[OpenLayers-Dev] Request for help from Opera users

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Tue Jun 9 22:06:05 EDT 2009

On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 08:35:20AM +1000, Roald de Wit wrote:
> Hi Tim and list,
> Why do we put so much effort into supporting an 'old' version of Opera? 
> This problem does not exist in the latest stable version (9.64) any more 
> as you say. So, this seems to be a bug in Opera that has been fixed.
> I'm sure that Opera users will upgrade (pretty much) immediately when a 
> new version gets released.

Tim's probably not the person to talk to here, since I'm the one who
kept it in 2.8, as release manager. What follows is my opinion, and a
strongly held one that I have done my best to maintain throught the
history of OpenLayers. 

Any functionality that is in a released version of OpenLayers should
continue to work the same in all future versions of OpenLayers of the
same major revision. That is, there should never be any reason that
upgrading from 2.7 to 2.8 should cause anything to break.

The report from the user is not clear. If -- as I am assuming -- 
"This worked in 2.7,  and 2.8 breaks it" -- that is, simply switching to
2.8 causes a regression in behavior -- then this is a bug.

I am currently using OpenLayers for a project which uses Firefox 1.0.6
as the primary browsing platform. Users do not have the option to
upgrade their browsers. (The other option is IE6. I prefer working in
FF1, for obvious reasons.) I would be frustrated if OpenLayers took the
position that something that formerly worked -- specifically, Firefox
1.0.6 for a subset of OpenLayers features -- was removed simply because
"FF 1.0.6 is old."

Not supporting new features in older browsers is perfectly reasonable.
But we should do our best to limit the number of reasons for users to
*not* upgrade OpenLayers. Doing so hurts the project, because we have to
continue to support older versions to a greater extent, and hurts our
users, since they can't take advantage of bugfixes. 

If this worked in 2.7, we should fix it for 2.8. Since I don't have the
Opera version in question handy, I can't tell if it did. I'm hoping the
user can follow up with more information so we can confirm the problem,
and the fix.

Best Regards,
Christopher Schmidt

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