On Web Development and the Need to Code according to Standards

The past few weeks have shown us the release of the latest versions of the leading browsers Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome 10 and Mozilla Firefox 4. In a big way, IE has made another effort to bring its browser at par with its peers Chrome and Firefox. Users are in a win-win situation — but what about businesses that are tied to older versions of its browser?

It’s just sad to see that some businesses can’t make the leap from one version to another just because several of its web-based applications have been coded almost exclusively on IE6. I’m talking specifically about IE6 simply because of the fact that at the time IE6 was flourishing, no other browser was out there to be considered even worthy of parallel testing with the applications.

Because of this, much of the way coding (and testing) was made to adjust with the whims and peculiarities of that browser version. This isn’t really a problem in a company that can control the browser versions being used by its staff: As long as users were on Windows 2000 or WinXP, and it’s version 6 we’re talking about, then all’s good.

But the problem is the eventual upgrades of the OSs. IE7 and 8 now only work in WinXP, and its latest, version 9, can only run in Vista or 7. How can you now maintain the systems’ functionalities with the advent of these newer versions of Windows?

If only developers code based on a standards-based approach, and not just based on any particular browser, then things would have been a lot easier.

I will admit, I had been a fan of Mozilla’s Firefox browser since it released version 1.0, and for good reason. They talked standards, and less on things that will only run on their browser. Those lines echo the IE-Netscape browser wars of the 90s, and its been years since that! Things have changed, and so should the thinking of everyone.

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