Therefore we feel that we are close to the point where we can truly code once and it will work
When we designed the CWD3 we decided to end support for Internet Explorer (IE) 6
compatibility, because IE6 represents less than 0.1% of browsers visiting *.lincoln.ac.uk sites (in
October 2011); the purpose of this design decision was to give us more time to devote to the
test and debugging of the more frequently used versions of Internet Explorer.
A further decision was made only to support the most recent versions of the alternative
browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari) because in our experience (based on our
analytics), users of these browsers demonstrate a greater tendency to keep their browsers
6. Lessons Learnt
There is a wealth of guidelines, best practice, and tutorials available on the Web about HTML,
terms of the quality of advice they offer, including the Mozilla Developer Network
. These sites proved invaluable during development, offering useful pointers and ways
to overcome browser inconsistencies.
We also discovered a number of third-party frameworks and libraries that have eased the pain
of development such as Modernizr
. The HTML5 Boilerplate
Project was useful
as well to demonstrate current best practice across a number of different technologies. The
advantages of using these frameworks and libraries are that they have been well tested and
researched by hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of people.
Most of us are now using Mac computers which makes testing on Internet Explorer difficult. We
tried using a number of different solutions for testing IE including using emulators under Wine
which proved unreliable and buggy and IE Tester
which works but does not always represent
true rendering. In the end we set up virtual machines for Windows XP, Vista and 7 each with
snapshots of the individual versions of IE available to it (i.e. for XP IE 6, 7 and 8, Vista IE 7, 8
and 9, and 7 IE 8, 9 and 10). It was a long process to get them set up but it does mean we can
easily test combinations of OS and browser.
As an integral part of our toolkit, the Common Web Design has allowed us to develop beautiful,
mobile-ready, University of Lincoln-branded interfaces to our rapid innovation projects in a short
space of time.
Every element of the framework, from the mobile-ready grid system, the interactive user
interface widgets, to the clean typography has been thoroughly tested across a multitude of
browsers and devices, thereby giving us confidence in its use. Such rigorous testing means we
can concentrate on creating great user experiences, instead of wondering if some great new
design will actually work in Internet Explorer.
From the organisation’s standpoint, the benefits are clear: anyone can easily create a branded
Web site, application or blog. The framework’s testing has reduced the number of problems
reported to the ICT Support Desk from users experiencing problems in specific browsers. We
are also encouraging the use of semantic accessible mark-up which has benefits in terms of
search engine optimisation (SEO) and accessibility.
Mozilla Developer Network,
scottjehl / Respond
HTML5 Boilerplate, http://www.html5boilerplate.com/
My DebugBar: IETester / Browser Compatibility Check for Internet Explorer Versions from
5.5 to 10 http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage