Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
After being rumoured and showcased at @media Ajax 2008 by Jake Archibald in a pretty epic presentation (audio) the BBC now finally went through all the red tape needed and Glow is available as open source.
YUI jQuery was the BBC’s user base and guidelines:
However, on reviewing the major libraries we found that none met our standards and guidelines, with browser support in particular being a major issue.
Our support standards are based on many factors including usage stats and the upgrade paths available to users. For instance, when we had a significant number of users on Safari 1.3, we refrained from asking them to upgrade to Safari 2 as that would require them to buy a new operating system (OSX 10.4).
At the time we were still fully supporting IE5.5 and Safari 1.3, among others, and we continue to support Safari 2. On top of this, we actively avoid causing errors in our “Level 2” browsers. No major libraries were compatible with these requirements, and there was no guarantee that even if they were, they would not change their policies.
This was quite a cause for discussion at @media Ajax and felt a bit backwards-facing. Later this year the same problem came up at the Ajax Experience libraries panel – it is a hard question to answer when it is time for libraries to stop supporting old browsers when support means hacking the experience instead of progressively enhancing it.
One thing is for sure though: Glow has a great benefit – the Beep is dependent on it, which means maintenance and improvement is a given. Have a go:
My hat is off to the team and the BBC for going down this route and embracing the open source community and the idea of sharing the internal goodies with the world to make them better.
Posted by Chris Heilmann at 8:21 am