The approach is a work of art so beautiful and sensible it literally made me weep for joy. In light of ongoing discussion regarding a new professionalism for Web designers and developers, it’s clear that the approach that Koechley outlines is not only logical and simple, but also profoundly practical.
One of the most powerful aspects of the document is it approaches the entire challenge of browser support for sites from an enlightened point of view. Instead of calling out any given browser as problematic and focusing on how to manage it, Koechley points to the nature of the Web and its evolution, encouraging us to work within that context:
“Expecting two users using different browser software to have an identical experience fails to embrace or acknowledge the heterogeneous essence of the Web. In fact, requiring the same experience for all users creates a barrier to participation. Availability and accessibility of content should be our key priority.”
The report goes on to describe Yahoo!’s definition of browser support, how it approaches “grading” browsers, and outlining a very practical means of addressing quality assurance. Along with the article is a grid that shows grades of support common browsers receive.
That all Web designers and developers seeking to solve difficult browser support concerns should read this article should go without saying.
Putting similar policies and processes in place for any design and development environment, large or small, would be a monumental step forward for not only the cause of Web standards, but improving the quality of the Web itself.
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