So I have a client that is running multiple versions of multiple browsers. I currently support IE7, IE8, IE9, Firefox4/5, Safari 5 and Chrome. The site works in all the named browsers.

IE has a feature called 'compatibility mode', the current bane of my existence. The problem is that in compatibility mode, form buttons work differently. I won't get into the details but it would be a major effort to make the site support 'compatibility mode'.

Is this something that there are frequent requests for? Am I off my rocker to push back on the client and tell them this just isn't an option?

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    Are you referring to the "button bug" where forms don't submit from bog standard <button> tags? Just slap a type="submit" in there. – Jarrod Nettles Aug 4 '11 at 20:42
  • Well, that's not the only problem. The value of the button comes back as the text on the button instead of the value= attribute. – Zachary Yates Aug 4 '11 at 20:45
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    Any chance you could just "condition" your users to switch off compatibility mode? That's what the button in the browser is there for, after all. – Robert Harvey Aug 4 '11 at 20:58
  • @Zachary-Yates It doesn't look like <button type="submit">Submit</button> ? – Jarrod Nettles Aug 4 '11 at 21:37

No, dont support it. If it works in IE7, IE8, and IE9, then there's no reason to support it. Compatibility mode is to allow the browser to support old, broken code that doesnt run correctly in the newer browsers. Since your site runs fine, there should be no reason for their browsers to use compatibility mode.

I think you can just use the X-UA-Compatible meta tag to tell IE whether or not to use compatibility mode. Something like <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9" /> tells IE that the site should be just fine using IE9's rendering engine.


If it is a major problem to implement, there was no plan to implement it, and you were not informed of this requirement by the client, don't implement it without first consulting them. Inform them of the inherent problems that this will cause and if need be, tell them there will be a major cost added overall.

As for the "standard practice", in the web world, browsers are very diverse. The standard thing to do is implement full support for the browsers that will be viewing your site. If I'm aiming for IE users then I will support then wholeheartedly.

  • That's not really my question. Is this something that is generally accepted practice? I haven't heard of anyone else specifically supporting 'compatibility mode' – Zachary Yates Aug 4 '11 at 20:46
  • @Zachary "Am I off my rocker to push back on the client and tell them this just isn't an option?" -- That is a part of your question. I personally do not implement it on any site I work on simply because there is no need for it. There is a lot of variance in the browser world. Standard practice is really more implementing the site for the browsers it is going to be viewed in. – user7007 Aug 4 '11 at 20:48

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