As I'm sure most of you are all-too-aware, Microsoft stopped supporting every developer's favourite browser - Internet Explorer v8 - more than a year ago now.
Furthermore, support for Windows Vista ends in April this year - leaving Windows Server 2008 R2 as the only operating system that continues to support Internet Explorer v9.
Internet Explorer v10 has only been supported on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard (no, I have no idea what this is either!) for a year now.
So, as from April, IE9 and 10 support is only really likely to be needed for organisations using a thin-client setup that is running on relatively old Windows Server technology.
So, now seems a good point to start a discussion about browser support in the Adapt Open Source project.
There are strong arguments for moving away from developing for these barely-/un-supported browsers, not least of which is that Adapt uses many third-party libraries - some of which have already stopping supporting IE8 (the MediaElement player used in adapt-contrib-media, for example). Others will doubtless follow suit, leaving us dealing with problems like this.
The other factor to consider is that, as an open source project that relies on a lot of donated time by developers, it's important that the project is enjoyable to work on - and for most developers having to support browsers like IE8 is pretty much the opposite of enjoyable ;-)
Finally, having to support these old browsers means that a lot of functionality that could be very useful is either completely unavailable to us or can only be achieved by means of clunky workarounds, fall-backs or graceful degradation.
On the other side of the argument, we need to bear in mind the nature of the e-learning market - it frequently involves producing courses for organisations of considerable size for whom upgrading can be an immense task - and so some of whom still require support for IE8.
And we do realise that, for some of you, one of the attractions of Adapt is that it's one of the few e-learning tools out there that still supports IE8 without having to rely completely on Adobe Flash.
The plan we'd like to propose, therefore, is that we stop developing for some/all of these older browsers but continue supporting a version of Adapt that is compatible with them.
What this means in practice is that when we switch to developing v3 of the Adapt Framework and core plugins we will not include support for IE8 (or IE9 and 10, ideally) - but will continue to make v2 of the Adapt Framework and core plugins available - and, where possible, will continue fixing any bugs found in that version.
For those of you working directly with the Framework, we plan to look into how we can set up the Adapt CLI to make it easy to get hold of the v2 Framework and plugins.
For anyone working with the Authoring Tool, this could be more of a problem since you can't have multiple versions of the framework/plugins installed on the AT. You also can't upgrade your AT install without also upgrading the framework. This would therefore mean any AT users who need to support IE8 having to maintain a copy of the AT specifically for that purpose.
At this point we're really just trying to get an idea of what you think of this plan. In particularly we are looking for feedback from anyone still in the position of having to support IE8/9/10. Would all this be off-putting - or worse - a showstopper problem for you? Would you prefer we continued developing for IE9 & 10 in Adapt v3 and, if so, why would this be important to you?