Things to Factor In
In the website world, there are always things you need to factor in and accommodate your code for. In general, these things are browser type, computer type, and computer/Internet speed. Each one in itself can prove to be a nightmare to deal with from one time to another.
The most frequently dealt with are probably the problems with general browser differences. They will make your website design appear differently in one browser than it does in another. This is expounded due to there being new browsers being created all the time and new versions of the existing browsers popping up that all house their own little intricacies and issues.
Internet and computer speed problems can be easily avoided with preloaders generally, but it’s something that someone with a fast computer and fast Internet connection can sometimes forget about or overlook since they never have the problem. Something that you should do anyway is to always make sure you keep your image and flash animation file sizes down to expedite any load times. Just because the user knows that a download is in progress still does not mean that they want to be waiting all that time to see the site.
The final problem deals with computer type which is the one I hit yesterday. It’s the age old mac versus pc debate. Sometimes a different type of computer can have different cross browser problems. Screensavers, CD-ROMs, and other software needs to be offered in two formats to work properly for each machine. The brand new problem that I had, dealt with detecting plugged in peripherals. Now I don’t know if I should classify this as a Flash problem or not, but the webcam detection in its default format does not detect webcams on mac computers. Since I didn’t use a mac I though everything was fine, until I got feedback from mac users. It just didn’t work for them. So after scouring the Internet I found some custom programming that was supposed to accommodate the mac setup. It worked for most of the macs, but not all and I didn’t find any other code snippets to use.
In a web developer’s perfect world, there would be one computer and one browser and everyone would have fast computers with fast Internet. People like their choices and competition between businesses keeps things innovative, so this will never happen.