Google Drops Chrome Frame — What Do We Do Now?

Posted by JD Collier on June 27, 2013

We have depended on Google Chrome Frame to help us direct website visitors on older browsers to modern alternatives. Specifically, we use the Drupal Chrome Frame module to quickly implement this functionality.

Google has announced they are retiring Chrome Frame January 2014.

Now what?

I really don't want to do nothing—I don't want visitors on old browsers to just see a broken site.

The Drupal community already has an answer (actually, this module has been around for over a year). After some research, we are trying out jReject.

jReject has really nice administration functionality. You can target more than just IE, it has very fine-grained support for other browsers. I can even target out-dated Firefox, Chrome or Safari browsers.

The other benefit of jReject is complete control over the warning message. I can determine which browsers to suggest and can customize the warning message that appears on old browsers.

If you use another method to warn older browsers, I'd love to hear it!

Further Drupal module reading:

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Submitted by Cameron Eagans on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 3:59pm

My approach: just let users who are too lazy to upgrade their browser see a broken site.

If they're being lazy, then why can't I?

Submitted by Amy Peveto on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 4:08pm

As awesome as that would be (seriously, imagine no browser testing), it's just not feasible for most web companies.

(1) Sometimes the client's website gets so much traffic from older browsers that not adding something like jReject is irresponsible on our part. We can't give the majority of their visitors a poor user experience.

(2) A lot of people work for companies whose entire computer system is locked, and they're not allowed to download and use a separate browser than the company provides. Unfortunately companies like this don't want to pay to update all those computers, so their employees are hobbling along with IE 7 or (eek!) even IE 6. Should they suffer because their company doesn't want to upgrade?

In the long run, it's not that difficult for us to add something like jReject, and it boosts people's experience of our websites. Sounds pretty worthwhile.

Submitted by Cameron Eagans on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 4:12pm

The only reason that it's not feasible is because people keep saying it's not feasible.

1) You announce well ahead of time that you're not going to continue to support IE6 and IE7 (like Google does), and then when the time comes to drop support, really drop it. Don't be nice and fix "just this one issue, I promise". Legacy browsers need to die.

2) Yes. If it's for legitimate work purposes, then they can either ask for another browser to be installed, or ask for their current browser to be upgraded. I personally was responsible for the upgrade of thousands of computers from IE7 to IE8, simply because a web app that my group needed access to didn't support IE7.

And FWIW, I'm not saying "don't browser test". I'm saying, maintain a very strict set of browsers that you're willing to test on, and don't include legacy browsers. A very good approach is the most recent two or three versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and the stock Android browser.

Submitted by Robert Edgar on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 1:07am

Because most of those users who use GCF AREN"T being lazy at all.

They are prevented by corporate policy from upgrading their browsers and you aren't, for example, going to get Fortune 500 companies upgrading their corporate browser just because some web developer says so.