[SATLUG] IE websites

Mike Wallace m.a.wallace at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 15:34:14 CST 2009

A lurker emerges from the shadows....

>From the original description, it sounds like the site is employing browser
specific JavaScript.  While there are browser differences with respect to
the rendering of HTML, these are relatively minor in comparison to the
differences encountered in JavaScript.  JavaScript for Firefox, Safari and
IE is all over the map which is why JavaScript frameworks like Dojo, jQuery,
Prototype, et al. exist.  Nevertheless, if heavy JavaScript is present on
the site, the only real solution is to load the site in Windows/IE whether
it be on a stand-alone box or within a virtual machine.  Every browser
handles JavaScript differently, so there is no way to accurately mimic IE on
another system because to duplicate IE would require duplicating what it
claims to support as well as all the "features" (i.e. bugs), and deviations
from JavaScript standards.  Another possibility is that there are Microsoft
specific ActiveX controls, but the solution is still the same -- you need to
have Windows itself.

On the subject of Flash, it is one of the best tools in the RIA product
space.  A key advantages of Flash is that it looks the same in all browsers
and the Flash plug-in is present .  Yes, Flash can be misused, but it is
invaluable for data visualization and navigation.  Cross-browser JavaScript
augmented with Flash where necessary can make a very good, intuitive site.


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