don't support gradients, background size, CSS
>>> shapes, etc. and spinning-up IE friendly stylesheets (which, admittedly,
>> is
>>> REALLY easy to do with Modernizr and SASS) can be a time-sink, which I am
>>> starting to think is more of a disservice to the tax- and tuition-payers
>>> that pad my wallet.
>>> 
>>> I ensure that web services are 100% functional for deprecated browsers,
>>> and there is lingering pressure-especially from the public wing of our
>>> institution (which I totally understand and, in the past, sympathized
>> with)
>>> to present identical experiences across browsers. But you know what I did
>>> today? I sinned. From our global script, if modernizr detects that the
>>> browser is lt-ie9, it appends just below the navbar a subtle notice: "Did
>>> you know that your version of Internet Explorer is several years old? Why
>>> not give Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari a try?"*
>>> 
>>> In most circles this is considered the most heinous practice. But, you
>>> know, I can no longer passively stand by and see IE8 rank above the
>> others
>>> when I give the analytics report to our web committee. Nope. The first
>> step
>>> in this process was dropping all support for IE7 / Compatibility Mode a
>> few
>>> months ago. Now that Google, jQuery, and others will soon drop support
>> for
>>> IE8 - its time to politely join-in and make luddite patrons aware. IMHO,
>>> anyway.
>>> 
>>> Already, old IE users get the raw end of the bargain because just viewing
>>> our website makes several additional server requests to pull additional
>> CSS
>>> and JS bloat, not to mention all the images graphics they don't support.
>>> Thankfully, IE8 is cool with icon fonts, otherwise I'd be weeping at my
>>> desk.
>>> 
>>> Now, why haven't I extended this behavior to browsers with limited
>> support
>>> for, say, css gradients? That's trickier. A user might have the latest
>> HTC
>>> phone but opt to surf in Opera Mini. There are too many variables and too
>>> many webkits (etc.). With old IE you can infer that a.) the user has a
>> lap-
>>> or desktop, and [more importantly] b.) that old IE will never be a phone.
>>> 
>>> Anyway,
>>> 
>>> This is a really small-potatoes rant / action, but in a culture of all
>>> accessibility / never pressuring the user / whatever, it feels
>> momentous. I
>>> kind of feel stupid getting all high and mighty about it. What do you
>> think?
>>> 
>>> Michael | Front End Librarian | www.ns4lib.com
>>> 
>>> * Why, you may ask, did I not suggest IE9? Well, IE9 isn't exactly the
>>> experience we'd prefer them to have, but also according to our analytics
>>> the huge majority of old IE users are on Windows XP - where 9 isn't an
>>> option anyway. Eventually, down the road, we'll encourage IE9ers to
>> upgrade
>>> too (once things like flexbox become standard), and at least they should
>>> have the option to try IE10.
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Bill Dueber
>> Library Systems Programmer
>> University of Michigan Library
>> 

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