Technology KnowledgeBase

What is the recommended web browser for the district?

AS OF January 2019:

Technology recommends the following web browsers to access various district resources:

SAFARI is the recommended browser for IEPOnline and (KRONOS).

CHROME is the best browser for Synergy and GoogleDocs/Apps. Chrome has a known bug with its cache management that can cause your computer to lock up if you have a lot (more than 50 - 60) web sites open at once (yes, some staff do that).

INTERNET EXPLORER (windows users only): Microsoft has been making significant changes in each of the last few releases of IE, which means that sites that work with IE 9 may not work with IE 10 or IE 11. In general, IE 11 is the least compatible browser. If your computer has IE 10 or IE 11 installed, you should use Firefox or Chrome to have better compatibility with outside Internet sites. EmployeeOnline and Bi-Tech/IFAS will not work in IE 10 or IE 11.

Wanna Get Techie??

Companies that make web browsers are constantly trying to add new features to make their product more desirable to end users. The competition for new features often leads one web browser to interpret a web page differently than another would, and sometimes to not be able to view a web page at all. This competition has been going on for over a decade and shows no signs of calming down.

The leading web browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) are competing to control how you use web services, especially the web services that their companies own (like iCloud, Google Apps, and Office 365). Although they all claim to support "web standards", they also all put their own little spin on those, resulting in slight to significant differences in how they display web pages. This isn't a problem with simple pages, but complex sites (like Facebook or ESPN) or web applications (like Edmodo, Synergy, or SchoolWires Editor) can have big problems or even fail altogether.

The latest battles are over HTML5 and scripting languages. HTML5 is the latest standard for writing web pages and adds many new features to enable web applications. Web browsers that have invested in other web application technologies, though (such as Internet Explorer) don't want HTML5 to succeed and have been slow to support it or fail to support all of the features the way they are defined. JavaScript used to be the main scripting language for browsers, but now every browser vendor is moving to their own scripting language, claiming that their language will provide better performance and more features. That battle could take several years settle out, even as we all are dealing with the gradual demise of Flash and Java in client-side web services.

So what is a person to do? Keep several web browsers installed on your computer. If a site doesn't work in one browser, it will likely work in another.
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