Overcoming Cross Browser Compatibility Hurdles With Angularjs

Posted by Arnab Roy Chowdhury | July 10, 2018
Cross Browser Testing β€’ JavaScript β€’

4304 Views | 5 Min Read

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No matter how big or small your webapp is, you cannot disrespect browser diversity. No matter what is your target audience, you should always aim to develop a website that is cross browser compatible. Between Safari, Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Internet Explorer, one cannot certainly be sure that the developed webpage will run properly in the other’s system just because it did in your local machine. The problem is more magnified if you are developing a JavaScript webapp.

The recent versions of Angular JS however, offers a solution. Using AngularJS, one can significantly easily develop a single page application that is compatible across different browser, that too in a compact and well-structured code. Let’s discuss why Angular is the best solution to develop cross browser web apps.

Why Use Angular?

The recent version of Angular, that is Angular 6 was introduced with one motto, to make it lighter, faster and easier to use. The development team of Angular has made much effort to make web application development easier and also made it compatible with material design. Let’s discuss the advantage of Angular for developers.

Progressive Web-App Development – Progressive web applications that run easily across different browsers are quite popular these days. And since Angular 4 and versions above it were developed keeping the mobile first concept in mind, it is easier to develop applications that provide features like offline experience and push notifications. With Angular 6, material design components are also made compatible with rendering the code on server side.

Code consistency – For every developer, an important goal is code consistency, especially when they have to support an application in production. The overall framework of Angular is based on services and components that acts like a Lego block. They follow a basic life cycle and no matter how many components are developed or edited, the code structure always remains same. An icing on the cake is code reusability. In short, developers working in Angular feel like they are going with the flow rather than swimming upstream against the flow.

Not only for developers, end users also get to experience a faster single page web application that is compatible across different browsers.


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Browser Compatibility Issues in Angular

Recent versions of Angular supports all latest versions of all major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, iOS and Android. However, in Internet Explorer, Angular is only supported by versions 9, 10, and 11. In IE8, often developers have observed that the application is not properly rendered. While rendering, only the raw HTML code is displayed.

An web application developed in Angular 4 sometimes may include animations. The web library used for animations, web-animations.js, is specially notorious in giving errors in safari 10 and lower versions.

Apart from native Angular code, there are other issues as well like CSS reset. Sometimes, CSS files are not rendered properly and the page is displayed with the internal basic browser CSS.

New CSS functionalities are sometimes not supported by Firefox, IE or Safari. Developers can often observe that a CSS property like opacity or text-wrap is working perfectly in Chrome while not in other browsers.

There are also script related issues like page freezing, infinite loading time and browser not responding. However, like all complicated frameworks, browser issues are common in Angular. But there are ways to fix those problems. Developers like it because it allows to fragment the logic into various modules, resulting in more granulated code.

How to Fix Common Browser Issues in Angular

Developers have to keep in mind that if they want their application to run properly in lower versions of IE like IE 8, they have to use a subset of the functionality. For example style=”{{css code}}” does not work in IE8. This should be replaced by ng-style. For button types, type=”{{expression}}” should be replaced by ng-attr-type.

Bootstrap framework is often used in Angular applications to make them responsive. However, certain old browsers do not support Bootstrap, causing breakage in CSS. A possible solution is to manually define the style in the CSS file rather than calling the required bootstrap style tag.

For using new CSS functionalities, especially styles which are vendor specific, prefix should be added. For example:

Here, -moz stands for Mozilla and -ms for IE. Usage of prefix makes the code compatible with all browsers.

Fixing other issues like code freeze, increased loading time and others has only one solution. A Developer has to organize the code properly. In case of large applications with multiple components, creating a directory and diving modules into submodules is a good practice. Instead of loading JavaScript files up front, they should be loaded dynamically, when requested by the user.

Finally, no application should be allowed to go live without thorough and detailed unit testing across devices and browser on which the application is intended to run.

Importance of Cross Browser Applications

With the wide use of mobile and portable devices like tablets or laptops, each with their own browsers along with browsers which are common and popular, behavior of a web application varies across different browsers, each of them interpreting code differently. Cross browser compatible web applications ensure that your application provides the best experience to all end users. Happier customer means less number of support tickets and more time for you to focus on evolving your website.

With a framework like Angular that provides flexibility to build RICH web apps, developers can now easily build a highly interactive and user friendly web application. Undoubtedly, it is the best choice for all programmers at present.

Test if the App Developed is Cross Browser Compatible

Once you’ve developed a cross browser compatible web app, you need to test it for cross browser compatibility. LambdaTest, a cross browser testing platform, can help you perform cross browser testing by providing you 2000+ combinations of browsers, browser versions, and operating systems.

Happy developing and happy testing!

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Written by Arnab Roy Chowdhury

Arnab Roy Chowdhury is a UI developer by profession and a blogging enthusiast. He has been writing content for about 5 years and have strong expertise in technical blogs, travelogues and content in latest programming languages.

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