Browser Support and Testing
michelled33 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 22:01:59 UTC 2011
At a recent community meeting, we talked about our browser support strategy for Infusion. I offered to share our conversation here so that we can come to consensus.
We talked a little about the identity of Infusion, which is both forward looking and accommodating of many platforms and configurations. This requires a true balancing act considering all our possible users, along with a practicality regarding our limited resources. Since we build tools for other people to use in their websites and applications, we must be conscious of their users' requirements. We currently don't have an extensive list of people who are using Infusion and in fact it may not be feasible to gather such a list.
We touched on several aspects of our current development process. This included the cost of QA particularly when we modify the framework or upgrade jQuery. It takes us about a week to complete a full QA cycle which ends up being a significant deterrent to making framework changes and doing frequent releases. We also talked about the amount of time we are spending on supporting older browsers. We estimate that at least a month of development time during 1.4 was spent on making UIO work in IE6.
The final proposal we came to was two part:
1. We would stop trying to provide the same rich experience on all browsers and platforms. Instead, we would move to a simpler, stripped down experience on the older browsers. Practically speaking this will mean designing and implementing a simpler version which would of course also need to be tested during a QA cycle.
2. We would move to testing fewer combinations of browsers & platforms. Likely we would test the latest Firefox, latest Chrome, latest Safari, IE 8 and IE 9 on what ever OS the tester feels like testing. We would address issues that crop up in other browser and platform combinations when integrators or users find them. This strategy means that some amount of testing burden would fall on integrators that require a browser that we don't QA.
Everyone, please comment on whether you'd support a move to this policy and those that were at the meeting please correct any mistakes I've made or add detail where it's needed.
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