Re: How about the browsers following the standards????
I fully agree! Nobody gets bent out of shape when an application is only available on Windows. Where is the demand that all applications ever published have to run on OS X and Linux as well? And where is the complaint that not everything in the Google app store also works on iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, WebOS? One can call such a demand unreasonable without much debate.
Browsers are designed so drastically different that the same perfectly valid markup and script gets executed and interpreted differently in each browser. IE is and always was the worst offender, but I also come across cases where everything works fine in IE and Firefox, but fails in Chrome. And one would think that Firefox on Windows behaves the same as Firefox on OS X or Firefox on Linux. True, for the most part that is the case, but not always.
Not only developers need to adjust to that, QA has to test on all these platforms and combinations. Let's start counting:
- Firefox on Windows, OS X, Linux - 3
- Chrome on Windows, Linux - 2
- IE - 1
- Safari - 1
- Opera on Windows, Linux - 2
- KDE - 1
This is already a count of 10. Add to that the different Windows versions and IE versions (at least 9, 10, 11) plus the common agreement to support current version and current version minus 1. And I am not sure if Opera is available for OS X and if KDE runs on other OS than Linux. And Linux itself comes in various distributions that potentially introduce differences. Add to that hardware differences based on processor and graphics platforms. One would think that any x86_64 platform is the same, but some applications or systems are picky, try to install OS X on an x86_64 system based on an AMD processor...no chance. And now add the insane variety of browsers on the numerous mobile platforms!
So we are looking at at least 40 to 60 different combinations for which a web app needs to be potentially optimized, but in any case fully tested to meet the demand put forward in this article. Sure, we in QA could automate things if we just had a tool that could run automated scripts on any platform. Yes, there are excellent cloud services out there that have even the most exotic browser and OS combo available, but hooking up 3rd party systems into our R&D network does not really jive well with securing IP.
Now add to that the expectation that in an agile world a feature request can be made on Monday and by Friday we have product to ship. Really? Design takes a day or two, coding a day or two, and testing it on every stinkin' browser out there for any combination of new and existing functionality is supposed to happen when? And next week we rip everything out because users do not like it or the entire app gets thrown own in favor of the next best thing.
Demanding that every web app runs on every browser without any problems is unreasonable and attempting to make this happen is unsustainable. Sorry to say, but anyone asking for this is just clueless! Yes, the IE only approach is so 90s, but we can thank Microsoft and its IE6 for that plus ASP and whatever else Microsoft cooked up to build a proprietary stack on a standards based platform!