Web Apps and Cross Browser Capabilities

January 5, 2009


I remember when we released FreshBooks (then called 2ndSite) in May 2004. Back then the web was different – it was a little less mature, a little less evolved. AJAX was virtually unknown and the term Web 2.0 was a twinkle in Tim O’Reilly’s eye.

When we launched FreshBooks, our application was not cross platform or cross browser compliant. Seems crazy today that a web app would not be Mac compliant, but then – while not ideal – it was fairly common. The truth is we were three PC based developers and did not even have a Mac to test on, so we focused on what we knew and that was that.

It didn’t take long for us to start hearing from Mac users though, and I’m pleased to say by August 2004 were were Mac compliant and we’ve never looked back.

I’m thinking about all this today because Sunir and I (largely Sunir frankly) wrote an article for Mac News World about cross browser compatibility:

Building an application for today’s Web is a balancing act. Potential users use several competing browsers. Yet the user experience must be uniform for everyone, regardless of his/her browser of choice. And you can’t support one or two browsers because you’ll cut out major portions of the market.

Sunir did a great job on this post, and if you’re interested in getting a solid understanding of the importance of being cross browser compliant, as well as the litany of hurdles between here and there, check out the article.


about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumoured he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.