Thursday, 2 February 2012

Internet Explorer - New isn't always better.

Developing our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for BrandFu was challenging to say the least. We had dome some initial prototype work to validate some viability uncertainties, but after that we wanted to spend no more than 3 months getting the first release out.

As with any lean startup development effort with tight deadlines, we spent a lot of time thinking about what was absolutely essential work, and what could wait for a future sprint. One of the things that we left out of our essential work was testing for the compatibility on IE 9.

The decision to not stress too much about IE 9 was that the browser specs indicated that it would work fine with our version of JQuery out the box, and that it's standards support was a great deal better than previous versions. And, as a result we spent a great deal more time testing on older version of IE (8,7) than we did on IE 9 .

This was not a good idea. As you know, assumptions are the mother of f***k-ups and, it turned out that a critical element in our App UI was broken on IE9 because of the way it handled certain DOM events, most particulary the element on-change propogation of element values back into the DOM.
These differences were solely due to IE9 idiosyncrasies that one simply coudn't forsee.

This of course meant that this discrete piece of functionality worked wonderfully well on FF, Chrome, Safari, and IE 7/8, but not on IE 9.  So much for cutting corners.

The moral of this litte story is that when it comes to cross- brower testing there really isn't any shortcut that you should take and when it comes down to testing on IE, newer doesn't always mean better, and of course - Assume Nothing.

Leesson Learned.

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