Loud Thinking: Challenging life, software, and media
Friday, July 20, 2001 @ 14:06 | Challenge?

The myth of cost-free browser requirements

Some where along the lines customers who want to have web sites/application build got the impression that browser requirements was like choosing which color of shirt to wear today. A cost-free proposition. It's not. Especially when you're talking the kind of JavaScript/frames-heavy web applications that I'm working on at the moment (a web-based chat system).

Keeping track of all the different bugs in the JavaScript and (to a lesser extent) HTML implementations in all browsers since Netscape 4 on Mac and Windows is pretty much impossible. This leaves you with extensive trial-and-error testing trying a range of different approaches when something for some unknown reason doesn't work in one of the browser. It's a tedious and slow process.

That's why we have to educate our customers that browser compatibility in this imperfect world is an expensive wish. And I wonder how many customers are really that concerned about shafting the small procentage of potential users who uses an arcane browser if it means they have to pay twice or thrice as much for the solution.

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