Friday, October 20, 2006

D2L and IE7

First, this message is sent out by our system office:
“As you may know, Microsoft has released IE7, and plans to release it as part of its automatic updates as early as November 1st. Since our current version of D2L, 7.4.3 MR1, does not support the use of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), D2L has recommended that you DO NOT take the upgrade to IE7 at this time.”

Next, this email is received from a D2L user:
“At what point can we tell D2L to step up to the plate? IE7 is kinda like a 10 ton truck, it hasn't exactly snuck up on the IT community. Rolling out measures to prevent end users from installing IE 7 is as painful as the actual install.”

To which I reply as follows:
“... we need to remember that this has always been the case with the IMS packages, as well as many other academic software packages that we use. This is not unique to D2L in any way. Back in our WebCT days, the single biggest cause of user support issues related to browser incompatibility. People constantly were installing new browser versions that weren't supported by the IMS. D2L, Blackboard, WebCT, Angel, and all the others cannot be expected to have their products perfectly synchronized with a browser from Microsoft, Mozilla, Safari/Apple, or anyone else when even those own companies can't make their other products work with their new versions.”

“Browsers that are in beta are constantly being tweaked and changed. That's why they are called beta. Only when the "official" browser (definitely an oxymoron) is released can other companies rely on what the functionality will be, and even then probably only for a few weeks while the browser developers continue to constantly patch the bugs and other problems not uncovered in beta testing. To blame D2L for the browser issues is much like blaming the Post Office for not delivering my mother's birthday card which is still setting here on my desk.”

That wasn't really the end of the listserv communications, but it's the point where I lost interest. BTW, I don't disagree with his point that this will be painful. All of this cr@p can be painful. But to say that D2L isn't holding up their end of the bargain in the browser battle is both unhelpful and untrue.
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