2.4 Explaining compatibility issues with different Collaborative Technology

In conjunction with the development of collaborative technology, new problems present themselves. Compatibility issues can arise between browser software, operating systems and plug-ins amongst many others.

There is an ever growing number of browser options available to enable navigation of the Internet. This means that web developers and designers have to consider compatibility when creating a website, otherwise they’re restricting their audience. A common browser compatibility issue is missing Doctype from the first line of code, this can result in a strangely rendered website. Not having a CSS Reset specific to the browser to create a basic set of rules can also lead to problems. As without one, a browser may render a website riddled with unwanted aesthetic changes. Different browsers will interpret HTML and CSS in different ways, some browsers are more forgiving of simple mistakes and are still able to render as the developer intended. Whereas other browsers may just produce an error without offering any insight on the cause of the issue. Additionally, using outdated browser detection code may not be able to detect the most up-to-date versions of browsers and thus the code won’t run at all.

Naturally, newer operating systems should have an improved specification over their predecessor and what’s considered as standard RAM nowadays is double the 32-bit which it was only a couple of years ago. The issue with this is an older computer or processor may struggle to run a 64-bit operating system, resulting in compatibility issues which would mean a newer computer and/or processor would be required to run the operating system. Another common compatibility issue regarding operating systems is that programs which were made around the time of the previous operating system or older are often no longer supported by their developers, so sometimes updating your operating software can make some of the programs you rely redundant.

A plug-in is a piece of code which enables some software to do something it wasn’t otherwise programmed to do. Compatibility issues can also arise with plug-ins. For example, if a plug-in was incorporated on a WordPress website and the site updated without the plug-in updating to cater, the plug-in may no longer work as it is no longer compatible with the latest version of the software. Often plug-ins are developed and then left, this means that the only solution to having an old plug-in is finding a suitable replacement.

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