Browser support—Background

Queensland Government strives to make its public web resources compatible with a range of platforms and browsers 1.

New browsers and platforms are launched regularly, and the popularity of each combination of browser and platform – tracked via web analytics – also changes over time.

Maintaining compatibility with this continuously changing environment presents an ongoing challenge for Queensland Government agencies.

The primary method used to maximise compatibility is to develop resources according to International web standards and to follow best-practice techniques for creating robust, cross-browser compatible products. Adherence to known and published standards is the only practical approach to forwards compatibility available; and offers the best insurance that resources developed will continue to work as intended into the future.

A recommended supplementary activity is to test all developed resources for compatibility with a variety of platforms and browsers.

The browser software industry has always been dynamic but the current proliferation of web-enabled devices, software and methods of accessing the web places extra pressure on agencies to perform extensive browser testing.

It is recognised that it is not always practical, or cost-effective to support and test websites and web applications an exhaustive combination of devices, platforms and browsers that are available to the public.

The adoption of the CUE browser support plan will assist agencies to:

  • determine which browsers require support and testing
    • determine the level of support that is expected for different browsers
  • support a diverse range of platforms and client software through best-practice development and strategic browser testing (maximising ROI)
  • provide transparency on the level of support given to individual browsers (in the event that a complaint is received).

Footnotes:

1 This aligns with the principle of device-independence from W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (a requirement of Information Standard 26: Internet).