Your web browser is too nice to you

Look – we love our browsers. Well, most of them. They’re how we get around on the web these days, but they can make things difficult for the budding coder. When it looks easy, everyone thinks they can do it…or at least, they can do it right the first time. Be wary of the following issues.

1. Code

Your browser makes incorrect code look like it works even when it won’t.

That’s a problem…but how do you know what’s wrong, aside from your site’s inoperability?

JavaScript errors, for one, can be diagnosed with a browser itself. With whatever document is causing issues, open its console and pinpoint the issue. More than likely, it comes back to your original code. If the error message is displaying what appears to be a foreign language…that’s what forums are for! Look to your community to find potential solutions.

Or…just ask your trusty 4110 friend or professor 🤠.

2. Different browsers, different strokes for different folks

With Brackets’ ready-made live preview function using Google Chrome and the NMI lab populated with Mac desktops, you’ll likely be splitting your time between Chrome and Safari. However, you can also do work on your own time, on your own laptop, with your browser of choice (remember the virtues of DropBox?)

That’s nice and convenient, BUT browsers have been around for a while now and it’s entirely reasonable to expect that people operate on different versions. Thus, site results will be rendered differently, certain features may or may not be available, or things may load in different time. To that end….

3. New features and vendor prefixing

Prefixes are a wonderful way for developers to experiment with new features between CSS and the API. However, they are new and experimental…and certain browsers or their respective versions might not adapt to them well. As different states develop, code has to become standardized. Prefixes simply make it easier for developers to move faster, though sometimes browsers haven’t caught up and things don’t load properly.