Browser support (was Re: state management plug-in idea)

Eli Cochran eli at
Fri Aug 15 16:08:03 UTC 2008

Well, I'm the first to admit that I'm staking out the extreme position  
here. (Somebody has to do it.)

I agree with you completely. I've already started the process of  
gracefully degrading, as much as I can get away with, in my work. I  
just don't sweat it anymore if IE6 doesn't render pixel-perfect as  
long as the page still communicates and is functional. I wouldn't have  
considered this 6 months ago.

It's a matter of how much graceful degradation is acceptable. And I  
don't know the answer.

And, are we at the point (which happened on a lot of sites 6 years  
ago) where we start to put up conditional content that says, "Yo dude,  
your browsers out of date, you'll have a better experience here if you  

- Eli

On Aug 15, 2008, at 8:42 AM, Colin Clark wrote:

> I certainly sympathize with your opinion, though I do think that  
> interoperability is a huge goal of any open source community.
> As of July 2008, IE6 still represents 26% of the market. That's more  
> than Firefox! It might not be prudent to alienate a quarter of the  
> market at this stage in the game.
> In many cases, we may choose to put more pressure on a particular  
> subset of modern browsers, allowing some IE6-related bugs to remain  
> if they don't render our code unusable. Eventually, we'll want to  
> let it go completely.
> So, here's an idea for a more positive way to influence browser  
> support: graceful degradation. It will let us more aggressively  
> deprecate older, annoying browsers like IE6 without completely  
> excluding their users. Uploader is a prime example of the potential  
> for this approach. Let's put some energy there, instead of sweating  
> the pain of supporting sucky Microsoft technology.
> If you want a fairly cynical but very interesting picture of the  
> current state of browser support, check out Alex Russell's recent  
> blog posting on the subject:
> My two cents,
> Colin

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Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley

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