Why Cross Browser Compatibility?

I’m crashing into CBC rocks at the moment, and it just hit me:

Why do coders even tolerate CBC?

So Internet Explorer is kinda the joke of that issue, I see. But why? Why allow the browsers to dictate their own ‘style’ of doing things? It’s not like the browser is the client, so why give them the power to make a coder’s life more difficult?

Seems to me that a nice little alert box that says:

Internet Explorer has decided that it does not want to support standardized web development, so we will no longer be supporting IE browsers. Switch to { list of browsers that don’t suck } for a better experience. Refer all complaints on this matter to { IE Support Email }.

Maybe I’m just militant and irritated, but I’ve read enough to know that CBC is a headache for everyone. I just don’t understand why it’s tolerated.

Maybe you can find a company that is willing to say, “Screw all the people that haven’t updated their browsers. We’ll happily accept a smaller market share just to make out point, even though it will mean less money.” I doubt it.

There are a lot of reasons people don’t update browsers. Old equipment. Elderly people that don’t know how. A company or institution that has software built around the old browsers and don’t want to risk breaking a working system, etc.

Yeah, it sucks, but it’s part of the game. And it’s not as bad as it used to be.

The other side of the coin is to consider that the problem isn’t the users but different browsers developing and adding features in different directions and implementing new features differently - legacy IE isn’t the only problem. The only way to stop that would be for every browser to agree to meet a set standard, but then then would slow down development because they’d be hemmed into the standard until the new one can be agreed upon. I’m not sure why they would all agree to this, just to make web devs’ lives easier.

It’s just part of the job.

I’m mostly just venting here. However, “It’s just part of the job.” is not the best attitude to have, in general. That’s how ‘the job’ becomes a soul-crushing experience with longer hours, less vacation, no sick leave, timed bathroom breaks, lower salaries, crap benefits, and generally just a terrible place to work. You know, like working for Amazon.

I don’t honestly expect this to change, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. Also, I’m not talking about backwards compatibility because users don’t update their browsers, although there’s got to be a limit to supporting that as well. Oh, does this look like the Internet from 1995? That’s because you won’t update your browser!

I’m talking about feature support across updated browsers and having to test every little change you make in 35 different browsers and versions to make sure nothing explodes. That’s just an unnecessary waste of time.

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so some reading for you
Browser Wars Part 1: When Netscape Met Microsoft
Browser Wars Part 2: How the Web Was Won

If you don’t like reading, the short of it is. This is our fault.
And by our , I mean software developers and their managers.
Everyone wanted to one-up the other and just like the app wars that are happening now, people did whatever they had to to get market share.

I look back at this history and I realize that our use of browsers has come a long long way since those days! They used to be much more important, now we take them for granted and we don’t really expect much from them (just expect them to work and display things consistently and hopefully keep our data safe, but boy the expectations back in 1995 were so different). The only thing I can relate them to now is how we currently treat mobile apps. Everyone has an app that does something slightly different than the other and we’re all looking to use the best one. But one day, another software developer will ask the same question you’re asking ‘what’s with the cross app compatibility issue’? And they’ll be talking about , for example, Netflix/Amazon/Disney and trying to serve content on these platforms that were built in direct competition with each other and finding that very difficult… and on and on it goes)

It is if you have no control over it. As the serenity prayer goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Yeah, I wish browsers were standardized. And I wish ice cream wasn’t fattening. I can’t change either so I’m just going to deal with it.

If you want to be a crusader and take on the entire industry and convince all the players - established and evolving - and convince them to accept control, even sometimes at the expense of their own interest - then go ahead.