It seems easy, you make a tool that runs on any browser, then anyone can use it. Riiiight!
This week has been a lesson in how the lack of enforced code standards in XHTML and internet protocols as well as MIME types can create a nightmare for online education departments.
I am leaving company names out due to the fact that money is good and debt is bad, however, I am pretty sure they know who they are.
Most of the big Learning Management Systems as well as the new out-cropping of browser based add-ons for education begin by saying they support Internet Explorer....7...no wait 8...9? They constantly are having to shift their focus in coding to deal with the latest disaster that the company that owns the rights to the browser makes for them.
Add in Mozilla, Safari, Chrome, and whatever company decides to jump in, how ARE these companies that are using browsers going to hang in there for technical support. Every time the tools and add-ons up grade the transverse principle applies as well. What they do won't run on old browsers/java et al. Backwards compatibility seems to have never entered their thoughts.
This isn't like new and nifty brands of shoes, kids!
Maybe you should bundle a browser with your software that we can supply to our students? Maybe Education should create a flavor we encourage and support.
Maybe we need to re-think the backbone structure we use?
I do not have the answer students, instructors, tool makers and browser moguls. But, I do know that spending 8 or more hours trying to switch people back and forth between IE, Safari, and Mozilla because one things works in this browser and not that is ridiculous. A three ring circus.
Do we need enforced codes that ALL browsers must use? MIME type handlers that MUST be included in any new flavor. Required backwards compliance in all software and browsers? OH wait, even better, what happens in .Net or Virtual Worlds that ride on the same code backbones?
PLEASE make our jobs easier. If you have a solution my friends, post it here, let's talk about it. Petitions are waiting to be made.
Browsers be gone....or at least the difficulties.