Does the IE-related performance hit carry over to later versions of IE, or does it strictly limit itself to IE6?  As long as IE6 is the only browser taking the hit, add me to the "go ahead and make them suffer" list.  If it's not a major ordeal, would you be willing to create a patch to implement this and post it in JIRA so we can test it out and have a vote about whether or not it goes in the trunk?

 

- Demian

 

From: Greg Pendlebury [mailto:Greg.Pendlebury@usq.edu.au]
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 6:15 PM
To: Demian Katz; 'Eoghan Ó Carragáin'
Cc: vufind-admins@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: RE: [Vufind-admins] Browser support - UI testing

 

Yes, we use something very much like that on one of our other sites (sleight/bgsleight). It’s a play-off though. Scripts like that cause a performance hit for the client because it post-processes all the images on the page. The benefit is a simpler codebase. The alternative is the hacks like I use now, more annoying in the codebase, but ideally makes no difference to the client.

 

I’m happy with the performance hit on ie6 (serves ‘em right ;P ) actually, and it doesn’t effect other browsers. I’m also happy to implement it in the codebase if it’s wanted.

 

Greg Pendlebury
Electronic Services Officer (Systems Team)
Division of Academic Information Services
University of Southern Queensland
Phone: +61 7 4631 1501
Fax: +61 7 4631 1841

From: Demian Katz [mailto:demian.katz@villanova.edu]
Sent: Monday, 26 October 2009 10:59 PM
To: Greg Pendlebury; 'Eoghan Ó Carragáin'
Cc: vufind-admins@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: RE: [Vufind-admins] Browser support - UI testing

 

Have you looked at this library?

 

http://www.twinhelix.com/css/iepngfix/

 

It's GPL licensed and claims to solve IE6 PNG transparency problems fairly seamlessly.  I haven't actually tried it out, but it might be worth investigating.  If it works, we could have an admin discussion as to whether it should become part of the trunk or just an optional patch in JIRA.

 

As for my personal opinion about IE6 support, as I believe I've said before, we should aim to have VuFind work in IE6 -- people are obviously still using the browser, so we need the code to function with it.  Solving purely cosmetic issues should be a matter of cost-benefit analysis; if we can solve problems easily we should, especially if they're symptoms of badly-formed HTML/CSS, but if fixes degrade performance in newer browsers or are so hacky that they make future code maintenance more complicated, I don't think they're worthwhile.

 

If we end up making a lot of IE6-specific patches, it would also be a really good idea to come up with a standard keyword ("IE6" is the obvious choice) to include in comments accompanying such fixes -- this would prevent such fixes from being accidentally undone, and it would give us an easy way to find all of them if we decide at some time in the future that we no longer want to worry about IE6 compatibility.

 

- Demian

 

From: Greg Pendlebury [mailto:Greg.Pendlebury@usq.edu.au]
Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2009 10:19 PM
To: 'Eoghan Ó Carragáin'; Demian Katz
Cc: vufind-admins@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: RE: [Vufind-admins] Browser support - UI testing

 

I’m currently merging trunk code into our test system and addressing the numerous conflicts. Eoghan’s original issue regarding png transparency in ie6 raises its head again for me because it is a requirement for us locally. At the moment I’ve got quite an ugly hack in place that requires extensive changes.

 

1)      A browser test and flag set inside index.php

2)      Separate style sheets attached in layout.tpl that use gifs as background images (when $ie6 flag is set)

3)      Manually finding all img elements that serve pngs and replacing them with gifs (when $ie6 flag is set)

4)      Obviously converting all pngs to a gif alternative and uploading to the server… sometimes several versions with different background colours.

 

All of this because the pngs look better and staff want them displayed when possible.

 

At the root of all of this of course is question of whether to support ie6 or not. I actually think we should. Some quick Google searching for browser market shares shows it’s still (Sep 09 stats) getting as much usage as ie7 and ie8. Exact numbers are varying, but my limited search didn’t show any indications that it’s dead tech yet.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

IE breakdown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Msieshare1)

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2009/September/browser.php

 

 

Microsoft still officially supports it until 13-Jul-2010, and for that reason USQ’s ICT section won’t allow us to abandon it:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps/#Internet_Explorer

(It’s per OS, so IE6 on modern OS’s gets supported).

 

I’d like to propose we consider ie6 in functionality (admin list question), and if it’s agreed what the best methods are (tech list followup). I want to throw my hack away, but I can’t throw away ie6 support.

 

 

Greg Pendlebury
Electronic Services Officer (Systems Team)
Division of Academic Information Services
University of Southern Queensland
Phone: +61 7 4631 1501
Fax: +61 7 4631 1841

From: Eoghan Ó Carragáin [mailto:eoghan.ocarragain@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, 9 October 2009 11:32 PM
To: Demian Katz
Cc: vufind-admins@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [Vufind-admins] Browser support - UI testing

 

Sounds reasonable to me. I added Chrome to your list, as it already has a bigger market share than Safari and Opera (all three of them still far below ie6, of course!).

I'm aware of one or two other minor sytling issues that affect ie7 and ie8, so will submit these to JIRA with suggested fixes.

Thanks,
Eoghan

2009/10/9 Demian Katz <demian.katz@villanova.edu>

To get things started, I've put some browser notes in the testing checklist in the Wiki.  Not sure if anybody is really going to use this, but it seemed the right place to write down considerations like this.

 

http://www.vufind.org/wiki/testing_checklist

 

As far as exactly which versions to support, my personal feeling is that the goal should be to support as broad a range of versions as possible, but not to worry too much about cosmetics in old versions.  In other words, I think we should aim to have VuFind work in IE6…  but if the PNGs don't display perfectly, I'm not too concerned as long as it doesn't prevent the user from navigating the catalog.

 

That being said, I think we should aim for consistency between all current browser versions, and we still have a little work to do to achieve that -- for example, VUFIND-91.

 

My initial wiki notes vaguely reflect this philosophy… but they can be adjusted if we decide to set a different policy.

 

- Demian

 

From: Eoghan Ó Carragáin [mailto:eoghan.ocarragain@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 7:06 AM
To: vufind-admins@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [Vufind-admins] Browser support - UI testing

 

Hi,
I was wondering if we have, or need, a list of browsers and browser versions against which to test the UI in advance of a release. As a small example, the transparency in many of the *.png icons doesn't display properly in ie6. Should we be going out of our way to support legacy versions for things like this?

Eoghan

 


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This email (including any attached files) is confidential and is for the intended recipient(s) only. If you received this email by mistake, please, as a courtesy, tell the sender, then delete this email.

The views and opinions are the originator's and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Southern Queensland. Although all reasonable precautions were taken to ensure that this email contained no viruses at the time it was sent we accept no liability for any losses arising from its receipt.

The University of Southern Queensland is a registered provider of education with the Australian Government (CRICOS Institution Code No's. QLD 00244B / NSW 02225M)