RootsTech 2014

Mocavo

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

FamilySearch Browser Compatibility and Support Policy

One of the recurring issues with constant use of various websites is browser compatibility. With the constant changes in operating systems, computer programs and online databases, keeping a major website compatible with various browsers. I found some documentation concerning how FamilySearch.org addresses the issues. I can only assume that all of the other main database websites have also addressed the issues, likely in their own way. Below is the FamilySearch approach, or at least what it was back in May of 2013. I would note that many of the website users may be experiencing problems with the website caused by their use of older versions of their browsers. This will continue to be a problem as long as the user disregards upgrades. If you have been waiting around for some reason to upgrade your browser (or other programs also) here is a graphic reason for doing so.

Historically a web product either supports a browser or it does not. However, FamilySearch uses a "graded" support policy derived from Yahoo's Graded Browser support policy. Each browser is assigned a letter grade that designates the degree to which the browser supports the features that are as designated as "core" to the site's functionality. According to the Engineering Division, we're not fully supported by Internet Explorer (May 2013).
Current Support Matrix as of May 2013
Grade
Browser
A
 IE 9 &; 10, Firefox current -1, Safari current -1, Chrome current -1, iOS Safari current -1, Android Webkit current -1
B
 IE 8, Opera 11
C
 None
F
 AOL, IE 1-7, Firefox 1-6, Safari 1-5.0.6, Chrome 1-12

GRADES
A-Grade
Fully supported. A-grade browsers are capable, modern, and common. Web Development and Quality Assurance tests all A-grade browsers, and bugs are addressed with high priority. The A-grade experience provides excellent functionality and a high level of visual fidelity.
B-Grade
Near-fully supported. B-grade browsers are mostly-capable, mostly-modern, and common. Web Development and Quality Assurance tests all B-grade browsers, and bugs are addressed with high priority. B-grade browsers provide excellent functionality, though at an acceptably degraded visual experience.
C-Grade
Passively supported browsers. C-grade browsers are mildly-capable, technically out-of-date, or uncommon. C-grade browsers are supported at the lowest level. Little testing will occur at this level. Bugs will be fixed with a low level of priority.
F-Grade
Unsupported browsers.

The fact that a browser is fully supported does not mean that the same page in a different fully supported browser will always look the same. Browsers by their very nature are not identical, and vendors may choose to implement the standards in a different way. A browser that is supported by FamilySearch simply means that our program features are available when using that browser. Our goal is to make our products available and accessible across the most capable, modern, and common browsers.

Follow these steps to check the version of your Internet browser:
Microsoft Internet Explorer
  1. Click on Help in your Internet Explorer menu at the top of your screen.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select About Internet Explorer.
  3. The version will be displayed (6, 7, 8, 9, etc.).
Mozilla Firefox
  1. Click on Help in your Mozilla Firefox menu at the top of the screen.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select About Firefox.
  3. The version will be displayed (3, 4, 11, 12, etc.).
Google Chrome
  1. Click on the wrench in the top right corner of Google Chrome.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select About Google Chrome.
  3. The version will be displayed (18, 19, etc.).
Apple Safari
  1. Click on Safari in your Safari menu at the top of the screen.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select About Safari.
  3. The version will be displayed in a dialog box.

1 comment:

  1. Ancestry.com's browser support policy is explained here:
    http://blogs.ancestry.com/techroots/browser-support-policy/

    ReplyDelete