BBC Browser Support Lacking

8th April 2004 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


The Literary Moose has unearthed a gem. As part of their Web Development Guidelines, the BBC have published a table of Browser Support Standards. It shows that many popular browsers, including Opera 7 and Safari, should not be tested in! Such browsers are "partially supported" though - content must still work in them, including navigation.

This makes me laugh sigh. My new layout was tested consistently with all three major Windows browsers open at once - Opera, Mozilla and IE. Any changes I made had to work for all those programs. Now when my layout went live, I found the side menu links couldn't be clicked on in Opera. The reason turned out to be a last-minute change I made in the order of the code - I had found no problems testing before. So imagine if I had completely ignored Opera, as the BBC suggest, and just "assumed" the content would work. Oops. No it wouldn't.

Testing is essential! Often elements can appear wildly misplaced (or, indeed missing altogether) - what works for one browser doesn't always work for another. You can never assume a page will be fine, no matter how competent your code is.

The BBC need to think again.

Comments (3)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. flump:
    They seem to have some weird ways of testing. Test on the very old, and the very new but not the inbetween?

    "All pages SHOULD be coded to relevant W3C HTML standards"
    does that mean that they should all validate too?
    A lot of their pages don't just have simple errors like using & instead of & they have depricated tags.

    Posted on 9 April 2004 at 12:20 pm
  2. Tim Heales:
    I used to be able to access radio 4 through the "BBC Homepag" but for the last week or so I am having problems, especially listening to radio 4, on the web.
    Each time I try to listen my brpwser locks up and I have to Contrl+Alt+del to end task.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best Regards


    Posted on 19 May 2004 at 7:59 pm
  3. Chris Hester:
    I'm not sure this is the place to find the answer. What browser do you use? Do you listen with Windows Media Player or Real Media Player?

    Posted on 19 May 2004 at 9:09 pm