Supported Web Browsers

For an updated list of currently supported browsers, see the Web Application Development website.

I was asked by a member of the LIS Website Team to update a post from two years ago on supported web browsers for our site. In general our guideline for supporting a browser is to keep support for it for as long as the browser’s manufacturer is supporting it. This means we will try our best to resolve issues with any browser that you can readily download from a manufacturer’s site, except for beta and pre-release versions.

These guidelines apply only to services supported by the Web Application Development workgroup. Other workgroups may have their own guidelines, for example Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are the only supported browsers for Internet Native Banner and Hyperion users.

These are the versions we support at the time of this post (alphabetically):

With the exception of Internet Explorer, each of these browsers have both Mac and PC versions.

I’m using internet explorer, which version should I use?

Most of the site’s features and visuals are the same in IE 7 and IE 8, but IE 8 does have a better rendering engine and will be able to support more features going forward. IE 8 also loads pages faster and processes JavaScript faster because any time a script tries to access an element on a page in IE 7 it has to scan the entire page. IE 8 stops scanning the page after it finds what it’s looking for. As a result, IE 7 users have fewer stories available to them on our homepage because the browser isn’t fast enough to process them all, so we randomly cut some out.

Users of Internet Native Banner and Hyperion should stay on IE 7 or IE 8, since those are the versions of Internet Explorer supported for use with INB and Hyperion.

If that doesn’t apply to you, IE 9 has some interesting features, but is only available on Windows 7. The most important is that it supports HTML5 elements, including the audio and video tags. IE 9 users are able to play these elements on our site using their browser’s built-in media player while IE 7 and IE 8 users will see a Flash-based player instead. I’m working on rolling out more HTML5 features on our site like form validation, date pickers, local storage, and location services that will make the site a bit faster and slicker for people using browsers that support these features.

What about older versions of other browsers?

Security updates for Firefox, Chrome and Safari are only released for the latest version, so I recommend that you turn on automatic updates for these browsers.

The Mozilla Foundation makes available all older versions of the Firefox browser, but after a certain time stops applying security and stability updates to the browser. For instance, this is scheduled to happen to Firefox 3.6 on April 24, 2012.

Is there a different list of supported browsers for editing www.middlebury.edu?

No. The only difference is that Internet Explorer and Firefox 3.6 users can only upload one file to the site at a time. Other users can select multiple files and upload them as a batch, which saves a bit of time. Firefox 3.6 users should update to the latest version of Firefox. The feature is currently not available in any version of Internet Explorer, but will be added to Internet Explorer 10 when that browser is released.

What about beta and pre-release browser versions?

You’re welcome to use these, and they may work, but we will not respond to bug reports about site functionality not working in a beta version of a browser. These are often caused by issues with the browser that are addressed before its final version is released and third-party systems like WordPress and Drupal will often release their own fixes to these issues when the final version of a browser is released. It’s not efficient for us to spend time addressing these issues as well.

I’m using one of the supported versions, but there’s an issue. What can I do?

You can email the Helpdesk, call the Helpdesk at x2200, or submit the Web Feedback form and we’ll get in touch with you via email.

What are the stats on browser usage of the Middlebury website?

Browser All Internal External
Safari 34.12% 36.69% 32.36%
Firefox 23.62% 25.18% 22.53%
Internet Explorer 22.92% 19.85% 25.04%
Chrome 17.31% 17.58% 17.11%

The Android Browser, Opera, IE with Chrome Frame, Opera Mini, and the BlackBerry8530 browser account for under 1% of our site visits. Of the people using Internet Explorer, here’s how many are using each version. If you’re one of the 1.14% of internal users still on Internet Explorer 6, please contact our Helpdesk.

Browser All Internal External
Internet Explorer 6 1.26% 1.14% 1.33%
Internet Explorer 7 21.21% 36.42% 12.86%
Internet Explorer 8 56.45% 57.29% 55.99%
Internet Explorer 9 21.07% 5.15% 29.81%

If I haven’t answered your question here, leave a comment.

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